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Everything you need to know about spray tans


So we have have all seen “the one where Ross gets a spray tan” and I’m sure you have all heard a spray tan horror story however out of all of the beauty treatments we offer I think a spray tan would be the one I couldn’t live without!

Things you need to know before going for a spray tan

  • Most tans have a guide colour and its usually brown- this is so the therapist can see where they are applying the tan- it is not the colour the tan will come out when it has developed! So if it immediately looks much darker or lighter than you thought don’t worry- you will be rinsing this guide colour off and then your tan will have developed underneath.
  • Usually you need to leave the guide colour on your skin for 8 hours (though there are some faster activating tans) so it’s best to have the spray tan in the evening and then go home to bed or if you are having it during the day make sure you don’t have a lot planned- whilst your guide colour is on you cant get it wet at all, you need to wear loose clothes (as tight straps etc could rub the guide colour off) and you can’t apply any products over the top of the guide colour.
  • Excess guide colour may come off onto your clothes and bedsheets, it will wash out and won’t stain.
  • The spray tan reacts with the melanin in your skin- this means that the more tanned you are to begin with or the better you naturally tan the darker your spray tan will go. There are different shades of tans so ask before you book if there is a choice (light, medium, dark etc) however there isn’t a definite colour chart with tans- you could have the exact same spray tan as your friend and the colour could look quite different due to the melanin content in your skin being different to your friends .
  • It will be cold! As its a spray the solution always feel cold (this is super refreshing in the summer but a bit chilly in the winter).
  • Your therapist has sprayed tanned a lot of people, they have seen a lot of bodies, we know its a big deal to get semi naked in front of a stranger but your therapist will not even bat an eyelid. It’s second nature to them, they will not be judging you so don’t be worried or embarrassed.


How to prep for your appointment


You should be advised how to prepare your skin for your spray tan but these are the general rules;

  • Hair removal should be done at least 24 hours before
  • Exfoliating and moisturising should be done at least 24 hours before.
  • Your skin should be completely product free on the day- no moisturiser, body products, perfume, deodorant and make up- if you need to put these on during the day you would need to shower before your appointment.

Do I have to get naked?


No. Most people wear either their own underwear or paper underwear provided at the salon on their bottom half and are usually naked on their top half. However if you’d prefer to be a bit more covered up and wear a bra, a swimming costume etc then that’s fine- just bear in mind that whatever you are wearing will leave strap marks/tan lines. If you really don’t want any tan lines and would prefer to be naked just ask your therapist.


How long does it last?

7-10 days before it has completely faded. Spray tans are usually at their best colour until around day 4 when they have started to fade. 

How to maintain your tan

  • Moisturise every day using the St Tropez moisturiser
  • Exfoliate every 2 to 3 days with St Tropez body polish.
  • Cleansers and shower gels can be used however please be aware that some shower gels, moisturisers and scrubs can affect your tan especially if they contain oil or essential oils- this may affect how long your tan lasts or how it fades.
  • Shower rather then bath if possible.

How often can I tan?

It’s recommended to wait a week in between tans but it’s really up to you- you shouldn’t really need them anymore than every 7 days. If you are having them weekly then its really important to exfoliate and moisturise regularly as if you let it go patchy and then tan over the top the new tan won’t be completely even- this will keep happening and you can end up with a tan build up. If you do get a tan build up then there are removers you can use- the st tropez tan removal mitt is amazing!


Does it give you sun protection or stop you burning?


No. You still need to wear suncream- it will give you no sun protection at all it is just dyeing your skin.

Can I have one for holiday and will it stop me getting a natural tan?


I always get a tan before holiday and wouldn’t go without one! So yes would be my answer but there are a couple of things you need to consider-

  • Chlorine will bleach the tan (gradually, not just from one dip in the pool!)
  • Prolonged water exposure will fade it quicker.
  • Sun creams may affect the tan
  • There is also a risk that if you don’t tan very well naturally like me you will come back whiter than when you left!

So you just need to make sure you take your exfoliator and moistuiser with you (St Tropez moisturiser contains aloe vera so is also a great aftersun) and use these regularly to prevent the tan going patchy. I would personally take the St tropez everyday tanning moisturiser with me so I could top up then tan whilst I’m away (this solves the coming back whiter than I left problem!) however if you tan well naturally your natural tan will just take over as the spray tan fades- the spray tan does not stop your tanning naturally at all.


If it’s for an event when should I have my tan?

I would advise getting your spray tan one or two days before the event. If you’ve never had one before then you might want to trial it before the actual event to make sure you like it (for example if you were getting it done for your wedding!)


Just a word of warning spray tans are pretty addictive. You may walk into your first appointment a bit anxious and asking it to be very light and natural but fast forward to your fourth spray tan when you’re asking us if there’s anything darker than ultra dark! So whilst it might seem like a scary concept right now, 5 mins into your first appointment you will wonder what you were even worrying about. 

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