Spray Tan Shades Guide + Best 2023 Expert Tested Products

Looking for the ideal spray tan shades without compromising your skin’s health? Your search ends here!

As your personal skincare expert, I’ve meticulously researched and tested various spray tans to craft the ultimate guide for achieving a natural, head-turning tan…

With expert consultations, top product recommendations, and thorough evaluations, my approach ensures a flawless sun-kissed glow while prioritizing your skin’s well-being.

Keep reading to discover the top-perfect spray tan shades and techniques to unleash your inner beauty queen!

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you purchase after clicking on our links.

Key Takeaways

  • Before choosing a spray tan shade, factors include skin tone, undertone, seasonal changes, and DHA levels.
  • Choose a tan that complements your natural skin tone and undertones to achieve the perfect shade.
  • Choose season-friendly shades, and check for the level of DHA before tanning.

Check out my spray tan machine reviews to determine which one works best for you!

How to Choose the Ideal Shade and Read a Spray Tan Chart

Spray tanning has become a popular and convenient alternative to traditional sun tanning, and choosing the right spray tan color is essential to achieving the perfect look.

To help you determine which artificial colors will best complement your complexion, I’ve provided a shade chart guaranteed to help you achieve the perfect shade – let’s go!

1. Skin Tone

The spray tan shades you want should come real close to your natural skin tone. The skin tones are usually divided into five categories:

different Skin tones
Very fair skin
Fair skin 
Medium skin tone
Dark skin tones
Very dark tone

Before I continue, let me ask you to do a patch test!

I have very sensitive skin and speak from experience here – patch testing can save your skin from any potential rashes or outbursts (or embarrassments – not fun!).

If you’re unsure about your skin type, check out the Fitzpatrick skin types [2]:

Fair Skin Tones 

Those with very fair or fair skin tones should opt for a soft, warm glow or a shade lighter to complement their natural color.

lady with a bright smile

To achieve a natural, sun-kissed appearance, selecting a shade that complements and enhances your fair skin without overpowering it is essential.

When choosing a spray tan color for fair skin, opt for a soft, warm glow or a shade slightly darker than your natural skin tone.

To be more specific, I recommend the Light Glow shade:

Perfect Shade for Fair Skin Tones: Light Glow

For those with fair skin and cool undertones, the Light Glow shade is perfect.

It provides a subtle sun-kissed glow for first-time tanners or anyone looking for a minimal tan.

This will add a hint of color, giving you a refreshed and radiant look without being too dramatic or appearing unnatural.

As for the perfect product to bring out that natural shade, I’ve got a product I know you’ll fall in love with:

Recommended Product For Fair Skin: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mist

If you’re a fair-skin beauty with light skin tones, I highly recommend the St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mist.

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This cruelty-free mist has received a 4.5 out of 5-star rating and provides a streak-free tan in just 60 seconds. 

Plus, the color continues developing for hours, leaving you with a natural glow!

“Overall, I’m thrilled with my purchase and would highly recommend the St. Tropez Self Tan to anyone looking for a fast, easy, and safe way to get a beautiful tan.” says beauty expert Kara T.

The best part? This premium beauty product is suitable for all skin types, including medium-deep skin tones, and is priced at only $70.00.

How To Use St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mist
  1. Exfoliate your skin 24 hours prior to application
  2. Shake the can well before using
  3. Hold the can 6 inches away from your skin, and apply in long, sweeping motions
  4. Wait 60 seconds before getting dressed, and avoid water for at least 8 hours
  5. Shower after 8 hours for a beautiful, natural-looking tan

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Medium Skin Tones

Getting bronzed is easy if you get the best spray tan booth. Just a few minutes and out, you come out with a magical glow. But there is more to the science of picking out your perfect shade…

Celebrity Spray Tan Artist Chasidy McDowell [3] says, “Your goal should be to have your tan look so natural that no one would ever guess it’s fake.”

