Spray tan preparation and aftercare

Spray tan preparation and aftercare

Spray tan preparation and aftercare

If you’ve booked a spray tan at nail + body lab, there are a few things you need to do before and after your appointment to ensure that you get the best possible results and mileage out of your new golden glow.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you do just that.

The day / night before your spray tan session

Shave / wax

Remove all unwanted hair the day or night before your appointment to ensure that the tanning solution doesn’t cling to the hair shafts, causing an uneven finish.

Shaving or waxing on the day of your appointment should be avoided so that the hair follicles are closed, ensuring a smooth, even tan.


It is extremely important to exfoliate your skin with an exfoliator brush or scrub in order to slough off dead skin cells and prepare your skin for the tan application. Applying spray tan to fresh skin cells, gives a smoother finish and extends the life of your tan, something you definitely want.


Moisturise your skin thoroughly before bed so that it is hydrated and ready for the spray tan application.

Paint your nails

While we will apply a barrier cream to your nails before your spray tan is applied, painting your nails beforehand will add an extra layer of protection that will prevent the tanning solution from staining them.

Pick out your clothes

To ensure the best possible results post-spray tan, it is important to wear loosely fitting garments. Black is usually preferable as excess spray tan residue may rub off onto your clothes (while most solutions wash out relatively easily, they do tend to stain nylon and lycra).

Also, please avoid wearing anything tight that may cause the tan to rub off more in certain areas than others as this will result in an uneven tan. So bring along your baggy t-shirt or loose-fitting dress that will allow your tan to dry without interfering with it.

The day of your spray tan appointment

Make-up and cosmetics

If you’re coming straight to the salon, please do not apply any make-up, moisturiser, perfume or deodorant. If your appointment is later in the day and you do apply these, please ensure that they are thoroughly removed before the spray tan is applied as these type of products can interfere with the application and cause an uneven tan.

Bring a photo

If you have a photo of yourself with a natural tan that you loved, feel free to bring it in so that we can help you match the shade.

Tie your hair up

If you’re not wearing your hair up already, please remember to bring a hair band to do so.

Caring for your spray tan

Directly after your tan application

Avoid water and perspiring

Your spray tan will dry relatively quickly but will need at least 7 to hours to set (if you can leave it overnight without bathing, even better! Also, please avoid swimming, saunas or anything that makes you perspire excessively (no heavy gym sessions) during this time period in order to allow your tan to properly develop without issues.

Avoid tight fitting clothing

While your tan sets, continue to avoid wearing tight clothing, underwear, socks and shoes etc. You don’t want permanent seam lines on your newly tanned skin!

No shaving or cosmetics

Please don’t shave for at least 12 hours after your spray tan application and avoid applying deodorants and cosmetics that may interfere with it developing.

Long-term tan maintenance

The following will enable you to extend the lifespan of your tan:

  • Moisturise regularly.
  • Avoid soaking in long, hot baths and showers as doing so will accelerate skin exfoliation.
  • Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it vigorously with a towel so as not to rub the tan off.
  • Avoid swimming in pools or the ocean as these can shorten the life of your tan.
  • Use a fresh razor for shaving.

Important things to remember

  • If you have oily skin your tan may develop lighter than you’d hoped for, an additional application after a day or two will help you to achieve the base colour you desire.
  • When you do shower 7 to 8 hours after your tan, a certain amount of residue will wash off. Don’t panic, this is completely normal, and you will still be left with a gorgeous tan.
  • In some rare instances, a woman’s hormones can influence the pH of the skin and interfere with a spray tan application, causing it to be lighter than usual. This is because the skin is often more susceptible to dryness during menstruation and in the perimenopause and menopausal phases of life where oestrogen levels are lower. While not a very common occurrence, if this does happen to you, where possible, try to avoid having a spray tan at ‘that time of the month’.
  • Please note that any medication or skin creams that affect the skin can affect your tan, causing it to fade faster (some examples include products with alpha and beta hydroxy acids, Retin-A, alcohol or witch hazel, and anti-acne products as well as antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs).