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How Long Does A Spray Tan Last?
Typically, spray tans last an average of about 10 days, but it really depends on a variety of factors. Things such as how you prep your skin before getting a spray tan, how dark you want to go, where you got your fake tan, and how you take care of it can all impact how long your tan lasts.
What Is A Spray Tan?
Spray tans, fake tans, or sunless tans are a way to get beautiful bronze-y skin without going out into the sun. It’s an extremely common procedure in colder climates and is a popular procedure for men AND women. There are several different kinds of spray tans, such as professional salon spray tan treatments and self-tanning products you can apply at home.
How Do Spray Tans Work?
Whether you go to a spray tan ‘tent/booth’ or you do it on your own, most fake tan solutions contain an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a plant-derived sugar that is often used to treat issues with skin pigmentation.
Unlike natural tanning or tanning beds, you aren’t exposed to any harmful UV rays; instead, the DHA ‘reacts’ to amino acids on your skin, causing the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your epidermis to turn dark on their own. Of course, you shed dead skin cells on a daily basis, which is why spray tans aren’t a permanent tanning solution.
Benefits Of Spray Tans
Here are just a few of the biggest advantages that spray tans have over other forms of tanning:
- You aren’t exposed to any UV rays, which means there is little to no risk of skin damage. This also reduces your likelihood of developing skin problems like melanoma.
- You can choose how tan you get, and you’ll get an even tan every time. No more patchy, uneven complexions or accidentally getting ‘too dark’!
- It takes less than 30 minutes to achieve your desired look. It’s great for people who want the tan but don’t want to take a weekend off just to get one.
Spray Tan Before And After Pictures
These before and after pictures prove that spray tans can have some incredibly dramatic (yet natural-looking) results.
The Risks Of Spray Tanning
The active ingredient in spray tans, DHA, is FDA-approved and has been used for cosmetic and medical purposes for decades. However, recent studies have shown that a small part of the ingredient gets absorbed into the skin.
Since DHA is ‘mutagenic’, as in it is capable of mutating or damaging DNA, some experts warn that this could lead to cancer or other issues. Still, there haven’t been enough tests done to determine if spray tans have any adverse long-term effects.
How Long Does A Fake Tan Last?
Fake tans usually take 5-10 days to wear off, but that number could be higher or lower depending on a few factors. Lighter tans tend to ‘get off’ within a few days, while darker tans take much longer to fade. Your skin type could also be a consideration – people with dry skin get rid of dead skin cells at a much faster rate, which affects your fake tan’s longevity.
Aftercare & Maintenance: How To Make Your Spray Tans Last Longer
- Exfoliate before getting a spray tan to set a good base for the colour.
- Research the salon you will be going to and make sure it’s a high-quality one. If you’re using a home product, read reviews and follow the instructions before starting the application.
- Do not wax or use oil-based products for 24 hours before your scheduled spray tan.
- Wear loose clothing so that the tanning solution doesn’t ‘rub off’ after your appointment.
- Spray tans can wash off, so avoid water for six hours at the very least.
- When showering, only use lukewarm water and oil-free products.
- Use a water-based, oil and fragrance-free moisturiser/lotion to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid chemical and physical exfoliants.
- Use a DIY self-tanning product to maintain your glow without having to go back to the salon.
What happens if you leave fake tan on too long?
If you get your spray tan at a salon, this is not an issue. If you use a self-tanner at home, the instructions will tell you to ‘wash off’ the solution after a certain amount of time. You likely won’t experience any adverse effect if you do leave it longer than recommended, except your tan will probably be much darker than expected and you may stain your sheets if you sleep with it on.
When can you shower after getting a spray tan?
It’s best to shower before your spray tan appointment and the day after. If you absolutely must shower on the same day after your spray tan, wait at least six hours for the solution to settle in.
Stay Glowing All Year Round
If you want that beautiful beach glimmer without actually going to the beach, then spray tans will be your new BFF. Just make sure to take the necessary steps before AND after your appointment, so that you can make your spray tan last longer and get the most bang out of your buck.
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