As an experienced spray tan enthusiast, I can attest to the importance of choosing the right shade for your skin tone.

In the spray tan shades chart, medium-skin beauties can carry off bronze, classic shades, and caramel.

Shade Type To Get: Medium Bronze

The Medium Bronze shade is ideal for individuals with light to medium skin tones. It creates a natural-looking tan with a warm, golden finish.

women getting sunbath but how long in the sun to get vitamin d

The best part: This skin type can embrace the sun-kissed glow easily (check out this product!).

Recommended Product For Medium Skin Tones: Minetan Spray Tan Correcting Mist

As for a product, I recommend trying out the Minetan Spray Tan Correcting Mist in Caramel shade to achieve a natural-looking golden skin finish!

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Here’s how exited users are:

“Wow! This product is simply amazing! I recently purchased the Minetan Spray Tan Correcting Mist in Caramel shade, and I am in love with the natural sun-kissed golden skin finish it gives me. It’s cruelty-free! I achieved my desired tan in just one hour with a professional salon formula. I highly recommend this product to anyone with medium skin tones like me!” – Sarah.

Go ahead and try out the Minetan Spray Tan Correcting in the Caramel shade…

Kay, who recently purchased the Minetan Spray Tan Correcting mist in Caramel shade, said, “This product is simply amazing! You should try it out if you have medium skin tones like me!

This incredible spray tan mist offers a natural sun-kissed golden skin finish without any orange tones or fake tan smell – best of all: it’s cruelty-free!

Plus, with a professional salon formula, you can achieve your desired tan in just one hour.

How To Use Minetan Spray Tan Correcting Mist
  1. Prep your skin by exfoliating and moisturizing the day before
  2. Apply the solution to your skin using a spray tan machine
  3. Keep the machine at least 8-10 inches away from your skin for even coverage
  4. Wait for the tan to develop for 1-3 hours, depending on your desired intensity
  5. Rinse off in a lukewarm shower, avoiding soaps and scrubs

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Dark Skin Tones

You’ll shine with a chocolate shade if you have a darker skin tone. You may not need regular spray tans, but they can help hide blemishes and give the appearance of smooth-looking skin.

black woman putting sunscreen on her arms

Opt for a spray tan color one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone.

For a perfect shade, pick the Deep Tan shade…

Recommended Shades: Deep Tan/Dark Bronze/Ultra Dark

The Deep Tan shade is perfect for you with dark skin tones. It offers a rich, caramel tan that looks like you’ve been on a tropical vacation for a week.

Next, go with the dark bronze shade…

The Dark Bronze shade is also a perfect choice for darker skin tones.

Lastly, if you have very dark skin tones or want to make a bold statement, the Ultra Dark shade is for you. It offers the deepest, most intense color for a dramatic, sun-kissed look.

Whether you’re looking for a rich caramel or sultry bronze tan, these shades will give you a natural-looking glow that will have you feeling confident and beautiful.

By understanding the different spray tan shades available and choosing the right product for your skin tone, you can achieve a gorgeous, natural-looking tan that enhances your unique beauty.

Avoid choosing a spray tan color that is too light, as this may not appear on dark skin.

Although you may not need regular spray tans with darker skin tones, they can help hide blemishes and give the appearance of smooth-looking skin.

To achieve a beautiful, natural-looking glow, CHECK OUT this product…

Recommended Products For Dark Skin Tones: Jergens Natural Glow

It’s easy to get lost in the wardrobe of products – but there’s hope. If you’re blessed with darker skin, try the Jergens Natural Glow.

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One Amazon user raves, “I’m obsessed with this product! It has transformed my skin and given me a beautiful, natural-looking glow.

The Jergens Natural Glow Self Tanner Lotion is a game-changer for anyone looking to achieve a natural-looking tan without the harmful effects of the sun.

As someone who struggled to find the perfect self-tanner for my medium skin tone, I was excited to try this product.

