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How to Keep a Spray Tan Longer: Maximize Your Glow’s Lifespan (2024)

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how to keep a spray tan longerJust when you thought your radiant spray tan was fleeting, think again! You’ve got the power to extend that enviable glow well beyond its usual lifespan. With a few savvy moves, you can keep your golden hue from fading into a distant memory.

Dive into the art of tan longevity and master the secrets to maintaining that perfect, sunless bronze.

Yes, to keep a spray tan longer, moisturize daily with an oil-free product and avoid excessive moisture like swimming or sweating.

Key Takeaways

  • Exfoliate before your spray tan appointment to remove dead skin cells and ensure an even application. Use an oil-free exfoliator for the best results.
  • Moisturize regularly with a water-based or oil-free moisturizer to hydrate the skin and prolong the life of your tan. Avoid products containing alcohol, fragrance, or essential oils, as they can cause the tan to fade faster.
  • Be cautious with water exposure; wait at least 4-8 hours before showering after your spray tan, use lukewarm water instead of hot, and pat dry instead of rubbing to avoid fading.
  • Maintain hydration by drinking plenty of water and using a gradual self-tanner or tan extender as needed to keep the tan looking fresh and even.

Exfoliate Skin

Exfoliate Skin
To ensure your spray tan clings on for as long as possible, you’ll want to start with a smooth canvas. Exfoliating your skin is crucial as it removes dead skin cells and helps your tan adhere evenly, giving you that flawless glow.

Opt for a natural, oil-free exfoliant and focus on dry areas like elbows and knees to prevent patchiness and extend the life of your tan.

Remove Dead Skin

To ensure your spray tan adheres evenly and lasts longer, you’ll need to start with a clean slate by removing dead skin cells through exfoliation.

This crucial step prevents patchiness and enhances your glow.

Use a gentle scrub with ingredients like baking soda or sugar, avoiding harsh chemicals.

Exfoliating not only primes your skin but also ensures a smoother, more radiant tan.

Makes Tan Last Longer

Exfoliating your skin not only removes dead skin cells but also ensures that your spray tan adheres evenly and lasts longer.

By preparing a smooth canvas, you’re setting the stage for a tan that fades uniformly, avoiding patchiness.

Moisturize Daily

Moisturize Daily
To keep your spray tan looking fresh and extend its lifespan, daily moisturizing is key. Hydrating your skin helps to slow down the natural exfoliation process, ensuring your tan fades evenly and lasts longer.

Opt for a water-based lotion and moisturize both in the morning and evening to lock in that glow.

Hydrates Skin

Having exfoliated your skin to ensure an even canvas for your spray tan, it’s crucial to maintain that glow by keeping your skin well-hydrated.

Moisturizing daily plays a pivotal role in prolonging the life of your spray tan, as hydrated skin is less prone to premature flaking and fading.

Opt for a moisturizer enriched with natural ingredients like marshmallow root extract, water, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar to nourish deeply.

Prolongs Tan

Maintaining your spray tan’s glow requires diligent aftercare, and daily moisturization is key to prolonging its lifespan. Regular moisturization slows down natural exfoliation, allowing your tan to last longer.

  1. Moisturize twice daily, especially after showering.
  2. Opt for moisturizers free from mineral oils, fragrances, and certain alcohols.
  3. Choose hydrating ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid.
  4. Hydrated skin promotes a lasting tan, preventing patchiness and flakiness.

As a beauty editor, remember that sweet solutions like moisturizing can help you control and master the art of keeping your spray tan looking fresh and radiant.

Avoid Hot Showers

Avoid Hot Showers
To keep your spray tan looking fresh and extend its lifespan, it’s crucial to adjust your showering habits.

Opt for lukewarm water instead of hot, as high temperatures can accelerate the fading of your tan.

Be gentle with your skin, avoiding any scrubbing that could strip away the color.

This approach helps maintain the glow and longevity of your spray tan.

Use Lukewarm Water

Continuing from the importance of daily moisturization to maintain your spray tan, it’s equally crucial to manage your shower temperature.

Hot showers can strip your skin of its natural oils and the tan along with it.

Lukewarm water helps preserve both your skin’s hydration and your radiant glow.

Don’t Scrub Skin

To maintain your spray tan’s vibrancy, you should avoid hot showers and refrain from scrubbing your skin, as both can accelerate the fading process.

  1. Imagine marshmallow dissolution in hot cocoa; similarly, your tan can dissolve with too much heat.
  2. Treat your skin like delicate sugar science, gently cleansing without harsh friction.
  3. Avoid sticky situations; pat dry to preserve your tan’s sweet solutions.

Limit Sweating

Limit Sweating
Following the advice to avoid hot showers, it’s equally important to limit sweating after your spray tan to keep your glow intact.

