My First Spray Tan Experience

If you had asked me a month ago what I thought about about spray tans I would have described this and told you that they just weren’t for me. But, as I often am, I was wrong.

Spending most of my life in Massachusetts, I’m pretty used to breaking out my pale legs at the first sign of warm weather. However, since I wasn’t traveling anywhere warm this spring to get my dose of Vitamin D I came about this close to taking my ghostlike self to a tanning bed. I felt like the only way I could get my tan confidence back (you know what I mean) was subjecting myself to all the UV rays, even though it’s been driven through my head since age 5 that tanning beds cause cancer. Luckily, before I could go through with it, I was convinced by friends to try out a spray tan at Sugared + Bronzed.

I booked my appointment for the night before I flew down to Dallas for a work conference since I knew I’d be breaking out my summer wardrobe for the week. These photos, taken 24 hours after the spray tan (aka me at my darkest), definitely freaked me out at first sight because it had been months since I’d seen myself tan. That being said, I truly couldn’t have been happier with how the tan turned out. To my happy surprise instead of looking like an oompa loompa I looked like myself at the end of August after plenty of weekends spent outside. I didn’t have any weird splotches or bright orange hands like your hear about, instead it was almost perfectly smooth.

I laugh a little now knowing how against I was a ‘fake’ tan when the reality is that most of the tans you’re seeing on Instagram and beyond are fake. Why? Because if you want the perfect looking tan, you’re not going to get it naturally unless you live your entire life outside. And who has time for that? I won’t lie and say I’m the best at staying out of the sun at all times but this new love of spray tans has definitely got me headed in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on spray tans? I’m sharing my tips for before your first spray tan below!

Spray Tan Tips

  1. Do all the research ahead of time – I’m known for saying, ‘just google it’, but really there are so many great articles that outline everything you should do before & after your spray tan! Main takeaways include lots of exfoliation, wear dark loose clothes, and don’t sweat in between your spray tan and first shower. Also, check the website of the place that you’re going because they’ll have location specific tips!
  2. Have a person (not a machine) do your tan – Some spray tan locations have machines that will do the spraying and I have no idea how that can look good. Make sure a real live person is doing your tan because they’ll tell you exactly what to do and spray all the correct places so you don’t have any weird lines, splotches, etc
  3. Just wear what you’re comfortable in – Women wear everything from full bathing suits to nothing when getting a spray tan and I promise the associate doing your tan is going to make you feel so comfortable. Since I wasn’t going to be wearing a bathing suit, just strappy dresses, I decided to go topless and wear a bathing suit bottom!
  4. Maintenance after the fact is key – Light exfoliation, to keep your tan even, combined with moisturizing is so important after the fact to keep your tan looking good as new. Plus, if you want to extend the life of the tan use a tanning moisturizer like Jergens! Since I’m not planning to consistently get spray tans (just for special occasions) the self tanner is key.


blue dress via Zara


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