What you should and shouldn't do after a spray tan

There's no better way to get a golden glow than with a spray tan — especially in the winter. All you have to do is head to the salon and 30 minutes later, you walk out looking naturally sun-kissed, minus the UV damage. But that's also the moment you usually realize you didn't take any notice when your beautician was talking about aftercare. Luckily, we've done the hard work for you and discovered exactly what you should and shouldn't do after a spray tan to make your faux color go the distance.

According to ELLE, the first thing you need to remember after you get a spray tan is to stay dry. Any splash of liquid (including sweat) could leave you with spots or streaks, so avoid the rain, the beach, and the gym. The second is to let your tan develop for about 8 hours before washing it off, usually until your shower water runs clear, and then gently pat your skin dry instead of briskly rubbing it with a towel. 

Spray tans usually last for around seven days

Once you've had your first shower post-spray tan, maintenance is as simple as moisturizing daily. However, Jules Von Hep, celebrity spray tanner and co-founder of Isle of Paradise, notes the importance of ensuring your moisturizer of choice doesn't contain oil, as it may fade tan rather than prolong it. "Oils will break down the pigments in the tan, so I definitely recommend avoiding them if you have a spray tan," Von Hep told Marie Claire

Von Hep also recommends topping up your glow with self-tanner. "I tell my clients to mix a few self-tanning drops in with their moisturizer and apply it daily, especially if they've gone swimming that day," he advised. 

Speaking of swimming, it's best to avoid chlorine where possible. "You can swim with a spray tan, but chlorine does have lightening properties and strips away skin cells which will break down your tan more quickly," Alyssa Hilliard, aesthetician and tanning expert at VersaSpa and Mystic Tan, told Bustle. If you swim in a chlorinated pool on the regular, be sure to shower immediately after exiting the pool.