The Best Lotions To Use After A Spray Tan

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Best Lotions To Use After A Spray Tan

As mood-boosting as a spray tan can be, admittedly, it requires a bit of maintenance to keep it looking fresh. When it comes to spray tan aftercare, one of the most important things you can do is be diligent about moisturizing. "It is important to use a body lotion after a spray tan to lock in hydration and maintain the longevity of your color," St. Tropez skin finishing expert Sophie Evans tells The Zoe Report. According to Evans, the best lotions to use after a spray tan contain ingredients like aloe vera, coconut butter, shea butter, and jojoba esters. Additionally, you'll want to avoid body oils or lotions that have an oilier consistency, as well as any ingredients that encourage skin cell turnover (like AHAs, BHAs, and retinols). "Oil-type lotions can degrade the life of your tan, particularly when you use a pure essential oil," Evans explains. "Oils instantly plump up the outermost layer of the skin, and that's why we love them, but [they make] the skin more susceptible to exfoliation and [can make your tan] fade faster." Similarly, too many exfoliating ingredients can make your color fade prematurely, which is why you'll want to stick with a light, in-shower exfoliator about twice a week to avoid uneven fading and patches.

The Expert

Sophie Evans is a St. Tropez skin finishing expert and celebrity self-tanner. For more than a decade, her tanning expertise has included fashion week shows and red carpet events for models and A-listers like Kate Moss, Bella Hadid, and Victoria Beckham.

How To Make A Spray Tan Last Longer

Caring for your spray tan starts immediately after the color has fully developed (typically somewhere between four and 12 hours). "As soon as you take your first shower or bath, moisturize your skin to lock in your tan," Evans recommends. "The more hydrated your skin, the better your tan will look and last." While you'll want to limit how often you exfoliate, when it comes to moisturizing, Evans says you'll want to use a lotion on your body after every shower, and on your face after every cleanse.

You can also help increase the longevity of your spray tan by incorporating a gradual tanning lotion into your routine. "I recommend using a gradual tan three to four days after a spray tan to boost your color," Evans says, advising that you alternate your gradual tanning lotion with a traditional lotion for the best (and most natural-looking) results. "In general, just be gentle with your skin," Evans summarizes of caring for your spray tan. "Pat your skin dry — never rub — and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, too."

Shop The Best Lotions To Use After A Spray Tan

In a hurry? Here are the best lotions to use after a spray tan:

1. Best Body Butter: The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

2. Best Face Lotion: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

3. Best Prestige Body Lotion: Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion

4. Best French Pharmacy Body Lotion: Embryolisse Lait Crème Fluid Daily Face And Body Lotion

5. Best Body Lotion For Sensitive Skin: Avalon Organics Aloe Unscented Hand & Body Lotion

1. The Pro's Pick: Best Body Butter

"I love a good coconut butter," Evans says of the thicker consistency moisturizer. The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter includes two of Evans' favorite post-tan moisturizing ingredients: Cocoa butter and shea butter. Plus, additional emollients like sunflower seed oil and coconut oil give the body butter a rich, velvety texture that helps keep skin feeling smooth and hydrated for up to 72 hours. As part of The Body Shop's commitment to implementing better social and environmental practices, the B Corp-certified brand uses Community Fair Trade shea butter and coconut oil, which helps provide its suppliers around the world with decent working conditions, fair pay, and funding to invest in community projects.

Key Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil Size: 13.5 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

2. Best Face Lotion

Just like you'd want to use a specific self-tanner for your face, you'll also want to be more selective when it comes to your facial moisturizer. La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is an oil-free and noncomedogenic option that's also fragrance-free and free from drying alcohols that can lead to faster color fading. Instead, the gentle moisturizer contains ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides, and the brand's mineral-rich thermal water to soothe and hydrate skin without clogging pores.

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Ceramide, Glycerin, Vitamin E, La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water Size: 2.5 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

3. Best Body Lotion

This may look like your average body lotion, but Drunk Elephant’s Sili Body Lotion houses enough super-nourishing ingredients to compete with thicker body butters and creams. You'll find a mix of skin barrier-restoring and hydrating ingredients in here, including marula butter, shea butter, squalane, and five different ceramides to immediately leave your skin feeling smoother and protect against future moisture loss (something that can contribute to causing your spray tan to fade faster). Free from essential oils, synthetic fragrances, and drying alcohols, the vegan and cruelty-free lotion is also housed in a recyclable bottle.

Key Ingredients: Marula Butter, Shea Butter, Ceramides, Marula Oil, Coconut Oil, Squalane, Aloe Leaf Juice Size: 8 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

4. Best Face & Body Lotion

Embryolisse is a staple skin care brand in French pharmacies, and their Lait Crème Fluid Daily Face & Body Lotion also happens to make for a great post-spray tan moisturizer. Though it's lightweight and fast-absorbing, the lotion still includes ingredients like shea butter and aloe leaf extract to properly hydrate skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth. It also gets bonus points for being suitable to double as a face moisturizer (just consider this your warning that it does contain fragrance if that's something you're sensitive to).

Key Ingredients: Shea Butter, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aloe Leaf Extract Size: 16.9 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

5. Best Body Lotion For Sensitive Skin

For those with ultra-sensitive skin, you'll want a lotion that's free from potential irritants and full of soothing ingredients that will help combat inflammation. Avalon Organics Aloe Unscented Hand & Body Lotion was created for extremely dry and sensitive skin types, with a formula that's free from synthetic fragrance and other common allergens. In addition to moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and hyaluronic acid, the lotion also contains multiple skin-soothers like aloe leaf juice, oat bran, and bisabolol.

Key Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice, Oat Bran, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E Size: 32 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

You May Also Like: A Moisturizing Gradual Tanning Lotion

To really extend the life of your spray tan, you can work a gradual tanning lotion into your moisturizing routine. Suitable for self-tan beginners, St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Lotion was designed to give your skin a subtle glow without the risk of streaking. As it adds a tint of color, the hyaluronic acid and watermelon-infused formula also helps keep your skin hydrated for up to 72 hours. Because this is a gradual tanner, you'll want to follow all of your usual tanning prep guidelines, i.e., exfoliating before you use the product and applying a moisturizer to drier areas like your hands, wrists, ankles, and feet to avoid a buildup of product.

Key Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Watermelon Fruit Juice Size: 6.7 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes


Sophie Evans, St. Tropez skin finishing expert and celebrity self-tanner