How to Apply a Spray Tan: Tips and Tricks that You Need to Know


A spray tan is also referred to as sunless tanning, self-tanning, UV filled tanning, and fake tanning. This procedure has a lot of names, but what it does it the same – it applies a fake tan on your body which imitates a sun-tanned skin.

Spray tanning became hugely popular in the 1960s decade because of the warning from the scientists stating that staying under the sun for too long might increase the chances of developing skin cancer.

People back then are afraid of developing cancer, and there was an increase in the use of spray tan. Today, spray tans are still popular, especially among girls who wanted to stand out.

Have you ever wondered how spray tan is being applied to the body? Read further to find out!

What is a spray tan?

A spray tan is a product that is used by people who wanted to get a darker complexion without the need for sunbathing. Spray tanning is similar to applying makeup on the skin, and the pigments used to create a fake tan can only be removed after washing it off with soap and water.

Spray tans are different from sunscreens because sunscreens are used to block the UV light, which will prevent darkening of the skin.

On the other hand, the spray creates an artificial darker complexion, and it is recommended to be used for a single day. Sunscreens and spray tans also have their different SPF levels, with sunscreens having the top SPF rating.

What are the advantages of applying spray tan?

Preventing UV rays from penetrating the skin

Using spray tans would effectively protect the skin from the dangerous UV rays, while at the same time, provide a darker complexion to the user. Spray tans also act as a sunscreen, and protecting the skin from the UV rays would prevent the development of skin cancers and other similar diseases.

Even coverage on the body

If you go to the beach and bathe under the sun, you would notice that the tan is not evenly spread out, and there are parts of your body that are reddish and some parts are untouched, as if nothing happened to it.

If you will apply a spray tan on your body, you will be assured that the tanning is spread evenly, producing a beautiful bronze-effect on the skin.

What are the disadvantages of using spray tan?

Stains from spray

When using spray tan, make sure that you will be removing all of your clothes, and try to wait for 15 minutes before it dries out. Spray tans can stain clothes, and it would be difficult to remove it. Advanced washing techniques are needed to ensure that all of the stains coming from the spray tan will be completely removed.

Health issues

Spray tans are made with chemicals called DHA, or dihydroxyacetone, and the Food and Drug Administration of the United States stated that this product can be applied on the skin. However, they are warning the users of these products not to inhale the fumes because it can cause respiratory problems.  For more information and statistics on respiratory problems with spray tan machines, visit

There is no clear statistics about the number of people who have inhaled the fumes which resulted in complications, but the Food and Drug Administration insists that it is dangerous.

Short-term results

The color from the spray tan would only last for a few days, compared to real tanning produced by staying under the sun, which can last for weeks. Dead skin cells that were covered in spray tan would eventually fall off, making it easier to remove from the body.

How to apply spray tan?

1. The first thing that you need to do is to purchase a tanning mitt or a pair of latex gloves to apply the spray tan on your skin. You need to protect your palms from the spray tan because it would turn orange.

You also need to protect the bathroom not to be stained by the product because it will be too difficult to remove it.

2. Then, you need to apply the spray tan on your legs first. After filling your legs with a spray tan, you need to proceed to your torso, and eventually, your arms. Applying the spray tan on your legs up to your torso and arms will give you the most natural result.

Spray it in a circular motion because it results in the most natural appearance andlook into the packaging to know how long the spray tan should stay on a given body part. The toes, heels, and the sides of the feet should not be sprayed because it does not look natural.

3. Blend the colors on the ankles, joints, and wrists. The color of these areas should be lighter compared to the other parts of the body to make it look more natural. You can apply a small amount of lotion on these areas and start blending it with the spray tan to make it look natural.

4. The next step is to apply the spray tan on your neck and face. Apply the spray tan with care and avoid directly spraying your eyes because you might irritate it.

5. After the spray tan completely covers your body, you need to wait for at least fifteen minutes for it to dry. Do not touch anything and wait for another one hour before you can wear your clothes.

If you do not want to stay naked for that long, you should wear loose clothing that can avoid hitting the surfaces of your skin.

6. You should also avoid contact with water for the next three to eight hours because it can damage the spray tan. Use baby powder if you start feeling itchy.


If you are not a fan of sunbathing or tanning beds, applying spray tan on your body is the best alternative. You would end up having a nicely tanned skin that would catch the attention of other people. However, use it in moderation, because it can damage the skin in the long run.

Applying too much spray tan on the skin can result in irritation, because of the chemicals mixed inside the spray.