Unlike self-tanners that can leave you looking orange or streaky, the Jergens Natural Glow Self Tanner Lotion blends seamlessly into the skin for a flawless finish.

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Not only does this product give you a beautiful glow, but it also moisturizes and nourishes your skin with every use.

Now that you’re a skin tone connoisseur, you’re ready to move to skin undertones – but first, let me give you a heads up on how to use it:

How To Use Jergens Natural Glow
  1. Apply evenly to freshly cleansed and exfoliated skin
  2. Use sparingly around elbows, knees, and ankles
  3. Wash hands after application to avoid staining
  4. Allow the product to dry for a few minutes before getting dressed
  5. Use daily until you achieve your desired color, then apply every other day to maintain

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Rub your hands together and get ready to delve head first into skin undertones…

2. Skin Undertone

Understanding your skin undertone is crucial for achieving the perfect tan and choosing the right tanning products.

lipstick shade for brown skin

Skin experts and dermatologists usually divide skin undertones into 3 groups:

  1. Neutral undertone
  2. Cool undertone
  3. Warm undertone

Undertones and The Perfect Tan: What’s the rush? 

If you want to achieve the perfect sun-kissed glow, it’s essential to understand your skin’s undertones and choose the appropriate tanning products.

As Jules Von Hep, master tanner and founder of Isle of Paradise, says, “Don’t shy away from tanning if you have a pale complexion, as numerous formulas available today cater to every skin type and tone. [5]”

So what’ve undertones got to do with the tan? A cosmetic bronzer is generally added to tanning solutions to change your complexion.

Violet-based or green-based additives are colorants in an ideal spray that you must choose from to get the best results from your tan.

Celebrity spray tan artist Kristyn Pradas [4], who tans celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid, emphasizes the importance of selecting the perfect spray to achieve the best indoor tanning salon results..

Once you know your skin’s shade and base pigmentation, you can easily choose the correct spray tan formula. Here’s what you should consider for each skin undertone:

Neutral Undertones

You may have a neutral undertone if you have a grey skin appearance. Your vein color shows both blue and green.

Recommended Shade: Medium Bronze

You can achieve the perfect sun-kissed glow with the Medium Bronze shade, specially designed for those with neutral undertones – it will be the perfect complement.

This shade provides a beautiful and warm golden finish, enhancing your natural beauty without appearing too overpowering.

If you have a neutral undertone, I’d like you to try this amazing product…

Recommended Product for Neutral Undertones: St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse

Ideal for those with neutral undertones, this advanced bronzing mousse offers adaptable color and a warm glow that can be achieved within 1-3 hours.

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One satisfied Amazon reviewer mentioned, “I was amazed at how quickly this product gave me a beautiful, natural-looking tan without any streaks.”

When I first used the St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse, I was impressed by how quickly it developed into a natural-looking, streak-free tan.

This advanced bronzing mousse is perfect for neutral undertones, as it provides customizable color and a warm glow in as little as 1-3 hours.

The lightweight formula is also great: It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, making it an excellent choice for achieving a radiant, natural-looking glow.

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How To Use St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
  1. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin 24 hours before application
  2. Apply the mousse evenly using a tanning mitt in circular motions
  3. Wait 1-3 hours, depending on your desired tan depth
  4. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry
  5. Moisturize daily to prolong your tan

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Now, for those with warm undertones, scroll down for a surprise…

Warm Undertones

You may have warm or golden undertones if you have a yellow hue on the skin. How can you tell? You have blue-green veins, and your skin is prone to a suntan…

As for a great shade, I recommend the Deep Tan:

Recommended Shades: Deep Tan/Dark Bronze

The deep tan shade is incredible for warm undertones.

More so, it provides a rich, deep, natural-looking tan that complements your warm skin tone, making you look like you’ve spent a week on a tropical beach.

The Deep Tan shade is perfect for those who want a more intense tan to make them stand out. It will bring out the warmth in your skin tone, giving you a radiant and sun-kissed glow.

You can also try the Dark Bronze shade.

