Spray tans are all the rage in Arizona, so it’s no wonder I’ve narrowed down all the best spray tan tips to have a flawless tan year round. I’ve already done posts on Air Brush Legs: For evening out skin tone and St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse: For a deeper tan over night. Both products are great options for the do it yourself bronzing routine. Though the easiest option for me to have someone else apply my tan. Having another person in charge of the application process eliminates the risk of streaking the product and missing spots in the hard to reach places like the middle of my back.
The Bronze Bar in Scottsdale has seventeen colors from which to choose for the perfect customized tan. It only takes a few minutes and I get loads of compliments the next day.
I first tried air brush tanning years ago when I lived in St. Louis and I payed upwards of $50 for each session, so I only did it for weddings and other important events. The bronze bar is significantly more affordable, with tans as low as $20, and they have more color options.
There are some things you need to know before your appointment, no matter where you go.
- For best results, exfoliate your skin and shave before your appointment using non oil-based products (avoid Dove soap, oil and salt scrub, shea butter shave cream, etc). I usually exfoliate in the shower and go in without any lotion on my skin. Lotion creates a barrier and results in uneven application of product.
- Consider doing this treatment last on your checklist if you’re doing a variety of treatments within a few days. Imagine having your eyebrows waxed after a tan; the wax will remove the tan. Likewise the hair dye remover used around your hairline could affect your tan, the foot scrub for a pedicure could remove the tan. It’s better to do your treatments prior to your tan.
- Be sure to remove makeup and any other products on your skin before your tan. The bronze bar provides exfoliating wipes, but if you’re unsure of your salon’s supply, toss some in your bag before you go.
- Wear loose fitting dark clothing. Most of the time it washes out of dark clothing, but it’s not guaranteed. Clothing needs to be loose because tight clothing creates friction and can pull the color off your skin (leaving you with an awkward tan line).
- Don’t plan on doing anything fancy after your tan. You will look very dark right after (maybe a little dirty) and you need to be careful not to get your tan wet for about 8 hours after the application. This includes washing your hands. I keep wet wipes in my bathroom to wipe my hands without running water over them.
Now you have your tan… there is some minor maintenance.
- You must wait 8 hours to shower or do anything that will wet your skin, this includes sweating, going out in the rain, swimming, etc. Letting it set for 8 hours is the key to a lasting dark tan; remember that in the shower, the excess color will run down the drain, but that will only happen in the first shower, the color you’re left with will last 7-10 days. After you’ve given your tan 8 hours to set in, you can resume all activities.
I will share with you that my first spray tan in St. Louis was on a rainy day and immediately when I stepped out, I was pelted rain. Nearly in tears (because you know I paid too much and had an event coming up), I went back into the salon and the girl didn’t really know what to do. She sprayed me again and I looked absolutely ridiculous. I was so worried, but trying to allow tears to stream down my face. Since only so much of the tan actually gets absorbed, it ended up turning out nicely. I looked ridiculous until I showered and removed the excess, but spraying me again worked out because it fixed the rain drop speckles. Keep calm, call the girls at the bronze bar if you run into a situation. They are knowledgeable and will try to make it right for you.
- Sleep in dark loose clothing and if you sleep with your hands on your face or under your body, you’ll want to cover them because your palms can turn out too dark or leave a hand print on your body. That happened to me one time and it was quite funny.
- For best results, use a mild soap and lotion that do not contain alpha hydroxy acid, oils
or exfoliants. These ingredients speed up cell turnover, which reduces the life of
- Avoid using washcloths or loofahs when you wash- hand wash and rinse only. Make sure to moisturize liberally after showering. The healthier your skin is, the longer your color will last.
So basically, go easy on the scrubbing and moisturize like crazy. That’s really all it takes to having the perfect vacation tan.
What’s your favorite tanning product? Comment below.