Spray Tan After Care Tips & Tricks

moisturizing legs

If you have just had your spray tan you might be wondering what the best routine and aftercare for a spray tan is.

The first tips for spray tan aftercare are keeping your skin moisturized, not showering soon after the tan and also staying dry soon after the tan to name a few.

Below we will get into these points and more, in detail, so you know all the important tips for your spray tan aftercare.

Spray Tan Aftercare

There are 2 phases that require different things when it comes to post spray tan care. The first phase can be declared as the first 24 hours after your spray tan.

Then there is the 2nd phase after that initial 24-hour period. Both require different tips and advice. Firstly, we will cover the first 24 hours and after below.

First 24 Hours After Your Tan

Don’t Shower

The most important tip in the first 24 hours after you tan is not too shower soon after you have had the tan.

If you didn’t know a spray tan takes time to develop on the skin. This is because of something called DHA. DHA gradually darkens the skin cells which give you a deeper and more tanned look. Though it takes some time to develop. Therefore, waiting before showering is almost always necessary.

Usually, you don’t need the full 24 hours but typically waiting up to 8-10 hours to allow for the development of the tan is necessary. Some spray tans offer a faster development so for them your tan would develop faster, and you could shower sooner.

It’s also worth mentioning here that you should try not to wash your hands immediately after a spray tan. Ideally wait 1-2 hours before doing so and just do it softly as to not interfere with the tan.

Ask your spray tan salon how long you should wait, and they will advise you.

Don’t Moisturize Immediately

Some people often ask can I put moisturizer or lotion on after a spray tan? Generally, soon after a spray tan any lotion or moisturizer should be avoided.

Soon after a spray tan it’s recommended to avoid moisturizing because it can interfere with the spray tan development causing it to become uneven or even patchy. That’s why just like showering you should avoid it ideally for the first 24 hours after the spray tan.

Avoid Makeup

It’s best to avoid any makeup soon after the spray tan especially when it is developing. We recommend no makeup during that initial development time of up to 10 hours. After this you can use makeup but ideally you should wait for the whole 24 hours.

If you do decide to use makeup sooner, opt for more subtle or minimal makeup to lower the chance that it interferes with your spray tan development.

Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

Wearing loose fitting clothes after the application is essential. This means no tight clothes like leggings for example, also wearing underwear is not suggested so that is does not interfere with the tan.

Wait at least until the tan is completely dry, which is usually 1-2 hours. But if you want to be on the safe side wait for 8-10 hours before wearing anything tight. For more information check our article – what to wear to a spray tan.

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Soon after a spray tan it’s not a good idea to do a strenuous workout particularly when you are sweating. The sweating could cause the tan to become streaky or patchy afterwards, therefore it should be avoided.

Some light exercise should be okay after the initial tan has dried completely after 1-2 hours’ time. But ideally you should wait the whole day before going for a more strenuous exercise when you are sweating. For more on this check our article – can you sweat after a spray tan.

From Day 2-10 After a Spray Tan

Moisturize Often

Probably the most important thing to do after the first 24 hours of a tan is to moisturize regularly. After the tan has completely developed it will not interfere with the spray tanning process.

The main reason you want to be moisturizing often is not only to keep your skin soft and subtle but to make your tan last as long as possible.

If you keep your skin softer it will make your tan and skin more vibrant in general and it will also help the tan last for longer.

When your skin is more hydrated it delays the shedding process of your skin, because the old skin sheds more quickly when it is dry. Therefore, when you keep your skin moisturized it delays this process which keeps your tanned for longer.

Avoid Exfoliating Products

It might seem obvious but it’s a good idea to avoid any exfoliating or scrub type products after you have your spray tan.

Using them could make your tan patchy or make it wear off more quickly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid them.

Also, it’s recommended to avoid soaps with chemicals and the like because they are more likely to interfere with your tan. Instead go for natural products as they are much less likely to affect your spray tan.

Avoid Bathing or Swimming

After tanning it’s recommended to avoid swimming or taking long bathes. As you might imagine this can make your tan fade more quickly because of how it encourages your skin to shed more quickly because it makes your skin more dry.

If you do opt for a bath or swimming pool session keep it shorter to lower the chance of this. The shorter the better but less than 15 minutes is recommended. For more on this check our article – does spray tan come off in a pool.

Topping Up Your Tan or Restarting

If your spray tan is coming near its end (usually after 5-10 days), or you want to top it up there are a few recommendations that we suggest doing beforehand.

We recommend clearing the old spray tan before going for a new one. It’s a good idea to have a clean slate and not apply spray tan on top of itself because this can often lead to problems such as uneven or a patchy looking tan.  


Firstly, you should have a thorough shower to wash of the remains of the fading spray tan.

Try using a sponge or scrubber as it helps get the skin cleared of any remaining spray tan and to help reset your skin to get ready for the new tan. Using an exfoliating wash to help with this too.


Importantly you should exfoliate your skin to clear your skin of any spray tan remains from the previous session.

This is important so that your skin is even and clear before going for your next spray tan session. You should not exfoliate soon before your spray tan session. We suggest exfoliating at least 1 day beforehand to allow time for your skin to calm and reset.


Moisturizing before a spray tan is important but it’s essential not to do it soon before the tan as it can interfere with it. We recommend moisturizing but to allow for at least 6 hours before going for your spray tan.

Keeping your skin moist in general will allow your spray tan to last for longer and will make your spray tan look more vibrant and your skin looking more smooth and radiant in general. Hence why it’s quite important when maintaining a spray tan.

Related Questions

Can I Sit Normally After a Spray Tan?

Yes you can but it’s a good idea to not sit immediately after the spray tan. Ideally you should stay standing for the initial drying period of 15 minutes before sitting down.

How Do I Keep My Spray Tan Looking Good?

Keeping your skin moisturized will help with keeping your spray tan looking as good as possible. Also not taking bathes or swimming will help.

Will My Spray Tan Get Darker Overnight?

Yes, as it takes time for a spray tan to develop it will often get darker overnight especially if you have gotten your spray tan later in the day.

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