It’s been 7 whole days since I got my spray tan from Beauty by Blair in Los Angeles, and it’s still flawless and glowing. Read on to have all your questions about spray tanning answered—and for my tips on how to make it last as long as possible.
What is the difference between getting a spay tan and using a tanning bed?
A spray tan doesn’t use any damaging UV rays, so it won’t cause wrinkles or sunspots in the long run. Granted, a spray tan doesn’t last as long as a tan from the sun or a tanning bed, but a spray tan won’t damage your capillaries or increase your risk for skin cancer.
Are there different types of spray tans?
You can go to a salon and get a “spray tan/spray booth tan” or a “custom spray tan/airbrush tan.” The classic spray tan is done with an automated machine, but I prefer the custom/airbrush tan. The airbrush tan is done by a technician who can control where the tanning solution goes and can even contour your tan! This means you don’t have to worry about your knees or palms getting unnaturally dark, etc. (For those who are interested, Blair does a custom airbrush tan–and she can even come do it in your home. And she texts!)
Will I look orange??
This depends on the formula you use, more than anything else. The one Blair uses has a greenish undertone to combat any orange tint that could potentially develop. It’s also really important to follow the instructions of your spray tan technician and follow their recommendations. For example, if your technician tells you to shower after a certain number of hours—don’t keep the tan on for longer, thinking it will turn out better. Also, if you are starting out with a lighter base color (you have naturally fairer skin), don’t try and go for the darkest tan possible; it won’t look natural.
What if I only want to go one shade darker or I want a drastic tan? How do I control the color?
There are different formulas that are meant to be left on your skin for a certain number of hours (with any spray tan, you leave the spray on your skin for a specific amount of time and then wash it off—your tan continues to process over the next 24 hours, after your shower). Essentially, the longer you leave it on, the deeper the tan. I only do spray tans for special occasions; I did this tan for a black-and-white photo shoot I had last week, so I wanted the tan to be extra dark. Usually, I wouldn’t go this dark, but I actually love it!
Will the tan stain my clothes and sheets?
Haha, probably. It’s bound to happen. Wear dark clothing to your spray tan appointment and before your shower, when you’ll wash off the tanning solution. Blair sets my tan with baby powder before I get dressed, and that seems to set the tan and prevent it from staining my clothes—so make sure you do that too. I’ve used white towels in the bathroom and slept on white sheets in the days following my tan, and I haven’t had much of a problem. My tan only seems to bleed when I sweat! So if you sweat a lot while you sleep, or while you work out, those would be times to worry about stains. If that’s the case, wear a black sports bra and sleep on darker sheets in the week following your tan. In my own experience, the stain washed right out anyway.
Will the tanning solution turn my hair darker?
This seems to be a myth. Still, you’ll enjoy your tanned skin extra if you remove any unwanted hair (if you’re spending the money on a tan, you want your skin to be flawless!) Also, shaving can fade your tan quicker, so definitely take care of that beforehand.
How long will the tan last?
This honestly depends on a lot of things. But, typically, a spray tan doesn’t last very long…usually only about 5-8 days at the longest before it begins to fade. Mine tends to get a bit lighter each time I shower, but since I’ve usually done it for an occasion, I don’t mind if it begins to fade after the event.
How can I make my tan last longer?
Firstly, don’t shave! When you shave, it scrapes off the top layer of your skin that is tanned. Also, I’ve noticed that it really helps to moisturize after every shower to slow the process of shedding dead skin cells. Also, like I said, you can sweat off your tan, so try to keep the cardio to a minimum if you’re trying to make your tan last as long as possible. Lastly, I don’t wear makeup for about a full week after I get a spray tan. Scrubbing mascara off your eyes and foundation off your face can be abrasive to your skin cells. In these photos I’m not wearing a stitch of anything on my face! But, truthfully, the spray tan evens out your complexion and gives you a healthy glow, so you won’t even want to cover it with makeup anyway.
What about when my tan starts to fade? Will it be blotchy?
I’ve yet to figure out how to ensure that my tan will fade completely evenly. My tan usually begins to fade first between my boobs and under my bra (due to sweating, I guess) and on my feet if I wear socks or sneakers (probably also due to sweat). I’ve just kind of come to terms with the fact that after 5-8 days of being a sun kissed goddess, I have 2-3 days of having an imperfect fade. It’s usually not drastic, and I just cover up for those 2 days.
Is it worth all this maintenance? Laying out on the beach seems to be easier.
Every summer I write a post about the importance of sunscreen and SPF. Skin cancer is a real thing, guys, and most of the aging your skin does is due to sun exposure—so why lay out? Getting spray tans regularly might not be realistic for most people, but it’s a fabulous way to get quick results for a special occasion without damaging your skin at all. To me, that’s definitely worth it!
Blair (818) 482 3776