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Before your tan

Shower, Exfoliate, Shave

There is a misconception that you should shower RIGHT before a spray tan, but it's actually better to rinse off a few hours before your appointment.

This is because products used in the shower can leave a residue on your skin and make it harder for your tan to absorb. Showering too close to your appointment can also throw off your pH balance, and create less optimal results for your tan. 

Don't Apply Lotion

After your shower it might be natural to apply lotion to your skin, but before a spray tan it's best to have dry skin.

This is because the tan absorbs better without the barrier of lotions and oils.

Wear Loose Fit Clothes

You should bring or wear an outfit that is dark and loose fitting to your appointment.

After your appointment the sugar in the product can make your skin feel sticky, so wearing loose clothes will help you feel more comfortable. Dark clothes are best because the topical bronzer of your tan can appear on your clothes (like makeup does) but will come off in the washer.

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After your tan

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Shower & Pat Dry

When you're ready to rinse off your bronzer, you'll want to limit the soap to your hands, feet, armpits and privates.

This is because the tan continues to develop  after you've rinsed off the bronzer. Adding soap to the entire body could create a lighter tan or alter the color of your tan.

You'll see the water in the shower go from brown to clear and that's when you can step out and pat dry. Rubbing your towel can act as an exfoliant, so be gentle as you dry off.

Apply Lotion

After your rinse you'll want to apply a tan friendly lotion to your skin. You can check the ingredients for perfumes, alcohol, or oils that could prevent your tan from developing into the perfect glow. Some suggest not to apply lotion after the first rinse in fear it will ruin the tan, but I would disagree. Keeping the skin hydrated post rinse is very important for the best results.

Stay Hydrated

Lotion is not the only way to keep your skin hydrated and extend the life of your tan. Drinking plenty of water will also prolong your glowing skin. Make sure to apply lotion and drink water every day to get the most out of your tan.

Spray Tan FAQs

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Sunless tanning solution contains DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) which has been approved by the FDA, and is a non-toxic formula which comes from sugar cane and beets. DHA reacts with the amino acids in the outer layer of our skin. This is why a spray tan typically lasts 7-10 days, because that's how long it takes for our bodies to shed our "dead skin" and create new skin cells. I like to use the example of how if you took a bite out of an apple and left it out you would see the apple turn brown. Just like an apple the bronzer is sugar based and turns brown (develops) over the course of 2-6 hours. That is why after you get a spray tan it is suggested to leave the bronzer on that long to develop into a tan.

Will my tan turn orange? Spray tans can turn orange because someone went to a mystic booth (automated spray tan) or has residue from a self-tanner. Other tanning products can have a red or yellow undertone which creates an orange color. At After Glow none of the products used have a warm undertone. Perfumes or other ingredients in lotions can also alter the color of your spray tan, so it's best to use tan friendly products post spray tan.

Can I get a mani / pedi after my spray tan? Soaking & sugar scrubs can remove your tan so it's up to the clients discretion if they want to risk removing some of their tan. Best practice is to get your nails done 1-2 days prior to your spray tan appointment. If you get your nails done the same day, make sure to remove any lotion applied before your tanning appointment.

Can I tan if I'm pregnant or nursing? Yes, the solution is not absorbed into the bloodstream or ingested, therefore it never makes contact with the baby. Wearing a face mask during your appointment (not having your face sprayed) is always an option if you are worried about breathing it in. For women who are nursing I suggest wearing a strapless bra or rinsing off the bronzer (2-4 hours after appointment) before you nurse. If the baby gets bronzer on their skin it will not harm them.

Am I allowed to tan if I'm under 18 years old? Yes, you can be spray tanned at any age

How long does the appointment take? Typically an appointment take 10-15 minutes

How can I maintain my results? The best way to maintain your tan is to use tan friendly products such as body wash and lotion. You can also prolong your tan with an extender lotion that has a small amount of DHA in it. For clients who are going on a vacation an extender lotion is the perfect product to stay glowing your whole trip!

Can I get a sunburn if I get a spray tan? Yes. Getting a spray tan does not protect or enhance your tan in the sun. Meaning you should still apply SPF to protect your skin, or a tan friendly enhancer to gain more color from the sun.

How long do I need to wait to rinse off the bronzer? The bronzer can be rinsed off after 2 hours, but I usually suggest keeping it on for 4 hours. Depending on how quickly your skin absorbs color (if you tan easily in the sun) and how dark you want to be, determines how long you should keep on the bronzer. If you want to be dark you would keep it on longer. If you decide to sleep in the bronzer you can wear long sleeves or pants for pajamas, or lay on a towel. Just like your clothes if your bronzer rubs off on your sheets it will come off in the wash.

How long will my tan lasts? Typically a spray tan last 7-10 days depending on how you take care of your skin. Are you using lotion, drinking water? Are you swimming in the ocean or taking a  lot of hot yoga classes? Each client can experience different results depending on their at-home skin routines and lifestyles.

Why is spray tanning safe? It is safe because you are not exposing your skin to UV rays. Your tan is only being absorbed by the top layer of your skin (dead skin that is replaced with new skin after 7-10 days). The product never enters into your blood stream.

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