Preparing for a Spray Tan

Get your best Spray Tan by following these steps

Before you arrive at the salon there are a few things you should do to prepare for a spray tan.  There are a few important steps that will ensure you have the best experience and get the best results.

Before you Arrive – How to prepare your skin:

Exfoliation: The key to a great looking and long lasting spray tan is exfoliation.   Exfoliating should be done the night before your spray tan.   Use an exfoliating body sponge to helps shed off dead skin cells and open pores of your skin. By exfoliating you are ensuring the tanning solution has a fresh clean surface which results in a more even looking and long lasting tan.  

Exfoliate before a spray tan


Dove soap and Dove lotions can reduce the DHA bronzing reaction.  They can leave a film that leads to an uneven tan.

We recommend to wash with Devoted Creations body wash for the best results.  

Shave: For women shaving your legs should be part of your exfoliation process.  For men a clean shaved face will give the solution a smooth surface to adhere to.  The last thing you want to do is scrape off your newly bronzed tan.

Come Natural: Do not apply makeup, use lotions, sprays, perfumes, moisturizers, or deodorant.  These items can have a blocking effect to the DHA in the solutions.  This often will show up as spots or streaks in your tan. 

Wear loose clothes: We recommended that you wear loose fitting clothing.  Some color may transfer to your cloths so it’s best to wear something dark or that you don’t care about.  The spray solution does wash out of most clothing very easily.

Manicure / Pedicure: BEFORE, BEFORE, BEFORE.  Don’t get a spray tan then soak your feet in a tub of hot water, get rubbed or massaged, or apply lotion.  This is especially true before your first shower.

How to choose a solution

  • At Tan Elegance we offer 2 solution options for spray tanning and 4 levels.  There is no additional cost for level choices.  However, there is a difference in the solutions we carry. The colors do vary a bit because of the ingredients in the solution.  The Next Level solution is $10 more but will usually last a few days longer and is our most popular choice.
    • Option 1 – SUNSTYLE Bronze Solution is ideal for creating a natural sunless glow using only the highest quality ingredients.  This lightly fragranced quick drying formula will leave skin feeling smooth and moisturized while achieving instant and long lasting color.  The Bronze solution should last 5-7 Days.
    • Option 2– Sunstyle NEXT LEVEL solution Lasts 7-10 days and has more DHA to provide deeper darker results.  Take your sunless tan to the NEXT LEVEL. This formula features increased DHA and cosmetic bronzers for those seeking the darkest, most natural sunless tan. Look like you been on vacation before you leave home.  

How to choose a level.

For first time spray tanners the most frequent question we get is about a chart to show how dark will I get for each level of spray tan.  There is no magic chart that can predict how your skin will take the solution.  The staff will make a recommendation for based on your skin color and your desired look.

Levels determine the amount of solution you get sprayed with.  This is not always a “more is better” choice.  If this is the first time you are spraying you may want to choose a lower level.  As you might imagine with more solution being sprayed per pass there is less room for error when getting sprayed.  

Because spray tans are instant the change may be dramatic.  If you are tanning for an event we highly recommend getting a spray tan before the event to test your level.

Solution reacts differently on different skin.  A level 2 spray for you might be darker or lighter than you expect.  A test run before a wedding or prom other big event is a must.  Big events are stressful enough and we want to make sure you get the best results for the big day.

Level 1 – You might want level 1 if you are fair skinned and don’t want a dramatic change in your natural color. 

Level 2– Our most popular level.  This is usually enough color for most to see a change in their appearance without looking like you have been on beach vacation.

Level 3 – For spray tanners who want a more significant change in their color.

Level 4– For experienced spray tanners who know what to expect from a level 4 spray.  This is not recommended for first time sprayers.  Level 4 puts out the maximum amount of solution per session.  You can expect a significant color change with level 4.

Remember: Spray tans offer ZERO protection from the sun.  You may look tan but you will still get burnt if you are pasty white under that beautiful spray tan.


