How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? Let’s Find Out The Most Efficient Spray Tan Tips Here!

November 24, 2017

Anna Chen

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? Let’s Find Out The Most Efficient Spray Tan Tips Here!

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Owning a flawless bronze skin is the most trending accessory that you can have in summer days. Instead of spending hours bathing in the sun, why don’t you try spray tan? It seems to be a convenient solution for you. But how long does a spray tan last? And what are the best way for tanning extender?

Here we will provide the most secrets of spray tan tips to boost the effectiveness of this tanning method. What are you waiting for? Just keep reading and following the simplest instructions below!

Basic information about spray tan

Owning a healthy tanning skin is the dream of almost every girl in this world.

Don’t you believe it? Just take a glance at the cover of any beauty magazines, you will see the figure of a hot and sexy celebrity with a beautiful bronze glow skin tone. Then compare with the pale shade spreading from the top-to-toe of your body, you will feel a burning desire to have the same tanning skin, whatever it takes.

But instead of spending hours to bake yourself under the sunshine every day (which most of us can’t afford to do that), there are many other convenient and simple ways. Spray tanner appears to be the easiest method for you!

The most exciting thing is, you do not need to do anything. Everything you are required is standing still, close your eyes, and relax your body. A professional will spray a magical color all over your body with an air gun. Then when opening your eyes, you will see a beautiful and healthy bronze shade that is several tones darker than your natural pale skin. Isn’t it awesome?

But how can this miracle item do that? Is it a harmful dyeing chemical? How long does a spray tan last if applied to your skin?

Let’s get a closer look at the molecular structure of spray tanners.

What is spray tanner?

The primary ingredient of tanner is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is extracted from plants that are high in carbohydrate (ex. sugarcane, sugar beets, or the fermentation of glycerin) [1].

Unlike other dyeing chemicals, DHA interacts and forces a reaction with the top layer of your skin thus form the brown shade. This mechanism is somehow similar to the process of baking: when you let the cookie sit inside the oven when it is completely baked just for a crispy and brown layer. Combine with erythrulose (which has the same benefit as DHA); the bronze effect will last for longer (up to 10 days).

How long does a spray tan last?

tan skin

Well, to enhance the excellent benefit of spray tanner: saving tons of time, we would like to mention a little bit about the length of the sun-tanning.

Like other methods to get a tanned skin, the result of sun-tanning depends on the skin tone of each person and the intensity of the sunlight exposure. But it is estimated that you need hours in the sun to get a perfect bronze skin, not to mention the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Does it worth spending such a huge time while you can use it in something else more important?

Here comes the invention of spray tanners! After a few minutes waiting, you can enjoy the perfect bronze glow shade that lasts for weeks.

But exactly, how long will a spray tan last? Well, as the DHA compound interacts with the top layer of your skin can create the dark color, so the effect of spray tan lasts until your dead skin cells are shed.

According to dermatologists, there are thousands of dead skin cells that go away each day. Your skin now will be replaced entirely within a month! So, the tanning color will fade day by day until the last skin layers rejuvenated [2].

The exact length that your spray tan stays varies in people, but normally it takes 5-10 days or maybe longer if you know the tips to maintain it.

Are you curious enough? Let’s find out the most efficient way to keep your beautiful skin!

What to do before a spray tan?

How long does a spray tan last? It refers to the whole procedure of spraying: from preparation to post-spray caring.

To get the best result, please follow these steps before you start gradually:

Step 1. Prime your skin

As the tanning effect fades away with the dead skin cells, it is better to remove the top skin layer and shave one day before your appointment. The whole idea of this process is to stimulate the color to stick with the new skin cells and last for longer until they are gone.

There are many physical and chemical methods available on the market to help you do that. But remember to choose a water-based product instead of an oil-based one to exfoliate because it may cause an uneven finish spray tan.

Besides, it is more convenient to use some household items than buying at the store, as they work with a similar effect (such as sugar scrub or washcloth).

Don’t forget your face! It requires a more gentle and special exfoliation than your body. If it is hard for you to seek a proper method, why don’t you take a look at TOP AMAZING METHOD ON HOW TO GET DEAD SKIN OFF YOUR FACE – all of the simplest and effective recipes are available there!

