How to Prepare for Your First Spray Tan

Spray tanning can be intimidating!

Do you remove all your clothes? Will the tan leave you orange like in the photo below? What do you do about your hair?

There are so many questions for one incredibly short service, but luckily, I went through the process for you (and lived to tell about it). Keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions on making that first spray tan count!

Pick a Studio

The first step to your first spray tan is finding a studio that matches your needs. I used Yelp to research the salon and see what experiences other customers had before me. I made sure to call ahead and figure out if the service was within my budget. Don't be afraid to ask if they have any deals going on. Salons usually offer package discounts or reduced fees for first-timers.

Prep Your Skin

After hours of researching online, I figured out that prepping my skin for the spray would be as important as the tan itself. I exfoliated in the shower and paid special attention to elbows, knees and ankles. Basically, any place that can store dead skin cells is where you need to get deep with scrubbing.


Take a Deep Breath

Arriving at the studio was a whole experience! I was greeted by the friendly staff, who explained that there are two options when it comes to this type of tan: There's the airbrush tan that's performed by an actual specialist, and there's the regular spray tan that involves you getting into an automated booth.

While I waited for my appointment, I couldn't stop looking around. I took in that distinct spray tan smell and recalled how I've smelled that before when I used the at-home tanning lotions. I was asked to come into the tanning room, and the specialist gave me specific instructions regarding my clothes, covering my hair, applying barrier cream and shifting my body different ways to absorb the right amount of color all over. She also warned me that there's a distinct smell associated with a spray tan, and not to be too alarmed by it.

To sum it all up, no need to worry when the time to tan comes, because you'll be guided through the start-to-finish process. I made mental notes so that I could follow them to a T after she left the room.

Preserve Your Glow!

My online research also helped me understand the best way to maintain my tan. You have to make sure your skin stays moisturized and you have to avoid paraben in your lotions. It's important to not shower for at least eight hours (sleep in it if possible) to let the color settle. My biggest surprise was waking up to funky colored sheets after my spray tan, so make sure you use dark sheets for the first night. The stains ended up washing out, but it was jarring to wake up to brown sheets that were formerly white!
Now that you've figured out what a spray tan is all about, click HERE to tackle our worst enemy: acne!