Avoiding "the Ross Geller" spray tan

The last time I had a real tan was probably high school. I spend my summer and fall months baking out on the tennis court, and despite the brutal tan lines that came as a result (fyi, sports bra lines aren't exactly flattering with a strapless homecoming dress) I lived for that tan. Once I graduated, my glow quickly faded as a reminder of my retirement from high school tennis. I was back to reluctantly buying "light 1" makeup shades.

I had always been wary of the spray tan. Not only because I was afraid of how the fake bake would translate on my fair skin, but it also kind of has a bad rap (see Donald Trump for reference.) But after longing for bronzer days and spotting a $3 new customer deal at LA Tan, I caved. The only thing I had to lose was a few bucks (and my dignity). But after finally giving it a go, not only did my opinion change but so did my entire beauty game. In short, I loved it. So much so that I will happily admit to a weekly spray tan during the warmer months. Avoiding the risk of skin cancer and wrinkles is the ultimate plus.

While I've never stepped out of the booth looking like Ross from Friends (**knocks on wood**), not every spray tan has been perfect. My do's and don'ts are definitely learned and it's time to bestow my wisdom on the world...

Exfoliate 24 hours in advance! 

Exfoliating pre-spray is essential for achieving an even application. During the school year, I got in the habit of hitting the gym, showering and immediately heading for a spray tan (GTL Jersey Shore style?) I kept wondering why my tan wasn't coming out as even as normal and my only explanation is that I was showering/exfoliating too close to my tan. I really don't know if there is any science behind (hit up google if you really want to know!), but I've been sticking to the "24-hour in advance" rule and it's been working! 

Don't wear moisturizer, makeup or deoderant 

These products will act as a shield and block the tan from absorbing in your skin. So, when you show up your salon, come au natural or bring along some cleansing wipes. I've made the mistake of moisturizing before and it hasn't ended well. But after(!!!) the spray tan has set in, start moisturizing religiously. 

Wear loose clothing immediately afterwards 

After your tan, you should only wear loose clothing (and skip the bra!) Basically, the worse you look the better you will look later. Men's XL t-shirt? HECK ya. Your ratty sweatpants from 2009? Of course! The satorial opportunities are endless. Plus you'll avoid awkward tan lines. 

Wait as long as possible to shower! 

I'm giving you so many excuses to be unhygienic, and here's another one: Avoid showering for at least 6-8 hours, but if possible go as long as you can. Up to 24 hours, that is. I am not giving you permission to be indefinitely gross. Since the color can develop for up to a day, if I'm just planning to hang around my house I'll wait till the afternoon/evening to hit the shower. Bask in that after spray tan stink for as long as you can bear it.

Don't spray too often 

Although I went pale for most of the fall/winter, once march hit I got an unlimited monthly spray tan membership (I know I'm extra!) Early on, in my effort to full get my money's worth, I went twice in one week. The results were not good. The first couple days the tan looked great, but as it started to fade it started looking wonkier than usual. Beware.

Good Luck,

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