Beauty FAQs: How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

how long does a spray tan last

At last, it’s tan o’clock! If you’re one of the people who feel much more comfortable with a bronze glow on their skin, you probably can’t wait for the summer. Still, there’s no need to wait for sunshine to get the tan of your dreams. Instead, you can achieve the “sun-kissed” effect from the comfort of a local salon whenever you want.

A sunless tanning option called spray tanning allows you to achieve an exotic look within hours. But how long does a spray tan last? More importantly, what can you do to prevent it from fading too soon?

What Is a Spray Tan?

Spray Tan

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A spray tan is a way of having a bronze skin tone even during the winter days. More precisely, this artificial tanning method involves using products that contain the compound known as DCA. Dihydroxyacetone is what triggers your skin’s amino acids, further leading to the formation of melanoidin. As a result, you get the perfect golden tan — as if you were lying on the beach for hours.

In some ways, this method proves less harmful than natural tanning or using a tanning bed. The reason is that there’s no exposure to harmful UV rays that might cause skin cancer. Also, a spray tan seems a much quicker and more effective alternative to other types of tanning. And the best thing is, it’s suitable for all skin types — just look for the one that best matches your tone.

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

In general, DHA-based spray tan products last around 7-10 days. Their longevity depends on how fast your skin sheds or how quickly your organism produces new layers of skin.

Also, the spray tan products containing erythrulose seem to be more long-lasting than the ones without it. That’s because this compound protects and evens out your skin tone when it starts to fade, preventing the formation of freckles.

How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer: 4 Effective Tips


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1. Exfoliate before your spray tan session

Remember to use a cream exfoliator and a mitt the day before your spray tan session to prolong its effects. Doing this will help you get rid of the dead cells, making the tanning lotion absorb better. This way, you’ll also get a more even tan that will make your skin glow longer.

2. Apply a gradual tanner

If you notice your color starting to fade, you can top it with a gradual tanning lotion. These products won’t take long to work, and you won’t have to wash them off. In the end, they’ll serve as a moisturizer, prolonging the glow of your skin for a few more days.

3. Wax instead of shaving

As it goes, shaving only irritates your skin and disrupts its surface. Thus, choosing to shave before a spray tan might make your golden glow fade out faster. On the other hand, waxing will help you absorb the spray tan evenly, and keep it on longer.

4. Take shorter showers

Taking hot showers after a spray tan might not be a good idea. The reason is that long showers might dry out your skin and make your tan crack with it. Because of that, you should take shorter showers and use only gentle shower gels and soaps. Also, you’ll need to moisturize your skin every day to keep your tan on longer.

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Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.