A tanned, bronzed look, more popularly known as the Hollywood glow, used to only be available during the summer. Previously, baking in the sun was the first option to get that glowy and sun-kissed skin, but we have learned that excess sun exposure can be dangerous. To fill the gap, companies have invented a variety of alternate ways to capture the benefits of tanning. Some of these, such as spray tans and sunless tans, have been quite successful. But others, like tanning beds, are dangerous.
As more and more of us choose to get our color from a bottle and a spray tan machine, we try to maximize the experience. Some of the big issues are coordinating when to get a spray tan, when to shower after a spray tan, how to get rid of spray tan smell, when to wash hair, etc.
Another common issue is how to deal with sweating after a spray tan. This article looks at what we can do to minimize sweating after a spray tan, and avoid harming the luscious, sun-dappled look.
What is Spray Tanning?
Spray tanning or sunless tanning is getting a suntan effect with tanning sprays rather than the sun. The idea became popular after research found that exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Furthermore, tanning under the sun can also cause other skin problems, like sunspots, dark spots, and wrinkles.
And too much sun can lead to premature aging.
Spray tanning is temporary (it lasts about a week) and does not pose any long-term risks of sun damage. Most tanning sprays have DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) as their main ingredient, which reacts with the amino acids in the dead layer on the skin’s surface. This reaction causes the browning of the skin.
The other ingredient commonly found in tanning sprays is a bronzer. These provide you with instant color while the DHA takes its time to cause the color change. The bronzers usually wash off with a shower, while the DHA is more resistant to showers.
A sunless tan typically lasts for a week or ten days. You can go out in the sun after a spray tan, but just remember your spray tan is essentially makeup. It’s not a real base tan!
Spray tanning isn’t cheap, and you want to try and maximize your spray tanning efforts. If you don’t want to waste your money and want the perfect tan experience and bronzed look, you must be mindful of a few things before, during and after the application. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for a spray tanning service.
Spray Tanning Preparation
A day before getting a spray tan, you should prepare yourself in the following way:
Wax your facial or body hair 2 days before your spray tanning appointment. If you have to shave, you can do it 1 day before the tanning. In spray tanning, the DHA reacts with the amino acids on the dead skin layer on the surface of the skin.
Waxing removes the dead skin, hence, it is ideal to wax 2 days before.
You cannot see the dead skin patches on your body visibly. With a tanning spray, uneven dead skin can cause patching of the tanning spray on the body. A day before the appointment, exfoliate the dead skin off your body to have clean, smooth skin the next day.
It is recommended not to use any products or cosmetics before the spray tan. You must also take a shower at least 4 hours before the appointment to rinse off any products that you were wearing.
Do not use any moisturizer afterward because it can lock the moisture in your skin and make you perspire during or immediately after the spray tan, which is not good.
When leaving for a spray tan appointment, avoid wearing tight clothes. It is best to wear dark, loosely fitted clothes as you don’t want the fabric to rub against your still-developing tan.
And any chemicals that rub off onto your clothes will be less apparent if you wear dark clothes.
Tips for your Spray Tan Appointment
On the day of the appointment, follow these tips for a perfect spray tanning experience:
No Makeup, No Jewelry
On the day of the appointment, do not wear any makeup and take off all jewelry. The spray tan takes hours to set in; therefore, wearing any jewelry will spoil the application.
Prepare to go Complete or Almost Naked
Wearing a bikini or thong during the spray tan application will help in proper application of the product on your body. Your spray tanner might not use paper pants, so you might have to wear a bikini or go completely naked if you want to avoid tan lines.
After you get your spray tan, this is where the real work starts. If you want your tan to last as long as possible, you have to be extra cautious about sweating off your spray tan.
After getting a spray tan, it is best to wait 4-8 hours before doing anything strenuous. This will let the spray tan set in. This is usually a very tricky time, because sweating too after a spray tan can completely ruin your tanning experience.
You have to be particularly careful about a few things post spray tanning to ensure that perfect tanned look.
Let’s look at some nifty tips to deal with sweating after a spray tan.
How to Avoid Sweating After a Spray Tan
The biggest risk to your tan is your own sweat or body moisture. The spray tan takes hours to set in and even minor sweating can cause patching, ugly lines, and frustration.
You don’t want that.
Here are some things you can do to ensure that your spray tan lasts.
Book the Appointment in the Late Afternoon
The first and foremost thing you can do, especially if you are to get a spray tan in summers, is to book your appointment in the late afternoon or in the evening. Compared to getting the tan in the morning or in the afternoon, a late spray tan appointment reduces the risk of sweating.
Get the Spray Tan in a Properly Ventilated Space
While booking an appointment for your spray tan, make sure you pick a salon which is well ventilated or has cooling systems or ceiling fans to dry the spray tan properly after application. A well-ventilated place will also prevent you from sweating, especially if the weather is humid.
Let it Dry Completely
The best thing you can do after your spray tan application is to wait and let it dry properly. This is the trickiest part because a little moisture can crack your application and cause patching— and trust us, you don’t want that. Patiently wait before dressing up so that the tan sets completely.
Don’t be too in a rush to get on with your day after the spray tan.
