How Long Does A Spray Tan Last? Let’s Find Out

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last? 

Spray tans are a popular choice for those who desire a sun-kissed complexion without exposing their skin to harmful UV rays. As the allure of a beautiful bronze glow draws in more individuals, questions about the lifespan of spray tans have become increasingly common among enthusiasts. Understanding the factors that influence the duration of your sunless tan can help you take appropriate measures to make it last longer and maintain its fresh appearance.

Types of Spray Tan Solution

1. Rapid-Drying Tan Solutions

Ultra Dark Salon Spray Tan Solution | Bondi Sands UK

Rapid-drying spray tan solutions are designed to expedite the tanning process and minimize the time you need to wait before showering. These solutions often contain quick-acting tanning agents that react with the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis. As a result, the tan begins to develop more rapidly compared to other solutions.

The development time for rapid-drying solutions is usually shorter, typically around 1 to 4 hours, depending on the product and your skin type. After this period, you can rinse off the excess solution, and your tan will continue to deepen over the next 24 hours. The advantage of rapid-drying solutions is that they allow you to resume normal activities sooner without the risk of smudging or rubbing off the tan.

2. Regular Spray Tan Solutions Norvell Premium Sunless Tanning Solution - Dark, 34 Fl Oz :  Beauty & Personal Care

Regular spray tan solutions, also known as standard or traditional solutions, have a longer development time compared to rapid-drying ones. These solutions typically require a waiting period of around 6 to 8 hours before you can shower or engage in activities that may cause perspiration.

The advantage of regular solutions is that they often provide a more gradual, natural-looking tan. The slower development process allows the tanning agents to interact with the skin’s proteins more extensively, resulting in a tan that may last longer and fade more evenly over time. If you’re looking for a traditional, leisurely tanning experience and don’t mind waiting a few hours before showering, regular spray tan solutions may be your ideal choice.


3. Express Spray Tan Solutions

ST TROPEZ Express Bronzing Mist 33.8oz - Artesian Tan

Express spray tan solutions offer a compromise between rapid-drying and regular solutions. These solutions typically offer the convenience of a shorter development time like rapid-drying solutions, along with the benefits of a more extended development process seen in regular solutions.

With express tans, you can expect to shower within 1 to 3 hours after the application, depending on the product and your desired tan intensity. Despite the shorter waiting period, the tan will continue to develop and deepen over the next 24 hours, similar to regular spray tans.

It’s essential to discuss your preferences and desired tan duration with your spray tan technician before your session.

A Step-to- Step Guide

Skin Preparation

  • Exfoliate your skin one day before the spray tan appointment to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth surface for the tanning solution.
  • Removing dead cells helps the tan adhere better and reduces the likelihood of premature flaking, leading to a more even and longer-lasting result.
  • Avoid applying moisturizers, oils, or makeup on the day of the session to prevent barriers that may hinder the tan from bonding effectively with your skin.

Application Technique

  • Skill of the spray tan technician and quality of the spray tan machine are vital for the lifespan of the tan.
  • Well-trained technician ensures an even application, minimizing the risk of splotches or uneven fading.
  • High-quality spray tan machine leads to a more consistent and longer-lasting tan.
  • Investing in a reputable tanning service or machine can significantly impact the overall result.

A Post-Tan Care

  • Proper aftercare is crucial for maintaining the longevity of the spray tan.
  • In the first 24 hours after the session, avoid activities that cause excessive sweating, as it can lead to premature fading.
  • Avoid hot baths and long showers during this time, as they can accelerate exfoliation and fading of the tan.
  • Opt for quick, lukewarm showers and gently pat your skin dry with a towel.
  • Keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing daily with a fragrance-free product to prevent dryness, which can result in faster fading of the tan.

Aspects To Observe When Using A Spray Tanning Machine

Skin type and lifestyle are significant factors that influence the longevity of a spray tan. Understanding how these individual differences can impact the lifespan of your tan can help you take appropriate measures to maintain a beautiful, sun-kissed glow for as long as possible.

Skin Type

Your skin type plays a crucial role in how well a spray tan adheres and lasts on your skin. Individuals with oilier skin tend to have more active sebaceous glands, leading to an increased production of natural oils. These oils can create a barrier on the skin’s surface, preventing the tanning solution from fully bonding with the skin cells. As a result, the tan may fade faster for those with oilier skin compared to individuals with drier skin. If you have oilier skin, there are several steps you can take to prolong your spray tan. Before the session, ensure your skin is thoroughly exfoliated to remove excess oils and dead skin cells. This will create a smoother canvas for the tanning solution to adhere to. Additionally, consider using oil-free or water-based moisturizers after your spray tan to avoid excessive hydration, which can lead to quicker fading.


Your lifestyle and daily activities can also impact the duration of your spray tan. Activities such as frequent swimming or soaking in hot tubs can cause the tan to fade more rapidly. The prolonged exposure to water and the chemicals in pool water can break down the tanning solution, leading to uneven fading.

Similarly, regular exfoliation and the use of harsh skincare products can accelerate the shedding of dead skin cells, causing the tan to fade more quickly. If your lifestyle involves activities that might compromise the longevity of your tan, consider scheduling touch-up sessions more frequently to maintain your desired glow.

Taking Care of Your Spray Tan

Regardless of your skin type or lifestyle, proper aftercare is essential to extending the life of your spray tan. Following these tips can help you maintain your radiant glow for as long as possible:


  1. Moisturize Daily: Hydrate your skin with a fragrance-free, water-based moisturizer. Well-hydrated skin holds onto the tan better and prevents premature fading.
  2. Avoid Excessive Water Exposure: Minimize prolonged exposure to water and excessive sweating, especially within the first 24 hours after the spray tan. Quick, lukewarm showers are recommended during this period.
  3. Pat Dry: After showering, gently pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing, as rubbing can cause the tan to wear off more quickly.
  4. Skip Harsh Products: Avoid using exfoliating scrubs, toners, or products containing alcohol, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy acids, as these can strip away the tan.


Spray tans offer a safe and convenient way to achieve a stunning bronze complexion without the risks associated with sunbathing or tanning beds. Understanding the factors that influence the duration of your spray tan is essential to prolonging its life and keeping it looking fresh. By choosing the right spray tan solution, preparing your skin adequately, selecting a skilled technician or reliable machine, and following proper post-tan care, you can enjoy a radiant and long-lasting sunless tan that accentuates your beauty and confidence all year round here



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