Spray Tan Preparation and Care Guide
Not sure what to do before your airbrush tan appointment? That’s fair! We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know.
How To Prepare For and Maintain Your Spray Tan
- Complete any waxing, facial treatments, or microdermabrasion that you plan to have done. This includes lasers, chemical peels, or anything that we all do to try to maintain our youth. Make sure to allow enough time for your skin to heal before your spray tan (i.e. no more peeling).
- If you use retinol, stop using it a few days before your tan so that you get the same amount of color on your face as on the rest of your body. If you continue using Retinols, your tan will fade in those areas or become blotchy almost immediately.
- Make sure to complete any manicures and pedicures the day before your airbrush tan treatment if you choose to do so. Do not get them on the same day as your tan - soaking your hands and feet in the water before your spray tan will result in an uneven color. Forgot to get your mani/pedi before? Aim to get them after your first post-tan shower and opt for a polish change only (no soaking).
- The night before your tan - Shower, shave and exfoliate your skin. When you get out of the shower, do not apply any lotion or perfume on your body (a small amount of lotion on your face is ok). You want your skin to be squeaky-clean and even a little "thirsty" the next day at your appointment. "Thirsty" skin more readily absorbs the tanning solution. Forgot to shower and shave the night before your appointment? Skip it all and come as you are. Trust us, you’ll love your tan WAY more and we'll give you tips on how to shave with a spray tan on.
- Wear long, loose-fitting pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and shoes that allow your feet to breathe- think pajamas, loose joggers, sweatshirts, etc., and flip-flops or loose gym shoes with no socks. Clothes in darker colors are preferred as the temporary cosmetic bronzer can transfer to clothes but it will wash out of most fabrics (skip silk and wool for this reason). Don't worry this is only something to plan for on your first day while your tan is developing. After your first shower when you wash off the bronzer, the tan that remains on your skin will not budge. Not dressed for the occasion? We’ve got some comfies and some flip-flops that you can purchase to get you—and your tan—home.
- Avoid wearing bras with tight straps, sports bras (or any bra at all!), tight clothing, or tight shoes and socks while your tan is developing. No leggings or Ugg Boots, please.
- If you're coming straight from work and have on makeup or deodorant, we will give you wipes to remove them before we get started.
- Our female clients are allowed to wear whatever they want or they can choose to go nude - this is up to your discretion and comfort level. If you choose to wear a bathing suit or undergarments, just remember that where they sit on your skin will become your tan lines, so choose wisely and take into account any upcoming vacations or events requiring specific attire (did anyone say “off-the-shoulder bridesmaids dress”?). We recommend dark-colored garments for anything that you do choose to wear. We also offer disposable thongs to our female clients.
- Our male clients are required to wear undergarments. Disposable undergarments will not be provided - please come prepared or you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.
- While your tan is developing, avoid water - no washing dishes, scrubbing a bathtub, or anything that could potentially splash water on you. That means avoiding rain at all costs too!
- No sweating or working out.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact. Obviously, with someone else but also think of your classic relaxation positions - Are you a leg-crosser? Do you rest your head on your arm when you sleep? If so, make sure those areas are covered by fabric (why we suggest long pants and long sleeves) so that no skin is touching until after your first shower.
- Wait 8-12 hours to shower after your spray tan. This gives the tanning solution the ideal time to set. While you can shower sooner, it will lighten the color and lessen the longevity of your tan. The best way to maximize your custom airbrush tan? Sleep in it and shower the next morning! You might also be a perfect candidate for our Express Tan if you can't wait 8-12 hours. Talk to us at your appointment and we'll steer you in the right direction.
- You can shower at anytime on the day after your tan. When you do shower, aim to take a lukewarm (not super hot) body rinse. This isn't a luxurious shower - just a quick "bird bath" to rinse off the cosmetic bronzer. You can use soap in your armpits and intimate areas but avoid lathering up your whole body. Need to wash your hair? Just make it snappy and get out as soon as you can.
- When you take your first shower after your airbrush-tanning treatment, you will see the cosmetic bronzer come off in the water. Don’t panic! This is a normal part of the spray tan process and is only in there so we can see where we're applying it - your tan is underneath and unharmed.
- When you get out, pat - don’t rub - to dry yourself off and immediately apply moisturizer all over.
- Moisturize morning and night (starting after your first shower) and always keep your skin hydrated. Your tan will fade as your skin sheds so moisturize away! This will help it last longer.
- Avoid exfoliation after your tan. When you’re bathing or showering, use a mild shower gel and go without the exfoliants or scrubs (this includes your loofahs and washcloths). Not sure if what you have will work? Just ask us! We also have products specifically formulated for after your tan so we can recommend exactly what you need!
- Avoid moderate to intense physical activity until after your first shower. (Umm… you’re welcome.) Anything that includes water or a lot of sweating should be avoided for a few days following your tan unless you're ready to start seeing your tan fade. This includes activities like swimming, working out, or relaxing in the sauna or hot tub. Even an Epsom salt bath should be avoided. Why? Because anything that dehydrates your skin - salt, chlorine, etc - will start to remove your tan and could result in blotchy results a day or 2 later.
- Only shower when you need to. Each time you bathe, the water and the products you use will wash away some of your tan so only hop in when you really need to and keep it short and sweet when you do.
- We’ve got you. At the time of your tan, your Glamour Girl Airbrush Artist can answer any questions you have and explain all the maintenance tips so you can care for your airbrush tan like a pro. Want all the answers before you come in because you’re Type A like us? Call or email and we’ll walk you through the whole thing! Or you can check out our Spray Tan FAQ
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