In fact, it provides a stunning, dark tan that enhances your natural complexion without looking unnatural.

Recommended Product for Warm Undertones: Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tanning Liquid Spray

I highly recommend the Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tanning Liquid Spray for those with warm undertones, as it provides a deep, natural-looking tan that enhances warm skin tones.

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This easy-to-apply liquid formula offers a deep, natural-looking tan that complements warm skin tones.

One satisfied Amazon customer shared, “I have warm undertones, and this self-tanning spray gives me the perfect golden glow I’ve been looking for!”

What’s more, the product has a professional mitt for streak-free application, ensuring an even, radiant tan!

How To Use Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tanning Liquid Spray
  1. Prepare your skin by exfoliating and moisturizing 24 hours prior
  2. Apply the liquid spray evenly with the included professional mitt
  3. Use gloves to avoid staining your hands
  4. Allow the tan to develop for 4-6 hours before showering
  5. Moisturize daily to maintain your radiant tan

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If you have cooler undertones, I’ve got you covered…

Cooler Undertones

If you have pink or reddish skin, you probably have cooler undertones. Silver jewelry suits you, and you have bluish-purple veins.

Recommended Shade: Light Glow

If you’re blessed with cool undertones, the Light Glow shade is perfect.

If you have cooler undertones, choosing a self-tanner that complements your skin tone can help enhance your natural beauty.

The Light Glow shade is an excellent option for those with pink or reddish skin.

This shade provides a subtle sun-kissed glow, perfect for first-time tanners or those looking for a minimal tan.

By selecting the Light Glow shade, you’ll achieve a radiant and refreshed look that complements your cool undertones.

For a perfect product to bring out your cool undertones, check out this one…

Recommended Product for Cooler Undertones: Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse

I have found from using the Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse for those with cool undertones that it provides a rich, natural-looking tan that complements cool skin tones.

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This salon-quality self-tanner offers long-lasting, streak-free results thanks to its quick-drying, lightweight formula.

An Amazon reviewer shared, “I have cool undertones, and this bronzing mousse delivers the perfect tan without any streaks or stickiness!”

One thing that sets this product apart is its quick-drying, lightweight formula.

Unlike other self-tanners that can feel heavy or sticky, the Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse is easy to apply and absorbs quickly, making your skin smooth and refreshed.

When I got my friend Kelly to try it, the cheerful aroma bewitched her – and she agreed:

This product delivers on its promises, providing a rich, natural-looking tan that lasts.

So go ahead and give this baby a go – in the end, what have you got to lose?!

How To Use Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse
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  1. Ensure your skin is clean, exfoliated, and dry
  2. Apply the mousse using a tanning mitt in circular motions
  3. Use sparingly on areas like elbows, knees, and ankles
  4. Allow the tan to develop for 6-8 hours
  5. Rinse off with warm water and enjoy your natural-looking tan

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Choosing the right self-tanner for your undertone can be challenging, but with my expert-recommended products, you can confidently achieve a stunning, sun-kissed glow…

With the right product, you can have a flawless, natural-looking tan all year round – I am proof of this!

Eager for more? Check out this quick tutorial on how to find your skin undertone:

@missfernandez__ Do you have warm or cool skin undertones? #fashion #stylingtips ♬ original sound – Kristine Fernandez

3. Seasonal Factors

It’s best to get season-friendly shades to avoid looking out of place.

During the warmer months, opting for darker, more golden tones that mimic the effects of natural sun exposure is generally acceptable.

In contrast, lighter, more natural shades are recommended during the cooler months to avoid looking out of place.

Summer Tanning

If you’re getting a tan in the summer, it’s okay to go darker and more golden than usual. But if you’re getting it done in the winter, you may want to steer clear of the dark shades.

close-up shot of a lady's legs while tanning

Recommended Product for Summer Tanning: Australian Gold Instant Sunless Tanning Spray

As someone who loves to have a sun-kissed glow and a skincare expert with years of experience, I’ve tried many different self-tanning products.

