Spray tanning is a great way to quickly and easily add some color to your skin, even if you aren’t able to go to the beach to soak up those rays. Sure, there’s always a tanning bed, but those aren’t really a great option. Whether you go to the salon or do at-home spray tanning, it’s a quick path to glowing skin.
While spray tanning may allow you to get that wonderful bronze sheen without having to head to the beach, you may be wondering how often should refresh it. Today, we’re going to go over the logistics, focusing on the question, “How often should you spray tan?”
The short answer: to keep your color, you’ll need to refresh your spray tan every 10 days to 2 weeks.
In this article, we’ll go over the details of how to know when it’s time to refresh your spray tan.
How Often Should You Spray Tan?
Typically, you’ll want to go get a return treatment for your spray tan within two weeks, and for lighter tan shades, you may need to come in even more frequently.
Some of the lightest spray tan shades will take just over a week to wear off, so you should head into your salon once every eight or nine days.
On the other hand, if you got an extremely dark spray tan shade, it will really be fading after about 14 days, so you may have to sit in for about two tanning sessions per month.
How Does a Spray Tan Work?
Your spray tan’s duration is based on the type of spray tan that you initially got. Darker shades will last longer because they contain more of the spray tanner’s active ingredient, DHA.
DHA reacts with your skin using the Maillard Reaction, which is the same one that is responsible for browning meat when it cooks.
Thankfully, you don’t have to cook your skin to darken it, even though sometimes it feels that way with UV tanning!
The DHA in spray tan and self-tanning solutions isn’t harmful to your skin. It simply reacts with the dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin and turns them darker. It’s relatively safe.
This means that you don’t usually have to worry about damaging your skin by spray tanning too frequently.
However, if you go in to get a tan too often, you’ll be wasting money on excess spray tanning solution that won’t make a difference in how you look.
And you’ll also end up wasting your time.
Getting a spray tan is a pretty time-consuming process, so it makes sense to know how long you should go between tans.
What Impacts The Length a Spray Tan Will Last?
Keep in mind that there are other factors that will influence the duration of your spray tan aside from the amount of DHA that you’ll find in the tanning solution.
If you tan in a tanning bed or outside after a spray tan, you will likely shorten the duration of your spray tan. UV light can degrade spray tan solution. And remember that the spray tan provides no base tan protection from sunlight, so you’ll still need to wear sunscreen!
Another thing to consider is how you treat your spray tan just after you get it, and over the course of those two weeks.
Even darker shades can wear away if not handled properly. All of these can impact the length and quality of your spray tan:
- Swimming after a spray tan
- Clothes after a spray tan
- Sweating after a spray tan
- Washing hair after a spray tan
- Shaving after a spray tan
- Tanning with a spray tan
- Baby Powder After a Spray Tan
These issues can range from your spray tan rubbing away to having a buildup of the solution on your skin that will prevent the next spray tan from taking hold.
This is why it’s essential to learn how to maintain your skin and to prepare for your spray tanning appointment, allowing you to keep the shade even and clean-looking.
How to Maintain a Long-Lasting Spray Tan
In this part of our guide, we’ll go over some of the ways to maintain your spray tan to ensure that you don’t have to head back in for a tanning appointment too soon. Some of the methods include making sure that your skin remains moisturized, using the right body wash, and exfoliating frequently.
Whenever we hear people ask, “How often should you get a spray tan?”, we can’t help but wonder whether or not they’re exfoliating properly. This is because exfoliation is a key part of preparing your skin for the next spray tanning treatment, as it will allow you to flush the old DHA out of your skin.
When you exfoliate properly before your next spray tan appointment, you ensure that the next tanning solution that you or your tanning technician uses will stick to your skin properly.
If the DHA fails to take hold in some areas of your skin, or if it overly colors some areas of your body, you’ll notice that your next spray tan looks patchy.
This can be particularly problematic at the hands and feet, for a variety of reasons.
Using the Right Soap or Body Wash with a Spray Tan
If you use the wrong body wash to keep yourself clean when you have a spray tan on, you may notice that it wears away the tanning solution and makes it look uneven. Be sure to ask your tanning technician what kind of body wash you should be using so your skin maintains its color.
Most of the time, you’ll want to ensure that the body washes you’re using when spray tanned is free of oils that can react with the DHA.
You may also wish to use a moisturizing body wash to keep your skin as healthy as possible, as that will improve how it reacts with the DHA and darkens.
Moisturizing Your Skin
If you want your spray tan to last you as long as possible, you’ll always want to keep your skin moisturized so that it’s easier for the ingredients to take hold.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to wait a couple of days after you get your spray tan to start using your moisturizer, as the tanning solution will still have to set.
Much like the body wash, you want to ensure that the moisturizer you use to keep your skin nice and healthy is free of any oils that can ruin your spray tan. The more natural the ingredients in your moisturizer, the better. This is because artificial compounds can react with the DHA and hamper its effectiveness.
Can You Spray Tan Over an Existing Spray Tan?
You don’t want to be spraying over an existing spray tan. Doing so will result in really patchy skin. If your spray tan provider missed a spot, you may be able to fix it if you go right back in within a day or so. But if you’re spraying over week-old sprayed skin, you’re in for trouble.
The dead skin cells will fall off, and your spray tan will be super patchy.