How Long do Spray Tans Typically Last?

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When you’re considering spending money on a spray tan, you’re naturally going to be curious about how long the effect is going to last. You don’t want to pay all that money¬†without realistic expectations.

Typically speaking a spray tan effect usually lasts for 4 to 7 days. This number will vary based on

  • The tan used.
  • The skill of the person administering the tan.
  • Your lifestyle.
  • Your skin (some people shed skin cells faster than others)

However there are several steps that can be taken to extend the lifespan of the spray tan colors.

There are a few reasons why spray tans don’t last longer.

Our skin consists of two layers, the outer layer and inner layer. It is the outer layer on which the spray tan works. It is also the layer where all the dead and old cells continuously shed off to give way to new cells.

The active ingredient in tanning sprays is DHA or dihydroxyacetone. When sprayed, the DHA reacts with the outer skin and the color changes starts to appear. However, within a short time the dead skin cells collapse to make way for the new cells to come up. When this happens, some of the tanning color also tends to fade. This is the reason why the tanning color appears to fade within a short time because dead skin replacement is a continuous process. After all, we lose over one million skin cells a day!


So the spray tan will last only last as long as your skin cells. Many brands or salons may claim that their tanning solutions last long term, or are semi permanent. However be wary of these claims. It’s not physically possible for the color to remain intact beyond a certain period of time.

How do you Delay Fading of Spray Tan Color?

So how do you make the most of the treatment that you’re going to invest in? After using spray tanning, you would naturally want the color to remain for as long as possible. Here are some techniques that can delay color fading:

Take a bath

It makes sense to take a bath prior to the application of spray tan. This helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells, you should use a proper scrub or a sponge which would make your skin smooth and sparkling clean and free of dead cells. This way the skin the tan lands on is young & fresh. So it will last much longer.

Cut back on cosmetics

Avoid using cosmetics which are likely to block your skin pores before the process. These include perfumes, lotions and make up etc. Without these in your skin the DHA will get better absorbed by the skin.

Let it dry

Allow the tanned body to dry naturally for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not touch any body part or put your clothes back on. This risks smudging the tan and rubbing parts of it off.

Hold on the baths & showers

After applying the spray tan, do not take a bath or shower for the next 8 to 10 hours. You should also avoid using any exfoliating products or excessive make up.

Stay mousturized

During the days following the spray tan, keep the skin moisturized as much as possible. This prevents rapid falling off of dead skin and should retain the fake color for longer.

Avoid exercise

Exercise can start making you sweat which combined with tight fitting clothing rubs your tan off very quickly. So it’s best to avoid it completely if you want to extend the life of your tan. It’s also a good idea to avoid swimming since chemicals in swimming pools can

You can usually get a better idea of the longevity of spray tans after you have had the first application. Everyone has different skin and the tan will naturally last longer on some than others. Once you know for how long a spray tan usually lasts, you can schedule your next appointments with the salon to keep your skin bronzed.

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