Janet, who has tested various self-tanning products, says, “After putting it to the test, I can confidently say that this spray creates a gorgeous, natural-looking bronze that lasts for days.”

But the Australian Gold Instant Sunless Tanning Spray is one of my favorites, especially for summer.

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After putting it to the test, I can confidently say that this spray creates a gorgeous, natural-looking bronze that lasts for days.

The best part? It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, making my skin smooth and radiant.

If you want to get a beautiful, sunless tan without spending hours in the sun, I highly recommend trying this product. I bet you – you will love it!

How To Use Australian Gold Instant Sunless Tanning Spray

  1. Cleanse and exfoliate your skin before application
  2. Hold the spray 6-8 inches from your skin and apply it evenly
  3. Use a tanning mitt to blend the product for a streak-free finish
  4. Wait at least 2 hours before showering or sweating
  5. Reapply as needed to maintain your desired color

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Now for the ultimate guide to winter tanning, the next sentence will answer your call…

Winter Tanning

Your winter spray should be light shades for natural-looking skin.

Your skin may be well-suited to a hint of sunset, chocolate, or brown shades in the spring season.

Recommended Product: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion

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Winter is when our skin needs some extra care and nourishment, so I am excited to recommend the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion for winter tanning.

From my experience, this body lotion provides a gentle, natural-looking tan that gradually builds over time, even in cold weather, and fits perfectly with my winter clothing.

One of the things that I love the most about this product is that it’s also a daily moisturizer, keeping my skin hydrated and nourished throughout the winter months.

Better yet, it’s an all-in-one solution that saves me time and keeps my skin looking healthy and radiant.

If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to achieve a natural-looking tan during winter, the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion is the way to go.

How To Use St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion
  1. Apply daily to clean dry skin in circular motions
  2. Use sparingly around elbows, knees, and ankles
  3. Wash hands after application to avoid staining
  4. Allow the lotion to absorb fully before getting dressed
  5. Use daily to build a subtle, natural-looking tan

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Spring Tanning

As the weather begins to warm up in the spring, think about shades like sunset, chocolate, or brown.

These tones will beautifully enhance your complexion and transition smoothly into the season. After all, spring is a time of renewal, so give your skin a fresh start with a revitalizing tan.

Recommended Product: Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid

If you want to target these shades, look no further than the Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid.

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This self-tanner is the perfect way to give your skin a natural-looking glow just in time for the season.

Plus, the included application mitt makes it easy to apply, and the quick-drying formula ensures you’re ready to go quickly.

“This product is the fountain of wonders,” writes passionate beauty expert Nimmy P.

After using it, I’m confident in recommending this product to anyone looking for a flawless spring tan!

How To Use Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid
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  1. Apply daily to clean, dry skin in circular motions
  2. Use sparingly around elbows, knees, and ankles
  3. Wash hands after application to avoid staining
  4. Allow the lotion to absorb fully before getting dressed
  5. Use daily to build a subtle, natural-looking tan

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Fall Tanning

As the leaves change and temperatures cool, opt for a tan that complements the cozy autumn atmosphere.

A warm, medium shade with a subtle golden undertone is perfect for fall, enhancing your natural beauty without looking too intense.

Recommended Product for Fall Tanning: Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam in Dark

I have a friend named Sarah who is always raving about the Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam in Dark. She’s been using it for months now and loves it.

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One time, she and I were getting ready for a fall-themed party, and I remember being blown away by how beautiful her tan looked.

When I asked her what she used, she immediately recommended the Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam. 

This foam creates a beautiful, natural-looking tan that’s perfect for the autumn months. I love how it’s easy to apply and dries quickly, leaving my skin with a lovely, warm glow that suits the season.

Now, you’re equipped with recommendations for tanning products suitable for every season, ensuring you maintain a beautiful, natural-looking tan all year round.

Remember to choose the right shade for your skin tone, undertone, and season to achieve the best results.

