Makeup After Spray Tan: Can You Put Makeup On After a Spray Tan?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

A spray tan session is quick, but you have to wait for the solution to take effect on your skin before you wash it off. So what do you do if you need to go somewhere after your spray tan session?

You want to look your best, so can you wear makeup after a spray tan? 

It’s best to avoid makeup in the hours after your spray tan. But if you have to, you can wear makeup after a spray tan. It depends on the type of makeup you want to use, and on a few other circumstances. 

In this article, I’ll explain the do’s and don’ts of applying makeup after your spray tan appointment to make your spray tan ends up looking perfect. 


Can You Wear Makeup After A Spray Tan?

As we’ve said earlier, you can wear makeup after a fresh spray tan. However, it is important to take note of how long after a spray tan can you wear makeup so that you don’t end up ruining your tan. 

If your spray tan is as the point where you can shower (usually 8 hours or so), that means that you can wear makeup. Moisture is one thing to avoid right after getting a spray tan in order to let the tan develop.

That includes the makeup products that you use for your face. 

Thinking about using that creamy foundation? Think again! The moisture from your foundation can ruin the glow that you develop from your sunless tan. You can end up having a patchy or uneven tan just because you used makeup right after your session. 

If you want to apply makeup, you should at least wait for about 6-8 hours before doing so. By that time, the DHA (the active ingredient in the spray tan solution) has been absorbed by the skin to cause the darkening reaction. 

How To Put On Makeup After A Spray Tan

If you can live without makeup for a little while, it’s best to wait several hours before applying makeup. This will extend the life of your tan and help the spray tan develop evenly.

But if you have to, you can wear some types of makeup like powder makeup, lipstick, and eye makeup.

If you have to, you can wear some types of makeup like powder makeup, lipstick, and eye makeup.

If you decide to wear makeup after a spray tan, it is very crucial to wait for the recommended amount of time before you apply anything to your face and body. Once you’ve reached the time when you can safely rinse the residue of the spray tan, you can now apply makeup.

1. Rinse Off The Spray Tan Residue

The first thing that you have to do before you apply any makeup is to rinse off and gently wash your face. This will remove any residue that’s left on your skin. 

Most of the spray tan solutions contain bronzers so that your skin can instantly look like it is sunkissed and with a healthy glow. And of course, there are other chemicals included in the solution (typically DHA). 

Washing the face is important because it removes any leftover product that could affect the makeup that you apply to your skin.

Plus, washing off helps your makeup adhere properly to your skin. 

2. Select The Right Shade For Your Newly Tanned Skin

There is nothing that you need to change in your routine when you are applying makeup after a spray tan as long as you’ve allowed the spray tan solution to fully develop. 

You can apply the same makeup you used to, but it is best to change some of them. That’s because your skin is now a darker shade. The foundation, contour products, concealer, and others may not match your darker skin tone. 

One of the products that you should think about changing is your foundation or base. Use a foundation that is a shade or two darker than you were using, to match your new skin tone.

Some people may choose a shade that could be blended with the existing foundation that they have so that they could adjust as the tan fades and they transition to their older shade. 

3. Use A Moisturizer 

One of the things that you should have whenever you apply makeup after a spray tan is a moisturizer. Moisturizing your skin after a spray tan is one of the key things that you should do to take care of your skin. Don’t forget about doing this, even if you are covering your skin with makeup. 

Moisturizing your skin after a spray tan is one of the key things that you should do to take care of your skin.

It is best to keep your skin hydrated so that you create a good base for your makeup. If not, dry skin may not look well even under makeup. 

As the skin is exposed to the sunless tanning solution, it could dry out as a reaction. That’s why it is best to use a moisturizer after a spray tan whether you are going to apply makeup or not. 

What Kind of Makeup Is Safe To Wear?

The long and short of it is that liquid makeup such as liquid foundation may cause issues with the spray tan solution that’s still developing on the skin. Avoid any liquid makeup for at least 8 hours after a spray tan, and ideally until after you’ve showered and washed everything off.

But lipsticks and powdered makeup like bronzer usually won’t cause major issues, so you’re pretty safe to use these.

Eye makeup like eye shadow, and mascara are generally safe to wear after a spray tan.

How To Take Off Makeup After A Spray Tan – Can You Use Micellar Water?

There are various makeup removers in the market today. One of them is micellar water. It is a great cleanser that can help remove makeup. 

Micellar water is effective in removing not only dirt but other impurities and oil in the skin as well. But it can be irritating or drying on sensitive skin that’s been treated with a spray tan. 

If the skin is already dry or sensitive it would be best to avoid micellar water. If your skin ends up too dry, the result of your spray tan is likely to fade faster. 

Instead of using micellar water, you can choose to use an oil-based makeup remover. The oil can help moisturize the skin after going through the spray tan session. 

You can cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser to remove makeup. Do remember that your face is likely to fade a tan faster than the rest of the body especially because you wash it more often as part of your morning and night skincare routine. 

In that case, you should think of using tanning drops on your face to make your tan last longer. In this way, it could fade at the same time as your body. 

Other Tips After a Spray Tan

I have put together this guide for details on what to do after a spray tan. But the long and short of it is:

  • Avoid moisture for at least 8 hours
  • Avoid sweating, exercise, sauna, etc.
  • Moisturize. And moisturize again!
  • Don’t exfoliate unless you want to remove your spray tan
  • Don’t wash your hair if you can avoid it.
  • Wear loose clothing.

What About Makeup Before a Spray Tan?

You can wear makeup before a spray tan, but you’ll have to remove it before you actually get your spray tan. If you’re able to, it’s best to remove your makeup before you arrive at the salon, as that will save everybody time. But if you can’t do that, the salon should have makeup wipes available for you to remove everything prior to your spray tan.

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).