How Long Does Your Perfect Spray Tan Last? (Everything You Need to Know About The Sun-Kissed Glow and How to Keep it Longer)

Summer is just around the corner and many of us are planning to hit the beach to get that sun-kissed tan that almost everybody is dying to have. To tell you the truth, that tan is not very easy to get, naturally.

This is because of the fact that you don't get to regulate the amount of UV from the sun like in the tanning machine. Unless you have the money for a tanning machine, the best next solution to show off a nice tan is to have it sprayed on you-but how long do you think a spray tan last?


What is a Spray Tan?

what is a spray tan

Basically, spray tanning is a form of sunless tanning where you spray a fine mist all over your body. For people who are not completely aware, a common connotation is that it’s like applying paint or makeup all over your skin (like airbrush?) when it’s actually not.

So How Does it Work?

The mist is not just a topical colorant like a makeup. It reacts with the chemistry of your own skin with the ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which gives your skin the bronze appearance. The proteins on your skin will react with DHA to give you that sun-kissed tan!

Is it Safe?

Well, yes! I’m still breathing, aren’t I? Kidding aside, DHA is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. It has been long-approved for cosmetic use by the Australian TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). It is also approved and recommended tanning agent by medical associates and cancer associations all over the world

Why Spray Tan?

why spray tan before and after

It is convenient and the results are awesome! Many models and celebrities I know would prefer this rather than any other methods of self-tanning! You can never choose the type of color/tan that you want using other methods.

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

Depending on the brand and how you get your spray tan, it generally lasts 3-10 days. Of course, you can do some steps for it to stay longer, which will be discussed later in this article. For now, let us first discuss more about the pros and cons of getting a spray tan.

how long does a spray tan last

The Pros

If you could see how beautiful my tan is right now, I don’t need to write these things down just to convince you. (winks) Here are the reasons why you are going to love Spray Tan, in the same way I do.

  • Spray tanning doesn’t need too much exposure to the sun which is safer and healthier for your skin. We all know how harmful the sun can be for our skin. That is why we are using sunblocks, aren’t we?
  • Convenience. Who has the time to lay under the sun or lay still inside a tanning machine for a couple of minutes? Do you even have access to one?
  • Spray tan application is quick and easy! No other self-tanning products can beat how easy it is to spray the mist all over your body in few minutes!
  • With all the other self-tanning products, Spray Tans are the quickest to dry. Imagine how completely helpless you could be while waiting for your self-tanning creams, gels, and lotions to dry.
  • You get to test which color of the tan you want. Of course, it would react differently depending on your skin chemistry, but it dries quickly so testing the color is quick and convenient.
  • If you are doing it yourself, you know how a little product goes a long way. If you are into airbrush makeup, you would know what I am talking about. Spraying the mist is easier to blend and build up any way you like it.
  • If you are doing it with a professional, you can request for them to make contours in your body in the same way you would with a makeup-only better. I know, this could be pricey but it’s a perfect way to show off a slimmer and contoured look while wearing your best skin ever!

The Cons

Okay, I admit that not everyone is a fan of the spray tan. There are also cons of getting it, and here’s a list of them:

  • The major drawback is the cost. On average, a regular spray tan session is around $40. It is not permanent so you should know when is the best time for you to get one to make the most out of your money. Mobile and contour technicians charge more!
  • Self-tanning spray costs more than self-tanning creams, gels, and lotions. We are talking about 3-4 times more expensive here. Convenience and quality have a price you know.
  • It’s tough to get that even finish without the aid of somebody else! Be that a technician or a friend, people find it worrisome not to be able to do it on their own.
  • To prevent yourself from inhaling the product, (ew!) you have to use a nose clip or cover your face, which is very odd. Did I find it disturbing? Yes. But did I die? No.

That’s all about it when it comes to the pros and cons, so if you are very decided now to go ahead get your spray tan for to show-off this summer, I would like to give you tips as to how you could make your spray tan last longer.

Tips on How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer

tips on how to make your spray tan last longer

Like I have mentioned earlier, spray tan can be last around 3-10 days depending on how well it was applied and the reaction of your skin to DHA. So here’s how you could make it stay last longer.

Before The Spray Tan Session

The more prepared you are, the better and longer the results will be. Do yourself a favor now, and thank yourself later.

#1. Get rid of the hair

It is best to shave or wax before the scheduled appointment. Why? Duh, it’s your only chance. Shaving or waxing after the appointment is a no-no unless you want to strip the color off your skin.

  • If you opt for a dark solution (with bronzer), it is best to shave or wax 2 days before your schedule (to make sure the pores are closed).
  • If you prefer the clear and lighter shade (with no bronzer), shaving or waxing the day before is not a bad idea.

#2. Exfoliate!

You might be thinking that washing your body with soap is ideal, but it’s not. It has pH regulating properties that can affect your skin’s chemistry with the DHA in the spray tan. Hence, going with a natural exfoliating and cleansing product is recommended. This will:

  • Slough off as much as dead skin as possible prior to the tanning session. Even natural tan fade over time as your skin cells regenerate. So, exfoliating dead skin cells prior to getting the tan will make it last longer.
  • On top of making your tan last longer, a well-exfoliated skin gets rid of the dead skin cells and bumps so you tan will look more beautiful and even.

#3. No makeup and moisturizers allowed!

Before the session, or right before you (or a technician) sprays product, make sure that your skin is not wearing any lotion, moisturizer or makeup at all. Be as nude as possible. Anything lying on top of your skin will interfere with the tan application.

  • Exemption goes to your knees, ankles, elbows, and palms. You can put a little vaseline or moisturizer in these areas because they are known to get darker than the rest of your skin and you don't want that!

The Aftermath

Now that you have that perfect sun-kissed glow, you can’t it to show it to everybody. Well, you should work on keeping it longer to make the most out of it!

  1. Resist putting makeup 1-2 hours after the procedure. This will make sure that it is completely dried, putting makeup might interfere the drying of the product.
  2. Wear loose and dark colored clothes right after. Same reason: So that the color can dry faster, rubbing the tan to your white clothes can be a disaster.
  3. Bathing and swimming. Please wait at least 16 hours before taking a proper shower. This will make sure that the tan is dry in place. For chlorinated pools, you just have to wait longer-like 24 hours or more. Aren’t you glad you exfoliated prior to tanning?
  4. Products that will help your tan last. I recommend products just like Norvell Amber Sun Pro-Long Tan Extending Moisturizer. These products help your tan last a little longer while keeping your skin healthy.


It is always advisable to love the skin you're in. As long as you keep it healthy and clean, then that should be good enough. During the summer season, having a tan is great. Just always keep in mind that you should keep it safe and healthy.

So what’s your stand about getting a spray tan? I can’t wait to read them in the comment section below.

Ella Jones

Hi . My name is Ella Jones . I’m a blogger, shopaholic, and beauty-obsessed blogger from NYC, armed with a Professional MBA from Fordham and a License in Cosmetology from Empire Beauty School in my hometown of Brooklyn. I’m the proud owner of a successful salon and beauty parlor in the city, and I’ve started this blog to share my beauty secrets with you.

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