It's spray tan season but there is such a stigma around getting one that many people are afraid of what they will look like. If you've seen the episode of Friends where Ross gets a spray tan, I don't blame you for being afraid. Will I turn orange? Will I be spotty? After my first spray tan I was orange and spotty. However, if you do your research on location and do the proper prepping, you will look perfectly sun-kissed! I sat down with my friend and spray-tanner, Dina, owner of Dina's Kiss and Makeup Salon in Hoboken, NJ to bust the myths of spray tanning and get you ready to for your next appointment!

Q: What's the difference between getting a spray tan by someone who is physically spraying you vs. a booth spray tan?

A: There is no comparison between a custom airbrush tan vs. a booth spray tan. Getting your tan by a person ALWAYS wins! Simply put, the whole point of getting airbrushed is to look tanner and slimmer, and a person can do a much better job than a machine. Your airbrush tan technician should address every shape and curve of your body. We can "slim" areas by adding more color, also known as body contouring. For example, I add a little more color along muscle lines to add definition and more on the outer edges of the face, which makes it look like you already contoured with makeup- score! A machine will add the same amount of color to your whole body, so while you will definitely be darker overall, certain areas may look too pale because you needed more in those specific spots. 

 Q: What's the difference between a rapid tan and a regular airbrush tan?

A: The original airbrush tan and the rapid tan I offer are both organic formulas, one just has a higher concentration of DHA (the actual tanning ingredient that lasts). The original formula has a dry time of 8-12 hours and generally lasts 7 to 10 days (of course less time if you go super light on your application). The rapid tan at my salon is the most popular. It's a $5 upgrade that lets you shower in just 2-6 hours, and lasts longer, too! Many of my clients tell me they get up to two weeks of color. The rapid tan is great if you don't want to wait 8 to 12 hours, and it also GREATLY reduces your risk of messing up your airbrush tan. If you tend to sleep with a ton of blankets (aka you're hot in your sleep and can potentially be sweaty) the rapid tan is for you.

Q: What type of prep should I do before coming in for an airbrush tan?

A: For the best results, arrive to your appointment showered, clean, and exfoliated. That whole process doesn't have to happen right before you show up, but having it done that morning or day of is very helpful. You definitely want to exfoliate to get any dead skin off of your body so your tan will last longer. Avoid excessive lotions, perfumes, etc. If you're coming following a mani, pedi, or massage as many of my clients are, make sure you have makeup wipes remove any lotion or oils. Many places say to avoid deodorant, but I beg you to not skip that haha! You can go lightly on the deodorant without doing any harm. 

Q: What about after? How long until I can shower? Workout? Shave? Beauty products to avoid?


The time immediately after your spray tan, the "sensitivity" period, is between your airbrush application and first post-tan shower. This is the most CRUCIAL time to ensure your tan is gorgeous, so be careful! During this time (remember it's 8 to 12 hours for the original formula and 2 to 6 for the rapid tan) you want to avoid water, washing dishes, pools, jacuzzis, water balloon fights, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.

Once you rinse the instant bronzer off, you can do everything normally. Pat dry with a towel and use moisturizer for your tan to stay as long as possible and fade nicely. I've heard Dove bar soap is not good on airbrush tans, and you want to avoid exfoliating to keep the tan on your skin!

No more being scared of spray tans! And if you are concerned about being naked in a room with someone spraying you it's really not that bad! You can throw on a pair of disposable underwear and just remember, they have seen WAY WORSE!


Dina is the owner of Dina's Kiss and Makeup Salon in Hoboken, NJ where you can get airbrush tans, blowouts, and manis! Dina also has her own makeup collection!