How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home

I love the sun. I love it so much. I love being on a boat, I love being on a beach and I love being by a pool. But with everything we know about the sun and how damaging it can be to the skin, I find myself constantly wearing a hat, always wearing sunscreen and hiding under an umbrella as much as possible. Which means less tan skin…and that ain’t gonna work for me. Luckily, self tanners and spray tans have made staying tan weekly possible, all without the sun!

PaleOMG - How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home

So let’s first chat about spray tans vs tanning lotions at home. There’s a million different products out there and they are constantly coming out with better and better products, but as of now, I personally like using tanning lotions at home vs going to get a spray tan. I’ve tested out a ton of different tanners and I’ve had about a million spray tans, but I like the color I get the most at home. But let’s chat details –

Spray Tans

  • Pros –
    • Darker color
    • The color last longer
    • Even color throughout body
  • Cons – 
    • It comes off more on your clothes and sheets
    • I find it rather sticky and smells pretty strong
    • You’re pretty much stuck at home for the rest of the day

Tanning Lotions

  • Pros – 
    • Natural color
    • Easy to apply at any point (no appointments necessary)
    • The smell isn’t nearly as strong as a spray tan
  • Cons – 
    • The tan doesn’t last quite as long as a spray tan
    • It’s hard, meaning pretty much impossible, to get your back tan unless someone else is home to help

PaleOMG - How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home

But no matter if you’re getting a spray tan or using a tanner at home, the prep is the same!

  1. Exfoliation is everything. If you want an even color, be sure to exfoliate. And you can really use whatever exfoliant you prefer. I love this clean sugar scrub, but it leaves a film on the skin so you need sure to cleanse afterwards. So what I do is scrub my skin with the sugar scrub, then wash my skin with body wash with a loofa, shave and then wash my skin once more with a loofa. This removes any excess hair, dead skin and whatever other weird things my body has on it.
    • If you are getting a spray tan, I’ve heard that showering 3-4 hours before a tan is best because your pores have time to close. I have no idea if that’s true. But be sure to notA put any lotion on before your tan – you want it clean as can be.
  2. If you’re putting on tanner at home, be sure to apply it with an application mitt. No need to have brown calluses like I’ve had in the past. Don’t be like me. I’ve tried a ton of different tanners but my favorite so far that look the most natural include the St Tropez Tanning Mousse (for more natural color) or the St Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse (for a darker color) and I like a top coat of South Seas Tahitian Tan Mist. The St Tropez Tanning Mousse and the South Seas Tahitian Tan Mist together have been my favorite for getting the perfect color for my skin tone.
  3. If you’re going to a salon to get a spray tan, wear black, loose fitting clothes that are easy to get on when you are feeling sticky, like a black sleeveless dress. And if you think you’re white sheets are going to make it through your many tans in the future, leave that thought behind. I moved onto grey sheets because I couldn’t stand the brown stains looking back at me every time I pulled back the covers.
  4. After I put on tanner or get a spray tan, I try to keep it on as long as possible, even sleeping in it.  I normally sleep wrapped in a blanket instead of my sheets that night so I don’t get any extra tanner on the sheets. I try to go 8-12 hours without showering. Then once I’m in the shower, I try to not use any product on my skin and if I do, it’s without a loofa and in cooler water.
  5. Now to keep your tan looking it’s best, you gotta keep your skin hydrated (especially if you live in a dry place like me!). I’ve liked using this lotion and it’s been amazing for my insanely dry skin, but I’ve found that an oil keeps that tan color longer. This glow shimmer oil keeps the skin hydrate and glowing!

PaleOMG - How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home

It’s really not too complicated – just exfoliate, hydrate and figure out if you like spray tans or tanning lotions for your own skin and life. But beware – spray tans and tanning lotions aren’t real tans, so if you’re wearing any tight-fitting clothes regularly, the tan will rub off. Whenever I’m trying to keep my color it’s best, I try to only wear my workout leggings when I’m working out and take them off immediately afterwards…which is hard for me since I live in leggings. But the leggings rub the tan off at my ankles and I have these weird tan kankles because of it. Not into it. So plan your outfits accordingly!

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I hope this helps your plan for any of your upcoming events you may have this summer! I’d love to hear what you’re into…spray tans or self tanners? And be sure to let me know what self tanners you’re loving so I can try those out if I haven’t already! Happy tanning!

PaleOMG - How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home

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How to Prep For a Spray Tan or Self Tanner at Home