A spray tan is the perfect way to get that sun-kissed glow without having to worry about the potential harm of UV rays and other free radicals. But what should it look like before and after your session? And what actually happens during a spray tan? Read on to unlock all our spray tan secrets!
Spray Tanning - The Instant Transformation
Spray tans are ALWAYS the perfect accessory, enabling you to get the exact amount of colour you want in a very short period of time! And the best part? No one has to know you weren’t born with that tan. Sunless tanning is really the easiest way to achieve an instant transformation. Whether you're looking to have a little more colour for your everyday life, or you're wanting to go as dark as possible for an upcoming event, Fake Bake has you covered!
But have you ever wondered if a spray tan can get that deep, dark tan and still look natural? Believe it or not, spray tans have come a long way and offer an impressive colour range! Depending on your preferences, natural skin tone, and the spray tan solution strength, you can customize the tan you want. So don't worry if the first spray tan is not as dark as you were expecting—you can always increase the intensity of the spray tan to achieve a darker shade that's perfect for you!
Some spray tans end up drying super light and almost imperceptible, while others offer deep, rich tones. Utilize the experience and knowledge of your spray tan technician to assess your skin type and recommend how dark you can go without looking unnatural. Of course, they’ll consult with you about the specific look you want. If you're looking for a sunless tan that suits your style, there are multiple options that Fake Bake provides. But regardless of which option you choose, here’s the breakdown of how a spray tan works and what to do for best results!
Prepare Your Skin Before You Tan
In order to maximize the results of your tan and increase longevity, there are some essential preparation steps you should follow before you tan.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliating is an absolute must before getting a spray tan. This helps remove any dead skin cells and oils from the surface of your skin so that your tan will apply more evenly and last longer.
- Hair Removal. You should also make sure all unwanted body hair is removed from the area where you plan on getting sprayed. Not only does this ensure that your tan looks even and streak-free, but it also prevents it from transferring onto clothing later on. Waxing is always an option, but shaving is generally better as waxing tends to leave behind a sticky residue. This can interfere with how well your tan applies. Warning! Don’t shave right before getting sprayed, as freshly shaven skin can be more sensitive than usual.
PRO TIP: On the day of your appointment, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing so that the tanning solution won’t rub off onto them. See our blog on What to Wear After a Tanning Session for more tips!
What Happens During A Spray Tan Session?
During your session, the professional will begin by spraying a light mist of solution over your entire body. Depending on how deep of a tan you are looking for, they may go back over each area multiple times. They may also use different techniques depending on which areas need more/less coverage (for example, using circular motions around joints like elbows and knees). Our Fake Bake artists are trained professionals who know exactly how much product is necessary for each individual client’s needs.
During your appointment, you will be asked to stand in a booth while a professional sprays you with the solution. Once they’re finished, they will give you some tips on how long to wait before taking a shower or going swimming (usually 4-6 hours).
The spray solution is made up of ingredients such as DHA, which reacts with the proteins in your skin cells and develops into a beautiful golden tan for you over the next few hours. Depending on the product and effect you want, you can choose different types of spray solutions that are available in a variety of shades and strengths.
Aftercare To Make Your Tan Last Longer
Afterwards, you can expect your skin to have an even bronze hue—just like if you had spent an afternoon basking in the sun! You may notice a slight smell of DHA (the active ingredient in most self tanners), but this should fade pretty quickly. Throughout the next few days, you can expect any streaks or odd patches to even out as long as you are diligent about moisturizing your skin and avoiding anything too abrasive (like hot showers or exfoliants).
- Take Short Showers. The first tip for making sure your spray tan doesn't fade too quickly is to keep your showers short and sweet. Long, hot showers can strip away the colour from your skin, so it's important to keep them brief. If you do need a longer shower, opt for lukewarm water instead of hot water.
- Use Gentle Soaps. Another important tip is to use gentle soaps when washing or bathing. Harsh soaps can strip away colour and moisture from the skin, which could cause your spray tan to fade faster than normal. Try using mild soaps and cleansers that are specifically designed for sensitive skin or those with delicate complexions.
- Moisturize Regularly. Moisturize regularly after getting a spray tan in order to keep the color looking fresh and vibrant. Look for moisturizers that are specifically formulated for tanned skin and contain ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter. These ingredients will help lock in moisture and keep the color looking its best for as long as possible. Applying moisturizer after every shower or bath will hydrate your skin, and prevent fading caused by dryness or irritation from harsh chemicals in the water supply.