  1. Schedule an evening appointment to avoid the heat of the day, or opt for a late afternoon or evening session if possible.
  2. Choose a well-ventilated room for your tanning session to minimize perspiration.
  3. Apply talcum or baby powder to areas prone to sweating, like elbows, knees, and underarms, to absorb moisture and prevent tan transfer.
  4. Wear breathable activewear to allow sweat to evaporate and avoid streaking.
  5. Keep skin moisturized to maintain hydration and help your tan last longer.
  6. If you must exercise, do so after your tan has fully developed, and avoid excessive sweating in the hours or day after your tanning appointment.
  7. If you do sweat, take a lukewarm shower to rinse off the sweat and prevent it from breaking down your tan.

By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to keep your spray tan looking fresh and even for longer, even in sticky situations like summer heat.

Protect From Sun

Protect From Sun
While limiting sweating can help maintain your spray tan, it’s equally important to protect your skin from the sun, as a spray tan doesn’t offer sufficient UV protection. Despite the bronzed appearance, you’ll still need to apply sunscreen to guard against harmful rays and prevent damage to your skin and the premature fading of your tan.

Just as you’d use detangling techniques to keep your hair care routine effective, applying sunscreen should be a non-negotiable step in your styling tips to preserve your glow. Knot prevention in hair hygiene mirrors the diligence needed in sun protection to maintain your tan.

Use Gradual Self-Tanner

Use Gradual Self-Tanner
Incorporating a gradual self-tanner into your routine, you’re seamlessly enhancing your spray tan’s longevity and ensuring a consistent, natural-looking glow. This method acts like a conditioner for your tan, smoothing out any uneven patches and adding a layer of color that fades naturally.

Think of it as the marshmallow in your skincare s’more; it’s the sweet solution that binds everything together, ensuring your tan stays sticky-free.

By using products with ingredients like water and apple cider vinegar, you’re engaging in sugar science that prevents your tan from dissolving too quickly. Avoiding harsh chemicals like baking soda helps maintain the perfect balance, keeping your skin hydrated and your tan even.

This approach not only prolongs your tan but also masters the art of subtle enhancement, giving you control over your glow’s lifespan.

Apply Makeup Carefully

Apply Makeup Carefully
After enhancing your tan with a gradual self-tanner, it’s essential to apply makeup carefully to maintain your spray tan’s integrity. Just as sugar science teaches us about precise measurements for sweet solutions, the same precision is needed when selecting makeup products.

Avoid sticky situations by choosing oil-free formulas that won’t cause marshmallow dissolution of your tan.

  1. Foundation Choice: Opt for a lightweight, oil-free foundation to prevent clogging pores and breaking down your tan.
  2. Blending Techniques: Use gentle, hair hygiene-friendly tools like a soft brush or blending sponge to apply makeup without exfoliating your skin.
  3. Setting Wisely: Seal your look with a translucent powder instead of a heavy setting spray that could compromise your tan’s longevity.

Drink Water

Drink Water
Staying hydrated by drinking water is essential for maintaining soft and smooth skin, which can create a better canvas for your spray tan. However, it does not directly increase skin moisture enough to make a noticeable difference in most cases.

Adequate hydration is crucial for overall skin health, which can indirectly contribute to a longer-lasting tan.

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Follow other recommended practices for maintaining your tan.


  • Staying Hydrated for a Better Spray Tan (Healthline, 2021)
  • How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer (Byrdie, 2022)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the optimal time to get a spray tan before a special event?

For a special event, aim to get your spray tan 2-3 days before. This timing allows your tan to fully develop.

Can I use lotion containing sunscreen after getting a spray tan?

To keep your spray tan longer and protect your skin, choose a sunscreen that’s oil-free, alcohol-free, at least SPF 30, and broad-spectrum, like the ones recommended by Honey Buns Tanning and SunSpray By Kathryn.

Wait 12-24 hours after your spray tan to apply sunscreen, and opt for a lotion or cream formula instead of aerosol sprays.

Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming, and don’t forget to protect your ears, lips, and other often-missed areas. By following these guidelines, you’ll maintain your golden glow while staying safe in the sun.

Will swimming in a chlorinated pool affect the longevity of my spray tan?

Yes, swimming in a chlorinated pool can affect the longevity of your spray tan. Chlorine, a chemical found in pool water, can cause your tan to fade faster due to its bleaching properties.

It strips away skin cells, accelerating the fading process.

To minimize the impact, take quick dips and moisturize after swimming to keep your skin hydrated and prolong the tan’s life.

How long should I wait to apply deodorant or perfume after a spray tan?

Just as a painter waits for the canvas to dry, you should wait at least 8 hours before applying deodorant or perfume.

What type of clothing should I avoid wearing after getting a spray tan?

After getting a spray tan, avoid tight clothing, denim, yoga pants, and jewelry. These can rub against your skin and cause streaks or discoloration.

Opt for loose, dark-colored clothing like flowy dresses, skirts, or loose-fitting jumpsuits.


Just when you thought mastering the art of a lasting spray tan was a mystery, you’ve unlocked the secrets to extend your glow.

By exfoliating, moisturizing, avoiding hot showers, and limiting sweat, you’re set to keep your spray tan longer than ever before.

Protecting your skin from the sun, using a gradual self-tanner, applying makeup with care, and staying hydrated are also key steps.

Embrace these steps and watch your radiant tan thrive, keeping you glowing and gorgeous day after day.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.