Apply lots of Talcum Powder on the Tan
If you’re at a salon, your tanner might suggest you apply lots of talcum or baby powder to help your spray tan dry. If they don’t ask them to apply a drying powder with a thick body brush all over the body.
Johnson’s Baby Powder is the most famous.
But if you want to be sure to avoid asbestos contamination, choose Ora’s Amazing Herbal Natural Body Powder for Women and Men to apply on sweaty areas.
This brushing of powder helps in two ways—it allows easy movement of the body parts when they brush over each other and it prevents the body moisture and perspiration from spoiling the fresh application of spray tan.
Inner arms and thighs, joints, and under boobs are the body areas where you need to brush the powder properly.
The powder will absorb the sweat and prevent the fabric of your clothes from rubbing off the color.
Avoid Sun and Use Waterproof Sunscreen
Another important tip is to avoid the sun and stay as cool as possible. The sun causes you to sweat and you need to avoid that at any cost! Moreover, it is also recommended to use a waterproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen to avoid damage to the color.
It’s a good idea to use a spray-on sunscreen that requires minimal rubbing-in, so as to not disturb your spray tan process more than necessary.
Once your spray tan has set in and you have given it 24 hours to develop, you can get back to a somewhat normal exercise schedule. Avoid doing a ton of swimming in a chlorine pool, but otherwise, regular exercise should be fine.
At this point the aftercare determines how long your spray tan will last. Moisturize your skin properly a day after the spray tan. The DHA component in the spray tan can cause dryness of skin, which leads to cracking or patching of tan.
Keep your skin properly hydrated to give your tan a smooth glow. Moreover, exercising can especially fade away the tan and it can be very disheartening that such hard work in the gym can waste the amount spent on a spray tanning service.
We’ve put together a basic guide to combining working out and tanning.
And if you want your bronzed skin to last for a long time but don’t want to stop going to the gym, here is what you can do:
Appropriate Gym Gear
After your spray tan, it is important that you pick the most appropriate gym gear to make your tan last longer. Choose “athleisure” style clothes with breathable material that allows air circulation. These will keep your skin cool and avoid sweating. The right material of your gym gear will also help you keep your skin dry and prevent patching of your tan.
Brush-Baby Powder on Sweaty Areas
In order to protect your spray tan against sweat, take a decent amount of talc or baby powder and brush it thoroughly on sweaty areas. Think of all the body areas that rub together, like inner arms and thighs, joints, back of the knees, etc., and apply the powder properly on these areas. This will prevent friction, which mostly spoils your spray tan.
It will also absorb excess moisture of the body to prevent excessive sweating.
Take Cool Showers and Moisturize
Take a cool shower after you have worked out and sweat in the gym. Once your body cools down, use a moisturizing lotion or a tan extender to thoroughly moisturize the skin. After a spray tan, the DHA component in the spray tan product causes dryness of the skin; therefore, it is important to hydrate the skin properly to lock in the color of the tan.
You can use RAYA Aloe Vera Hydrating Body Gel to adequately moisturize your skin and lock in the color of your spray tan.
Choose a Lighter Spray Tan
If you exercise regularly and sweat a lot, then a good option would be to opt for a light spray tan like Tan Physics (reviewed here). If you opt for a darker spray tan like Mystic Tan’s Bronze-Kissed, you can end up with scary tan patches after sweating, and that would be more difficult to hide with a tanning lotion.
Therefore, choose a lighter spray tan especially if you have a light complexion because a light complexion can make the tan patches look even more peculiar. And if you go too dark, you may get the orange goblin look.
You can use a Subtle Bronze Body Lotion like this one by Zilaja for a natural glow. Moreover, you can also carry a tanning survival kit with you to fix patchy areas where the color starts crumbling.
Remove Excess Spray Tan Where Necessary
If you happen to get excess spray tan formula on your hands, feet, knees, elbows, etc., you can remove it or blend it as needed.
Is spray tan a safe tanning solution?
Spray tanning became popular because, unlike sun tanning, it doesn’t damage the skin. The main component of spray tan is DHA, which is extracted from sugar and has been used in the cosmetics industry for over 30 years.
It only reacts with the amino acids on the dead skin over the surface. It does not go further than the dead skin surface.
Just don’t inhale it!
How long does it take for the spray tan to set in?
There are different types of spray tan solutions. The time duration for the spray tan to set in varies. Most spray tan solutions take 4 to 12 hours to develop. Your tan will reach its peak color after 24 hours.
Keep in mind that the time you shower after a spray tan will impact the length of the color.
How long does a spray tan last?
Typically, a spray tan lasts from a week to 10 days. However, aftercare plays a major role in how long your spray tan lasts. Follow the tips in the article to make your spray tan last longer.
Keep in mind that swimming with a spray tan is typically fine, but you need to consider chlorine, salt water, etc.
It is not usual for some small patches or discoloration to appear after some days of the spray tan, especially on the hands, feet, knees, elbows, etc. But you can reduce the chance of this happening by taking care of your spray tan and ensuring that you do not go about your normal activities right after the spray tan.
Remember that sweating can ruin your spray tan completely. Sadly, it’s hard to completely avoid sweating, especially in summers. But with a little care and planning, you can keep your spray tan looking good and avoid sending your money down the drain.
You can also use various tan extender products that help to lock in the moisture of your skin and extend the life of your spray tan.