Once you have achieved a perfect golden glow, you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible. What you do, and don’t do, prior to and following the application of the tanning solution will make a huge difference in how long the beauty of your tan lasts. Tamar Vezirian, owner and founder of Gotham Glow, offers the following tips for getting and keeping the best spray tan. With proper maintenance, your tan may last five to seven days or longer.
Before You Tan
All waxing, facials, manicures and pedicures should be performed a minimum of 24 hours before your tanning appointment. All of these routines remove skin cells and will also remove those to which the tanning solution has been applied. In addition, exfoliate your skin using a loofah and/or exfoliating scrub to remove dead cells and make skin smooth and receptive to the tanning solution.
Men should shave immediately prior to their appointment and skin should be clean and dry. No oils or moisturizer should be applied to the skin prior to tanning or they will prevent the tanning solution from being evenly absorbed. All skin should be dry and clean.
During the Appointment
You bring a swimsuit or undergarment with you or wear a disposable salon thong. Be aware that where you place the undergarment does produce a tan line so always adjust accordingly before your technician sprays you. Those who wish to not have tan lines can tan without an undergarment, but a body sticker is always recommended to see the before and after results. In addition, bring dark, loose clothing and nothing that will fit snugly after your tan has been applied.
After the Tan
With a regular tan, you will need to wait the recommended time for the solution to dry. If an express tan is available, you may be able to rinse the solution off faster. During the drying time, no water should touch your skin. Once it is time to rinse, use lukewarm water and try to avoid using soap. Let the water run over you until it becomes clear before exiting the shower. If you need to shampoo your hair, avoid letting the water hit your face. Pull the hair forward and wash so you avoid suds running down your back.
Do not use steam, hot water, or exfoliating products. Your hands or a soft cloth are all you will need to use to wash. If you do not rinse the solution off prior to sleep, make sure skin is completely covered. Wear long, soft pants and a short sleeved t-shirt. This is important so your skin does not touch and wearing something to bed also goes a long way to keeping it off the sheets. Best to change your pillowcase to a darker color if you’ve tanned your face. Avoid anti-aging products that promote cell turnover and focus on keeping skin cool and dry. Stay out of chlorinated water or if you do, always take a fresh water rinse to get the chlorine off the skin. Follow up by applying an oil free moisturizer. If you will be out in the sun, apply sunscreen. Although your skin may look golden tan, it has no protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
If you are getting a spray tan for a special occasion or for a vacation, consider the time frame to plan your appointment. You will want to have plenty of time for the solution to dry and develop before the event without giving it time to wear off. If you are planning a week-long vacation or longer, either get a regular tan the day before you leave or get an express tan immediately before you drive to the airport!