How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? Tips for Maintaining Your Glow!

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? Tips for Maintaining Your Glow!

Whether you’re hoping to save your skin from harmful UV rays, or just looking for a little extra glow in your life, a spray tan is always a good idea, the perfect way to get that healthy glow without damaging your skin.  Nonetheless a spray tan does not last forever, we’ve all been there when our glow has disappeared way to quick. So how long can you expect your spray tan to last?

This depends on a variety of factors, including your skin health, complexion, and the most important factor the pre and post spray tan care. In this blog, we will answer all your questions sharing some vital tips to get the most out of your tan.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of these tips also relate to the fake tan you might apply at home. So, if you’re attempting to fake tan yourself, keep scrolling for some sure-fire ways to extend the life of your tan, as well as some of the little-known mistakes that will cause your fake tan to fade faster.

Before Tanning

You might think that getting your spray tan starts when you walk into the studio but preparing for a tan starts long before that. Pre-spray tan care is one of the most important factors in affecting how well your tan turns and how long it will last.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that exfoliation is a key step in preparing your skin for tan. It is important to exfoliate on the day/evening before your tanning appointment, rather than just a few hours beforehand. Exfoliating the day before ensures that all dead skin is removed, and it allows time for your pores to close.


Don’t forget to shave at least 12 hours before your tanning appointment, to ensure your pores have closed. Shaving opens your pores, so applying tan after shaving means your tan will end up with a speckled appearance, as the tan will collect in the open pores and hair follicles. If you’re tanning at home, you can also pat your legs over with a cold, wet, muslin cloth before tanning to encourage the pores to close. If you’re a waxer make sure you make your appointment at least 24 hours before tanning, to allow skin to calm and any redness to subside so not to cause a reaction or spoil your bronzed glow.


For best results when tanning it’s important to have hydrated skin as the tan will cling to any dryer areas for a less that perfect appearance. We recommend moisturizing your skin daily for a week prior to your tan appointment. However, like exfoliating and shaving it is important to not moisturize your skin for 12 hours before your tanning appointment. For best results try using an oil-free based moisturizer.

Avoid Oil-Based Products

Oil-based products are a major no-no before tanning. The oil creates a barrier that can stop the tanning solution from absorbing into your skin and can lead to a streaky tan.

Wear Dark & Loose Clothing

The main advantage of spray tans is having no tan lines – unless you put on a tight bra, strappy shirt, or other tight-fitting garment immediately after your appointment. Plan ahead and opt for loose fitting clothing and slip-on shoes to prevent any friction from creating unwanted tan lines.  In addition, opt for dark clothing to avoid staining any nice white or pastel coloured clothing with tan marks.

After Tanning

You’re glowed up and ready to go, so what now? It is important to consider your post spray tan care routine, as it can have a significant affect on how your tan turns out and its longevity. Follow these steps below to ensure your tan lasts longer and looks better:

  • Before showering off your spray tan it is important to stay away from all moisture, this includes working out, cleaning, lotions etc.
  • Wait for at least 8 hours to shower after your spray tan, but no more than 24 hours after.
  • Make sure to shower with lukewarm water when washing of tan for best results. Hot water can lessen the length of your tan.
  • Be gentle showering off your tan, don’t scrub your body and avoid bar soaps which can strip your skin. Avoid any oil-based body wash or products.
  • After the shower, pat yourself dry with a dry towel instead of rubbing.
  • Moisturizing is the key to maintaining a healthy glow for longer. Right after you get out of the shower, lock in moisture with an oil-free moisturizer. Continue to moisturize at least once a day. Oil-free moisturizers are best.
  • To preserve your tan, avoid swimming, long showers, baths, steam rooms, and saunas. Try to avoid any harsh chemicals which can remove your tan.
  • Only exfoliate when you are ready to say goodbye to your spray tan.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to getting your glow on, spray tans are the safest option available. And with the right maintenance before and after application you can expect to be bronzed for up to 10 days.

If your still have questions, talk to your spray technician about how you can make your colour last and prevent streaking. If your interested in becoming a pro yourself, check out our online professional spray tan course, including a full kit to get you going!

Check our our range of beauty courses and start your career in beauty today!

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