How to Prepare for a Spray Tan

Brittany Duckworth (Certified Spray Tanner)


Step One: Exfoliate Off Your Previous Tan

This step is, of course, dependent on whether or not you spray tan frequently. As I always have a tan on, the first step for me is always to exfoliate off all my old tan. To do this quickly and thoroughly, I use a tan exfoliating mitt called Tan Off, which can be purchased on Amazon for $13. I use two, one for each hand, and scrub it in the shower until it is all off.

Important Parts of Your Body to Pay Attention to During This Step Are:

  • Your back near the bra line
  • Your elbows
  • Your knees

These areas often get tan build up, so you’ll have to make sure to go over these areas a few times to ensure an even tan in the future. To exfoliate my face, I use my Clarisonic for a deep, but gentle exfoliation and cleansing.

Step Two: Shave

Shaving is an important step of the process to make sure your tan is even as well. Since most people get spray tanned naked, it is recommended to remove hair from all parts of your body to keep your color consistent throughout.

Step Three: Light (or No) Lotion

While lotion is not recommended before tanning, since I usually leave the tanning solution on for 12 or more hours, I do use a very thin layer of lotion. I will only use Aveeno Active Naturals before a spray tan, as it dries immediately and does not leave residue on the skin. This is only recommended if you have dry skin or plan to leave the tan on for more than 12 hours. Otherwise, a moisturizing body wash is plenty sufficient for moisture.

Step Four: Cool Off

It’s very important to allow your body to completely dry and cool off before tanning. Typically, you’ll need about an hour for your core body temperature to cool down. If you don’t cool down, you may sweat during your tan, which could make it runny or uneven.

Step Five: Wear Loose Clothing

Finally I put on dark, loose fitting clothing that is easy to get in and out of. As we get into our clothes, some of the topical bronzer may smudge, although it won’t affect your tan, as the DHA is already evenly applied. The topical bronzer is for cosmetic purposes only. However, it is important to put your clothing on carefully, avoiding touching your hands and knuckles on your tan or it will transfer and leave those areas darker.

Get the Best Spray Tan in San Diego With Spray Daze Tan

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