Extending the Life of Your Tan:

Post Airbrush Spray Tan Care

Your airbrush spray tan will be its darkest the first day and will gradually fade during the normal process of the skin replacement cycle.  It will remain visible for 7-10 days with care, and may last up to 14 days with extreme care.  Of course, during the fading process, the rich, dark appearance will continually decrease with each shower/bath, as your skin sloughs away.  


Everyone's skin replacement cycle is different due to genetics, skin care, and health, and results will vary based on the individual skin type and pH balance.  Some of our clients tell us their tans last up to 3-4 weeks, but this is not always the case.



To get the best results for your tan after your first shower, we strongly suggest using our tan extending lotion twice daily, starting 24 hours after your tan.  The tan extenders are specifically formulated for spray tanning and will draw the tan deeper into your skin, hence prolonging and building your color.  These products contain DHA and a range of other healthy natural ingredients (moisturizers, anti-oxidants and more) which help maintain your tan and care for your skin at the same time.  If you choose not to use our tan extenders, it's ok to use a quality moisturizer as often as you can.  Your results, though, may not be as dramatic and may reduce the length and quality of your airbrush spray tan.



While moisturizing your skin is important to ensure a lasting airbrush spray tan, there are some products that you should definitely avoid, as they will decrease the life of your tan.  We recommend that you try to avoid the following:


  • Acne products
  • Make-up removers
  • Body hair bleach
  • Facial Masks
  • Petroleum or mineral oils
  • Acids: AlphaHydroxy (AHA), BetaHydroxy, Salacylic, Lactic, Glycolic, etc.
  • Exfoliating Scrubs, mitts, loofas, etc.
  • Sodium laurel/laureth sulfate
  • Curel Lotion
  • Retin-A
  • Dove soap or shower gel
  • Insect repellant
  • Deodorant soaps
  • Anti-aging products
  • Wax hair removers
  • Toners containing witch hazel or alcohol
  • Perfumes directly sprayed on skin


Your skin's healthy pH balance is 5.5, and exposing your skin to agents with too low of pH levels (acid) and agents with too high of pH levels (alkaline), can cause drying of the skin and accelerate your skin's replacement cycle, causing any type of tan to fade faster or cracks/freckles.  Avoiding or minimizing these types of interactions with your skin will assist in maximum longevity of your airbrush tan or natural tan.  The table above lists some of the products you should avoid to achieve maximum longevity of any tan.  These products can disrupt your skin’s pH balance, cause dry skin, and accelerated skin replacement.


Did you know that water has a pH of 7.0 - 9.0?  Wow! That means every time you shower you're drying out your skin! The secret to healthy skin is re-balancing your skin's pH level as quickly as possible. You can help the process by using a pH balanced moisturizer after every shower.



Avoid any contact with water for the first 2 hours.  Unless you are sprayed with the Rapid Tanning Solution, we recommend you wait at least 8 hours before rinsing or working out to allow your tan to properly develop.  Rapid solutions should be rinsed off no more than 5 hours from the time of your session. 


Only rinse with water for your first shower.  Use your hands or gently rinse with a soft cloth.  Do not use soap.  Wash the palms of your hands only if you are using your hands to rinse - the DHA is still active, even after 8 hours, and will stain your hands.  Gently pat your skin dry with a towel.  Do not rub.  The cosmetic bronzer that is visible immediately when you are sprayed will wash off with your first shower, revealing the DHA bronze tan beneath.....A Beautiful Bronze Tan!


Regarding the basic 8 hour solutions: if you receive a late night bronzing, you don't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to rinse off. Instead, the solution can be left on until the next morning.  Many people choose to wait until the next morning to rinse anyway.  The longer you wait, the darker your tan will get, and longer it will last.  Delaying your rinse will allow the DHA sufficient time to react with the amino acids (proteins) in your skin.  Regarding the Rapid Tanning Solutions: You must allow for proper rinsing time!!!!



For at least 24 hours, and ideally longer, stay away from overly chlorinated swimming pools, as the chlorine will accelerate the tan fading.  Recreational swimming (i.e. hopping in and out of the pool to cool down and just swimming around) in a lightly chlorinated pool will not cause any irregular wearing of your tan that would result in spotting/cracks. However, as discussed above, water changes the pH of your skin.  When your skin then has to readjust its pH back to 5.5, the skin replacement process speeds up, causing your tan fade faster.



Make sure you have completely removed all of your previous airbrush tan.  Not doing so can result in airbrush build-up on your skin, which causes cracks, freckles, and is an unattractive and unnatural looking tan!  If you're ready to come in for another airbrush session, we recommend that you follow the guidelines in our How to Prepare for Your Airbrush Tanning Session article.  Exfoliation is key - you must remove as much of your old airbrush tan as possible before receiving another one.  If you over-exfoliate, be sure to moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer to prevent cracks and freckles as the tan wears down.


For more information about spray tanning, check out our experts' articles below!

Spray Tanning 101:  Frequently Asked Questions

How to Prepare for Your Spray Tanning or Airbrush Session

Salon Hours:



MON-FRI:     10am - 8pm


Saturday:     10am - 7pm


Sunday:       12pm - 6pm



Contact Info:


Phone: 678-788-7148


Elite TAN

233 Market Place Connector

Peachtree City, GA 30269


Behind Chili's,

between Staples and IHOP 

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We offer everything from UV Tanning, Mystic HD Spray Tanning, Custom Airbrush Spray Tanning, to Red Light/Infrared Collagen Therapy! Find out more about our services and prices.

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