Orange Spray Tan: How To Avoid It!

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What better way to flaunt your skin than to show off the results of your spray tan or self-tan? But you need to nail the tone in order to look good. If you end up with an orange fake tan, you can be forced to hide or remove the tan.

Instead of finding a solution to that hideous tan, wouldn’t it be better to avoid it in the first place?

In this article, we’ll look at how to avoid orange spray tan. We’ll give you the details on how to prepare your skin, and what to do after the spray tan to avoid that dreaded orange shade of tan.


Do Spray Tans Make You Orange?

Spray tans and fake tans can lead to orange skin. But when done correctly, the skin won’t look orange.

Before we give you specific tips on what to do, let us first discuss what could cause that orange tan.

Why Do Spray Tans Look Orange?

There are a few reasons your fake tan can end up orange

1. The Spray Tan Solution Itself

Norvell Spray Tan Solution

Back in the early stages of spray tanning, the orange tan you have been dreading was actually more common than you think.

Many men and women were trying hard to rock that orange glow.

The reason why it’s quite common is that the solution isn’t matched for their skin.

There was a limited choice, and what worked for one skin tone didn’t work for another.

The great news is that nowadays, there are lots of spray tan formulations   to choose from.

It’s a matter of trying them out and finding what works. 

It’s a great idea to start your spray tan journey at a salon and to have a professional spray you.

Sure, it can cost a decent amount.

But the spray tan artist can help you pick out the right spray tan solution for your skin and for the results you want to achieve.

Some offer custom colors to perfectly suit your skin. 

Once you know what will work with your skin tone, you can choose to bring it on home and pick up a machine.

If you’re going to start at home, try the solution in a small hidden area to begin with. That way, you can confidently continue with the rest of your body if you liked the results.

Going Too Dark, Too Fast

If you’re pale from having no color for months on end, it can be tempting to dive into the deep, dark end. But that’s a mistake. Start slow, with a lighter shade that will result in at most a medium tan. See how that works, and then next time, consider going darker.

Push too dark, too fast, and you’ll make a mistake. You can tan through a fake tan, so you can always darken your natural color while the spray tan is on your skin.

2. Too Much DHA In The Solution

It could be depressing to know that you have to try multiple colors in order to really identify what could work or not.

However, you can still decrease the risk of having orange skin if you select those with the right amount of DHA in the solution

Products that contain over 10% DHA should be avoided, especially if you don’t know how they work on your skin. That’s because too much DHA could turn your skin orange. 

That’s especially true if you have fair skin. 

So don’t even try to cheat your way to your darkest tan immediately. It is best to gradually build your tan than apply loads of product all at once. 

If you choose to have another go at a spray tan booth, then it is best to wait several days in between your spray tan sessions

How To Avoid Orange Spray Tan

If you want to keep your spray tan looking natural, but not like an Oompa Loompa, you need to properly prep your body for the tan and properly care for it afterward.

Aside from preventing your spray tan from making you orange, these tips will also help you get get the best results out of your spray tan sessions. 

Let’s go over these steps below.

What To Do Before The Fake Tan Session

Exfoliate And Shave

Exfoliating before a spray tan is a must. Exfoliation sheds dead skin cells and helps reveal newer skin. That helps you avoid the orange tan plus it also helps prolong the results of your tan. 

Exfoliate  a day before your appointment or at least 4 hours before your session. Also, don’t forget to shave especially in areas with longer hair. 

Hair could get in the way of the spray tan solution and your skin. That could lead to an uneven or patchy tan. 

Wax A Day Before Your Session

If you prefer to wax your hair, do it at least a day before the session.

Your skin still needs to recover from that before you apply the spray tan solution. 

Apply On Clean Skin

When applying the spray tan solution, make sure that your skin is clean. Take a shower and don’t use any moisturizer on your skin. That could just interact badly with the spray tan solution. 

Also, don’t use any beauty products or makeup. Makeup will just cover the skin and prevent the solution from reacting with the skin cells. 

What To Do After Spray Tanning

The things you do to your skin after the spray tanning session are just as important as what you do before the procedure. Here are our tips:

Wear Loose Fitting Clothing

After your spray tan session, make sure that you wear loose-fitting clothing. That will prevent the solution from being rubbed off. 

Furthermore, you should avoid wearing a bra or undies right after you have your spray tan session. Going commando might seem uncomfortable but it’s the best way to avoid streaks on your tan.

Keep Moisture Away

Make sure you don’t give your skin access to moisture before you rinse out. That would include sweat so don’t work out while waiting to rinse. 

Also, stay away from humidifiers that could give your skin water droplets. Just keep your skin as dry as possible. 

Shower Properly

After your spray tan session, you need to wait for a few hours before you can shower and rinse off. There is a proper way to shower after your spray tan and wash your hair. See those posts for details. 

Pat Yourself Dry

Drying yourself after you shower is also important. Don’t rub the towel to dry off. 

Instead, pat your skin dry and be gentle. Rubbing it can essentially exfoliate your skin somewhat, which could remove some skin cells that have reacted to the spray tan solution. 

Final Thoughts

Spray tans don’t automatically mean orange tan. But sometimes they can produce that nasty orange color. There are different ways to prevent that. 

The final color will depend on what you do before and after the procedure, as well as the color of the spray tan solution you choose.

Proper preparation and proper care for your skin after the spray tanning session are very important. Follow the guidelines above, as well as any others suggested by your salon professional.

And stick to a shade that’s not too far from your natural skin tone, at least to start. You can always go darker next time.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).