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How To Use Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam in Dark
  1. Exfoliate your skin 24 hours before application
  2. Apply the foam evenly using a tanning mitt
  3. Use long, sweeping motions for a streak-free finish
  4. Allow the tan to develop for 1-6 hours, depending on your desired intensity
  5. Shower with warm water, and pat dry to reveal your gorgeous tan

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4. DHA

DHA is the active ingredient in all tanning solutions and is why your skin pigmentation changes. Check for the level of DHA before you get your tanning game on [1].

The higher the amount of DHA in the bronzing solution, the darker your skin will get. If you are not sure about shades of the spray tan, ask your tan specialist.

A reasonable price spray tan can help you get a gorgeous shade! Here’s a short video on the color theory of spray tanning for your viewing pleasure:

Now you’re ready for the other factors that affect the gorgeous glow in the spray tanning process:

Other Factors To Consider To Achieve Magical Shades

Aside from skin tone, undertone, season, and DHA content, there are other factors to consider when choosing the right spray tan color.

As an expert in beauty and skincare, I’m here to guide you through selecting the perfect self-tanner for your needs. Let’s start with Formula Types…

lady holding a spray tan

Here are the 3 formula types you should know about – they can be broken down into the following:

1. Clear Formulas 

Clear formulas provide a more subtle, gradual tan, while tinted formulas show where the product has been applied and the extent of the coverage.

If you want a natural-looking, gradual tan, a clear formula is your path to success. These products take time to develop to achieve a subtle, streak-free tan without sudden surprises.

2. Tinted Formulas 

If you’re new to self-tanning and want even coverage, a tinted formula with a color guide is your best bet.

You can see exactly where you’ve applied the product and how much coverage you have, making avoiding streaks and missed spots easier.

3. Bronzing Formulas 

Now, what if you need a quick, temporary tan for a special event or occasion? A bronzing formula will provide an immediate, dark tan that washes off after showering.

4. Scent and Ingredients

Do you prefer a scented or fragrance-free product? Look for natural and organic ingredients to minimize the risk of skin irritation and ensure a healthier tan.

5. Skin Preparation and Maintenance

Finally, proper skin preparation and maintenance are crucial for achieving the best results with a self-tanner.

Exfoliating and moisturizing your skin beforehand will help your tan last longer and look more even.

woman exfoliating her skin before tanning, one important tanning bed tips

And after you’ve applied the self-tanner, be sure to moisturize daily and avoid harsh exfoliants to prolong your tan and ensure it fades naturally.

6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Self-Tanning Product Based on Your Unique Needs

Are you ready to achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed glow without risking sun damage?

Great! I’ve got you covered with my expert-tested tips for choosing the perfect self-tanning product based on your unique needs.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Determine your undertone (warm, cool, or neutral) by examining your veins or jewelry preferences.
  2. Next, choose a self-tanner designed explicitly for your undertone to achieve a natural-looking tan.
  3. Consider the occasion and desired tan depth to determine which product to use. 
  4. Don’t forget to consider your preferences, like your favorite application method (mousse, lotion, spray, etc.) and how much time you have for the tanning process.
  5. For sensitive skin or allergies, look for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, or specifically formulated products to avoid irritation.

Decide if you want a matte or shimmering finish. Some self-tanners include light-reflecting particles for an added glow, while others offer a more natural, matte finish.

