How Often Should You Spray Tan?

Having a year-round bronze tan sure sounds ideal. And since it’s not so healthy to expose yourself to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun that much, there are other ways to maintain a slight tan even during the coldest months.

As you probably already know, spray tanning is surely one of the best ways to stay tanned all year long.

But how often should you spray tan to get that perfect tan? Is there anything you should do in between sessions in order to make your lovely tan last longer? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Here’s everything you should know about spray tanning, how many sessions are needed, and why is aftercare equally important to make a tan last longer.

Let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Spray tanning is a sunless method of tanning in which an active ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is sprayed onto the skin.
  • Spray tanning is a safe way to get a tan quickly without exposing your skin to sun damage or harmful UV rays of the sun or sun lamps in tanning beds.
  • Spray tanning is one of the best ways to have a bronze and natural tan all year round. But you need to go to the tanning salon every 10 days to keep an even and radiant complexion.
  • The shade of your spray tan also plays in role in how long your tan will last. For instance, darker shades tend to last longer than lighter ones, because they contain more DHA which determines the strength of the product.
  • If you want to make your spray tan last longer, prepare your skin properly and take care of it properly after the spray tan session.

What Is Spray Tanning & How Does it Work?

Before we get into how often you should spray tan to maintain that perfect bronze tan, it may be helpful to understand the spray tanning process a little bit better as well as what types of tan shades are at your disposal.


So, what is spray tanning and how does it work exactly? Here’s everything you should know.

Spray tanning is a self-tanning (or sunless tanning) method where a fine mist is sprayed and spread onto the skin. The mist is made of an active ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which interacts with the outer layer of skin cells to make the skin darker.

You can go for a spray tan session to a professional tanning salon or if you have the right equipment, you can do it by yourself at home. 

Another important thing to know about spray tans is that you should choose the shade of your spray tan. There are several tan shades available when you’re considering self-tanning. 

The perfect shade for your skin depends on your skin tone, time of the year, your preferences, your outfit colors, etc. 

The higher the percentage of the DHA in your spray tan product, the stronger the spray tan shade. 

For instance, if you see that the DHA is at 5%, you should know that the spray tan shade will be light. On the other hand, colors with upwards of 15% DHA will be much stronger and darker on your skin.

Related: What is the best spray tan machine?

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

Now that you understand the self-tanning process a little bit better, you must be wondering how long a spray tan can last.

How often you should spray tan also depends on the color you choose for your tan. As you can probably assume, lighter tan colors will fade earlier than darker colors.

The average spray tan lasts around ten days, more or less. But again, it all depends on the shade you choose for your spray tanning solution.

In general, there are three tan shades available: light, medium, and dark. The shade determines how long your spray tan will stay visible and even on your skin. 

Lighter colors generally last for five days. They are achieved with a low concentrated DHA product, which is why the shade can’t last that long.

Then there are medium shades. They can last for about a week. And finally, darker shades can last the longest, for ten days or even more with the right aftercare.

So, if you’re not sure how often should you spray tan, the first thing to take into account is the color you pick for your self-tan, meaning the DHA content in your spray tanning product.

Consider asking your spray tanning expert to help you pick the perfect shade for your skin tone.

How Often Should You Spray Tan?

So how many spray tans do you need to get the bronze tan of your dreams? 

Well, even though you can go spray tanning as many times as you want, it’s recommended to go about 2-3 times a month or every 10-12 days.

This will give your tan enough time to develop after each spray tan appointment. It will also give you time to exfoliate the skin, get rid of dead skin cells, and prepare for the next spray tan session.

As much as you respect your spray tanning schedule, you still need to take care of your skin in between appointments, especially if you want to have an even tone without spray tan patches appearing on your entire body.

To put it simply, your spray tan will last longer if you go to the tanning salon regularly and take care of your skin in between sessions.

8 Tips for Maintaining a Spray Tan

Skin preparation and aftercare also play a key role in maintaining an even and radiant spray tan. Unfortunately, not enough people talk about it. But hey, that’s why you’re right here reading our blog!


So if you’re not sure what to do in between your appointments, I’ve got you covered. 

Here are spray tan tips for keeping your spray tan longer and achieving the best spray tan results.

  1. Wax and shave at least two days before your spray tan session – If you need to wax or shave, do it at least two days before your spray tan to avoid getting an uneven tan or spray tan patches across your body;
  2. Exfoliate the skin at least two days before your spray tan session – Exfoliation is key to ensuring your spray tan lasts longer. By removing dead skin cells from your skin surface, you allow your spray tan to fully absorb and spread evenly across the body;
  3. Avoid oil-based and chemical products – Try to stay clear of chemical products for at least 24 hours before your spray tan because they can make your skin sensitive and prone to infections;
  4. Wear appropriate clothes during and after your spray tan appointment – It’s recommended to come to your tanning salon in loose-fitting and dark clothing because they will give your skin space to breathe and your tan to absorb into the skin fully;
  5. Don’t shower right after your session – To allow the spray tan to absorb fully and achieve a complete spray tan, it’s important not to shower immediately after your session;
  6. Moisturize the skin (but not immediately after your spray tan) – Hydration is a must, but don’t do it right after your spray tan. Instead, wait a couple of hours before you start applying hydrating lotion onto your body and moisturizing the skin;
  7. Avoid swimming and sweating too much – You shouldn’t go swimming if you want to maintain a bronzy tan for a longer period. Sweating is not so good for your spray tan either, so maybe stay clear of the gym for a couple of days if you want your darker tan to stick;
  8. Use baby powder to avoid streaks on the skin – If you want to prevent spots and streaks from forming on your skin (especially underarms or inner elbows), apply baby powder to stop the reaction.

Final Thoughts

If you want your spray tan to last, create your own spray tanning schedule. As I said, you’ll need to go to the tanning salon around twice a month to maintain that bronzy and glowy tan on your skin. 

Again, it all boils down to your skin tone, your preferences, and the tan shade of your choice. Lighter shades tend to fade away faster than darker shades, so have that in mind.

Also, don’t forget about the importance of proper preparation and aftercare. Pamper yourself with the right products and follow the above-mentioned spray tan tips to make your tan last longer.

At the end of the day, you need to listen to what your skin is telling you. That’s the ultimate skincare and beauty advice that I’ll always give my skincare junkie fellows. 

And the same goes for self-tanning. Enjoy a bronzy tan all year round, but still try not to overdo it. If you create the right spray tanning schedule and the right skincare routine to go along. you will have the tan of your dreams all year round.

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