I just discovered spray tanning and to be honest. I love it! I have no idea how I did not venture into this before a few years ago. It gives such a good boost to my self esteem that I will continue to do it for a while. Before I went to spray tan for the first time I did a lot of research online to find out how to avoid a mess. I choose to do mystic tan because I found it on one of those groupon/coupon websites for 50% off. I am not a fan of someone spraying me and leaving the salon wet. Mystic tan drys you on spot so you are dry when you leave and you do not have to worry too much about transferring your color onto other objects.

How do I prepare for my spray tanning session?

  • Dry skin – if you have dry to very dry skin you will need to prep your skin one week before you go to your first session. Make sure to moisturize your skin twice a day, morning and evening.
  • Normal skin – basically everyone else doesn’t really have to have any special prep but moisturizing your knees and elbows wouldn’t hurt.
  • Get your nails done after spray tanning. There is always a possibility that the tan might stain your gel nails, but most people claim it will not.
  • Facial and body waxing, shaving, threading, bleaching all should be done prior to your spray tanning session. Doing it after will result in streaking or your tan will fade faster. You must do this 24 hours before you spray tan, not on the day of your spray tanning session.
  • For eyelash extensions it is recommended that if you have your upcoming appointment done before you spray tan. The gel pads will possibly remove your spray. You should do this 24 hours before you spray tan.
  • 24 hours before you spray tan, do not use any body wash which is oil based.
  • Make sure to exfoliate 24 hours before you spray tan. ONLY use a non-oil based scrub. The oil in those scrubs will cause a barrier between your skin and the spray tan, so the spray tan will not adhere to the skin. When scrubbing, make sure to scrub and then scrub again. Pay special attention to your elbows and knees and knuckles. These areas require extra scrubbing. If in doubt scrub again. You can use a loufa or a body scrub glove. Do not scrub on the day of your appointment.
  • After you scrub, make sure to use a good moisturizer on your face and body. One which is NOT oil based.
  • Do not wash your face with an oil based facial wash.
  • Do not apply any oil based products (eye creams, face creams or serums) on your skin or face before your spray tan

On the day of your tanning session

  • On the day of your spray tanning appointment, you will have to know a few things. Here is what I found out by reading multiple articles online and experiences. This worked for me.
  • Do wear any makeup. Mascara and chapstick is ok. Do not apply any moisturizers, sunscreen or any oils on your skin. It’s best you avoid applying anything on your skin. This will guarantee that you have no residue on the skin and that the spray tan can adhere to the skin.
  • You can wash your face with water before you spray tan.
  • You can shower before you spray tan but only with water.
  • During your spray tanning session, wear lip balm and a thick coat of nail polish.
  • Do not wear deodorant if you are spray tanning your armpits. If you are not, then it is ok.
  • If it is raining or snowing on the day, bring an umbrella and/or protective clothing.
  • Do not wear tight clothes. Loose is a must. Wear long loose black pants, black loose long-sleeved shirt and or sweatshirt. If you are spray tanning late in the day (after 7pm) make sure that the clothes you are wearing is something you will not change out of, but something you can go to bed with. When in bed, it is also recommended that you wear socks on your hands to stop the spray tan from transferring from your hands to your sheets.
  • You can come to your spray tan with a bra (not sports bras allowed) but do not wear it after you get sprayed.
  • Depending on which spray tan you get, the tan might feel sticky and have a slight odor, this is normal. I personally did not feel sticky at all after my mystic tan. It dries you right away. If you get a normal spray tan, it might feel sticky until your first shower, do not touch your skin.
  • It would be best that you go to your spray tanning appointment in flip flops, but if you live in a colder climate or if it’s raining or snowing, wear loose sneakers and socks, but as soon as you get home take them off.
  • I do not recommend you wear makeup after you spray tan, because you will have to sleep with it.
  • I recommend that you wear black undergarment during your session.
  • Have your hair up in a bun
  • If you are contact wear, wear them during the session. You will have to wash the inside of your hands to remove them. Try to do this as carefully as possible. Do not wear glasses.
  • Do not wear sunglasses after your get spray tanned.

