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8 facts you need to know if you’re thinking about getting a spray tan


Although there are products for you to do a self-tanning at home and you can opt for them, there is also the possibility that you can turn to a professional to do it. But before you book a tanning appointment, there are a few things you should know, like how to prep your skin the night before and how to keep your tan long after you rinse the color off in the shower. 

Here are some tips from St. Tropez brand ambassador Sophie Evans and Paradise Island founder Jules Von Hep. 

How to prepare your skin before a spray tan

The only thing more important than protecting your fake tan is preparing it. Try to exfoliate your body from head to toe the night before your tanning appointment; Evans recommends exfoliating exactly eight hours before your tanning application. Tanning solution, specifically dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the active ingredient in most sunless tanners, develops after reacting with the protein keratin in skin cells. Cleaning off any excess dead skin cells will ensure that the results last as long as possible.

What is the best pre-tan scrub?

There is no need to go looking for the most abrasive product on the market. In fact, the only thing your scrub needs to be is oil-free. Evans and Von Hep say that oil in general is a big no-no for fake tans: Not only can it leave a residue on the skin’s surface that can interfere with self-tan development, but it can also break down the solution and cause fading. uncomfortable. Instead, try to opt for a gentle scrub that will buff away dead skin and prep your body for an even glow.

Shaving is not a necessity for fake tan

Despite self-tanning myths of the past, you don’t have to be hairless from your forehead down to get a spray tan. “A beautiful glow looks just as beautiful with or without body hair,” says Von Hep. “However, if you like waxing, make sure you do it at least 24 hours before your tan.” That way, if you have minor cuts and nicks, your skin will have plenty of time to heal properly before you jump into the store.

Be patient: fake tans can take hours to develop

The spray tan will test your patience. Most traditional self-tanners work best when left to develop overnight. At most, you should wait about eight hours before rinsing the color. Why wait so long? Evans notes that sleeping on your fake tan ensures a richer, longer-lasting glow. Of course, if you opt for an express self-tanner, you’ll only have to wait one to three hours for the rinse; even after you shower, your tan will continue to get darker and darker as it develops.

Topical skin care products are tan No-No

The biggest problem with getting a spray tan is that you have to adjust, or totally sacrifice, your usual skin care regimen. Unfortunately, most of the topicals you’re likely to use (think: oils, balms, creams, and chemical scrubs) will only erode your fake tan faster.

If you regularly struggle with breakouts, you should also consider getting your face tanned altogether: acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and medications like Accutane can dehydrate your skin, making your tan look patchy and dry .

Don’t want to give up your beloved routine for a healthy glow? Von Hep says it’s all about balance, and once your spray tan rinses off, dries, and develops, you can incorporate the skincare products into your routine. However, the tan will fade faster than your body’s tan. Von Hep’s solution? Opposite bronzers, which he can add to his daily moisturizer or serum to recreate the effect of the sun.

Keep your fake tan hydrated – no oils

If you want your tan to last as long as possible, which Von Hep says is six to eight days, you should keep your skin moisturized with oil-free body lotions.

Is regular exfoliation and shaving part of your shower routine? Since both are likely to fade your tan faster, consider investing in a gradual self-tanning lotion, spray, or drops to maintain your glow.

You don’t have to sacrifice the gym for your tan

If you normally work out while wearing a full coverage sports bra to the gym after tanning, you know that sweaty friction equals a destroyed tan. Fortunately, Von Hep and Evans have some solutions for this. First, you should wait for your tan to fully develop before using any machine. Second, use a fabric that is breathable. Sweat is unavoidable, but the right kind of material will help it dry faster before it washes off all of your tan. Lastly, Von Hep suggests staying away from those coarse gym towels — the abrasive cloth will remove the fake tan quickly.

Colorless self-tanners are an affordable alternative

In case you can’t fit a professional tan into your budget every two weeks, consider a more affordable and hassle-free alternative: tanning cleaners. They don’t smell, they don’t stain sheets or clothes, and they make self-tanning beginners look like complete pros, and isn’t that what we’re really looking for in our faux tans these days?


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