A great spray tan can quickly become your new go-to — whether you want to get a head start on your vacation tan, have a glowing complexion for a big event, even out uneven lines, or keep a manageable sunless tan year-round. Spray tans are a fantastic alternative to traditional tanning, and will save your skin from harmful UV rays that are absorbed while laying out in the sun or in tanning beds. As we all know, UV rays can lead to premature aging and/or skin cancer and although we all love a little fun in the sun, protecting your skin and your health are of #1 importance.

Our talented team of estheticans here at Neroli Salon & Spa love spray tanning. Although Hollywood often showcases the most brutally orange spray tans (queue Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars), we can assure you that with proper before and aftercare, you’ll leave our spa with a natural sun-kissed glow you love.  

What is a spray tan?

Spray tanning, also referred to as an “airbrush tan,” is a sunless tanning method that involves spraying a fine mist onto the skin. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a component in this mist that interacts with the skin’s chemistry to tan it semi-permanently. DHA is commonly mixed with other bronzers like food dyes or natural products to provide instant results, while the DHA portion of the tan typically takes 8 hours to fully develop.

How long will a spray tan last?

Although you may want your glow to last forever, all skin treatments fade over time as the skin is constantly producing new skin cells at the epidermal level. With proper aftercare, spray tans will typically last 7-10 days depending on the level of coverage you choose. If you went with a lighter sun-kissed look, your tan may fade faster. Spray tans with higher levels of DHA tend to last longer than those with a lower concentration. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your spray tan to help it last as long as possible. 

What's the best before + after care?

You can always obtain great, smooth, and long-lasting color with appropriate prep and aftercare. Follow these 6 simple steps to get the best (sunless) tan of your life: 

      • Prep with exfoliation. To best prepare your skin for color, exfoliating creates a great canvas for an even and long-lasting spray tan. By removing any impurities in the skin or dead skin cells prior to your reservation, the mist will be applied evenly and will penetrate to the newer cells beneath creating a brighter tan. It’s best to exfoliate at the end of a shower or long bath once your skin has had time to soak and absorb some moisture. Using a wet washcloth, loofah, scrub, or sponge, gently brush your skin in circular motions. Begin at your feet and work your way up the body. For those with sensitive skin or if you are new to spray tanning, we suggest you exfoliate 24 to 48 hours before your reservation to ensure our tanning solution won’t irritate recently exfoliated, sensitive skin.
      • Wear appropriate clothing. You don’t have to worry about wearing your chic & stylish outfits on your way to your spray tan reservation. We recommend arriving in dark, loose-fitting clothing and flip-flops to avoid staining. Unfortunately, there will most likely be mild staining of your clothes after your spray tan, so ensure you wear something you don’t mind getting a little dirty. If you opt for shorts, you may want to bring a beach towel with you for the car ride home as well.
      • Choose your shade.  If you’re new to spray tanning, we highly recommend starting with the lightest or second-lightest shade available for your skin. Your envisioned sun-kissed glow can quickly elevate to a deep tan if you aren’t careful. We’ll also help protect the areas you won’t want tanned — your hair, palms, nails, etc. 
      • Avoid sweating. Spray tans and water do not mix well. In fact, they don’t mix at all and could leave you with patches or streaks. While your tan develops, avoid getting your skin wet or excessively sweaty for at least 4 hours. You will also want to avoid washing your hands, wearing socks or tight shoes.
      • Moisturize. Remember how we just exfoliated your remove those dry, dead skin cells? Keep them at bay by moisturizing your new skin cells often. The more hydrated your skin is, the better and longer your tan will last. We recommend Aveda’s Beautifying Body Moisturizer to lather on after every bath or shower. This rich body cream nourishes the skin with its combination of organic shea butter, olive, and safflower oils. 
      • Maintain the tan. Although you may be excited to hit the pool and show off your new spray tan, chlorine will speed up the fading process. Applying a tinted moisturizer or bronzing cream can help your tan last as long as possible. Make sure to apply often, especially on your pool days!

A perfect, sunless glow is possible with a great spray tan and care. Our skincare specialists offer spray tanning at our Brookfield, Downtown, Mequon and North Shore spas. Show us your spray tan by using #NeroliSalonSpa on Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok for your chance to be featured on our social media pages. Reserve your favorite salon and spa services online, through the Neroli App or call us today at 414.227.2888.

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