How Do Spray Tans Work?

how do spray tans work
A spray tan is an artificial way to get a glow on your skin. You may get surprised after knowing the procedure of a spray tan that you will find here!

Beauty is an important part of the present world. People are now as conscious about their beauty as they are about their health. People are now looking for so many products, treatments, or options for beautifying themselves. All the enthusiasts and beginners are using makeup products, and beauty products and even going for surgery to make them look attractive. Spray tanning is one of the popular processes by which some artificial chemicals react on your skin by producing an artificial sun tan. This process provides a summer glow and can help you get the best tan.

So, how do spray tans work? Spray tan contains DHA (dihydroxyacetone) that reacts with the amino acid of your skin and darkens the skin. This chemical is absorbed in the top layer of your skin and produces artificial suntan. Spray tan looks so natural and it provides a glowing skin tone that looks so fresh and smooth. So let’s now dive into all things related to how a spray tan works in more detail and how long it will be able to stay on your skin with some effective tips and precautions!

What is Spray Tanning?

What is spray tanning

Spray tanning refers to a process where chemicals like Dihydroxyacetone are sprayed on the body. This makes the skin darker than its previous shades. The chemical has been used and considered safe for several decades. The chemicals applied in the spray tanning process last for a week, and the effects vanish. So, people who desire to maintain that skin tone and make it last longer may require weekly applications. This is a sunless tanning method that involves the application of fine mist onto the body. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is absorbed in the top layer of skin cells causing a chemical reaction and darkening your skin. The most significant part is, the coloration process is safe and approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So, Spray tan means a beauty treatment in which some particular chemicals are sprayed into your body that reacts with the skin producing an artificial suntan. This provides a classic-bronzed sun-kissed look artificially. Many people like since, spray tan suits all types of skin.

How Does Spray Tanning Work?

How does spray tanning work

A spray tan is an artificial way to tan your skin with a classic bronzed and sun-kissed look. The spray contains DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which is a single active glycerin derivative. DHA reacts with the amino acid of your skin and results in melanoidin formation. The spray tan will help you to provide a summer glow and can provide you with a perfect tan.

The chemical reacts with the outmost layer of your skin and makes the skin cells darker. DHA itself is colorless and the darkening of your skin depends on the DHA concentration and how much spray tan you use in that formula. A spray tan affects the dead skin cells and replaces the skin with a darker tone. If you want to make the color last longing, you need to reapply your spray tan regularly. Spray tanning helps to keep the summer glow. It helps you to get the right look and cover up spots on the skin. The skin cells get darker when the chemicals come in contact. The Mystic tan spray and self-tanning products will make a good combination that makes the tan last longer.

As extended exposure to the sun can damage your skin, Spray tan can be the best way to absorb the Vitamin D and darken the skin. This is the best way to get the perfect sun-kissed appearance within a very shorter period. This is the easiest and healthiest way to maintain the perfect tan without a single tan line. In this process, your skin going to shed and exfoliate by replacing the outer cells. It takes around two to four hours to start the tanning and they last nearly around a week. The more DHA you apply to your skin the darker tans you will get.

Spray Tanning Preparation

Spray tanning preparation

It is very important to prepare the skin before getting a spray tan. The preparation includes exfoliation of the skin to remove dead skin cells. Also, avoid applying lotions before you start the tanning process. These can act as barriers and can cause uneven tanning results. Here are some things that you need to make sure to do in preparation for a spray tan:

  • Exfoliating the skin: Prepare your skin by exfoliating your skin the night before your appointment. Scrub off the dead skin cells and expose the younger cells.
  • Taking a shower: Take a shower 2 hours before you go for spray tanning. This will help get rid of most of the natural oils present on top of the skin layer and help get rid of any dead skin cells after exfoliating your skin.
  • Shaving body hair: Shave the hair from your body before the appointment so that the spray tan can stick to your skin evenly.
  • Moisturizing: Moisturizing your skin is also recommended before applying a spray tan to keep your skin nice and smooth. You may get the best results by using a water-based moisturizer as the oily moisturizer may block the effectiveness of a spray.

Since the outer skin is the only thing that needs to be taken care of, this preparation can help get an even tan on your skin.

During Spray Tanning

During spray tanning

During the process of spray tanning, you must follow some methods and precautions.

  • Avoid using tight-fitting clothes as they may cause problems. Dark colors are recommended to wear during this process.
  • Be careful while choosing the underwear you are wearing during this process. It depends on you whether you will wear your bra or take it off during this process.
  • If you choose to take off your bra during this process, you should not put it back immediately after tanning. Wait for some hours as it can affect the tanning result.
  • For preventing unnecessary inhalation, you must use nose filters during the process.
  • You should also wear protective eye gear to ensure your safety during the tanning sessions.

