How Often Should You Spray Tan?

If you ever asked yourself “

How often should you spray tan?” then this article is for you. Keep reading to see the best tips and tricks by our experts!
Using a spray tan is an affordable and easy way to refresh your look. However, how to utilize a spray tan correctly is not understood to many users. Some people are concerned about whether they end up spray tanning too much.
So, is there such a thing? And if yes, then how often should you spray tan? Let’s scroll down and check out the answer!

How Often Should You Spray Tan?

The recommended frequency for getting a new spray tan is every 9 to 12 days. This means that each month, you should get a new tan 2 to 3 times. This way, your skin can manage to stay vibrant and radiant between appointments.

Spray tanning frequently gives your skin a glowy look.
Spray tanning frequently gives your skin a glowy look.

While there is no such thing as spray tanning too much, you should be aware that adding a new layer while the old one has not faded away may lead to an uneven look on the skin. 
Thus, it is better to schedule your spray tan appointments according to recommendations. This helps to maintain the effect of spray tan and offers you enough time to take care of your glowing skin.

How Long Does A Spray Tan Last

To determine how long a spray tan lasts, you must first understand its working mechanism. Essentially, a bottle of spray tan includes DHA – an active chemical ingredient that darkens the skin. 

Once exposed to the external layer of your skin, DHA turns the dead cells into a darker shade than their original shade within a few hours.
Thus, the duration of spray tan on your skin will depend on the strength of the formula and the shade you choose in the first place. Below are some of the most common shades.

Light shade

Spray tan in lighter shades are bound to fade away after roughly 5 days. Since they are mostly mild products, you will have to go for a weekly reapplication.

Medium shade

How long your spray tan lasts depends on the shade.
How long your spray tan lasts depends on the shade.

Achieving medium shades for your skin means having to apply more than one layer of mist. Thus, rest assured that medium shades can last for 7 to 8 days. 

Dark shade

Spray tan in dark shades contain the highest amount of DHA, which explains why they are the most potent compared to the other two. These dark shades can stick to your skin for up to 12 days, giving it a velvety and healthy look.

Pro Tips to Maintain an Even Spray Tan

Getting a new spray tan every time you feel like your skin looks a bit uneven is totally fine. That said, it would save you lots of time and effort to focus more on spray tan maintenance. 
With the right skincare routine, you will be surprised at how good spray tan ends up to be.


You are not allowed to moisturize your skin immediately after getting spray tanned. But once the first few days have passed, make sure to hydrate your skin properly. 
Go for an oil-free, mild moisturizer that does not tamper with the integrity of your spray tan. Your best bet is to choose a fragrance-free, paraben-free moisturizer.
When your skin is well-hydrated, the spray tan stands a higher chance of staying there for a longer time. 


If you pick the wrong types of body wash, your spray tan is susceptible to getting scrubbed away. Thus, make sure your body wash is naturally extracted and moisturizing.
When washing, remember to avoid super hot showers, as high temperatures are not designed for spray tanned skin. Furthermore, you have to wait at least 4 hours after getting each spray tan appointment before washing your skin. 


Removing dead cells gives your skin a healthier look.
Removing dead cells gives your skin a healthier look.

Exfoliating means you get rid of dead cells accumulated on your body. If a new layer of spray tan gets stuck on these dead cells, it surely will look horrendous. 

Furthermore, the unevenness of your skin will render the newly tanned layer patchy and messy. Hence, you are recommended to exfoliate weekly and especially before going to a new appointment. 

Other tips

Apart from the tips above, you should also heed the following advice regarding spray tan maintenance. 

  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes whenever you go and get a new spray tan. If you end up in very tight clothes, spray tan will get sticky and ruin your outfit. 

As for your footwear, go for a pair of sandals and avoid wearing socks altogether.

  • If you intend on getting a full body spray tan, consider removing your underwear. Undies may tamper with how the spray tan looks in your private areas, making these areas look patchier compared to the rest of your body.
  • Whenever you go out, do not forget to put on sunscreen. Sunscreen offers great protection against UV rays and is excellent for your overall skin’s health.
  • Before a new spray tan appointment, shower with cooler water and keep each washing session relatively short. Stick to mild body wash that does not affect your spray tan and moisturize your skin on a daily basis.

What Should You Do Before Your Spray Tan? 

Preparing your skin before getting a spray tan can go a long way in ensuring the success of each appointment.

Exfoliate your skin carefully

As mentioned above, having dead cells on the external layer of your skin surely will affect how the spray tan looks. Thus, you are advised to get rid of these at least a day before having a new spray tan appointment. 

This way, DHA from spray tan can easily infiltrate the skin without getting stuck on the dead cells.
As for the product used to exfoliate, you can go for common items such as a dry brush or body scrubs. If you are into chemical exfoliation, remember to exfoliate at least 24 hours before getting a spray tan. Otherwise, these stripping chemical substances will strip away your tan as well.
Another point to remember is to avoid using oil-based exfoliating products. When applied, oil will create a barrier between your skin and the outside environment, rendering the application of spray tan useless.

Avoid waxing right before the appointment

Waxing means your skin pores are opened up and appear much larger than they usually are. Thus, the tanning solution will not be able to touch your skin evenly. If you want to wax the skin, do it at least 48 hours so the pores have time to close themselves off.

Waxing your skin can affect the overall tanning look.
Waxing your skin can affect the overall tanning look.

