Having a spray tan applied at a salon doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get the best spray tan possible.
There are steps you need to take to ensure that your spray tan doesn’t look like a splotchy mess that was applied by toddlers with orange paint.
You’ll have to decide whether you want to use a spray tan booth or have the airbrushing technique applied by a technician. This tanning will last up to 10 days, so you want to think carefully about all these decisions.
Steps Before the Appointment
Before your appointment, you’ll want to exfoliate your entire body. This will leave you with smooth skin that takes the active ingredient in the tanning solution.
It’s DHA, by the way, that is absorbed into your skin. It’s a safe ingredient that is approved by the FDA. It’s absorbed into the first layer of your skin to actually change its color, so exfoliating will remove any dead layers of skin for absorption purposes.
If you use a body scrub, make sure it doesn’t contain any oils that will remain on the skin and block absorption. Pay particular attention to your knees and elbows during the exfoliation.
While you might be inclined to shave or wax on the day of your appointment, you should do it at least 24 hours before your trip to the salon. This will give your pores time to close, so they don’t take in the spray solution, which can cause a dotted tan.
Packing for the Appointment
There are things you should bring to your appointment. If your appointment is on a weekend, you can wear loose clothing that you’ll put on after the visit.
Any other day, you might need to pack some clothing to wear out of the salon. Pick clothing that won’t be binding to your skin. Any indentations in the skin will reflect in the tan.
Don’t wear socks or shoes after the appointment. Flip-flops are the best thing to wear after your visit as long as they won’t rub on the skin.
Check the weather forecast. Any water that hits your skin can impact the evenness of the tan. Keep that in mind while packing appropriate clothes.
The undergarments that you’ll wear during the session will be reflected in the tan lines created. If you have an event in the next 7 to 10 days, you’ll want to think about what you’re wearing.
For example, if you’re wearing a certain bikini to the beach, you don’t want competing tan lines. If you’re wearing a strapless dress, bra lines would ruin the look.
Remember for Your Salon Visit
- Don’t wear clothing that presses on the skin
- Avoid wearing perfume
- Don’t wear makeup (or plan to remove it before your visit)
- Leave jewelry at home
- Bring a towel
At the Appointment
It might be warm already, so if you have sweat before your appointment, wipe your body down thoroughly. All of this preparation is to ensure an even tan across the entire body.
Inform the salon if you have allergies or sensitive areas that you’re worried about before stepping into the booth. Places where your skin is super dry can be addressed after the spray tan with self-tanner. The salon can give you advice when they see the area.
Show the technician a photo of the color you’d like for your tan. It might be you at the beach last year, or a picture of a celebrity that you like. This will give the technician an idea of the color and tone you’d like for your tan.
When it comes to tanning, you’ll have to decide whether you want tan lines at all. It’s common for many people to go nude in the spray booth or with the technician applying the airbrush to your skin.
The technician will give you instructions before the tan as well as during the process. It’s important that you listen carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand.
The technician will offer advice or ask you to apply lotion or vaseline to certain areas of the body where the spray shouldn’t touch. This is a professional who understands the process. It’s vital that you follow their advice.
The tech will tell you where and how to stand as well as when to turn. They’ll ask you to lift your arms or stand in a certain position.
The solution can be cold, so make sure you’re listening to the technician and not squealing over the temperature. You won’t hear their instructions. After the appointment, dress carefully and stay away from water for at least 8 hours.
To keep the look of your tan for as long as possible, make sure to avoid clothing that rubs as well as water for that first day.
In some cases, the tech might have applied a dark layer to ensure coverage. You’ll want to avoid being in public until you’ve had a chance to shower.
Exfoliate as little as possible during the 10 days of your tan to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Keep your skin moisturized and avoid chlorine during this time. This should lead to a longer tan that isn’t splotchy.