Spray Tan Positions Explained – How to Stand in a Spray Tan Booth

spray tanning booth

If it is your first time going for a spray tan, you may have wondered how to stand in a spray tanning booth? It can seem like an intimidating thing at first but in this article, you will learn just how to use a spray tan machine, as well as what to expect from the spray tan experience.

With these spray tanning booth tips, you will learn the most common and basic spray tanning positions, alternate spray tan poses, and what to do before and after going to the booth such as what to wear and what cosmetics you should refrain from using. 

Before Entering The Booth

On the day of your spray tan appointment, it is crucial to skip on all cosmetics, including makeup, lotions, and moisturizers.

This is because anything that is extra on your skin would work as a barrier and prevent the tanning solution from being absorbed.

Deodorant is another product you will want to skip on due to the traces of aluminum which can have a reaction with the chemicals in the tanning solution and leave your armpits a greenish hue.

If you have some sort of prior engagement before your tanning appointment, then it’s a good idea to take makeup remover with you.

Remove All Clothing & Accessories

At the salon, you will be shown a private room for you to undress. Besides your clothes, any and all accessories need to be removed too such as jewelry. If you have any piercings, you may want to consider removing them for a complete and even finish.

Most salons let you either wear a swimsuit or go in completely nude. This is usually up to you.

Make sure your hair is pulled back and tucked into a plastic cap provided by the salon.

For more on this clothing at a spray tan check out our article – what to wear to a spray tan.

In The Booth

Stand in the direct center of the booth where you’ll be just the right distance from the nozzles.

When you only see 1 row of nozzles, the center of the booth is where most of the spray is concentrated.

Do look down and examine the floor to see if there are any markings that indicate where you should place your feet.

There should also be a sign that tells you which way to turn towards. In smaller booths, you face the wall by the time the session is over so that the nozzles make multiple passes.

There will be a prerecorded voice coming from a speaker that tells you where to look, what positions to take, and when to turn or adjust your stance. Listen carefully and follow all instructions.

Stand Up Straight

Bad posture will result in the tanning solution not being absorbed properly making it appear patchy.

Slouching, leaning, hunching over, and bending can lead to wrinkles and creases which will then cause streaks in your tan. So, it is important to not stick your butt out when the booth mists your back.  

Keep Your Feet Apart

Your feet should be slightly wider than your hips, aligned with your shoulders. Make sure your knees and toes are pointing forward.

This way, the nozzles will be able to cover one whole side of your body in a single sweep.

When turned sideways in a smaller booth, you should stagger one leg forward so that the tanning solution can reach the inside of your thighs.

Raise Your Arms

At a point, you will need to extend your arms out from your body with your elbows slightly bent and palms facing the wall behind.

It is worth mentioning that various machines distribute tanning solution differently and a certain position may be better than another and so some booths instruct you to lift your arms like a football goal instead.  

Spread Your Fingers

As you would when counting to five, keep your fingers extended as wide as you can to achieve a uniform color.

You may be instructed by the booth to curl your fingers for better coverage on the knuckles when spraying the back of your hands.

It would be a good idea to apply a light coat of lotion on your knuckles and the gaps between your fingers to prevent them from becoming too dark, as tanner tends to absorb more in these areas due to the creases.  

Eyes & Lips Stay Closed

This may seem like something obvious, but it is something that can easily be forgotten especially when it comes to our lips because we do it without realizing it.

The chemicals in tanning solution can be very irritating to our airways and eyes. Some tanning salons provide nasal plugs and eye goggles for a safer and more comfortable experience.

Be careful not to go to the extreme and purse your lips tightly or clamp your eyes shut otherwise you will create wrinkles for the tan to crease in; maintain a relaxed and neutral expression.  

Position Transitions Need to be Quick

Most booths only give you about 10-20 seconds before the solution continues spraying. As long as you are paying attention and are ready to react, this is more than enough time.

Ordinarily, you only need to change positions once in the majority of spray tan booths. However, in a smaller booth, you are required to take 2 basic postures two times each, one for each side.  

After The Spraying

Once the spraying portion is done, the nozzles will begin generating heated air and you should hold your breath and keep your arms and legs spread wide. This drying process only takes a couple of seconds.

Remain in the booth until you’re given the go-ahead to step out after the doors open.  

Correct Any Streaks

There is a chance that there will be some minor inconsistencies that you will only notice once you’re under regular lighting.

To correct these errors, use a clean towel to gently pat the area and make them less apparent. Whatever you do, don’t rub or wipe as this will leave smears and streaks behind.

There’s no need to towel off since you are blown dry with the warm air.

Although spray tanning booths do create a smoother and even finish than other types of self-tanner out there, they are not without any flaws. For a more natural glow, consider a personalized airbrush tan – these do cost more though.  

Wash Your Hands & Feet

Spray tanning solutions have a tendency to darken lines in your palms, knuckles, toes, and cuticles so it is recommended to wash your hands and feet right away for a more natural looking tan.

If you’re worried this may wash off too much of your tan solution, bring pH neutral baby wipes with you and use them instead.

Painting your nails beforehand helps create a barrier against any coloration.  

Wait to Get Dressed

It is necessary to wait about 15 minutes before getting dressed after your spray tan. This is to minimize the risk of any color staining your clothes.

This is why it helps a lot to keep this in mind and plan for it accordingly when choosing your outfit on the day of your spray tan appointment. Something dark in color and loose-fitting is ideal.  

Avoid Showering, Baths etc.

Any kind of water should be avoided for the first 8 hours, as washing off spray tan too early can lead to problems. This includes the shower or bath, so that the tanning solution has a chance to set on your skin.

Any chemicals, like that of which can be found in a pool, and any moisture at all will cause the tanner to dissolve, stain, and run.

It is also advised to avoid any type of exfoliation or shaving for the rest of the day as well.

Once you have had your first shower, it is okay to apply moisturizer as this will help keep your skin hydrated and prolong the lifespan of your tan.

What you do after your tan and when you do it can make or break the results.

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