Ready to TAN – What do I do once I’m in the room:

  • Undress

    • Take off all jewelry.  This process is spray painting your body with a solution.  If you are wearing a necklace you will have a white outline of a necklace on your neck.  It happens.  If it does we have touch up that can help blend the mistake.
    •  Most customers go completely nude into the booth.  Our rooms are private and tan lines are usually not desired.
    • If you choose to wear a bathing suit it will get stained so make sure you wear a dark one or better yet an old one.
  • Neat feet

    • Neat feet simply protect the bottoms of your feet from getting solution on them.  The bottoms of your feet have coarse skin that will get dark from the solution.  Nobody wants the bottoms of their feet to be tanner than the rest of their body.
    • Simply peel the sticky and step on the neat feet.  They will adhere to the bottoms of your feet.  Like flip flops without the straps. 
  • Hair cap

    • Spray Tan Preparation This is an important step. There are 2 reasons for the hair cap. The first is avoid spray tanning your hair.  The second is to keep your hair off the skin you want to be tan.  If you have long hair you might want to bring a hair tie or come with your hair up so the hair cap fits.Spray Tan Prep Hair Net
    • Important!  Don’t cover your ears or forehead with the hair cap.  If the hair cap is across your forehead you will have a line.  Tan below and white above.  If this happens to you we have touch up that can help to blend the line.

You are ready for the booth, now what?

4 positions.  Super easy, the staff will show you the positions before you session begins.  We have pictures in the room to show you how to stand.  The staff will model the positions.   The booth has a voice and will prompt you as you go.  The spray arm will start at the bottom and spray up.

What if I forget to turn.  It’s okay, it happens.

  • Don’t Panic!  Go on to the next step.  Don’t open the door if you can help it. If you open the door on the booth it stops and resets.  You will not be able to continue where you left off. 
  • It’s okay just turn as soon as you realize it.   Continue to follow the instructions.
  • I opened the door during the session.  – Call an attendant to help you.  Depending on when in the session the door was opened you may need to start over.
  • If you need to start over our advice is usually to go home and take a shower and wash off any of the spray you did receive.  The solution takes time to set in so if you remove it within an hour or so it won’t be set in.  We can usually spray you again in the same day.

Great Job!  You are done.

Exit the booth and put on your loose fitting clothing. If you look in the mirror it’s common for your face to look a bit darker thank you expect.  DON’T start dabbing or wiping, that just leads to more dabbing and more wiping.   If you completely wipe the spray off a minute after your spray tan you will have no color in that area.  It’s normal for you to look like you just got sprayed.  It won’t look that way once you take a shower (7-8 hours later). Ask our staff if you have any questions. 

Read our aftercare guide to make sure you protect and maximize your spray tan.

Do’s and Don’ts

DO – Come freshly showered and clean.  Exfoliation is highly recommended, use body wash and not bar soaps (Dove).

DO – Wear the neat feet.  They will keep the bottoms of your feet from getting tan.

DO – Make sure you have everything you need for the session before getting in the booth.  Glasses off, jewelry off, hair cap on and adjusted, neat feet on.

DO – Close the booth door gently and keep it closed for the entire session.

DO – Listen to the prompts and turn as instructed.

DO – Plan ahead for big events.  We recommend a “practice” spray before your event so you can see the results of the level you choose (1-4). Practice makes perfect and you won’t be so stressed the day before your prom or wedding. 

DON’T – Wear any body spray, perfume, deodorant, or makeup.  These products can cause streaks or uneven looking spray tan.  All of these can repel the tanning solution and cause uneven tanning, streaks, white spots, or blotches.  

DON’T – open the booth door until your session is complete.  Once your session has started, opening the door ends the session immediately.   We will not be able to restart your session where it left off.

DON’T – wipe your skin after you get out of the booth.  The solution is dry but not set.  If you wipe your skin it will be visible once your tan sets.  If one part of your body appears to have too much solution ask a staff member before you do anything.  If a little dabbing is required we can guide you. 

DON’T WORRY – It’s common that your face and hands will be dark as soon as you get out of the booth.  What to do?  Leave it alone!  If you start dabbing and wiping there is a greater chance that you will make it uneven or wipe it off completely.  Once you shower you will look more even and natural. Talk to a staff member for guidance before you do anything. 

We want you to look amazing in your new spray tan.  Getting a beautiful spray tan is only half of the story.  Taking care of it is just as important.  Please read our article on what to do after a spray tan linked below. 

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Your First Spray Tan

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Spray Tan coupon Discount Code
Ergoline Sunstyle Spray Booth

Discount applies to full price spray tanning session. Can not be used with any other offers. Can only be used once per customer.