Spray Tanning Post Care

Spray tanning post care

Don’t think that Once you are done with your spray tanning, you need to give time to the tan to develop and work well.

  • For the first 12 hours, you must avoid all the water and humidity.
  • Give it enough time to ensure that the tan is not uneven or streaky. And then rinse it in warm water.
  • Avoid using high-temperature or super-hot water.
  • After taking a shower, do not forget to moisturize. It will help you to keep the skin hydrated and make it last longer.

A spray tan may only last for 5-7 days. You can see that it is very simple and fast. So, you may follow some tips and tricks to make it last longer.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Spray Tan

There are some advantages as well as drawbacks of spray tanning.


  • Spray tanning can provide you with a golden glow without any exposure to skin damage or causing cancer.
  • This process helps to get a darker skin shade without any direct exposure to sun rays. This has no risk of skin cancer, photodamage, or premature aging.
  • This is the best option for the regions where the sun doesn’t shine and not enough to color the skin.
  • You can get the exact glow that you had in mind that too in a very quick time.
  • Spray tans are suitable for all types of skins. Your beautician can customize the solution and provide the perfect glow that matches your skin tone.
  • Spray tanning process is very quick and effective. You can see your desired result of tanning in a very short time.
  • Spray tans can cover sunspots, freckles, blemishes, or hyperpigmentation.


  • There are some health risks associated with the chemical used in this process. Exposure to DHA can cause some health issues.
  • There may be symptoms of redness, inflammation, or dehydration.
  • Spray tan makes your skin darker. But, this doesn’t mean that it will protect from sunburn. So, you still need to apply sunscreen before going outside.
  • During the spray tanning process, some people faced breathing problems, and some others. As a result, they must use nose filters for maintaining their safety.
  • It is very difficult to get a reliable salon at affordable rates. So, it may require time and research to find your desired salon.
  • If you do spray tan, your tans may get messy leaving behind the stains and streaks.
  • Spray tans last only 5-6 days. So, the lasting effect is a significant concern for some users. As it fades away quickly, it may require frequent application.

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Is Spray Tanning Safe?

is spray tanning safe

Spray tanning is a safer option than tanning your body under the sun. spray tanning helps prevent the risk of skin cancer and does not expose people to UV rays. This is a very quick and painless process through which your skin can get darker. This is one of the safest ways and it got approved by the food and drug administration.

Though there are some uncertainties regarding the effects of DHA, it is still considered safe for tanning. As there are some uncertainties, it is always encouraged to keep your mouth closed and hold your breath during spraying. Goggles and Plugs are also recommended to add an extra layer of protection to your skin. You must remember that spray tanning won’t help you against overexposure. So, you must use sunscreen before going outside even after tanning. So, though spray tan is considered safe, you must be aware of the side effects and take necessary precautions according to that.


1. How long does a spray tan last?

A spray tan generally last for 5-6 days. Light shades like bronze can fade very soon while the darker shades may last a week. Besides, some good quality spray tans may last up to a week.

2. Do spray tans look natural?

Your spray tans will look so natural. Generally, it doesn’t get uneven, artificial, or streaky. Rather, you may experience streaky or uneven tans because of using home tanning or other products.

3. How do you remove spray tan?

Mix lemon juice with a bit of baking soda. Saturate your skin with the mixture and let it stay for 5 minutes on the skin. This will help to remove the spray tan.

4. Do you spray tan your face?

Everyone may not require tanning on their face. But, people who desire for bronze glow on their face can go for this simple way. If anyone wants to tan their face, they must follow tips like preparation of their skin, application of the product, and post-care.

5. Do spray tans smell?

The ingredients and solutions used in the spray tan may release a different odor. The stink may last depending on the individual.

Final Thoughts

Spray tanning got very popular in this century in which the skin gets darker than the previous shades. A chemical named Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is used in this process which makes a chemical reaction and is absorbed in the top layer of the skin. This is a unique beauty treatment in which the chemicals are sprayed into your body and produce an artificial suntan. During this process, the dead skin cells are affected and it is replaced with a darker skin tone. This can be considered one of the best ways to get a sun-kissed appearance on your body. For getting the best spray tan, you need to prepare your body and follow the aftercare methods too. Though there are some risks associated with it, you may get your best tanning by following the necessary precautions.

Key Points

  • Spray tanning refers to a beauty treatment through which your skin gets tanned artificially.
  • Spray tanning can help you get a classic bronzed and sun-kissed look by providing a summer glow on your face.
  • You must prepare your skin by scraping off the dead skin cells from the skin and providing hydration to the skin.
  • Spray tans are suitable for all types of skin and the solutions may be customized to match your skin tone.
  • Though there are some uncertainties regarding the effects of DHA, it is considered one of the safest ways to tan your skin.

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