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How Long Does A Spray Tan Last: Prep & After Care For Maximum Results

How Long Does A Spray Tan Last

Are you planning to go on a holiday soon and want to get a spray tan to look your best? Perhaps you’ve set the spray tan appointment far too soon, a week or two before the special occasion, worrying if it’ll last? This article won’t just answer how long an average spray tan lasts, but also how you can take care of your skin to lengthen its lifespan. The question of how long does a spray tan last demands some answers, so let’s dive in.

Getting A Spray Tan

A spray tan lasts anywhere from 5 to 14 days, depending on several factors. Things such as using a tanning solution with more DHA and a darker shade of skin tone can make your tan last longer. The other thing that drastically changes tan lifespan is everything you do before and after your spray tanning session.

How long a spray tan lasts also depends on the spray tan machine. You can check our spray tan machine reviews on our blog.

How To Make A Spray Tan Last Longer

To make a spray tan last longer, you need to take care of everything from preparation to upkeep. Before spray tanning, gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin and shower several hours before to remove dead skin cells. Wear loose-fitting clothes during spray tanning because wearing tight-fitting clothing after tanning will lead to an uneven tan. After your spray tan, avoid bar soaps and oil-based products, because they encourage skin cell turnover, thus fading your tan out more quickly.

Spray Tan Prep

Prepping For Spray Tans
There are multiple steps to spray tan prep:

1. Exfoliate & Moisturize

You will need to exfoliate your skin using a peeling scrub or a mild soap to remove any and all dead skin cells. You should also moisturize your skin with a lightweight moisturizer to keep it hydrated so you won’t experience any dryness or irritation.

Avoid oil-based moisturizers and exfoliators as they can deflect tanning spray.

2. Hair Removal

Do not do any hair removal a day before tanning because waxing and shaving leave open pores, and spray tan tends to get stuck in those pores creating dark spots on your skin.

If you can’t avoid hair removal the day before spray tanning, you should use cold water after you wax or shave, making sure to close all the pores and prevent black spots.

3. Showering Before Spray Tans

You should shower and remove sweat several hours before your appointment because filth and sweat can cause an uneven tan. Of course, avoid any lotions or creams after showering, especially with oils as oil creates a sort of barrier that leads to an uneven tan.

Visit our blog post for a more in-depth guide on what to do before a spray tan.

Spray Tan After Care

After Care Spray Tan

If you’re satisfied with the spray tan results, here’s how you should take care of your body post tanning.

1. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

Wearing loose clothing will help lengthen the tan’s lifespan because tight clothing such as tights, yoga pants and crop tops will rub the tan constantly and cause it to fade and thin out.

2. Avoid Chemicals, Adhesives & Oils

Chemicals such as salicylic acid, retinoids, chlorine, alcohol, makeup and oil-based products will only turn medium and darker shades of spray tan into lighter ones faster.

Wait at least eight hours after the spray tan to put your makeup on.

3. Avoid Bathing After Spray Tans

You should avoid bathing as much as you can since water washes the tan away. The best time to take a shower after your spray tan would be around seven to eight hours. Don’t wait a whole day to take a shower, because it helps get rid of the tanning solution you don’t want stuck on your skin.

If you’re at a beach where you’ll be swimming, swim at 15-20 minute intervals and wear water-resistant sunscreen.

Frequently Asked Questions

A self-tanner lasts 6 to 10 days depending on the products you use. Skin cells naturally turnover after a week or week and a half but if you lightly exfoliate and avoid oil-based products and products with alcohol, salicylic acid and retinol, you’ll keep your skin tan for longer. 

You can shower seven to eight hours after a spray tan. Waiting an entire day could be dangerous, leaving you with a darker shade you did not request that looks unnaturally stuck on top of your skin. So shower on time, and when you do, make sure it’s not too warm.

A professional spray tan lasts anywhere from 5 to 14 days. The top layer of skin naturally turns over, but your skin tan can outlast them if a professional applies it perfectly. A spray tan’s lifespan depends on the tone of the skin used since darker last longer than lighter shades. 

A spray tan can last from five to ten days at the beach. You can prolong the spray tan’s lifespan by taking only fifteen to twenty-minute soaks, while also avoiding any oil-based sunscreen or sunscreen lower than SPF 30 and instead opting for water-resistant sunscreen which lessens the impact of water on your skin. 

You should spray tan every nine to fourteen days for a consistent glow. Enjoy your glowing complexion and remember to moisturize and exfoliate lightly, preparing yourself for the next tanning session at your tanning salon. Spray tans last with a good skin care routine, so you’ll be fine as long as you properly prepare and care for it till your next session.


Hopefully, you now know how long a spray tan lasts. Tanning your skin without the sun or harmful UV rays found in tanning beds is truly the future of tanning. Now that you know how to properly care for it before and after spray tanning, your glow will be unmatched for days on end.