Home Fashion + Beauty The Spray Tan Chronicles: Things You {Should & Shouldn’t} Do When Getting a Spray Tan

The Spray Tan Chronicles: Things You {Should & Shouldn’t} Do When Getting a Spray Tan

by Jennifer Tripucka
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Welp, folks, spray tanning {and real tanning} season is upon us. While one is surely dermatologically safer than the other, it is super important that you do it correctly to avoid an orange disaster. Even as a pale, white, Russian/Irish-descendant, there is nothing more visually pleasing {in my eyes} than a bronzed glow. I’m not saying you need to be bronzed all the time, but once in a while it’s a fun treat to get a little extra golden oomph.


That being said, as a seasoned spray tanner, I figured I’d lend a few tips as to what will help make your tan the optimal glow {without any splotchiness}.


1. Change into a comfy bra + thong: {possibly even go braless post-spray tan} because you want to minimize the amount of pressure on your body for the next 6+ hours.

2. Make sure you get a pedicure and manicure before your spray tan: This needs to happen BEFORE your spray tan. Think about it: you just got tanned, and now you’re headed to soak your feet and hands in hot water and exfoliate off dry and dead skin. Some of that skin will include your newly bronzed limbs. Do this BEFORE!

3. Exfoliate. Exfoliation should be done BEFORE you spray tan, not after. Until you’re ready to say “ta ta” to this lovely bronzed hue {or you’re starting to look like a leper from the 15th century and NEED to brush the tan away}, it’s safe to stay away from the loofa. I repeat, stay AWAY from the loofa once you’ve been tanned.

4. Put lotion on the bottoms of your feet and palms of your hands. If you get extra dry on your elbows and knees, put a tiny layer of lotion on them too; most good spray tanning places will have this lotion readily available for you.

5. Ask the spray tan tech’s opinion: Chances are she’s seen a lot, and will know what level of tan will look most natural on you. Trust me, it’s better to air on the side of caution than a side of orange-y brown.

6. Get a wax a few days before your tan. DO NOT DO THIS AFTER A SPRAY TAN! The spray tan should be one of the last things you do {if there’s a big event coming up such as a wedding}. If not, you’ll most likely have some lovely light patches around your unibrow {?} and above and below your eyebrows. You’ve been warned.


1. Ask for a triple layer airbrush tan if you’ve never gotten a tan. Honestly, two coats is pretty bronze-y, but THREE? You’ll most likely be asked to be a stunt double for a cast member of the Jersey Shore {albeit we hope that we never hear from or about them again, anyway…}.

2. Wash dishes. This sounds simple and stupid to even have to explain. Solved: just order takeout for the next 24 hours!

3. Look up at the sky in a rainstorm. Let’s just say that it will be the first time that “freckles” are lighter than your actual skin.

4. Invite your dog lick you all over. While a puppy lick here or there won’t kill you, a full tongue bath will definitely leave you looking splotchy {and Fido with an orange tongue}. Though some spray tan liquids are natural, it’s a safe bet to keep the slobber to the toys for the next day or so.

4. Use rubbing alcohol. Think about it.

5. Wash your clothes with bare hands. Seriously though, wear gloves. DON’T stick your hand in the washing machine unless you want your whites to come out with a hint of orange and your once bronzed hand to come out stark white. Just sayin’.

6. Hold your boobs while you get sprayed. Or else you may look like you’re wearing a darker shade of gloves. Nobody wants to bring winter gloves to the tropics.

ash and jenny

A real Italian {right} and a Russian/Irish wannabe spray-tanned Italian {left}…can you tell the difference? {photo from my engagement party last weekend — I went with Dina’s Kiss & Makeup Rapid Spray Tan this time around}


A few tried & true *Hoboken* Spray Tan Chronicles to peruse:

Dina’s Kiss and Makeup {Dina’s rapid air brush tans are THE BEST and you can shower between 2-6 hours after application} **Currently closed due to fire**

Planet Sun Tanning  {This is a machine spray tan, but a good one at that!}

EC Beauty Airbrush {Erica not only does airbrush tans, but she also does mobile tanning so you don’t have to leave your house!}

Happy {healthy} Tanning Season! Where is your favorite place to get a spray tan?


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