Can You Put Makeup on After a Spray Tan?

tanned woman with makeup

If you have recently been for a spray tan and now you want to apply some makeup – this leads to the concern that the makeup might mess up the spray tan or vice versa. This leads to the question – can you put makeup on after a spray tan?

Yes, you can put makeup on after a spray tan though ideally it’s not a good idea to apply any makeup soon after your spray tan session. The reason why is because it can interfere with the tan and could even stop the tanning effect from working properly if done soon after a tanning session (under 3 hours).

Below we will get into more details about how long you really should wait before putting on makeup and why.

Understanding How a Spray Tan Works

Before we get into how long you should wait before applying makeup its first important we talk about how a spray tan actually works because some of you may not know exactly, and how it can affect the tanning process.

When you go for a spray tan there are typically 2 parts of the tan mixture. One part is basically a bronzer – this basically is meant to tan and darken the skin almost immediately. Though it is easily washed off after a shower.

The second part of the mixture is something called DHA. What DHA does is it causes a reaction in your skin which makes the skin cells become more darkened. It takes time (up to 8 hours) to develop and for the skin to become darker. Once the development has finished you can still shower and keep the same tanned look because it won’t wash off.

Can You Put Makeup After a Spray Tan?

Well technically yes you can put makeup after a spray tan but generally it’s not a good idea. If you where to apply makeup when the spray tan is still drying it could affect both the bronzer on your skin and the DHA because it wouldn’t have developed yet.

Therefore, we suggest not to apply immediately after a spray tan.

Once the spray tan had dried and around the timeframe typically 1-3 hours after having your tanning session you can apply makeup. Though you should keep in mind that the DHA on the skin is still developing and applying makeup could cause it to become patching and uneven.

This will often not be apparent immediately because it takes time for it to develop properly, though later after you have showered it may become immediately apparent.

We suggest ideally not to use any makeup in this timeframe (1-3 hours) after a spray tan. If you need to go out and apply makeup at this time we suggest keeping your makeup as minimal as possible. This way it will be less likely that it will interfere with the tanning process.

Typically, the whole time it takes for a spray tan to develop can take up to 8 hours. Any time after this timeframe should be completely safe to apply makeup without it causing any issue to your skin and the tan too.

How Do You Adjust Makeup After a Spray Tan?

Keep in mind that when your skin becomes more tanned your normal makeup may compliment your new skin tone as well. Therefore, it may be a good idea to make a few adjustments.

As you might expect you will need to darken down your foundation and base product to fall more in line with your newly deeper tan.

As for a couple extra pieces of advice, when using blusher, a more peach or rosy color would work better with your darker tone. This same thing also applies to lipstick. This is something to keep in mind before applying your usual makeup. For more on lipstick check our article – choosing the best lipstick for tanned skin.

Also, when using mascara or eyeliner it’s a good idea to use a darker color, this can help make your eyes appear more enhanced and usually compliments the darker skin tone best.

For more information on this check our page – Makeup for Tanned Skin: The Ultimate Guide

Scroll to Top