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Spray tans: Everything you need to know

Spray tanning goes by many names. You may have heard ‘sunless tanning’ or ‘UV-free tanning’ or even ‘self tanning’. All of these refer to a beautiful tan that comes from spray applied to your skin.

In this article, we give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about spray tanning. Read more on spray tanning tips and tricks…

What is a spray tan?

Spray tans are a great option if you are looking for a sun kissed, bronzed look without the dangers that come with sunbathing.

These products are mainly sold as lotions and sprays that you can apply directly to your skin. Spray tans are available in most beauty salons; with a wide range of different tanning products available to choose from.

Many people wonder how long a spray tan will last. This also depends heavily on your skin type. Most tans will last 7-10 days after the first few tanning sessions. However, with more tanning sessions, your skin adapts and retains its beautiful tan for a longer period of time, extending up to two weeks.

TIP: if you apply moisturiser to your skin every day, it will keep your skin from drying out and your tan will last longer.

Until now, no research proves risks associated to spray tanning. But it’s important to protect your eyes, mouth and nose when spray tanning and avoid inhaling the product. Be sure to wear goggles and nose plugs, and hold your breath while the spray is being applied. If you would like to use spray tan on your face, please check with the salon professional.

5 Things you need to know before you get a spray tan

1. Exfoliate

Always have a shower and exfoliate all over before going for a spray tan.
Avoid creamy shower gels. Otherwise you will have dark knees and elbows. Exfoliating will make your tan more even.

2. Do your nails first

It is better to have nail polish on before your tan, even if it is just a clear coat, it prevents your nails from staining.
If you have acrylic nails or a gel manicure on before your spray tan appointment, the spray tan will NOT ruin your nails.

3. Shave or wax before your spray tan

It is recommended that you limit the amount you shave after your spray tan, as shaving is a form of exfoliation. So it’s definitely better to shave and wax prior to your spray tan.

4. Don’t head for the gym straight after your spray tan

Don’t do anything that will make you sweat while the tan is setting (this can take up to 8 hours). The next day will be fine.

5. Pick your outfit carefully

You will want to avoid wearing anything that will stain your clothes from the tan or that will rub off the tan.
Opt for a maxi dress or a dress that will not cling to your body.

Also be careful with handbags or bags that can leave a mark on your skin from carrying it.

SEE ALSO: Tanning in the salon: the facts

Spray tanning: What to expect

• You may feel a little sticky until your first shower (wait at least 8 hours after the spray tan)

• The spray tan does have a slight odour to it, this is perfectly normal.

• If you touch your skin and do not wash the insides of your hands, your palms may end up becoming stained because your palms are not supposed to come in contact with the spray tan solution. If you do accidentally touch your skin, wash the insides of your hands as directed by your spray tan specialist.

• The tanning solution may get on the inside of your clothes or on your sheets. It should not stain, however this isn’t guaranteed. Dark coloured clothing is recommended and wearing long sleeves and long trousers to bed can prevent the bronzer from coming off on your sheets too.

• Your tan will appear darker when it is first applied. As soon as you have your first shower, some of the excess tan will wash off and you will have a natural and even tan and not look orange!

Spray tanning: 5 tips for immediate after care

1. It is recommended that you do not shower for 8 hours after your spray tan. Showering before this can impact the results of your spray tan and make it appear lighter more quickly.

2. Avoid sweating, swimming, getting wet or exercising until your first shower after your spray tan. Doing so may result in tanning streaks = not a good look!

3. Go easy around water the day you get sprayed. This includes everything from doing the dishes to brushing your teeth. While of course you can still do these things, it is recommended that you use caution when you are near water to ensure you to not mess up your spray tan.

4. Moisturise daily, especially after bathing, to maintain your spray tan. For best results use a water-based moisturiser. Don’t use oil-based moisturisers as they can cause blotchy areas.

RECOMMENDED: Organic Whipped Shea Butter from GerlindeNaturals

5. If you are sunbathing remember to wear sun cream. Spray tanning products do not contain any SPF/UV protection from the sun. Although you look like you have a tan, you will need sun cream to prevent your skin from burning.

Long term after for spray tanning

• Be sure to pat dry after your shower. Vigorous rubbing will exfoliate your skin and your tan will not last as long.

• Do not exfoliate with loufas, body scrubs, body washes or soaps with exfoliating beads until your tan starts to fade away.

• Limit the shaving of your legs, as this is also a form of exfoliating. You can still shave your legs, however avoid doing this daily. Avoid using hair removal creams completely as this will remove your spray tan.

• Facial washes that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are not recommended because they can eat away at your spray tan. The tan on your face will fade faster as you wash it more frequently, so use a gentle cleanser to keep your tan as long as possible.

• Moisturising helps to extend the life of your tan and it helps your tan to fade more evenly. Use a hydrating, non-scented/fragrance free lotion.

• Wait at least one day before going into the sea or swimming pool after your tan. Chlorine may make your tan fade faster.

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