How to Prepare for a Spray Tan

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

Skip the sun; go for the spray with your next tan.

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A fake tan can be the perfect way to darken winter-white skin without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. Spray tans allow you to achieve a little color without the risk. Your tan will go on smoother if you prepare your skin first, whether you do it yourself or go to a salon.

Shave your legs and underarms 48 hours before the tan. The time will give any tiny nicks time to heal before the spray tan is applied. Shaving immediately afterward can cause the fake tan to flake off.

Exfoliate your skin 24 hours before your spray tan to get rid of dead skin cells. These dry and rough patches will take on more color than the rest of your skin, leaving you looking blotchy rather than glowing. Use a loofah or a similar exfoliating tool and focus on your elbows, knees, and feet.

Don't wear lotion, perfume, deodorant or makeup when you are going in for your spray tan. The chemicals in these products may interfere with the tanning solution.

Wear loose, dark clothing to your spray-tanning session. Some of the tanning solution will likely come off onto your clothes.


  • Be sure to choose a spray tan shade that is no more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone for best results.

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