How to Make Your Spray Tan Last

Heidi Reid

Posted on August 10 2014

Want to know how to make your spray tan last?

Treat it like a pharmaceutical product.  So to know how to keep a spray tan longer you need to be aware of the composite of your spray tan solution.  Inside the bottle of spray tan solution you have two key ingredients - 1) the tanning  ingredient, DHA (dihydroxyacetane) and 2) the instant bronzers which are seen when tan is applied to the skin.  The bronzers are made up on dyes and colourings.  What many people don't know is that DHA and bronzers aren't friends. In fact they are spray tan frenemies.  Together one of them provides the instant bronzed glow, while the other is the active ingredient that works with the wearer's skin to create the tan that will last on your skin for about a week.  


How does spray tan go off?

Unfortunately, despite what brands may claim the fact is that the higher the percentage of DHA, the more volatile the product becomes and the shorter the shelf life will be.  So while some brands are marketing 16% spray tan plus, I'd be very cautious of the shelf like.  The longer the DHA and the bronzer share the same bottle, the less likelyhood of an amazing spray tan result. It'll look something like the below.

Why?  The DHA is the winner here, and in the end the DHA will eat away at the bronzers which will mean that when you open your bottle of tan - the easiest way to know if your spray tan is off is that it will look army green.  Great for camouflage but not so much for tan.  If this happens you'll need to toss your product.  


How to keep your spray tan longer?


We recommend storing your solution safety and if it doubt just keep in mind that you want to treat it like a pharmaceutical product.  

Whether it's an organic spray tan or a regular spray tan it doesn't matter, whether it's a self tanner or a spraytan it doesn't matter.  The result is entirely going to depend on 4 key things.  If you are a tanning professional, you are only going to be able to control 2 and advise on the other, and if you are a self tanner, it's all up to you.  The variables are:


1) How well the skin has been prepared for the tan application

2) What type of product is being used 

3) How well the tan is applied 

4) How the tan is looked after 


If you want to know how to spray tan you can attend our free webinar or watch an application from celebrity spray tan artist here.  We also offer spray tan tips and all the information that I share with my clients on what to do with your spray tan before and after your appointment so you get the best possible results.


Has this helped, please leave us a comment below.  If you have any other suggested topics please share them with us too.


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  • Shelley: September 28, 2014

    WOW! This was GRRReat info! Thank you:)

  • Sheree Harrington: August 23, 2014

    Hi .. Thanks for this Information , I’d also like to know what products , etc what soap to use , for example can I just dove soap , can I use Vaseline ( Total moisture hydration moisturiser ?? Do you recommend the prep- ph solution before you spray as well to last a bit longer?? Thanks

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