Golden Brown… How to get the best from your spray tan!

Hello again and welcome to the first real instalment of the jessicaalicebeauty blog! Make sure you let me know your thoughts!

Sunless or spray tanning is an effective way to look stunningly tanned without risking skin cancer or damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Alarmingly, Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world! The cancer council reports that that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they’re 70, with skin cancer accounting for 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year. Second to this I’m sure I could dedicate an entire article to the effects of sun on premature ageing of the skin. I’ve been as guilty as anyone in being complacent and not at all sun smart in the past, for many it’s tempting to get bronzed on the beach, but the fact is that the tan we get from the sun means the skin has been damaged.

Below is a dot point before and after care guide on how to ensure your professional spray tan is as even and long lasting as possible. Don’t be daunted if it seems rather extensive, it is only a guide, the most important things are easy and it’s not like you’ll ruin your tan if you don’t religiously adhere to this list of do’s and don’ts, they’re more best practice. Always ask the therapist if you have any questions or concerns about before or after care, or would like advice on which product and colour will be best for your skin type. Feel free of course to bookmark or favourite this and refer back to it next time you’re booked in for a tan!

  • Have all waxing / shaving required done the day before the appointment. Avoid both wherever possible for the week the tan is on, they’re a form of exfoliation. Guys, wait at least 12 hours after the application if facial shaving is required again.
  • Ensure you exfoliate the night before the appointment to remove the bulk of the dead skin cells, this will extend the life of the tan. Ensure you use a water based scrub only, oils on the skin can interfere with the tanning product. Try to avoid overly heavy exfoliation with mitts or a loofer.
  • Any eyelash extensions, and manicure and pedicure should be done at least the day before the tan. The gel pads or tape used to do the eyelash extensions may affect the newly tanned skin, although the tan won’t affect the extensions or the acrylic or gel nails. If required the week the tan is on, try to wait at least 48 hours until having these treatments done.
  • DO NOT apply moisturizer, make up, sunscreen, body oils, deodorant or cologne the day of the appointment.
  • If you shower the day of the appointment, ensure it is at least 2 hours prior to the appointment and not too hot, this will open up the pores on the skin and can affect the tan.
  • For the sake of ease, ensure you arrive to the appointment wearing no jewellery, with your hair up.
  • Wear loose fitting, preferably dark clothing to the appointment and while the tan is developing, until the first shower. Tight clothing can rub the tan away, and the solution can (normally temporarily) stain the clothing.
  • You can wear an old swimsuit, underwear, a thong, go topless or nude, whatever makes you feel comfortable! It is best to avoid wearing a bra after the application while the tan develops, though if required, try to wear it as loosely as possible, or wear a strapless bra.
  • If it’s raining, or likely to rain the day of the appointment, take an umbrella, or at a minimum wear full length clothing to protect the tan. Likewise, avoid sweating wherever possible the day of the appointment up until the first shower.
  • Don’t wear tight fitting footwear the day of the appointment, flip flops are ideal.
  • To maximize the shade of the tan, wait the recommend period for the tan to develop. This may be anywhere from 2 to 12 hours, normally around 6-8 hours is recommended.
  • Try to avoid touching the product while the tan is developing, prior to the first shower, as it can stain the palms. If needed, wash only the palms of the hands, use an antibacterial wipe or sanitizer. You’ll be air dried immediately following the application however the excess product is somewhat sticky and does have a slight odour (not unpleasant), this is completely normal.
  • Try to avoid any rubbing action from skin on skin, clothing on skin, or from your bag or clutch while the tan is developing, until the first shower.
  • At the first shower after application you will see the excess product rinsing off, don’t stress this is normal! Preferably, don’t use soap when having the first shower. After this, for the week of the tan it’s best to use fragrance/scent and alcohol free soap, and avoid using a loofer, mitts or a washcloth. Avoid taking a bath, this can increase exfoliation and fade the tan. Pat dry after the first shower.
  • After the first shower, light moisturizing morning and night will extend the life of the tan by keeping the skin hydrated. However, be careful to only use a quality product, inferior ingredients can interfere with the tan. Any products applied to the skin should be free from parabens, glycolic alpha hydroxy acids, sodium lauryl sulphates, benzoyl peroxide and alcohol.
  • Buy a darker shade of foundation or bronzer to match your new colour while the tan lasts.
  • Using a light application of tan extender will reduce any uneven wear the week the tan is on.
  • Chlorine will fade the tan. If you need to swim in chlorinated water try to wait at least 24 hours.
  • Wear soft socks and shoes that breath (to avoid sweating heavily) when exercising to avoid some wear on the tan around the feet.
  • Finally, use caution around leather sofas or car seats, especially while the tan is developing and if sweaty! It’s best to cover them, as the leather can absorb the colour!

A spray tan will generally last anywhere from 4 to 8 days depending on the person, skin type, before and after care, and lifestyle factors. You’ll more than likely notice the tan start to fade, once it has faded considerably then it’s time to use a loofer or scrub in preparation for your next tan!

Check out our website at to see the Italian product I use and love in the salon.

Jess 🙂 x

That'so tan


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