How To Take Care Of A Spray Tan



Perfect Glow Sunless


Post tan care is such an important topic if you like to spray tan or use a self tanner at home. I always tell my clients that if they are paying good money for a great tan it is important to follow proper aftercare to get their money’s worth.  Over the years I have had so many new clients tell me that their past salon did not educate them or they just did not realize that the right products do make a difference. They also had no clue that they should be avoiding certain things when they got an airbrush tan.

I can tell you from my personal experience the first place I ever went for a spray tan didn’t go over anything with me. They just took my money and I was left to fend for myself (with the help of my good friend google)

Post tan care is one of the most important factors on how your airbrush tan or self-tanning application will last. It does not matter if you go to the best salon in town, or if the application is flawless. Bottom line is how you care for that tan once you leave is 100% up to you & is crucial. What you do (or don’t do) will be the difference between a spray tan that lasts a good amount of time that will  fades great, compared to one that only lasts a few days and fades terrible ( Ever get that cracked lizard looking skin? Well thay can be avoided with my tips)

It is imperative that you use products that are made specifically made for or determined to work well with airbrush tanning which are free of harmful ingredients.

A minimal investment in the right aftercare products can actually save you money in the long run. A spray tan that lasts longer on you means that you need to make less trips to the salon and will get more out of your session.

So that being said here are some helpful tips to help that spray tan last and maintain your golden goddess hue for as long as possible:

Do not shower or bathe for at least 8-10 hours after your spray tan. If you do not wait the recommended time it can prevent your tan from fully developing. The longer you can wait the better. I recommend waiting 10-12 hours for optimum results. ( *However if you did a rapid tan product, then you shower in the time frame that is provided to you*)

Aftercare products made specifically for airbrush tanning will hydrate your skin and will not strip the tan like many soaps, body washes and over the counter lotions.

Do not wash your hands or get them wet for at least 8-10 hours. (Unless you used a rapid tan product it is OK after you rinsed off) Use rubber gloves if you have to use the sink for anything or bathe your little ones.

Wear loose fitting dark clothing after your session. On your feet I recommend flip flops or sandals with an open toe.  Tight clothes are the worst thing to put on after your airbrush tanning session! Yep that includes yoga pants! Leave those jeans, tight elastic waistbands and lycra tank tops at home too. If you wear them you are risking ruining the development of the tan. I compare wearing tight clothes after getting an airbrush tan to putting gloves on your hands before your manicure is done drying.  ( Um…. disastrous ) Avoid red fabric as well. The red dye will have a reaction with the spray tan and can cause it to turn green.

Avoid getting wet until after you shower. Water can ruin or hinder the development of the spray tan causing streaks and areas of the actual tan to come off. If  you are in a climate where you are able to wear shorts be careful as flip flops will kick the water up onto the back of the legs causing spots . ( I see it all the time with my clients in Florida) So if it is raining wear loose long sleeves and loose pants so all of your skin is covered. Make sure you have an umbrella and watch for puddles.

Do not let pets lick your spray tan. I know this sounds funny! But they always try to do this for some reason.

Wait at least 24 hours to shave as shaving can cause fading. If you must, make sure that you use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream. That is better for the skin and does not contain the chemicals that are in shaving cream so it is less drying to the skin. Try to shave only as needed & use a sharp new razor. A dull razor can cause fading or streaking.

Do not do any spa treatments for a few days after your tan ( pedicures, waxing, massages) as these treatments can fade or remove the tan. If you are getting married and have any of these scheduled for after your session you will run the risk of the tan being removed, becoming streaky and coming off patchy. It is imperative that you refrain from these things. If you don’t want to I highly suggest you do not spray tan, as you are just asking for trouble. Always do your pedicure prior to the session or applying self tanner. Soaking your feet will remove the tan. If you are going to get just a polish change after the session I recommend removing the polish yourself. Many salons use a lot of acetone and they rub the skin as well so it winds up in many cases  removing the tan on the toes.

When getting out of the shower BLOT your skin with a towel. Pat dry and DO NOT RUB! Remember, the spray tan is applied to the outer layers of the skin. You want to treat it delicately and anything that exfoliates the skin will remove the tan.


Model Shaana Ashley tanned with 50/50 rapid tan combination

Moisturize your skin at least a minimum of 2x a day with proper aftercare . I recommend my luxury moisturizer by Melissa Weinberg Tanning & Beauty that I created specifically for airbrush tanning & infused with antioxidants & hydrating ingredients such as:

Apple Stem cell extract, Mango seed oil, Pure Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil , Moroccan Argan oil , Panthenol, Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Marine Algae Extract and more !

Do NOT start moisturizing until AFTER you shower, this can streak your spray tan and cause it to develop uneven. ( With the rapid tan start moisturizing the next day)  Many lotions that are sold at the mall and drugstores may smell great , but they contain alcohol and other drying ingredients that will not be good for your tan or your skin in general. A great body lotion is a key factor that will help you get more than a week + out of your tan compared to just a few days!


Do not do any waxing. It will take the tan off no question about it.

Baby oil, mineral oil or massage oils.

No skin to skin contact/sex until after you shower as it can cause the spray tan to rub off. (I have had a few clients develop with some funny looking handprints lol)

Avoid hot baths & long hot showers (use warm to cool water) and do not use any loofahs 0r washcloths. Remember that the spray tan or self tanner is on the outer layer of the skin. Anything

Avoid Dove soap and bar soaps as they can strip and fade a tan quickly. This is for both before and after the tan. You can use it on the “Pitts and private areas” but avoid it for the whole body. I can tell you that at least 99% of the time if the client has streaking or blotching it is from using dove or commercial quality bar soap! If washing with it before you session, this can create an invisible barrier on the skin.

Sorry, if you are going on vacation or a romantic getaway but you will need to avoid hot tubs as they will remove your tan. (I actually recommend hot tubs to my clients as the best way to remove a spray tan)

Avoid long swims in pools and oceans as the chlorine and salt water can remove/streak the tan. If you are doing this activity as part of a vacation or event you will want to purchase tan extender to replenish your color afterwards. I recommend my gradual tanner/tan extender

Avoid exfoliating or using any harsh scrub within the duration of getting a spray tan.

If going in the Sun wear SPF as the spray tan does not contain sunscreen. I recommend a sport aerosol brand.

Bug spray can cause your tan to fade

Anti-aging products that exfoliate or dry the skin, Accutane and Salicylic acids can cause issues.

Antibiotics and other medications that affect your skin can also affect your tan.

Cocoa Beach 10%

Model Heather Hansen for Perfect Glow Sunless. Tanned with Cocoa Beach 10%


Follow these instructions and you will see it truly makes a difference. Happy tanning xo – Melissa

Melissa Weinberg Tanning





Melissa Weinberg is a spray tan expert and the founder of Perfect Glow Sunless and Melissa Weinberg Tanning & Beauty. She also offers spray tan training and custom airbrush tanning in the South Florida area. For more information please visit