8 Easy Steps To Apply Your Perfect Spray Tan

Achieving a flawless spray tan starts with proper application. Follow these 8 easy steps for the best results:

  1. Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate your skin 24 hours before applying the spray tan. This helps remove dead skin cells, ensuring a smooth, even application.
  2. Moisturize: Apply a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer to your skin, focusing on dry areas like elbows, knees, and ankles. This will prevent the tan from clinging to dry patches and appearing uneven.
  3. Apply a barrier cream: To prevent over-absorption of the tanning solution on certain areas, apply a barrier cream to your palms, fingernails, toenails, and the soles of your feet.
  4. Use a tanning mitt or gloves: To avoid staining your hands, use a tanning mitt or gloves when applying the spray tan.
  5. Start at your feet: Begin the application at your feet and work your way up, using long, smooth strokes. Make sure to blend the product well and avoid overlapping areas.
  6. Apply to face last: Use a makeup brush or sponge to apply the spray tan to your face, avoiding the eyes and mouth. Blend well around the hairline and jawline to avoid any harsh lines.
  7. Check for streaks: Once you’ve finished applying the spray tan, check your body for any streaks or uneven patches. Use a clean, dry cloth or makeup sponge to blend and correct any imperfections gently.
  8. Allow to dry: Wait for the spray tan to dry completely before getting dressed or coming into contact with any surfaces. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

By following these steps, you’ll achieve a gorgeous, even tan that looks natural and lasts for days.

Remember to maintain your tan with proper aftercare, including daily moisturizing and gentle exfoliation.

Make sure also to check our review of the best spray tan booths.

7 Tips for Maintenance and Aftercare to Keep Your Spray Tan Looking Flawless

Now that you’ve picked the perfect self-tanner let’s make sure your tan stays looking fabulous with these maintenance and aftercare tips:

  1. Preparation is key! Exfoliate and moisturize your skin 24 hours before your self-tanning session to ensure a smooth, even application.
  2. Wait at least 8 hours (or as recommended by the product instructions) before showering after applying a self-tanner. And when you do shower, avoid using harsh soaps or scrubs that can strip your tan.
  3. Apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer daily to keep your skin hydrated and prolong the life of your tan.
  4. Avoid activities that cause excessive sweating, as this can cause your tan to fade more quickly.
  5. Exfoliate your skin every few days to help your tan fade evenly and avoid patchiness.
  6. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 outdoors to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  7. Use a gradual self-tanner or tinted body lotion to maintain your tan or touch up any faded areas.

By following these expert tips, you’ll find the perfect self-tanning product and keep your tan looking flawless and natural for as long as possible. So, go ahead and get your glow on!

A reasonable price spray tan can help you get a gorgeous shade!

FAQs

Will a Spray Tan Turn My Skin Orange?

Sometimes your natural skin tone can turn orange after a spray tan if there is an excessive buildup of the tanning solution, DHA. Tanners with a high concentration of DHA can turn your skin orange instead of a gorgeous chocolate shade.

How Do I Get the Best Possible Results From a Spray Tan?

To get a beautiful golden glow, consider exfoliating the skin before showing up to your spray tanning session. Opt for airbrush spray tans and keep your skin moisturized after.

Why Is My Spray Tan Darker Than I Wanted?

The most common reason for getting darker color after spray tanning is using too much tanning solution on your entire body. The common rule is two ounces for the entire body. 

What Can I Do if My Spray Tan is Too Dark?

If you believe you have gotten a darker shade than the one you asked for, it may be best to take a shower as quickly as possible to tone it down. You can also use tan erasers that tone down the darker shade.  

Conclusion

Some may be tempted to jump to the classic shade guide and get the darkest spray tan shades available. Trust me; I’ve been there! Not only can this turn your skin orange, but it also looks unnatural.

The best thing that you can do to get a beautiful glow is to get reasonably tanned. The aim is to get a perfect, golden glow, not look like you just stepped out of the oven.

The basic idea is to learn about your skin and what looks best for you and to tweak it along as you dive into the world of a beautiful bronzed base.

lady showing different spray tan shades

Have you figured out which spray tan shade works best for you? Let us know down in the comment section!

Resources

  1. Echeverría F, Valenzuela R, Catalina Hernandez-Rodas M, Valenzuela A. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fundamental fatty acid for the brain: New dietary sources. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 2017;124:1–10.
  2. Hecht M. What Are the Fitzpatrick Skin Types? [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 May 18]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/fitzpatrick-skin-types#get-screened
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About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.