Your guide to the best spray tan ever

We’ve all been there – the spray tan disaster. Our skin wasn’t hydrated enough, we forgot to exfoliate, and we’ve come out looking more tandoori than summer glow with uneven patches from head to toe.

We’re here to help, calling upon the Crown Spa experts to give you the low down on all the secrets to achieve your best spray tan yet… and how to make it last! Here, Jasmine Coutts tells us how.

Smooth sailing

Dry skin is not your friend when it comes to spray tans.

To achieve that flawless finish, it’s important to exfoliate the day prior to your appointment to “remove rough, dry and dead skin cells,” says Coutts.

You can try dry body brushing (grab one from your local health food store), exfoliating gloves in the shower or a body exfoliant. Don’t leave a cell unturned and pay particular attention to anywhere that colour can tend to pool – such as around your ankles, elbows and wrists.

Short term pain = long term gain

The initial ‘development stage’ of a tan (you know – the one where you don’t want to leave the house) can be a small price to pay for a long-lasting glow – if you take the right steps.

“Moisturising for a minimum of one week leading up to the spray tan as well as every day after the application ensures the skin is well hydrated, allowing the tan to fade more evenly,” says Coutts.

And if want your tan to last even longer, Coutts suggests using a “gradual tanning moisturiser to keep the colour topped up”.

Leave the tandoori for the chicken

Thankfully, with advancements in technology, Coutts says “tan formulations have significantly improved in terms of colour”.

“When looking for a brand, look for those that are green or violet based as these counteract the orange tones that can sometimes be seen,” she says.

“Green base is great for fair skin, whilst violet is great for darker skin with an olive tone.”

If in doubt, it’s always good to do a little test patch first.

Houston, we have a problem

As thorough as we may be with tanning prep, disasters can still happen. If you’re stuck with a tanning nightmare, Coutts says it is possible to fix it – no lemon juice required.

“A light application of at home tanning product can fill in the gaps,” she explains.

“If there is a dark patch, use an exfoliating mitt to very lightly buff over and fade out, being careful not to remove the tan.”

No one likes a flare up

Skin conditions come in many forms, and sometimes sensitive skin can react to spray tan formulations. Coutts says while she doesn’t advise people with conditions like eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis to get a spray tan as it can hold onto flaky skin causing dark, uneven patches, there are things you can do to help with application.

“If the skin condition is only a very small area, using a barrier cream like a light moisturiser to prevent the tan from sticking to flaky skin is the best option,” suggests Coutts.

“However, a thorough consultation is required before going ahead and a patch test 24 hours prior is also recommended.”

There you go, your spray tan 101 guide to getting that summer glow, no sun damage required. Happy tanning!