How long does a spray tan with primer last? It may stay for longer than you spray without preparing yourself. For the best result, please make sure to exfoliate at least 24 hours (but not over 48 hours – or the skin cells will going to renew again), so the pores have time to close before spraying.

Step 2. Remove your makeup, decorations, and perfumes

remove makeup

How long do spray tans last depends on the contact between the DHA and the skin. Before you start, please make sure to remove all of these items, or it will interfere the effect of spray tan. If there is an obstruction between your skin and the spray, it will result in an uneven finish.

Step 3. Pick suitable clothes

Avoid body-suits, tight shoes, and light clothing or they could rub off the tanning layer. Things that you should choose include loose clothes, flip-flops, and a shower cap to protect the hair. How long does a spray on tan last depends on the clothes you wear after you spray tan.

Most ingredients of spray tanners are water soluble so that it can be washed easily under the water. But it is still recommended that you bring dark clothes to prevent stains.

Avoid wearing socks or tight things immediately after you have done spraying because those items may create visible indentations on your skin.

For girls with light hair color, you might want to cover your head with a shower cap to prevent the spray tan from ruining your hair. But remember, just pull the cap until it reaches the hairline, or it may reflect a weird line on your forehead.

Besides, prepare something to protect yourself from the unintended rain after the appointment is a good idea. You are no longer afraid the rain from ruining your brand new bronze skin.

Step 4. Wear old and proper underwear

Remember that whatever you wear will be reflected in your skin as the difference between the covered and uncovered skin may be visible.

So, it is not too late to think about what you are planning to wear after spraying and pick the most suitable undergarments. For instance, if you have a night party tomorrow with a strapless dress code, you absolutely don’t want to show up with two lighter lines that remind the straps of the bra.

Some salons provide underwear that made from paper if the customers do not bring anything on their own. Even if you want no tan lines, you can discuss with the technician whether you could stay nude during the session.

Step 5. Bring a photo that describes your desired skin tone

To make sure you get the perfect color as you want, we recommend bringing a picture of a model or someone that has your desired skin tone. It is easier for the technician to understand so he/she could choose the exact shade for you.

Step 6. Clean your sweat

If you go straightly to the salon after work and do not have time to wipe out the sweat, please ask for a wipe or towel to clean the face and body. This step helps you get rid of the streaks when applying the spray.

Step 7. Testing

In case you haven’t tried any tanning spray before, or you “dye” your skin for some specific occasion, we recommend you to test a small amount first to make sure the color match with your imagination. Who wants to show themselves in a photo-shoot with a weird orange skin?

Besides, for some people with sensitive skin, a small amount testing ensures that you are not allergic to any ingredients of spray tanners.

Step 8. Get ready for spray tan

There is nothing much at this stage but follow the direction of the technician strictly. He/she can ask you to apply lotion to some parts of the body (ex. nails beds, elbows, and between the toes) and guide you how to turn.

It is better to prepare yourself because the spray tan is often colder than the body temperature. The whole session only lasts for 5-10 minutes; then you are ready to go out with a hot trend bronze skin!

How to keep a tan?

As mentioned above, with a proper care, a spray tan can last for longer than usual. Here is the direction to help you to do so:

Give it time to dry thoroughly

The spraying session only takes 5-10 minutes, but you need double of that time to let it dry completely, sometimes with the help of a special drying machine.

After that, put on the loose and dark clothes that you have prepared before. Wearing a bra or jewelry is not necessary, as they may rub off the new color layer.

Avoid contacting with water

The most popular question is: “How long do you have to wait to shower after spray tan?” Well, not just showering but other strenuous activities that induce sweat are not recommended within eight hours after the session.

After that, the first shower should be taken in care for a short time. Instead of hot water that may fade the tanning color quickly, you should consider moving to a warm bath, then pat dry gently with a soft towel.

Similarly, please avoid swimming in a pool that is full of chlorine, or it will diminish the tanning effect. How long does a mystic spray tan last depends on the way you keep yourself away from water during the first hours.

Besides, you may need to lay a sheet (choose the dark color one) on your white bed or couch to prevent strains.

