Spray Tan 101

A before and after photo of a spray tan on a woman's face

Sun-kissed skin against a beautiful white gown makes you shine even more on your wedding day. Tanning beds and chilling by the pool for hours baking in the sun can give you wrinkles and skin cancer, so these days it’s all about the spray tan. I’m a spray tan professional. I’ve been doing it for over ten years, since back when you looked like you rolled in Doritos after a tanning. Nowadays, the color is a lot more natural and the process is easy. Here are a few tips for the perfect sun-kissed look on your wedding day.

Spray Tan Choices

There are a few different ways to spray tan. You can buy the bottle at the grocery store and hope to apply it evenly. This is tough because you run the risk of not knowing what you’re doing and turning yourself crazy colors. Spray tan machines apply the product evenly as you rotate through spray sessions. It’s quick and easy. A spray tan technician can spray you evenly as well as accentuate muscles with darker hues. All products are usually labeled light, medium and dark. Different skin hues will look better with different shades a spray tans.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

You don’t want to show up in your wedding dress looking orange or way too tanned, so it’s important to practice. Start spray tanning about a month before the wedding. Play around with the colors to get the results you want. Try the light tan to see if it’s too subtle and the dark tan to see if it’s too intense. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, so make sure you figure out what works best for your complexion and how often you need to go to maintain the color. Usually a spray tan lasts about seven days. Swimming in chlorinated water or excessive sweating when working out can affect this time frame.

A woman is sprayed with tanning fluid on her torso

Moisturize Your Skin Frequently

Spray tan will soak into your skin no matter what, but you want the skin to fully absorb it. This is best done with a lotion or a primer of a sort. You can also use barrier cream for those areas you don’t want to get too dark like your hands and kneecaps. Take a shower and exfoliate as much as possible before you spray tan so your skin is prepped for the product. After the spray tan, make sure to moisturize as much as possible. You don’t want the skin to get scaly look. The salons usually offer a a variety of products that promise to preserve your spray tan longer. Truthfully, the tan is going to start coming off in about a week anyway, so these products might work and they might not. It’s all up to your skin reaction.

Wait To Shower After a Tanning Session

They tell you to wait about six hours after your spray tan to shower. It’s actually best to wait as long as possible. Waiting twelve to twenty four hours is best to let the tan fully develop. If you shower too early, you run the risk of losing all the product and/or looking streaky.

Don’t Tan Too Often

When I first started spray tanning, I went every other day. I had no idea why people thought I was orange! If you go too much, it’s like painting your fingernails with eight coats of polish. The product starts to stack on top of each other, which results in a scaly look when it starts to come off. It’s best to limit sessions to once a week. This will give you the best look, without resulting in you look streaky.

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