The Secrets Of A Perfect Spray Tan


Many of us covet the perfect golden glow to add a healthy radiance to our skin. Be it for a big event or just everyday wear. Cheating your way to a tan is much quicker, safer and cheaper than jetting off to the Maldives to get the real deal. Follow the examples of our numerous celebrity clients and get your glow the fake way. A spray tan with one of our tanning professionals in the comfort of your own home! Let Secret Spa guide you through the secrets of the spray tanning world…

How does a spray tan work?

The spray tanning liquid contains an ingredient called DHA (Dihydroxyacetone). This compound reacts with amino acids in your skin and oxygen in the air, leaving your skin a darker shade. This reaction happens differently depending on your skin tone. Our therapists will have a range of colours to suit every client.

Is spray tanning safe?

We sometimes get asked whether spray tans are bad for you. Spray tanning is the easiest way to achieve a healthy, bronzed glow without the risks that come with sun exposure. It eliminates the risk involved with UVB rays and sunbeds, and is completely safe. Please remember that the tanning product does not contain an SPF, so will not protect you from the sun.

As part of the consultation, our pros will check for allergies to ensure no adverse reaction to the spray tan.

How do I prepare for my spray tan?

Exfoliate your entire body before a spray tan using an exfoliating glove and a gentle sugar exfoliator. You should do this at least 24 hours prior to the tan. This will aid your tan by giving it an even surface to stick to. Exfoliating also reduces the amount of dead skin cells which can shed and make your tan look patchy.

You should also ensure that you have no product on your skin just before the tan. This includes moisturiser, perfume, or other creams and lotions.

What should I wear to be spray tanned?

Most people wear as little as possible to avoid those pesky, tell-tale tan lines on your body. Our therapists will provide a disposable thong for you to wear but wear your own if you prefer. If you do wear your own clothing be sure to wear dark colours so the tan doesn’t stain. Many will wear a black thong and go topless for an even tan. But if you feel more comfortable in a bikini, this is also standard practice.

Will the spray tan stain my house/furniture?

Your spray tanning professional will bring a spray tanning tent with them. This will entirely protect your house from being stained by tan.

What does the process involve?

Your therapist will set up their tanning equipment in a convenient location in your home. You will be asked to undress into what you want to wear during the tan. They will provide you with plastic stickers, known as sticky feet, to protect the soles of your feet. They will apply barrier cream to areas which often tan unevenly, such as elbows, nails and ankles.

Once you are prepared, your therapist will ask you to stand in the spray tanning tent and show you body poses which allow for the most even tan. They will work through each body part in turn. Be prepared for the spray to be a little cold. When tanning your face, they will ask you to hold your breath and close your eyes.

Once your whole body has colour on it, the therapist will allow you some time to stand and dry, so as not to disrupt the tan too early by getting dressed. Making sure the tan is 100% dry after a spray will decrease the risk of patching and uneven colour. Don’t be alarmed if the colour is darker than you want at this stage. It is just because of the guide colour in the tan solution which helps a therapist ensure the colour is even.

What should I wear after the spray tan?

As little as possible! Try to wear dark coloured, floaty clothing and avoid anything tight which could leave rub marks on your fresh tan. Wear flip-flops to avoid rubbing the tan off your feet.

How long does a spray tan take to develop and what should I do?

The tanning development process usually takes place over a period of about 8 hours, dependent on the type of tanning formula used. Therefore avoid showering for at least this time. It is best to sleep in your tan if possible. Wash your body in the morning and do not worry if you see a lot of colour going down the drain. This is because you are washing off the spray tan’s guide colour, your skin underneath will still be left beautifully tanned. After showering, use a light moisturiser all over your body. Avoid body oils which can actually speed up the breakdown of your tan.

For those in more of a hurry, we also offer an express spray tan. With this option, your glowing tan will develop within 1-3 hours.

How long will my spray tan last?

