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What To Do Before A Spray Tan: Tips On How To Prep For A Perfect Glow

What To Do Before A Spray Tan

So you went with the smart choice of spray or self tanning over using a dangerous tanning bed. Even though it’s a good option, spray tanning isn’t such an easy process, as it demands a lot of prep. Before you even set up a spray tan appointment, there are steps you can take to ensure a consistent golden glow. Spray tan prep is important, and as we go in depth over what you should and shouldn’t do before a tan, you’ll hopefully read then act accordingly so you could look your best. So, what to do before a spray tan?

Spray Tan Prep

Here is what you can do to prepare your skin for a spray tan and achieve maximum results.

Exfoliation & Moisturization

Exfoliate a day prior to your tanning. You will need to exfoliate your skin using a peeling scrub or a mild soap to remove any dead skin cells. Choosing not to exfoliate will get you poor results, where you’ll have an uneven color tan that won’t be as long-lasting as it could have been had you cleaned yourself and kept your skin hydrated. Make sure to use an exfoliator and moisturizer without oil, as oil can interfere with the tanning.

Hair Removal

Avoid any hair removal the day before spray tanning. If you’re having a hair problem but have already made the appointment, use cold water after shaving or peeling to close pores. Not closing down the pores will result in an uneven tan and dark dots, since the spray tan solution will get stuck in them.

Showering Before A Spray Tan

Body Wash Before Spray Tan

You should shower and remove sweat four or more hours before your appointment. Doing so will help to prevent any building up of bacteria and dirt on your skin, and sweat can cause an uneven fake tan. Keep your skin moisturized but not overly so.

How long does a spray tan last? Find out in our blog post.

What To Wear To A Spray Tan

When it comes to your clothing and accessories, here are some tips to follow:

  • Wear dark, loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear as little as possible to avoid tan lines; going commando is a plus
  • Take off all your jewelry so you don’t have to clean it later
  • Wear a hairnet or headband to keep your hair from getting in the way of the tan
  • Wear flip-flops or sandals because shoes get in the way
If you don’t have any disposable underwear you’ll throw out, perhaps ask the tanning salon for a set of dark clothing to wear for your tanning session.

Lotion Before A Spray Tan?

Do not put any lotion on before a spray tan. Lotions contain oils that will make your skin sticky and uneven after tanning. Other things you need to avoid are:

  • Perfume
  • Creams
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup

Nails Before Or After A Spray Tan?

Nails Before Or After

You should do your nails before applying the tanning solution. The reason? Doing your nails demands harsh chemicals, such as acetone, prominent in nail polish remover. Acetone removes spray tans and can make your fingers look off and uneven. You should also avoid doing them immediately before your appointment – set it a day before so your nails have time to set in.

Embarrassed To Get A Spray Tan?

Don’t be! The reason behind most mockery is when people overdo their spray tans or pick the wrong tone for their skin which makes it look bad. No one will make fun of you for looking good with a sunless tan. Knowing what natural skin tone you want, using the best spray tan machines and remembering to prepare will have you looking great in no time.

Don’t forget the spray tan after care in order to have lasting spray tan results. In case you need to remove the tan from your hands, visit our blog post to find out more about ways to do it.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should shave before a spray tan; however, you should do it in time, preferably two to three days before tanning, so that your skin is properly prepped for the tanning process. If you’re doing it sooner than a day, wash your face with cold water to close the pores and prevent a mess.

You cannot shave 2 hours before a spray tan. Waxing or shaving a day before your appointment will ruin the spray tan in those places you shaved. Spray tan gets stuck in pores, creating darker spots that look very unappealing. Do not risk it, shave at least 24 hours before your appointment or don’t shave and wax at all.

You can wear a bra for a spray tan. The choice is really up to you if you want to have bikini tan lines or go commando and cover the whole area. If you sweat a lot in your bra or bikini area, you should wear a sports bra or go commando to avoid sweating and risking the tan not absorbing evenly.

You should not put lotion on before a spray tan. Lotions contain oils that will make your skin sticky and uneven. Avoid using perfume, cream, deodorant and makeup as well. If you have used them recently, rinse them out as part of your prep and make sure to wash and rub them off thoroughly, especially the oily lotion.

They spray tan your face along with your entire body. If you have rashes or have recently had a breakout and wish to avoid the face for any reason, you can, but it will give you an uneven look. The best choice at that point would be to wait, but if you’re willing to avoid your face go for it.


In conclusion, exfoliating, removing any hairs a day prior, taking a shower several hours before and avoiding any lotions will lead to a perfect tan nine times out of ten. Hopefully, you know now what to do before a spray tan. As long as you keep up with the steps, you’re certain to leave the tanning salon with a great glow.