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A quick note for our first-timers

Welcome! We are so glad that you've decided to try your first spray tan! Spray tanning is a unique beauty service in that it relies HEAVILY on client preparation and post-tan aftercare for proper results. A common saying in the industry is "results are 50% your artist & 50% you." With that in mind, it is imperative that ALL prep instructions and post-tan care instructions are followed in order to achieve desired results. Please read the below carefully. We can't wait to see you! 

Spray Tan Prep
Scroll down if looking for post-tan care

1 week before appointment

Discontinue use of retinol or Dove products. Retinol is strong enough to strip the tan on your face even days after you use it!


Have other beauty appointments? Make sure these are scheduled to occur before your spray tan appointment. This includes waxes, manicures & pedicures, as well as hair and brow appointments. Spray is last!

Summer notice: We strongly advise against spraying over any sunburn received within the last 4 weeks. Even non-peeling sunburns can make spray tans appear uneven and blotchy. Wear your sunscreen in the weeks leading up to your tan!

The night before OR morning of your appointment (at least 4 hours before appointment)

Time for your prep shower! First you'll want to shave. Make sure to shave before the next step.


Next step is to exfoliate your entire body head to toe with our exfoliation mitt. Loofahs, washcloths, and sugar scrubs won't cut it for spray tan prep. You need something strong! Our mitts can be ordered online or picked up at our salon. Failure to exfoliate with a mitt will result in an uneven, quick fading tan. 

For your appointment

You'll want to arrive without any makeup, deodorant, perfume, or lotion applied to any area of the face or body. These can all interfere with adherence of the solution to your skin. We need a blank canvas! 

Note that we understand some of you are coming straight from work and need to wear some makeup and deodorant. If so, just request some wipes at your appointment and we can provide!

Be sure to wear loose, dark clothes to put on after your appointment, with loose sandals or slippers for shoes (the tan will not stain your clothes). Wearing leggings, jeans, bras, or tennis shoes directly after your spray will cause the tan to develop unevenly.  Most of our clients prefer to spray completely naked--however if you prefer to spray in underwear, be sure to bring that as well. We do provide disposable thongs upon request!

PS: Feeling a bit uneasy about this part of the process? Watch this short video

 A pre-note on post-tan care

At The Glow Dr, we use the most premium luxury spray solutions available on the market. And this is great! However premium solutions require special spray-tan-safe products. They don't play well with drugstore products. Out of all the products we offer, our body butter lotion and body lather wash are the most 'essential.' We strongly recommend our clients plan to utilize these for proper results. Use of drugstore body washes and lotions will cause the tan to fade much quicker, and will likely cause the tan to appear blotchy and uneven. 

We offer our body wash and lotion for 20% off for all first time clients. To take advantage, you can grab these at your appointment! 

Helpful Materials

Have more questions about the appointment process or spray tanning in general? We bet our "Beginner's Ultimate Guide to your First Spray Tan" can help with that. Read it here

Looking for a more in depth explanation of prep instructions? Watch this 5 minute video.

Follow us on Instagram @theglowdr__ for more spray tan tips and deals!

Post Tan Care

Immediately following spray appointment

Right after your spray is when you look a bit crazy. Don't worry! This is a regular part of the process. The color that you're currently seeing will completely wash off during your first rinse, leaving only an even, natural color behind. 

Remain in only loose, dark clothes until your prescribed rinse time. Avoid putting your bra back on. Keep jewelry off. Stay completely dry and avoid sweating. 


Avoid touching your hands to other parts of your skin. This is a common mistake for first-timers and results in unwanted color on the hands the next day.  When taking pants/shorts on and off, keep hands on the outside of the garment rather than dragging your thumbs up and down your legs.

First rinse time

Hop in the shower at your prescribed rinse time. Color will begin to show in the water. This is a normal part of the process. You can use your hands to help rinse off this color. Exit the shower once the water runs completely clear again. This usually takes about 5-10 minutes. Do not use soap or body wash for the first rinse. Water only. Do not shave during first rinse. 

Note that rinsing any earlier or later than your prescribed time, especially for rapid formulas, will result in a darkness level that may be lighter or darker than desired.

Directions differ slightly after your rinse, depending on if you used a rapid formula or a standard/overnight formula.

For rapid formulas: Your tan will appear very light immediately after rinse. This is because the guard color has been rinsed off, but the real color takes 24 hours to fully show up. Rest assured that your color will re-develop throughout the night and you will achieve your fully developed desired color 24 hours after your appointment. You can moisturize your face right after you rinse, but hold off on moisturizing the rest of your body until about 12-20 hours after your appointment time. Most rapid tan clients apply their 1st spray safe lotion/oil the next morning. Do not skip.

For standard/overnight formulas: Apply your first round of spray safe lotion/oil immediately after your rinse. Do not skip this step. 

First night

Always, always, always wear long sleeves to bed the first night after your appointment, even if you rinsed beforehand. Failure to sleep in clothes the first night will result in uneven marks on the body where skin-to-skin contact occurred, especially on the hands/palms. Feel free to sleep naked any other night with the tan, just not the first night. 

The following days until tan is gone

Feel free to resume wearing normal clothes & jewelry, and working out the day after your appointment. You can go back to using body wash and shaving (if desired) for all showers after the first rinse. Remember that use of drugstore body washes will cause the tan to fade prematurely and may cause streaking and blotches. 

Always pat dry with a towel after showering and keep showers short.

Apply your spray-safe moisturizer head-to-toe at least once every single day. This is extremely important for the longevity and fading process. Failure to apply a moisturizer or use of a drugstore moisturizer will result in a tan that crackles & fades quickly and unevenly. 

Avoid the following things for the life of the tan:

- loofahs and washcloths (shower with hands only)

- shaving cream and lotioned razors (use spray safe body wash to replace shaving cream and use simple razors)

- long baths

- aerosol sunscreen (use lotion sunscreen only)

- exfoliants (scrubs, exfoliating acids, especially retinol)

- perfumes applied directly to the skin (spray over clothing)

- drugstore body washes and moisturizers

Tan longevity and fade information

Provided all prep and post-tan instructions are followed, as well as only spray-safe products used, your color can last about 10-14 days before it is completely faded. Keep in mind that this does NOT mean that color is the same every day. Tan will naturally lighten every day as skin cells turn over. Color is darkest for the first 2 days.  By the second week, color will be significantly lighter than the first week. 

The face and neck will fade much faster than the rest of the body. This is true for all spray tans from any provider using any solution. This is due to a number of reasons: first, the skin cells on our face and neck turn over at about double the rate of the rest of the body, & second, many of us apply and remove makeup, which takes the tan off with it during the removal process. Skincare regiments also contribute to this process. 

We do offer a facial tanning spray to remedy this! Simply spray at night once your face fades, and wake up to new color that matches the rest of the body! Ask about it at your next appointment or order here

Swimming effects: Our solutions are remarkably swim proof compared to other sunless solutions, making them a great choice for vacation tans. However, swimming (especially in chlorine) will unavoidably cause color to fade a bit faster than if you weren't swimming. So for your tropical vacations, you can expect about 7-10 days our of your color. 

In order to lessen the chlorine's effect on your tan, apply a spray-safe moisturizer before and after swimming. This puts a barrier between your skin and the water, making the chlorine less able to eat at the skin and fade the tan. 

Helpful Videos

Looking for a more in depth explanation of post-tan care instructions? Watch this video.


Follow us on Instagram @theglowdr__ for more spray tan tips and deals!

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