spray tan– is this normal?

posted 3 years ago in Beauty
  • poll: Is this a normal spray tan experience?
    yes, typical for spray tans : (9 votes)
    56 %
    no, sounds like you got a bad one : (7 votes)
    44 %
  • Post # 3
    1926 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I am not sure if “typical” is the right word. There are different kinds of spray tans and I have had two kinds. One is where they spray you with the stuff that changes the color of your skin. Some of this will cling to your body hair and will rub off and spray off in the shower, but it should be minimal. 

    The other kind I have had is where you want to look VERY tan that day (and not really wait for the gradual tanning of the chemical tanner so they spray you with BOTH the chemical tanner that changes the color of your skin as well as with a pigmented brozer that will make you very dark but does not last very long. This will wash off and rub off much more dramatically and then you are left with the tan from the chemical tanner under it all. It sounds like thats the one you got? 

    Post # 4
    190 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013 - Cathedral ceremony, reception in a converted hardware warehouse

    Hmm…all of this sounds odd. First- if you’re really pale, which I am, you should go somewhere that lets you choose what level of dark you want to be. Secondly, I usually get the second kind that @sweetartMD described. That is, they spray on the tanner, which is clear, then they spray on the bronzer. Now, I don’t like the bronzer, it makes me look much too tan, but I usually get it on a Friday then go out somewhere where the lights are pretty dim, so it’s not a huge deal. But then I shower it off that night and wake up with a gorgeous bronze that’s perfect, and that layer doesn’t wash off {it gradually fades, since it’s skin thats basically dyed}. So, it me, it sounds like you had a weird situation going on. On the other hand- maybe your skin is dry and not holding on to the tanner well. Did you really exfoliate andd moisturize the day before? Just a suggestion 🙂

    Post # 5
    5222 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @VMars:  Well, yes and no. I get them often, and have had very good exeriences all the way down to very bad ones.  I would say to avoid going to the booths and to have them applied professionally and by hand. This will make a huge difference in how natural it looks. I live in a relatively small area, and have found a lady who does them for $30, it lasts about 10 days without looking spotty and it is also an organic mix. 

    It IS common for things like the bathwater being brown/ muddy looking. A lot of these tanners contain a bronzing element in them that can be washed off, so your first shower is going to be where that bronzer is going to come off. I always do this:

    • shower/exfoliate before my tanning appt
    • get the tan and wear lose/comfy clothing that I don’t mind getting bronzer on if some wears off
    • shower the next day, in the evening. This gives the tan a lot of good time to develop [ waiting at least 24 hours is ideal]
    • Moisturize like CRAZY for the next 7-10 days to have the tan extended

    This is what it looks like for me when I do the booth tans, kinda orangy and….a little too ” hey I just got a spray tan” for me haha ( this is also like 5 hours after I had one done):


    This is a much more natural and subtle from having it applied by a tech, and if I want her to go a little darker for a special event or vacation, she can do it easily without turning me into a Willy Wonka Extra, this picture was prob day 5/6 after a tan.. and it held up pretty well. Personally, I prefer for it to hover around this color vs the first pic. It is all about personal preference, though… I know a lot of women who like that initial darker color, so it is totally up to you!

    Post # 6
    1951 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @VMars:  That doesnt sound normal, at all! And especially for one that was done by hand. Here’s what normal has been for me:

    1. Stand nekkid in a booth with another chick. She asks you to do all these weird positions. She gets glimpses of places only my FI has seen.

    2. Leave salon looking like another race. Reason: the spray tan has a built-in bronzer, which is actually a lot darker than you’ll end up. 

    3. Make bed with crappy old sheets and sleep in a big baggy t-shirt and shorts. FI wont touch me for 14+ hours. 

    4. Shower the next morning. It is SO key that you give the tan at least 12 hours to develop. You might have taken the bronzer off too early when you wiped your face down. This messes with the chemicals that react with your skin and develop the tan. Watch a lot of brown water go down the drain. 

    5. Rub lotion all over. Have beautiful, bronzy glow. 

    So, it sounds like a few things could have happened:

    1. You had a shitty spray tan by a less than talented person. 

    2. You didnt shower right before and exfoliate thoroughly. 

    3. You put lotion, perfume, or other substance on your skin before getting a spray tan. This can cause the peeling and blotchiness. 

    I’d look for a different place. Cheap is not the way to go with your wedding beauty routine. 

    Post # 8
    3202 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    My experience is totally similar to PPs above. However, if I get a couple of spray tans in a row, I do get weird patches, even with really good exfoliating and moisturizing.

    Post # 9
    1872 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Did you REALLY THOROUGHLY exfoliate beforehand? I use an AHA lotion on my skin the night before then a scrub. My face does usually end up darker the first day, so I use the clarisonic in the shower the next day to tone it down. The tan is extra dark the morning after because you have the spray-on temporary color as well as the developed skin color underneath – everything washes out brown because of the temporary color. You need to keep lightly exfoliating and keep moisturized throughout the duration or it’ll come off in unnatural looking ways.

    Post # 10
    857 posts
    Busy bee

    @VMars:  hmmm, I’m pretty pale but haven’t experienced this. I have had spray tans from several places. Maybe try a different place? Go to Clinique and buy the purple toner (number 4 I  think?) it takes it off with one wipe I swear. 

    Post # 11
    95 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @VMars:  I worked at a Sun Tan City for two years in college so I got to do them for free…here are some thoughts:


    Yes, it is natural for them to get darker as time passes for the first day or so.


    I would never trust someone holding a spray gun like that because they’re only human and they’re not a track or any thing so it would understandable that they might be closer to you in one area than the other. Even a minute change can make a huge difference.

    I was told the difference between STC’s spray tan and others are the ingredients. Some places use the type of ingredients that will cause an orange tint, whereas STC uses ingredients that cause more of a natural rose-colored tint. I can’t remember what these ingredients are for the life of me, but I can definitely see the difference.

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