With holiday and event season in full swing, we all want to look and feel our best. And if a spray tan is your quick-fire route to feeling confident, these top tips from the tanning experts at London-based spa Smooth You will ensure you have natural, bronzed looking skin this summer.
First things first, how’s best to prepare for a spray tan?
Exfoliate with an oil-free scrub (if your scrub contains oil make sure you wash it off well before your appointment) as oil creates a barrier on the skin and can cause the spray tan to run off during the treatment. It will also stop it developing properly. Our advice is to book a spray tan in the afternoon or evening, shower in the morning, and use a light texture lotion to moisturise with. Avoid anything too rich or oily.
And how long before a holiday or big event should you have a spray tan?
One to two days before to allow enough time for the tan to fully develop. Between tans, wait for the colour to come off completely as topping up will cause a build-up in some areas, causing it to look patchy – never get a spray tan on top of a spray tan.
Any tips for brides-to-be if they’re considering a spray tan for the big day?
Always get it tested first and go with the same therapist that you trust. Also, don’t go too dark as it won’t look natural and will look even darker against a white dress. Rule of thumb: never try out new treatments just before a special occasion, do your homework first.
How long do they take to develop?
It really depends on the brand, some offer ‘express’ services which develop in as little as one hour but we rate Sun Angels if you’re having a professional spray tan, which takes eight hours to develop. Remember to never wash the tan off before the minimum recommended developing time as it will look patchy and uneven. But leaving it on longer doesn’t do much, your tan can only develop to a certain shade, it won’t keep getting darker.
Any tips for blending your face to your body if you don’t want to spray your face?
Most clients don’t mind their face being sprayed and have no reaction to it, however, if you’re worried about sensitive skin, simply match a foundation to the colour of your tan.
Should you shave or wax your legs before a spray tan?
Yes, but try to make sure it is one to two days prior to ensure the tan doesn’t clog up your pores and cause irritation.
Can you wax or shave after a tan?
You can but it will lift the tan and cause lighter patches on the rest of your body. Try to avoid it for as long as possible.
Should you moisturise after a spray tan?
Don't moisturise during your development time, after your first shower you can moisturise with a light lotion, but again avoid creamy, rich or oil-based products.
Can you still tan naturally when you’ve had a spray tan?
Yes, you will tan through your spray tan and it won’t protect you in any way from the sun so ensure you use a good SPF on top. We rate Dr Murad’s Water-Resistant Sunscreen SPF30.
Any tips for making your tan last longer?
Avoid exfoliating at all costs and don’t wear anything too tight immediately after the treatment, and even the few days after if you can, as it will cause friction and rub the tan off. Choose dark colours to avoid any stains and steer clear of anything that is going to make you hot and sweaty. When you’re still in the salon, ask for a hairdryer to dry the tan off before you get dressed – most therapists will do this for you. And, if you can, avoid washing your hands during the developing time, instead use baby wipes or hand sanitiser on just the palms of your hands. Also, deodorant and perfume should be avoided before the tan and during the developing time.
What should you do if parts start to go patchy?
If your tan starts looking patchy after few days you can exfoliate to help remove it faster. Do it gently to avoid redness and irritation and taking off too much of the tan.
Any tips for really pale skins wanting a spray tan?
Go for one layer in the lightest shade.
Finally, how long should a spray tan last?
If you choose a reliable therapist and follow the advice, a good spray tan should last between five and seven days. However, if you’re on holiday, be conscious that the sea and pool water will make the tan fade quicker.