This depends on the tanning formula used. However, in general, spray tans last for up to 7 days with good tan maintenance. This length may be altered depending on how often you shower and go in the pool.

How can I prolong my tan?

Moisturising after every shower is essential to retain hydration in your skin and keep your tan looking healthy. Be sure to use an oil-free moisturiser, as oil can break down the tan. This also goes for sun cream – use an oil-free option to prolong your tan for longer.

Avoid using harsh products in the shower such as alcohol-filled body washes. After showers, try to dab yourself dry rather than rubbing with a towel. Exfoliating frequently is vital to remove dead skin cells from the upper surface of your skin to allow your tan to fade evenly. Try to exfoliate gently about 3 days after your spray tan to allow it to look better for longer as it starts to fade. If your tan is looking a little pale you can also top it up with a quick and easy gradual tanning lotion, such as Fake Bake’s Self Tan Lotion which can see you through until your next professional spray tan.

Can you get a spray tan when pregnant?

The active ingredient in spray tan is DHA, which is a non-toxic chemical that reacts with the outer layer of the skin to create a beautiful glow. It does not enter the bloodstream or penetrate further than this outer layer, therefore there’s no reason not to get a spray tan when pregnant. However, we recommend that clients in their first trimester do not get a spray tan.

It’s worth bearing in mind that when you are pregnant, your skin is often more sensitive and therefore more prone to irritation. As a precaution, we also recommended consulting your doctor before getting a spray tan when pregnant.

Can you spray tan after lash extensions?

The short answer is yes! But you have to wait at least 24 hours for the lash adhesive to fully dry. We’d suggest waiting 48 hours, just to be on the safe side. You should mention your lash extensions to your tanning therapist too. Carefully wash your lash extensions after your spray tan, to ensure that no tanning solution is still lingering.

It’s also fine to get your lash extensions before your spray tan. But again, you need to allow at least 24 hours before your lash appointment.

Can you tan through a spray tan?

Yes, you absolutely can tan through a spray tan. But that also means you can burn! Spray tans provide no UV barriers whatsoever, so your skin is just as vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Just because you have a gorgeous glowing spray tan does not mean that you won’t burn. Be sure to apply a strong SPF to protect your skin.

Can you shave after a spray tan?

We generally advise clients to shave before their spray tan if possible. This is because shaving exfoliates the skin, which is important preparation for a spray tan. It also means that it will fade your tan faster if done after. This doesn’t mean you can’t shave after a spray tan. To minimise the fading effect, try to use a new razor, as this will drag the skin less and leave more of your tan intact.

Can you put makeup on after a spray tan?

We recommend against wearing makeup immediately after your spray tan. The moisture in your makeup – especially foundations and other lotions – can cause your tan to blotch or create an uneven finish. Once you have showered after your tan has developed, you can go back to wearing makeup.

How long after a spray tan can you workout?

You absolutely must not exercise in the eight hours after your spray tan. This is because the sweat and friction caused by workouts will ruin the beautiful, smooth finish of your tan. Once you have washed off your spray tan, you can go back to exercising as normal. We recommend wearing seamless, breathable workout clothing and moisturising after your post-workout shower.

How long does a spray tan take?

Secret Spa offers a luxury and hassle-free spray tanning service in your own home and the full process takes 30 minutes in total. We have a choice of different brands on our menu including the Express Spray Tan, meaning you can go from pasty to golden and glowing in just 180 minutes! If you’re unsure which brand to go for, you can select the ‘Spray Tan’ option and your professional will carry out a full consultation to determine which solution is best for you. Many of our trained professionals are part of the Fake Bake, Sienna X and Vita Liberata Elite teams. This means they are experts of the spray tanning world, and can provide you with a bespoke service tailored to your needs.

How much does a spray tan cost?

Our spray tans start from £40. See our full spray tan menu for more detail and prices.

To book in for the perfect spray tan in the comfort of your home, book an appointment using our app or website.