 What do you do right after your tan?

  • DO NOT sweat, swim, get wet or exercise, cry, no contact with water at all, until your first shower.
  • Do not wash your teeth on the day you spray tan.
  • After you spray tan, you should not shower for 8 – 12 hours. Then you can have your first shower.
  • Your first shower should only be with water and if necessary under your armpits and intimate areas feminine and body wash. This will guarantee that you do not strip off more color than you planned to. The scent will linger for two days after you spray tan. This is normal. After 48 hours, you can use a body wash to shower. This is my personal recommendation.
  • If you use a bronzer with your spray tan, you will see it wash off with your first shower. This is not your spray tan.
  • Make sure to do your first shower before you swim, exercise or do any excessive sweating. Do not skip this step especially if you used a bronzer.
  • Do not wear any vinyl or rubber gloves on the day you spray tan. Wait until your first shower.
  • If you must, use hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes on the inside of your hands after your spray tan and until the first shower. After the first shower you can wash your hands normally.

How to make your tan last for 7 – 10 days

This is important to keep you tan for 7 – 10 days and to help it fade in a normal rate without looking patchy. I have noticed one thing, my skin was drier after I spray tanned.

  • Always pat your skin dry after your shower. Rubbing will exfoliate your skin and the tan will fade faster.
  • Do not use loufas, body scrubs, facial scrub, exfoliating face washes or clarisonic until your tan is on day six or seven.
  • Try to limit how much you shave your legs (do not do it daily) wax your legs prior to your tanning session. This will help your tan last longer.
  • Do not use hair removal creams or bleaches. This WILL remove your tan.
  • The tan on your face will fade much faster. Since you wash your face more.
  • Use gentle face cleanser

TO have a streak free and long lasting tan, avoid the following ingredients in products for hair, body and face:

  • baby oils
  • salicylic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • acne (spot) treatments
  • Cocoa butter
  • self-tanners
  • AHA products
  • Anti-aging products
  • Bar soap
  • BHA products
  • Retin-A products
  • Products that which contain alcohol or witch hazel
  • Facial masks
  • Products which contain perfumes
  • mineral oil
  • petrolatum
  • Wax
  • Band aids
  • pore strips
  • sodium laurel sulphate (SLS)
  • Parabens
  • When it comes to perfumes and bug sprays, spray them in the air and walk through them.
  • Try to not sweat a lot
  • Avoid salt baths, fruit acid washes, and chemical peels.
  • Drink a lot of water
  • You can wear sunscreen products. Mix it in with your moisturizer.
  • Wait 48 hours after your tan until you go into the ocean or pool. Chlorine will fade your tan, not remove it.

My thoughts on spray tanning before and after care

I wanted to mention that I did mystic tan and that there was no sticky residue and the machine dried me right away. For now, I will not be doing the classic spray tanning, but mystic tan is the only spray tanning I will do since it’s clean and fast. If you wear makeup everyday, like I do, then your face will start to fade much faster than the rest of your body. I wear wax, oil and silicone based makeup. So I have to remove it with harsher products. If you are like me, your face will be visibly lighter than your body after day 5. Make sure you have a darker foundation to even out your face and body. I moisturized twice a day, and on day 7 and my tan was still visible. I do believe it will fully be gone on day 8 or 10. I am testing a new product for my acne and wrinkle this week so I am skipping spray tanning this week. I also wondering does spray tanning cause my skin to breakout with acne. I avoided using any shampoos, body washes which contain alcohol, perfume, SLS, mineral oil or petrolatum and parabens. If you are wondering what products I used, I used Alba Botanica products and Balea ultra sensitive body moisturizer.

Got any other questions ask below.