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Spray tanning dos and don’ts

Don’t bake in the sun to get that golden glow — get an airbrush tan instead. With spray tanning, you can get a fabulous tan without the risk of skin cancer or damage to your skin. Find out what to do (and not do) to achieve the perfect fake bake with these spray tanning tips.

Woman after spray tan

Before your spray tanning session

  • Do exfoliate 24 hours before getting a spray tan to ensure an even application. Exfoliation sloughs away the dead skin cells, which will help achieve the longest-lasting tan possible. Use a water-based exfoliating scrub rather than an oil-based one. Oils may interfere with the spray tanning solution from developing properly.
  • Don’t apply any moisturizer, deodorant, perfume or other beauty products before your tanning appointment. They may also inhibit the quality of your tan.
  • Do shave or wax the evening before your spray tanning session. If you shave after you get your spray tan, it will exfoliate the skin and affect the tanning results.
  • Don’t wear any jewelry or makeup to your tanning session. Pull your hair up and off your face and neck.
  • Do wear a swimsuit, thong or underwear — whatever makes you feel comfortable.
  • Do ask the technician questions before your session begins. He/she will guide you on how to position yourself to achieve optimal results.

After your spray tanning session

  • Do wear loose clothing and flip flops when you leave the tanning salon. Ditch your bra for at least six hours.
  • Don’t take a shower (or get wet for any other reason) for the first 24 hours after receiving a spray tan. Water contact will stop the tanning process.
  • Don’t exercise for the first 24 hours. Sweat will cause your tan to streak.
  • Don’t book any hair or nail appointments for 48 hours after your tanning session.
  • Don’t use soaps and other body products that contain parabens, glycolic alpha hydroxy acids or sodium lauryl sulfates — they will fade your tan more quickly. Don’t use a loofah, puff or wash cloth.
  • Do moisturize every day — morning and night. Also use a moisturizing soap-free body wash to extend the life of your tan.
  • Do use a tan extender to reduce patchiness and extend the life of your tan. Use a product that contains a light DHA bronzer.

More summer beauty tips

Summer 2012 hairstyle trends
What to wear to a summer barbecue
Summer moisturizing guide

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