Do not shower within 8 hours of getting a spray tan

Cleaning up your body before getting a spray tan is necessary. But if you do it right before visiting the beauty salon, you will leave your skin with little time to balance its pH level. Hence, shower around 8 hours before leaving the house using cool water.

Choose the right kind of clothes

Wearing tight clothes is strictly frowned upon. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they can also ruin your newly tanned skin by touching it directly. Instead, opt for loose-fitting clothes. 
Wear anything that does not stick to your skin and risk being ruined by the tanning solution.

Stay away from deodorant and makeup

Deodorant and makeup tamper with the original state of your skin. If you spray tan your skin with traces of deodorant and makeup, the tanning layer will be uneven. 

That is not to mention how these traces can leave white marks and spots on your skin after the spray tan.

Remove your jewelry

Metallic jewelry is an enemy to newly tanned skin. If you wear any of these accessories during your spray tan appointment, chances are you will be left with discolored skin areas afterward. 

What You Do After Your Spray Tan

Caring for your skin after getting a spray tan is equally important as pre-spray tan preparation. This helps your skin to stay glowy and radiant until the next appointment is scheduled.

Use baby powder to prevent sweating

After getting a spray tan, you are advised to stay away from deodorant to prevent streaking and white spots. But what if you sweat incessantly and your tanned skin is already developing streaks? The trick is to use baby powder!
Apply baby powder to areas most prone to sweating such as your inner elbows, your knees, butt and underarms. This way, your skin can retain its look despite how hard you sweat.

Postpone immediate showering

Showering within six hours after getting a spray tan is to be avoided. Not only does it strip your skin of newly added DHA, but it also threatens to lighten the skin shade.

Wait for at least 6 hours before showering.
Wait for at least 6 hours before showering.

Instead, make sure you give your skin at least 6 to 8 hours to absorb the tanning solution.

Shower the right way

When the time comes, you will need to shower to clean up your body. But do not indulge in long, relaxing baths. You need to be quick and sufficient, using lukewarm water and a naturally extracted body wash to soften the skin. 
Say no to any strong soaps that may render your tanning solution impotent.

Be mindful of visible panty lines

Putting on undies right after your tanning appointment is a bad idea, as it will leave visible panty lines around your pubic areas. Furthermore, your panties may end up getting stained and thrown away. 
Thus, consider using paper panties temporarily for the first day after getting a spray tan.

Wear comfortable clothes

Similar to how you should wear loose-fitting clothes before your appointment, continuing to put on equally comfy clothes afterward helps you retain your look.

Stay away from highly chemical products

Oil-based, stripping body washes, lotions and other skincare products should be left out of your skincare routine once you have been spray tanned. 

These products do little to keep the tanning solution in check, and in the worst case, they can discolor your skin as well.

Exfoliate lightly

Gently exfoliating your skin after getting a spray tan helps you to remove any residual dead cells. Remember, the keyword here is to do it gently. Any harsh movements from your hands causes the tanning solution to come off.

Increase your spray tan’s efficiency by self-tanning products

If you want to improve your tanned look at home, using self-tanner is a great way to extend your tanned skin’s lifespan. 
Admittedly, these products are by no means as effective as tanning solutions used by beauty salons. But they do provide you with a few more days of looking glowy and vibrant.

Using highlighters

Wait for at least 6 hours before showering
Wait for at least 6 hours before showering.

Do you want to look even more fabulous with your tanned skin? Why not use a shimmery highlighter? Knowing where to apply this wonderful makeup item will make your tanned skin stand out from the crowd. 
Collarbones and cheekbones are where people are most likely to apply the product.


How old do you have to be to apply a spray tan? 

There is no universal rule dictating the age limit to get a spray tan. That said, most beauty salons recommend that you wait until 18 before getting one. This way, you are legally responsible for your actions.

Can swimming affect my spray tan?

Yes, especially if you swim in chlorinated or salt water. The stripping chemicals inside the water will scrub away your tanning solution and thus, rendering it short-lived.
But as long as you shower or bathe in normal water, your tanned skin should be fine.

What can I do if my spray tan is not dark as expected?

Tanning solution needs at least a day to fully develop on your skin. Thus, you should wait 24 hours and see whether your skin has reached the dark tone that you desire. 
You should also wait a few more hours before washing off your body, leaving the tanning solution more time to become potent.
If the waiting time is over and you still have yet to achieve your dark tone, you might have to make another trip to the beauty salon for a reapplication.

How can you maintain your spray tan at home?

Maintaining a spray tan at home is relatively easy. First off, make sure you have a bottle of self-tanner at your disposal. Applying it to your skin daily. Right after you have your tanning appointment, use a deeply moisturizing product to soften the skin.
In the next 2 to 3 days, start exfoliating your skin gently before applying the next layer of self-tanner. Then, you may want to ditch your normal body lotion and use only a gradual self-tanning lotion for the best effect.

How long after your spray tan do you have to wait to shower?

Generally speaking, you should wait at least 6 to 8 hours before showering once you are newly tanned. To prevent moisture from tampering with your tanned skin, you should also avoid getting wet or engaging in any physical activities that might lead to sweating.
At the same time, remember to drink lots of water and moisturize the skin using mild, fragrance-free products. These habits help your skin to remain hydrated and smooth, thus giving the tanning solution more chances to stay glowy.


How often should you spray tan? The answer is roughly every 9 to 12 days. But sometimes, depending on how dark you want your skin to be, feel free to switch up the frequency for the best result!


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