Why is Your Spray Tan Cracking? (self-tanner also covered)

spray tan cracking

After a handful of days after a spray tan your tan may start to crack. While this won’t or shouldn’t always happen it’ still something to keep an eye on.

Typically, the main reason why your spray tan will crack is because of your skin shedding. If you didn’t know your skin is constantly refreshing and replacing old skin with new skin. This can cause the appearance that your tan is cracking, due to the old skin being shed.

Below we will go into more details about your spray tan cracking, what you should expect and what you can do to fix it or stop it from happening.

Why Does Spray Tan Crack

To understand why your spray tan cracks it’s important to consider how a spray tan really works.

Spray tans typically have 2 main ingredients. One is the bronzer which typically gives an instant tanned color. Bronzer will easily wash off after 1 shower though.

The second part of the mixture is a thing called DHA; this takes some hours to develop but once developed it interacts with the surface level skin to give it a darker tanned color.

As this is only affecting the surface level of skin this means that as your skin sheds naturally over time, so will your spray tans color, as the old skin becomes replaced with the new skin.

This sometimes causes the spray tan to appear cracked or even have a scaly appearance.

When Does this Happen?

Typically, most often this happens after a few days after going for a spray tan. We are talking around 3-5 days’ time depending on how fast your own skin sheds and replaces with new skin.

How to Get Rid Of Cracked Spray Tan

The best thing to do if you have a cracked spray tan is to firstly remove it. The best thing here is to exfoliate the skin using an exfoliating body wash and also an exfoliating mitt to get rid off that old surface level skin.

We Recommend:

Body Wash – OGX Sea Kelp Body Scrub

Mitt – Seraphic Exfoliating Mitt

Once you have done that you should allow your skin to rest ideally for at least 24 hours. During this time, it’s recommended to keep your skin moisturized. After that time has finished you can look to go for another spray tan or even reapply yourself using a self-tanner.

How to Prevent Your Spray Tan from Cracking

There is a selection of tips that should help prevent your spray tan from cracking that we cover below.

Exfoliate – it’s typically a good idea to exfoliate 1-2 days before you intend to have a spray tan. This will remove any older surface level skin, which should lower your chance of your spray tan cracking and also should make your spray tan last longer.

Moisturize – moisturizing before and after the spray tan has developed will keep your skin moist and allow the spray tan to last for longer and should greatly lessen the cause of it going scaly.

Stay hydrated – it’s important to keep your body and skin hydrated from the inside. Regularly drinking water is recommended.

A Note on Self Tanner Cracking

If you have asked yourself the question – why does my self-tanner crack? Well, just like spray tan self-tanner typically has the same 2 important ingredients – bronzer and DHA. Therefore, you can often get that same problem of your tan cracking or going flakey just like a spray tan. The same logic and advice apply to self-tanner because it’s effect on the skin is almost identical to a spray tan.

Related Questions

How Do I Stop My Fake Tan from Going Scaly?

The best way to stop your fake tan from going scaly is to keep your skin moisturized as regularly as possible. Ideally we recommend moisturizing at least twice daily.

How Do You Fix a Ruined Spray Tan?

Typically, the best way to fix a spray tan is to exfoliate and wash off all your body and then replace it. If it’s just a minor problem you can instead reapply to the affected area.  

Why is My Spray Tan Flaking Off?

There are a few different reasons why your spray tan may be faking off, but the most likely reason is because your skin is too dry. There is no reason to be concerned about it because your skin will naturally shed the spray tan and sometimes this happens particularly if there was too much spray tan applied.

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