Never had a spray tan before and anxious you might commit an irreversible faux pas? We hear you. We’ve been there too! Do you keep your underwear on? Are you supposed to stand naked in front of a complete stranger!? Those are all normal questions to ask yourself. But honestly, it’s really not as bad as you picture it to be. This post will cover everything you may want to know about tanning ‘etiquette’! So read on, and feel more confident as you go to your fist tanning appointment!
Do Spray Tans Last for Long?
You must have seen a few ads saying that your tan will last for a maximum of ten days. However, we’ve found out that it depends on how dark you go. The darker you go, the longer it’ll last[TH1] . Every tanning solution contains a certain amount of dihydroxyacetone. The darker the solution, the higher the concentration of dihydroxyacetone. And the higher the concentration, the longer the colour will hold.
Think of it this way, you can expect your tan to last for 10 days if you pick one of the darker shades. The lighter you go, the shorter it will last. If you pick a medium tan, for example, it might be able to last for about a week. The lightest shades, on the other hand, could last for only up to five days.
The amount of time the tan lasts will also depend on how you take care of your skin, both BEFORE getting the spray tan done and after. Yep, you read that right. You really need to prep your skill well before getting that tan if you want it to last for as long as possible.
Before Getting a Spray Tan
1. Do Not Schedule an Appointment Immediately Before and After Your Period
This may seem weird, but hear us out. Hormones during your period can heavily impact your skin pH. In fact, your skin pH can possibly be disturbed during your luteal phase! If the pH of your skin is not normal, you risk getting a patchy tan or one that fades off real quick. We are not sure if there’s any scientific data to back this up, but countless spray tanning therapist has advised us against getting one around our period. (A spray tan guru on marieclaire.com even advised against that!)
2. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Now that you know when you are going to get your tan done, remember to exfoliate every day for three days before your appointment. Exfoliating will get rid of all dead skin cells and reduce the chances of streaking and flaking after you’ve gotten your tan. But even if you exfoliate, prepare yourself for the possibility that you may have to get some areas of your skin buffed at the salon. The salon may want to do this to ensure an even all-over tan.
3. Avoid All Chemical Exfoliants and Oil-based products
Chemical products and oil-based products are major no-nos 24 hours before your appointment. While the chemical exfoliant encourages exfoliation and can remove your spray relatively fast, the oil-based product can create a barrier on your skin, causing the tanning solution to not come into contact with your skin properly.
4. Do Not Wax 24 Hours Before and After Your Appointment
There’s that number again! Yes, 24-hours seem to be the magic number here. The thing with waxing is that it opens up your pores, making them appear larger. This can, in turn, cause the spraying solution to absorb unequally leading to an uneven tan.
5. Take a Shower 8 Hours Before Your Appointment
After every shower, your skin takes about 8 hours to go back to its normal pH balance. For an even tint, you need to wait for the pH level to go back to normal.
6. Pick Your Clothes Wisely
After your tanning session, you will need to wear these clothes again. If you choose to wear tight-fitting garments immediately after the tanning session, you are very likely to be left with tan lines! So, find clothes that are loose-fitting and that are unlikely to create friction that will lead to those unwanted tan lines.
If you are uncomfortable getting completely naked, you can keep your undies on (thongs are great options as they are as small as you can get without being too uncomfortable). Disposable panties are great as you will most likely be unwilling to use them after the session. Also, bring a hair net and sticky feet with you to avoid getting the solution on your hair and on the soles of your feet.
7. Go Make-up Free
For an even tan, go make-up and deodorant free. If you want, you can bring a pack of wipes with you so you can remove your makeup once at the salon.