If you’ve never gotten a spray tan, we highly recommend it, but there are a few things you should know before booking your first appointment. Here, 10 pointers to ensure you get the glow of your life, minus the embarrassing rookie mistakes.
Spray Tan 101
1. Remember To Exfoliate Before
Scrub your entire body to slough off dead skin and soften dry patches. Tanning without exfoliating can leave you splotchy (the product won't absorb evenly).
2. Wax Prior To Your Appointment
Always wax or shave (everywhere) first—even the smallest amount of stubble can cause buildup at the follicle. Also, shaving after your spray tan can actually remove the product and cause it to fade faster.
3. Don't Wear Lotion
Applying a moisturizer before getting a spray tan creates a barrier between the product and your skin. Your tan will be too light at best, and at worst, streaky. Wait until your color is completely set.
4. Don't Wear Makeup
The technician will tan your face, so make sure you remove all makeup before your appointment—at the very least, pack a few micellar wipes.
5. Prepare To Strip
You'll be asked to get naked (according to your comfort level—you can wear underwear or a bathing suit, but keep tan lines in mind). We recommend at least going topless and wearing tiny underwear.
6. Don't Wear Accessories
Remove all necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings that you can. Not only will it make for a better spray tan, it'll save you jewelry clean-up time.
7. Paint Your Nails Before
Paint your nails before your spray tan appointment, even if it's just a clear coat. (Don't worry, the technician will wipe them off so your mani isn't ruined.) This creates a barrier that will keep your nails from staining.
8. Wear Something Loose
Whatever you do, don't wear white or tight clothing just after your spray tan. Light colors can get stains, while tight pants or boots can rub against your skin and remove color on those areas.
9. Don't Make Social Plans Afterward
We have to warn you, most spray tan products include visible color to ensure even coverage. Since you have to wait a minimum of five hours before showering, you'll typically get an initial shade that's far deeper than the resulting tan (we've been compared to Oompa Loompas). While the formula develops, you also get the telltale tanning smell. All in all, we recommend staying home until you're able to rinse off.
10. Don't Book A Workout Class
Sweat will make the tan drip right off your body. Do yourself a favor and skip the workout that evening.