How To Extend The Life Of Your Spray Tan

The weather’s cooling off, but that doesn’t mean the gorgeous glow of your summer tan has to fade with the warmer temps. Spray tanning is an excellent year-round tanning solution that will keep you feeling beautiful and radiant all 12 months of the year. A sunless tan is also a much healthier and safer alternative to baking your sensitive skin in the sun for hours on hours. If you have never had a spray tan before and are worried that you’ll choose the wrong color or that the tan will be splotchy and wear off too quickly, these are all valid concerns. The truth is, when you choose professional technicians to apply your spray tan, your tan will be even and smooth, and with a little guidance from your tech, your gorgeous glow will look completely natural! Here at Jacqueline Morgan Day Spa, we offer South Seas natural airbrush tanning solutions giving you the perfect tan in mere minutes.

Whether you are a first-time sunless tanner or you are a seasoned professional, there are simple steps you can take to extend the life of your airbrush tan—these tips include pre- and post-preparations such as proper skin care techniques and tan-appropriate clothing recommendations. Continue reading to learn more and call our spa in Prince Frederick when you are ready to schedule your spray tan.


Exfoliation is key in getting your skin in the best shape possible before your spray tan. The better condition your skin is in, the longer your tan will last. Ideally, you should start exfoliating three day prior to your appointment—and remember, exfoliating does not mean scrubbing your skin raw. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells, exposing the fresh, glowing skin underneath. Here are the steps you should take to successfully exfoliate your face and body:

  1. Before you get into the shower, brush your dry skin with your loofah or body brush. This gives you the chance to brush off any loose skin in preparation for the exfoliating you will do once you step into the shower.
  2. After you’ve dry brushed your skin, step into the shower and wet yourself from head to toe. If you are sunburned or have open wounds, do not attempt to exfoliate your skin. Skin that is sunburned is incredibly delicate, and the last thing you want to do is scrub your ultra sensitive skin when it is so vulnerable.
  3. Start exfoliating your feet first. Take a pumice stone and scrub your heels, the balls of your feet and your toes, focusing on heavily on rough spots and calluses. If your feet are especially rough, soak them in a tub of warm water before your shower.
  4. Wet your loofah or body brush and apply your exfoliating cleanser. Start scrubbing your skin in a circular motion, starting with your feet and moving up. Take care to be gentle on sensitive skin like at the bikini line, underarms and on your face.
  5. When you start to exfoliate your face, choose a cleanser that is different from the one you are using on your body. Facial cleansers are often much more gentle than body cleansers, and you don’t want to overwhelm your face with a little scrubbing and an intense cleanser.
  6. After you have finished exfoliating your entire body, rinse off with lukewarm water. Then rinse yourself off a second time, this time using the coldest water you can tolerate.
  7. Once you step out of the shower, apply hydrating lotion all over your body. Because exfoliation dries out your skin, it is crucial to continue using a body moisturizer every day.

Exfoliating is important both before and after you get your spray tan. You may be thinking, “But won’t post-tan exfoliation rub the tan away?” Yes and no. First, you will only be exfoliating very, very lightly after your tan—you do this to ensure your tan fades evenly. Tans that fade unevenly can look splotchy and lead to color buildup in undesired areas.


On the day of your tan, avoid using any heavy body lotions—not only does lotion act as a barrier resulting in an uneven tan, it can also lighten the color of your sunless tan. In general, just avoid anything you typically apply to your skin including makeup, perfumes and even deodorant. If you can, try to shower and exfoliate eight hours before your appointment. The guarantees your skin is clean, settled, free of dead skin cells and at the optimal pH level for tan development.

Loose Clothing

When you start to get ready for your spray tan appointment, choose an outfit that includes loose clothing. You’re not going to walk out of the spa with a completely wet tan, but even a bra strap on your shoulder can leave a little streaked line on your shoulder. In short, you want to have very little contact between your skin and your clothing. Opt for a loose T-shirt dress or extra large sweat pants and an oversized tank. Footwear may be a little tricker to maneuver, but if you do happen to end up with strap lines from a pair of sandals, simply exfoliate your feet a bit until the color is even.

Paper Panties

One of the best things about an airbrush tan is the fact that you can completely avoid tan lines. If you put on a bra and pair of underwear immediately after your airbrush tan, you are going to give yourself—guess what—tan lines! To avoid this, either go “commando” or continue to wear the paper panties you are given at your appointment. Many tanning technicians have stories about customers who came back with inseam stripes on their legs because they wiggled into a pair of tight jeans too shortly after their tan.


Deodorant, foundation and lotion all act as barriers that can lead to an uneven tan. At Jacqueline Morgan Day Spa, we provide customers with wipes that will remove any of these products to ensure you have the most perfect, even and natural tan possible.


You want to keep your skin as dry as possible immediately after your tan. If you are someone who sweats easily or the weather happens to be particularly hot on the day of your tan, apply baby powder to any areas that may be prone to sweating. We recommend taking a body brush and coating your body in powder. You may feel chalky and be engulfed in a cloud of white powder for a few hours, but at least you will smell good and be preserving the quality of your fresh tan.


Keeping your skin hydrated is an essential step you can take to make your glow last. However, there are certain moisturizers that will actually start to remove your tan. Oil-rich formulas should be avoided—use a very basic lotion that isn’t oil-based and apply your moisturizer immediately after you get out of the shower.


If you’ve never had a spray tan before, stepping into your first shower after a tan may seem scary. Don’t worry—your tan isn’t going to wash off! Make sure that first shower, though, is done using lukewarm water. Also, steer clear of soaps that leave residue on your skin. Any shower gel that claims to be “moisturizing” will shorten the life of your tan. Make sure you are gentle on your skin as you clean and exfoliate, too. This first shower should be taken a minimum six hours after your spray tan is applied. When you dry off, pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it and apply your moisturizer while your skin is still damp.


Because a spray tan is temporary, it will fade as time goes on. Everything from the sunscreen you apply to the chlorine in the pool you swim in affects the life of your tan—yes, even if you take every precaution to ensure its longevity. This is why we recommend investing in a gradual self-tanner. After your intense (and sweaty) workout, apply the gradual tanner to enhance and maintain your glow. A self-tanner can even be used every three days to boost the color while you are in between tanning appointments.


Choosing a spa with experienced and professional technicians is the best thing you can do to ensure you get a perfect and even spray tan. At Jacqueline Morgan Day Spa, we offer professional airbrushing services that will give you that gorgeous autumn glow you deserve! From facials to massage to sauna therapy and hair removal, the list of spa treatments we offer is extensive. Whether you are looking to de-stress, improve your skin condition, refresh your makeup or simply receive a relaxing manicure and pedicure, get in contact with our team! We look forward to taking care of and pampering you at our lovely day spa in Prince Frederick. Make an appointment today!