Do Spray Tans Look Natural?

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If you’re considering a spray tan, you might be wondering if it will look natural.

The answer is yes, it can look natural if done correctly.

In this article, we’ll cover how to choose the right color for your skin type, how to apply spray tans for a natural look, and how to care for your spray tan after application. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about spray tans.

Do Spray Tans Look Natural?

Spray tans can look natural but there are cases where spray tans might end up looking fake. There is undoubtedly some skill and technique needed to make sure your tan looks as natural as possible.

For example, how natural a spray tan looks is significantly affected by the quality of the product used and the shade chosen.

Higher-grade spray tans use quality ingredients that work with the skin’s chemistry, allowing for a more natural-looking tan.

Consequently, it’s important to ask your salon about the brands they use, or if you’re applying at home, research and consider the product’s ingredients before settling on a specific spray tan.

Equally important is the shade selection. The shade should complement your skin tone, with lighter shades for fair skin and darker ones for deeper skin tones, maintaining a balance that enhances rather than contrasts with your natural skin color. The expertise of the professional applying the tan, or the techniques used during at-home application, can significantly impact the final result, lending to the tan’s natural look.

A spray tan can indeed look natural with the right color choice, quality product, and proper application. This controlled approach not only gives your skin a beautiful, sun-kissed glow but does so without exposing your skin to the harmful UV rays of the sun.

How to Choose the Right Color for Your Skin Type

Skin type is a crucial factor when it comes to spray tans.

When choosing a spray tan color, it’s essential to select a shade that complements your skin tone.

For example, if you have fair skin, you don’t want to choose a dark tan color that will look unnatural. Instead, opt for a light to medium tan shade. Conversely, if you have dark skin, you may need a darker tan color to achieve the desired look.

To test the color before applying it to your whole body, do a patch test on a small area of your skin, such as your forearm. This will help you see how the color looks on your skin and ensure that it’s the right shade for you.

How to Apply Spray Tans for a Natural Look

The application method is another critical factor when it comes to achieving a natural look with a spray tan. There are several methods you can choose from, including spray booths, airbrush tans, and self-tanners.

Spray tan booths are the most common method used in salons and spas. They provide an even, all-over tan, but they can be expensive.

Airbrush tans are applied by a technician with an airbrush gun and offer more control over the application process. Self-tanners are the most affordable option and can be applied at home with a mitt or glove. See our comparison here Airbrush tanning vs. Spray Tan.

To prepare your skin for a spray tan, exfoliate, shave, and moisturize. This will help ensure an even application and prevent streaks and blotches. If you’re applying the spray tan yourself, start at your feet and work your way up, using circular motions and blending the color as you go.

How to Care for Your Spray Tan After Application

Aftercare is crucial when it comes to maintaining a natural-looking spray tan. Factors such as sun exposure, water contact, sweating, and skincare products can affect the longevity and quality of your spray tan.

To protect and nourish your skin after applying a spray tan, use sunscreen, avoid hot showers and baths, and moisturize regularly.

Spray tan extenders and enhancers can also help maintain and improve the natural look of your spray tan.


In conclusion, spray tans can look natural if done correctly and with care.

By choosing the right color for your skin type, applying the spray tan evenly, and caring for your skin after application, you can achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan that lasts.

Important Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for a Spray Tan to Look Natural?

It typically takes 8-12 hours for a spray tan to fully develop and look natural. During this time, avoid water contact and sweating.

Do Spray Tans Make You More Attractive?

Spray tans can enhance your appearance and make you feel more confident, but they don’t necessarily make you more attractive, this will be all based on each person’s perspective.

Will Spray Tan Even Out Skin Tone?

Yes, spray tans can even out skin tone and cover imperfections such as scars, stretch marks, and varicose veins.

Does A Spray Tan Look Good Right Away?

No, a spray tan may look uneven and streaky right after application. It typically takes several hours to develop fully.

Do Spray Tans Look Darker at First?

Yes, spray tans may look darker at first due to the cosmetic bronzer in the solution. This will fade over time, leaving a natural-looking tan.

Why Don’t I Look Tan After a Spray Tan?

If you don’t look tan after a spray tan, it may be because the color was too light for your skin type or because the application was uneven.

To avoid this, choose a color that complements your skin tone and follow the application instructions carefully.

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