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Spray Tan Before and After Care

Getting flawless spray tan results isn’t just about choosing the right spray tan solution or using the proper technique during the service; it’s also about being prepared for your spray tan service, and knowing what to do afterwards so you don’t sabotage your tan. Getting a spray tan without knowing what to do before and after the service is like trying to prepare a meal without knowing what ingredients you need or who is coming: it’s not guaranteed to ruin the experience, but chances are high that something will go wrong. In order to avoid disaster, you’ll want to come to your service as prepared as possible, and leave the service knowing exactly what to do. Follow the steps below and you’ll be on your way to experiencing the best spray tan of your life!

Before your spray tan service

Step one: Know your No-Nos

  1. No shaving immediately before your spray tan service
    Shave the night before if you have a morning session, or the morning of if you have a night session
  2. No deodorants or fragrances/perfumes before your spray tan service
    These will cause a barrier between you and your tan, and can cause the bronzers to turn green
  3. No Prep Sprays or PH Balancers
    They are proven to have no positive affect, and in fact can hurt your tan!
  4. No makeup!
    Makeup will cause a barrier between you and your tan

Step two: How to properly exfoliate for a spray tan

  1. Use an oil-free exfoliant
    An exfoliant with oil or aloe in it will leave behind a residue barrier that can interfere with your spray tan
  2. Start from the top and work your way down
    If you exfoliate your shoulders last then everything you scrubbed off your shoulders will land on the rest of your body, ruining all your hard work!
  3. Do not apply anything to your skin after the exfoliation process
    If you apply products after you exfoliate then you’ve just created a barrier between your skin and the spray tan solution!

Step three: How to dress for a spray tan

  1. Do NOT wear tight clothing
    This means: tight socks, boots, belts, gloves, stockings, leggings, skinny jeans
  2. Do NOT wear light colored clothing
    With an oil-based spray tan solution, you’ll experience a lot of bronzer rubbing off onto your clothing; even with a water-based spray tan solution this can happen if you’re not careful.
  3. Do NOT wear anything with a drawstring
    Drawstrings cause indentations in your skin, which often translate to weird marks in your tan
  4. Do NOT wear a hat
    Like a drawstring, a tight hat can result in undesirable marks in your tan, and if the hat causes you to sweat then your tan will also be lighter and could even get streaky
  5. Do NOT wear clothing that will rub when you move
    The more your skin rubs along a surface, the more likely it is that the spray tan solution will rub off, so if your coat rubs your armpits each time you move your arm then you will probably notice some light spots when the tan develops.
  6. Do NOT wear tight necklaces or bracelets, or accessories that rub
    Your spray tan professional will probably have you take them off for your service anyways, but if you put your accessories back on after the tan then they might affect your tan, resulting in poor results.
  7. DO WEAR loose clothing
    Think: sun dresses, skirts, loose fitting pants, looser shirts, shorts
  8. Do WEAR clothing that won’t make you sweat
    Sweating will lighten a tan or, worse, cause it to be streaky or runny, so pay attention to the weather channel when you’re heading out the door!
  9. Do WEAR clothing that covers all of your tan if it’s raining!
    Just like sweat, rain will wreak havoc on a tan, so be sure to wear something that will protect you from the elements if it’s not going to be the best day out
  10. Do WEAR shoes instead of sandals
    Make sure the shoes aren’t too tight, but if you wear sandals to a spray tan service then your feet are more likely to rub, and get splashed!

Step four: Identify your Type, Tan, and Tone

  1. Type: Do you want a rapid wash off tan or traditional tan that requires 8-12 hours before your initial rinse off? Take your schedule into consideration when deciding!
  2. Tan: Talk to your spray tan professional about your color options. There are a lot of different undertones to choose from. If you’re going out on the town then maybe you’ll want something a bit more flirty and fun like a purple undertone, but if you have a big meeting coming up then a confidence boosting gold undertone might be the way to go!
  3. Tone: What do you want the tone of your tan to be? Subtle or Significant? This will help your spray tan professional choose which DHA percentage to recommend for your service.

After your spray tan service

Step one: Know how long you have to wait before rinsing

  1. Traditional Tans always require between 8-12 hours to achieve full development. You never want to rinse off before 8 hours, and ideally you should shoot for at least ten hours for the best results.
  2. Rapid Tan rinse off time depends on your skin type, and your desired level of darkness. Leaving it on for longer will result in a deeper, richer tan. Always consult your spray tan professional on what your recommended rinse off time is!

Step two: Initial rinse off instructions

  1. DO NOT use soap, shampoo, or any other body product on your initial rinse off
  2. DO USE only water!!

Step three: After your first shower

  1. Do NOT scrub down with your towel on your first rinse–pat dry instead!
  2. You CAN now apply deodorants and fragrances
  3. You CAN now work out/sweat/run around in the rain
  4. You CAN now live life as normal!
  5. You SHOULD remember to be regularly moisturizing from here on out!

Step four: Notes for your next appointment

  1. Did you like the set time or do you want to try a spray tan with a different set time?
  2. Did you like the undertones provided by the solution?
  3. Did you like the depth of color–do you want more subtle or more significant for your next tan?
  4. Did you have any questions about fading, preparation, or care of your spray tan?

Remember: your spray tan professional can’t answer your questions if you don’t ask them!

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