What to Wear After a Spray Tan (and During!)

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By Anna Marikar

A tan can be a wonderful thing, but if you want to get that golden glow before the sun comes out you may need to go for a spray tan. Sunless tanning is a healthy alternative for your skin and a great way to get an even tan over your entire body.

Getting a spray tan is pretty easy and simple but if it’s your first time you may have a few questions.

what to wear for best results for spray tan

Make sure you follow these simple tan tips to get the best results from your spray tanning session, and help it last longer and look its best. 

A spray tan can cost around £30-£50 each time- so you want to make sure you get optimal results to last you until your next spray.

A spray tan is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to look younger and more toned. Whether it’s a summer vacation or you just want to look fresh-faced for a date, a spray tan may be all you need to feel great!

But there are several things you need to know about having a spray tan and the best way to maintain your tan after it.

tanned skin

What to Wear During and After Your Spray Tan

We will walk you through what to wear after getting a spray tan, and some simple dos and don’ts to follow after getting a spray tan.

Before Your Tan Appointment

On the day of your spray you want to prepare your skin, to give yourself the best results.

Whether your tanning appointment is at the tanning salon or at home, take the time to exfoliate your whole body beforehand. This is great for your tan preparation and will help the results last longer.

Get your exfoliating mitt and remove those dead skin cells and it’s fine to shave before your tanning appointment but try to leave 24 hours in between your hair removal and spray tan rather than doing it right before – especially if using shaving cream.

exfoliating before a spray tan

While you’re having your sunless tan applied, you don’t want to be wearing any make up, lip balm or any kinds of body lotions or creams with oil.

During your Tan Session

spray tan

During the tan process, it’s best to wear as little as you feel comfortable in order to get your full body tan.

Do you need to be naked for a spray tan? No. But some tan artist are fine with it if you want to!

My spray tan lady told me that many clients do prefer to remove all clothing, in order to maintain the best tan possible. However, for many people we will feel more comfortable to at least keep some underwear on.

spray tan process

It’s a good idea to get your spray tan wearing underwear that covers as little as possible, so that you don’t have tan lines showing when you wear your bikini, bathing suit or swimwear afterwards.

The tan artist will ask you to turn around and lift up your arms, legs, feet and so on to make sure that you get a good even coverage of all body parts.

getting a spray tan

You may want to remove your bra or bikini top to avoid ugly tan lines or strap marks and make sure that your new tan looks at it’s best.

tan lines

What to wear after a spray tan

After completing your spray tan you want to wear the right clothes – this means choosing loose clothes. You want to go for comfortable clothing, preferably dark clothing and avoid tight clothing.

I normally have my spray tan appointments at home in the evenings and prefer to go with lose pyjama pants afterwards and a vest top (no bra.)

If you are having your spray tan at the salon and you need to make your way home then you may want to consider wearing a sports bra, or loose long-sleeved shirts and jogging bottoms or yoga pants. Anything baggy that doesn’t hug your freshly sprayed skin is a good option.

To avoid the tan smudging on your feet, you will want to wear lose open toed footwear like flip-flops or disposable thongs.

During the tan itself your tanner may ask you to wear disposable sticky pads on the bottom of your feet.


Showering After a Spray Tan

It’s best if you can leave your first shower for around 8 hours after your spray tan. The soonest you should shower is around 4 hours after the tan, but no need to leave it for more than 24 hours!

On your first shower, you may seen some of the color running down the drain with the water. Don’t worry – not all of your tan is washing away and you will still be left with a bronzed golden glow.

If you can, keep your first shower to a simple rinse with warm water and avoid hot showers at first. Avoid harsh soaps, fragrances essential oils but do go for moisturising products containing coconut oil, aloe-vera or shea butter. Moisturised hydrated skin will achieve the best overall results from your tanning process.

You can also use tan extender lotions which contain DHA.

moisturisers for spray tan

Sleeping After a Spray Tan

After having your spray tan, especially if you had the tan applied at night and are not going to shower until morning then there is a good chance that some of the color will transfer off onto your bed sheets.

To avoid too many tan stains, chose dark color bedding just like you wear dark clothes after a spray tan. It’s the best option to avoid sleeping on your favorite bedding set just for this one night. One idea you can try is to sleep on top of a towel.

The next day, once you’ve showered and your tan color has settled, you will be fine to sleep on your usual bedding as normal.

bedding after a spray tan

More Beauty and Skincare Tips

Don’t forget to share these tips with any of your friends who are contemplating getting a spray tan for the first time.

Once you start, you won’t look back and soon the sunless glow of a spray tan will be your new best friend!

tan at the beach

Spray Tan FAQ

How long after a spray tan can I wear leggings?

Around 8-9 hours after the spray tan, it is okay to wear tight clothes like leggings

How long after a spray tan can I wear jeans?

You are best to leave it a day or two, as color can still transfer. Although once you have showered, you should be okay.

Can I exercise soon after a spray tan?

Avoid heavy exercise right after your spray tan. For at least four hours, while the tan color is setting you want to avoid sweating as it can leave streaky lines in your developing tan.

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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