Many of us don’t venture to the salon for a spray tan until a big occasion is looming. But what if it goes wrong just when you need to look your best? That’s one of the worries around salon spray tans, and there certainly are some things to bear in mind to get the best results. Not all the work is down to the beautician. In fact, you’ll need to do some prep yourself to get ready for action. But with a few top spray tan tips you’ll be well on your way to looking glowingly gorgeous. Here’s how:

Pre-tan hair removal

Always be sure to shave or wax at least 24 hours before your tan. If you can do it 48 hours before, even better. This will give you pores time to close fully. If they don’t you can end up with dark spots in your pores, which won’t feel especially glam.

Follow best practices for shaving and waxing too, including shaving in the direction of the hair growth, and using a soothing, moisturising shaving cream or gel. Or if waxing, apply a good post-wax treatment like Strictly Professional’s After Wax Lotion with Tea Tree.

Why you should exfoliate

Exfoliating will remove dead skin, giving you a more even tan. Expert advice is always to pay more attention to drier areas, like your knees and elbows, where the mixture can clog and look darker.

Again, to give your skin time to recover, exfoliate the night before your spray time, rather than on the day. Choosing a luxe exfoliator like Soothing Showers’ Booster Body Scrub.

When you get there

First thing to note for first-timers – you will have to completely undress. For shy types, that can feel a little uncomfortable, but rest assured, it’s normal practice. Plus, your beautician will be firmly concentrating on creating a gorgeous, even tan, not critiquing your physique.

You’ll be given paper thongs to use during the treatment, giving you a degree of modesty. But the most important thing is that the beautician can get to all of your body, to give you an all-over glow.

What happens in the pod?

Most beauticians will work their way down your body with the spray, and they’ll instruct you on how to stand, and what to do. So, despite potentially feeling a little awkward and exposed, you won’t have to worry too much about what you’re doing.

They’ll direct you on things such as lifting an arm up, or turning your back to them for instance, so they can work around your body. Before they get started, they should also ask you how dark you want to go. The darker the look, the more layers they’ll apply.

Aftercare

It’s best not to make big plans for the afternoon after your tan. You’ll be advised to leave it on without washing – and that includes washing your hands! – for around 6-8 hours. If you can leave it on overnight, even better.

You’ll notice that typical biscuit smell before washing it off, and the general advice is to wear dark, loose-fitting clothing and flipflops if possible. This allows your tan to activate without being rubbed off.

To keep your tan looking gorgeous for as long as possible, remember to exfoliate regularly and moisturise daily. A summery lotion like Derma V10’s Body Butter in Almond is just the thing to boost your hydration levels and give you a feel-good vibe.