Apply moisturizer

If you have a dry skin, some parts of your body might be tough and flaky, especially your hands, feets, and elbows. This rough surface prevents the spray tan from applying evenly as it could stick on the edges of the dry spots.

That is why a moisturizer is always recommended before a spray tan: it is the perfect solution for dry areas. You can apply an adequate amount all over your body, focus on those parts above. If the dry spots appear on your face, there is nothing to worried about, please click on HOW TO GET RID OF DRY SPOTS ON FACE EFFECTIVELY to know the best methods to soften your face.

Normally, the salon will provide a unique spray lotion or moisturizer. But if they did not, please pick a fragrance-free product and use with caution to maintain the long-lasting effect of your tan.

Perform moderate exercises

Tanning spray does not mean that you cannot do exercises, but please wait at least two days before your workout or the intense sweating may affect the flawless finish.

Some moderate activities that suitable for you include yoga, pilates, and jogging.

Apply self-tanner lotion

Although the spray tan distributes equally on your body, some certain parts which contact frequently with the environment might lose the shade more quickly than others. To fix it, you can purchase a self-tanner lotion and apply to those areas (such as the feet or your fingers).

How to remove spray tan from your body?

Sometimes, the spray tan creates streak caused by melting, or it can leave behind a weird color on your skin, palms, or nails. Or even worse, the wrong shade can totally become a disaster when you picked a creepy color by mistake.

So how to remove spray tan?

Luckily, there are some easy home remedies that can help you get rid of this problem:

Method 1. Baking soda and lemon

With mild acid elements that work as a natural exfoliation, the combination of these two ingredients can remove the color of spray tan. Here is how you can do it:

  • Create a paste substance by mixing lemon juice with baking soda in a small bowl.
  • Rub the mixture all over your body by using a sponge.
  • Let it sit on your skin for a few minutes, then rinse it gently with warm water. After that, you can continue your shower as usual.

Method 2. Sugar exfoliation

While the lemon juice interacts with the skin to fade the color, sugar is a fantastic remedy to exfoliate physically. The list of homemade scrubs that contain sugar is endless, as it can combine with many ingredients that can be found in your kitchen.

Here we will suggest the simplest sugar scrub that only requires three basic ingredients: sugar, olive oil, and essential oil.

  • First, mix sugar and olive oil with 1:1 ratio in a bowl (you may need half a cup of each), then add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Then store the mixture in an airtight container. Each time using, you just need to take out one tablespoon and rub it all over your body.
  • After that, rinse off the exfoliation and take a shower as usual.

You can use coconut oil instead of olive oil, and replace sugar by the coffee ground but still keep the similar effect.

Method 3. Use exfoliating gloves

This item is very helpful to fix a tanning mistake and remove spray tan. It works as a physical exfoliation to remove the dead skin cells that have interacted with the spray tanner.

After put the gloves on, pour a little soap on your wet skin and rub off color. You do not want to hurt your sensitive skin by an intense rub, so please do it gently.

Method 4. Go to the swimming pool

That’s it, soaking yourself in the pool is everything you need to do. The chlorine compound will fade the tanning color as its benefits are to sanitize the pool water.

You just need to spend a few days in the pool, 30 minutes each time to remove the tan.

Method 5. Bathing with baby oil

The ointment substance can soften your skin and make it easier to exfoliate. This step can boost the effectiveness of the method above, so you should consider using it before exfoliation step.

How to get rid of spray tan on your palm and nails?

After spray tan, the excess color may stick on the edge of your nails and palm. No one wants to go out with weird orange hands, obviously. So, here are some tips to remove the excess color from those small areas.

  • Use a wipe tissue to clean around the nails as soon as possible after you have done tanning spray.
  • If it does not work, you should try using toothpaste with a clean brush. After taking out an adequate amount of toothpaste on your palms and nails, use the brush to rub off gently the excess color.
  • The last option is to use acetone as you normally use to remove the nail polish. With the help of a small cotton pad, rub your nails until the spray tan is completely gone, then rinse your hands with water.

Is spray tanning safe?

spray tan skin

Generally, spray tanning is considered mostly safe.

The Food and Drugs Administration approved the effectiveness and the safety of DHA ingredient in spray tanners. Until now, they consider DHA as a nontoxic and non-carcinogenic compound to use topically.

