How to Make Your Mystic Tan Last Longer

by Christine Wheatley

Mystic Tan is a sunless tanning solution that is sprayed onto a person inside a specialized tanning booth. The active ingredient in Mystic Tan is DHA, which stands for the chemical dihydroxyacetone. DHA reacts with the skin to give it a golden brown color after about three to five hours. Mystic Tan also contains a bronzer, which temporarily colors the skin until the DHA takes effect. DHA-based tanning solutions applied externally are deemed safe by the FDA, making them an ideal alternative to tanning outdoors or in a tanning bed. Follow several guidelines to make your Mystic Tan last as long as possible.

Items you will need

  • Washcloth or exfoliating gloves
  • Water-based moisturizer
Step 1

Prepare your skin before you receive your Mystic Tan by exfoliating all areas that will be sprayed by the tanning solution. Use an exfoliating tool such as a clean washcloth or exfoliating gloves. Exfoliating your skin removes dead skin cells and excess skin oil that could reduce the absorption of the tanning solution.

Step 2

Apply a water-based moisturizer to your skin directly prior to tanning. Smooth the moisturizer on your skin in the areas that will get tanned. This will help your skin better absorb the tanning solution.

Step 3

Wait four to six hours after the tanning process before applying any more moisturizer. This gives the DHA in the tanning solution time to set. Certain moisturizers applied during this time period could cause the DHA to streak.

Step 4

Wait at least four hours after you tan before you shower or swim. Exposing your tan to water earlier than this can diminish the intensity of your tan. Avoid chlorinated water at any time because it can bleach your tan and cause possible streaking.

Step 5

Apply a water-based moisturizer after every shower or bath to extend the life of your Mystic Tan.

Step 6

Repeat the Mystic Tan process every four to five days to maintain optimal color. Always exfoliate and moisturize before each tanning session.


  • Feel free to towel dry after the tanning process. This will not smear the DHA or diminish your color.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Royal Oak, Mich., Christine Wheatley has been writing professionally since 2009. She contributes to several websites, specializing in articles about fitness, diet and parenting. Wheatley has a Bachelor of Arts in art from Calvin College.