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Spray Tan Tips

By Tori Linville


One of the best accessories of summer is a great tan, but frying skin in ultraviolet rays is not the way to go. Tanning beds are also out, as the health risks have been under the microscope for a while. The newest way to achieve glowing skin without the threat of skin cancer? Spray tans. Don’t worry about researching what to do and how to get one, because we’ve done it for you. See how you can maintain a glistening complexion that takes no time at all.


Before You Go


Spray tans aren’t your normal everyday situations. They vary, but usually last five to seven days, with careful maintenance before and after to achieve the best results. One of the best things you can do to minimize spray tan muck ups has to do with your prep before you even step into a booth.

·      Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate: This helps skin maintain a more even tan, because your skin will be refreshed, and pores will be minimized.

·       Get rid of unwanted hair: Shave and/or wax before your spray tan. This doesn’t necessarily mean go crazy and shave arm hair (unless that’s your regular routine). It just means be sure to nix any stubble that will have the potential to cause funky tan lines later. As the tanning solution sticks to leg hair, it’s best to take care of it before the tan.

·      Get nails done first: Most spray tan services provide some type of barrier cream to apply to the nails so they won’t end up with a wonky tan color that looks unnatural on anything but skin. Even so, getting a manicure after a spray tan can result in paler hands from all the friction and lotions applied during a mani.

·      Wardrobe choices are vital: You’ll want to pick some loose clothing that doesn’t cause much friction against the skin, so this is one outfit that deserves some forethought. As the spray tan settles, residue will rub against clothing, so something you’re not afraid to stain is ideal. Outfits like maxi dresses or big t-shirts are the best choices. Some choose to wear undies; others don’t.

·      Bring something for hair: A ponytail holder will do just fine here. The main point is that your hair will need to be up and away from the skin for the rest of the day.

·      Get comfortable with a color: This is the time to play it safe with tones. Opt for less bronze sprays if you’re more fair skinned. Olive toned skins can get away with more, but it’s always best to consult your spray tanner for advice. Basically, avoid looking like a Dorito at all costs.


Tan Time


With all these rules, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. What can you actually have on your skin as your getting your tan? Do you have to be in a bubble after the tan? Well, no. But there are a few activities all spray tan services wish you wouldn’t do while you’re waiting for the tan to set.


During the tan, certain things are allowed, such as lip balms, deodorants and mascaras as these areas are as effected by the spray tan.


After the tan, avoiding moisture is key.


·      While washing hands is unavoidable, most services recommend restricting the washing to the palms only.

·      Sweating, rain and swimming are total no-nos after a spray tan for the first day, as you’re basically washing your money down the drain. Make up shouldn’t be applied either.

·      If you’ve received an original formula spray tan, it’s recommended that you don’t shower anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. For express spray tans, the time is reduced to four to six hours.


Last but not least, spray tans smell. Not in a bad way, but just a special spray tan way. This usually goes away quickly, but it can be startling for first time spray tanners. A small price to pay for healthy skin!

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Azalea City Living is Mobile, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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