However, whether DHA safe for inhaling remains unclear due to the lack of related studies. But once the fine mist covered and stick to your entire body, even to the face, it is hard to inhale it [3].

It does not mean that you have nothing to worry when performing spray tan. If you want to be absolutely safe, when deciding to tan at home, it is better to choose lotions, gels, and cream form.

But if you have purchased a spray tanner, make sure to cover your mouth, eyes, and nose when spraying at the face.

How much does a spray tan cost?

When consider choosing spray tan as an alternative method of the traditional suntan, there are many options for you. You can go to the salon and use the tanning machine there, or ask a professional to apply for you with an airbrush or save your budget by purchasing a spray bottle.

The money spending on each method varies, as well as a result acquired.

Tanning spray machine

Talking about automatic spray tanning machine, the estimated cost for the whole session is 25-50 dollars, depends on the quality of the machine.

Many people choose this method because it provides a professional and modern technique in shape of a small room. You just need to walk inside, follow the direction of an automatic voice and turn yourself. The machine will measure your height and width; then a spray tan gun goes around to make sure it covers the entire body.

How long does a spray tan last if applied by a machine? Like usual, it could last for up to two weeks if you take a good care of it.

Profession airbrush tanning

Meanwhile, the total budget may be a little bit higher if you need a professional to do the session. Generally, it ranges between 35-70 dollars, or even more if you want to emphasis on some certain parts of your body (ex. breasts and abdomen).

A spray tan that was done by an expert usually brings up a better finish, as he/she could realize the uneven parts and fix it with a portable spray gun. Besides, you can receive a special enhancement wherever you want: just tell the technician, and he/she will add more tanning effect as your desire.

How long does a professional spray tan last? Can it last for longer than doing yourself or using a machine? Well, maybe it could last for longer than usual as it limited the uneven effect, so there is no place that is thinner than others.

As the cost of a professional airbrush is more expensive than other method, people usually use it in some special occasions (ex. wedding or parties) but not for daily activities.

Self spray tans

There are some spray tan products available on the market that designed for people to use on their own. The price is pretty much acceptable compared to other options: just 5-30 dollars for one bottle.

How long will a spray tan last if used at home? You need to be aware of the tanning effect that this product brings up. Sometimes, the color may look unrealistic or fades easily after a few days.

It is recommended that you should consider carefully before purchasing a home tan bottle, as well as the proper shade as your desire.

When is the best time to tan?

tan skin

Unlike the traditional suntan (which require you to follow the time strictly), you can choose any time to go to the salon and perform a spray tan.

However, if you are planning a party or a special occasion in the next few days, you need to calculate the tanning time so it stays beautiful during the event. Choosing the right time makes sure your spray tan is at the peak of the bronze stages.

The key is: booking a spray tan schedule 2-3 days before your event is a perfect time. It is far enough for your tan to develop, and you still be able to rinse. If you booked your schedule too far, your tan might fade somehow on the big day.

If you prefer a tanning skin that last for a short time, for instance 3-4 days, you may want to try tan physics. It will brings back a similar effect as spray tan, except for the duration. But how to find the one that is most suitable for your skin? Don’t worry, you just need to take a look at GET THE BEST TAN PHYSICS REVIEWS – TAN PHYSICS TRUE COLOR SUNLESS TANNER, it will help you find the exact product that you are looking for!

Frequently Ask Questions

Can a spray tan be permanent? And how long does a permanent spray tan last?

If you heard some advertisement of some salons that they provide a long-term or permanent spray tan, you need to be wary. It is not possible for the color to stay forever as the skin keeps rejuvenating through time.

What does bronzer do?

When you apply your makeup, bronzer is used to enhance the contours effect on the cheekbones without looking fake. It is somehow similar to the spray tan but just for some certain parts of your body (mostly on the face).

Should you shower after tanning?

After eight hours waiting, you can take your first shower after spray tan with the directions above.


How long does a spray tan last? Now you know every spray tan tips to maintain your beautiful golden brown skin, don’t you? Just need to follow our instructions, and you will have a long-lasting bronze skin to enjoy your holidays or any special occasions of your life.

We hope that this article has provided fully what you are looking for.

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