How Long Do Spray Tans Last and How to Maintain Them?

Spray tans have become an increasingly popular way to get a healthy glow without the harmful effects of the sun. The colors are customizable and quick to apply. This healthier tanning solution can give you a flawless tan and boost your self-confidence. You can prolong your glow by caring for your spray tan properly. Read on to learn how to keep your spray tan looking good for as long as possible.

Key takeaways:

How long will a spray tan last?


The longevity of a spray tan varies based on your skincare routine and the depth of the tan. On average, it lasts about a week. Proper aftercare and avoiding particular products or practices will ensure your tan lasts as long as possible. Darker shades will last longer because more DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is applied.

DHA is the active ingredient in spray tans that gives your skin a dark color. You may get ten days out of your spray tan. Lighter colors may last only five days. Some individuals start with a lighter shade and experiment until they find the ideal tint.

Tips on how to make your spray tan last longer

Proper skin care is essential for helping a spray tan last as long as possible. The wrong products or ingredients can make it fade quickly. It is best to avoid disturbing the tan for 24 hours to allow it to develop fully.


For an even application of color, you should exfoliate four hours before your tanning appointment with an oil-free exfoliant. The benefits of exfoliation include the removal of dead skin cells and dry skin, so the color looks even and isn't darker in dry areas like the elbows and knees. Exfoliate three days after the tan with an oil-free exfoliant to help the color fade evenly.


Several days before your spray tan, moisturize twice daily to keep your skin hydrated. Do not use lotion on the day of the tan. Twenty-four hours after the spray tan, you may begin moisturizing twice a day with an oil-free moisturizer. DHA in the spray tans dries out the skin.


Avoid swimming

Having your skin submerged in water for long periods will dry out your skin and ruin your spray tan. Chemicals like chlorine in pools and hot tubs dry out the skin and fade the spray tan faster.

Bathe or shower properly

You can shower eight hours after your spray tan, but it is best to wait 24 hours for the color to develop fully. Bathe or shower quickly. The longer you are in the water, the drier your skin gets, and the faster the color fades. Cleanse with soapless, oil-free cleansers and lukewarm water. Do not use loofahs or washcloths; use only your hands. Pat dry with a clean towel and do not rub the skin.

Avoid abrasive products

Certain products fade spray tans, such as retinoids, acne medications (benzoyl peroxide), and hydroxy acids (glycolic and salicylic acids). They peel off layers of your skin, removing the spray tan. You should also avoid using them 24 hours before your spray tan.

Wear loose-fitting clothing

Wear loose-fitting dark clothing to your spray tan appointment and afterward. You do not want tight-fitting clothing because it will rub away your tan. If you must wear tight clothing, apply baby powder to areas prone to abrasion.

Why you should consider getting a spray tan

A spray tan is a safer alternative to give your skin a temporary bronzed-color glow. No studies have shown that spray tans cause skin cancer or premature aging; however, studies have proven that the sun and tanning booths cause skin cancer and premature aging. There is little chance of allergic reaction to the ingredients in the spray tan. Also, spray tans are faster than sitting in the sun to tan your skin.


What does spray tanning look like?

Wear loose-fitting clothes and sandals to your appointment. When you arrive at your session, choose a color for your tan. After the color selection, you will undress and enter the spray tanning booth. Some leave a bathing suit on during the tanning process, while others are naked.

Your tanning artist will instruct you how to stand to get the best application. For darker or medium shades, you may require extra time. After the artist applies the tan, air blowers will dry your skin. Give yourself ample time to dry before dressing. The entire tanning appointment can take about 30 minutes.

How often should you get a spray tan?

You can get a spray tan every 7–12 days. Give yourself ample time for the old tan to fade entirely, and prepare your skin before getting a new tan. If you tan over the old one, it will be too drying for your skin, and the color may be patchy or not fully developed. It is ideal to wait to get a spray tan two days before an important event, not the day of the event.

If you have ever had trouble getting a tan or do not want to spend time in the sun, spray tans are the answer. They are a healthy alternative to tanning without spending sessions in tanning beds or outdoors. They can quickly give you a healthy glow, which lasts for days if cared for properly. You can maintain a picturesque tan without exposure to the sun's damaging rays.



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