How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? (7 Ways to Make it Last Longer)

Do you have a special event coming up? Looking to achieve that glowing skin without using a tanning bed? 

Spray tanning is a great way to elevate your look, add a final touch to your outfit, and make people’s heads turn.

But as you probably know, spray tanning doesn’t last that long. However, it’s definitely a much better option than harmful UV rays used in tanning beds. 

How long a spray tan lasts depends on several different factors, from your skin’s health to your skincare routine. In this article, I’ll share a few tips to make your fresh spray tan last longer. Let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Spray tanning is one of the best ways to get the bronzy and glowy skin of your dreams.
  • Without a doubt, spray tanning and self-tanner are much better for your skin than a tanning bed. It doesn’t expose you to harmful UV rays, that may cause premature aging and even skin cancer.
  • An average spray tan usually lasts 7-10 days, depending on your skin type and spray tan coverage.
  • You can extend your spray tan life by prepping your skin before your tanning session, such as avoiding harsh chemicals, staying away from tight clothing, and moisturizing regularly. 

How Long Does a Spray Tan Typically Last?

Spray tans typically last from seven to ten days, depending on your skin type, health, and spray tan coverage. 


Since your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells and producing new skin cells on the epidermis level, spray tanning as well as any other skin treatment will fade over time.

We all have different skin, which is why your tan may last longer than someone else’s. The general rule of thumb is that spray tans last for around a week, more or less.

Luckily for all of us, there are some proven ways to make your spray tan solution last even longer than that. Check out the next section to find out more.

Related: What is the best spray tan machine?

How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer

1. Prep your skin before getting a spray tan

If you want to make your spray tan last longer, make sure you prep your skin beforehand. First of all, if you have any other service planned out (like nails, waxing, massage, facial, etc.), I suggest you get that out of the way before your spray tan appointment. 

When it comes to waxing, do it at least 24 hours before spray tanning because it will ensure your tan stays on longer. On another hand, if you’re shaving and not waxing your body hair, then do it at least 4 hours before the appointment.

Another important part of your skin prep is exfoliation

Exfoliation is a great way to aid the tanning solution to adhere to your skin, but make sure you do it at least 4 hours before your spray tanning session. Exfoliating in advance will give your pores time to close before putting spray tan on to avoid discoloration.  

2. Moisturize regularly and keep your skin hydrated

Wait around 4 hours after your spray tan session to start hydrating the skin. After the tan is set, make sure you moisturize regularly to prolong the life of your fresh spray tan. 

You should apply moisturizing body lotion at least twice a day. Also, don’t use creams that contain any drying alcohol to prevent dry patches from forming.

3. Use special skin lotions

The quality of your skin lotion is critical. As I said, choose alcohol-free formulations because they tend to dry out the skin. 

Use body lotions and soaps that don’t contain any harmful ingredients. Instead, go for natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin. 

4. Don’t wear tight clothing

After getting a spray tan, try to stay away from tight clothing like tights, tight jeans, or shorts. Instead, wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes made of natural ingredients (cotton for example).

Wearing loose and airy clothes is one of the safest ways to extend your tan beyond the typical seven days.

5. Take your first shower 4 hours after getting a spray tan

Another important tip for extending your spray tan life is to not take a shower as soon as you come back from your session. Give your skin some time to rest and your fresh spray tan to develop.

Also, remember to be gentle with your skincare routine after getting a spray tan, especially during that first shower. 

6. Avoid harsh chemicals

Just like you should avoid harmful ingredients in your body lotion or cream, stay away from harsh chemicals after getting a spray tan. That means no abrasive soaps or scrubs, no alcoholic ingredients, and chemicals in general.

7. Avoid long, hot showers

Nothing like a long and hot shower after a hard day at work. I totally get that! 

However, if you want to make your spray tan last longer, try to avoid showering for too long or being in the water for too long. 

While we’re on the topic, I suggest you avoid pools, especially those with chlorinated water. Similarly, stay clear of saunas and spas because excessive sweating is also not good for your spray tan. If you do decide to go to a pool or to the beach, make sure you apply sunscreen.


Final Thoughts

Spray tanning is one of the best ways to have a tan all year long. It’s much healthier than tanning beds or the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays for that matter. 

You can do it whenever you want, whether you have a special event coming up or you’re just feeling in the mood for some bronzy tan. A self-tanner is another quick way to get a tan before a special event in your life while maintaining healthy skin at the same time.

But as I said, a spray tan doesn’t last very long, but it sure does the trick. If you keep all of the above tips in mind when taking a spray tan, you’ll be good to go! 

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