What do you wear during a spray tan

What Do You Wear During a Spray Tan?

In Fashion Blog, Outfit Ideas & Style Tips by shubham JL

For some people, tanning is an activity they participate in regularly. Therefore, they know what to expect and how to prepare. For others, special events like vacations, weddings, and parties create the need for a perfectly tanned body in a short amount of time. Spray tans are a great option for those who need a quick and effective tan.

During a spray tan, it is most effective to wear minimal layers of clothing. Anything worn will create tan lines or could end up rubbing away the tan before it is fully set. The less clothing is worn, the less likely the tan will be disrupted.

Knowing what to wear and what not to wear during a spray tan could be the difference between a beautifully set tan and one that makes you cringe. Keep reading to learn about the proper attire during a spray tan.

What is the Difference Between Spray Tanning and Sun Tanning?

There are some important differences between spray tanning and sun tanning:

  • Spray tanning can be done either at your home or at a tanning salon
  • Sun tanning, or UV tanning, uses UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed at a salon

During a spray tan, chemicals that change the color of your skin are sprayed over the entire body. The chemicals attach to the outer layer of skin and chemically change its color. Tanning lotions are also another common at-home tanning option.

Sun tanning will occur when spending time outside and soaking in natural UV light from the sun. The UV light gets absorbed into the skin and will eventually darken your skin color over time. UV tanning occurs with artificial light in a salon tanning bed.

Keep reading to learn more about the risks and benefits of spray tanning. 

Risks and Benefits of Spray Tanning

There are several benefits to getting a spray tan. Spray tans are a quick way to get a tan without spending hours of time outside in the sun or in a tanning bed. Spray tans do not use UV rays to create the tan. UV rays can be harmful to the skin and could cause cancers to develop.

While a spray tan is a great way to get a quick tan, it is not durable and can be rubbed off over time. Usually, a spray tan will only last a week or two. Also, the chemicals used during a spray tan could possibly be inhaled or ingested. However, it is not yet known whether these chemicals can cause any harm to you.

Risks and Benefits of UV or Sun Tanning

UV or sun tanning gives a great overall tan. This type of tanning gives an even tan and a more natural look. UV tanning will also last a long time. Tanning beds mimic how the sun tans your skin so the duration of the tan will replicate how long your tan naturally lasts.

UV or sun tanning can also be very dangerous when used consistently and over a long period of time. Consistent exposure to UV rays has been linked to the development of skin cancers. UV rays can also cause damage to both skin and eyes.

How Often Should You Spray Tan?

Spray tans only last one or two weeks which means to keep a consistent tan, you will have to get a spray tan 2-3 times each month. To achieve a great look each time you tan, it is important to follow some simple steps.

  • Let your initial tan naturally fade before applying a new one (this prevents an uneven tan)
  • Do your best to scrub off the previous tan and prepare your skin for the new coat
  • Exfoliate your skin to get it ready for a new tanning layer
  • Take a shower 6-8 hours before the scheduled spray tan
  • Avoid using oily moisturizers before tanning since this could hinder the tan

It takes a lot of upkeep on your skin to allow for an even spray tan. Making sure to properly prepare your skin for tanning will ensure a great look. Keep in mind, however, that everybody will react differently to a spray tan. Some tans will last longer than others. Get to know what works best for your body and schedule your tanning sessions to match.

What Do You Wear During a Spray Tan?

The most ideal article of clothing that should be worn during a spray tan is nothing at all! Getting a spray tan while nude allows the tan to reach every portion of skin and will give a consistent tan without tan lines.

Tanning in the nude, however, is not for everyone. Luckily, there is nothing wrong with choosing well-designed clothing to cover up while still achieving a great tan. A thong or bikini bottom and a strapless top are the best clothing choices for women.

Since colored chemicals are part of the spray tanning process, anything that is worn during the spray tan will also be covered in the color of the spray. This is why it is important to wear dark-colored clothing items or items that can be thrown away if they become ruined. Many tanning salons offer disposable thongs that can be thrown away after the tan.

For your feet, wear shoes that are not constricting and will not rub the spray tan off. Flip flops or open-backed sandals are great options. Do not wear socks, boots, or other tight-fitting shoes.

Do You Wear Clothes During a Spray Tan?

You can definitely wear some clothing during a spray tan. Just make it allows for the maximum amount of skin exposed so the tanning chemicals can cover as much of the body as possible. Thong or bikini bottoms and strapless tops are the best choices.

However, some people prefer to get a tan while nude. This is also perfectly acceptable as long as you are comfortable with it.

Do You Wear a Bra for a Spray Tan?

Wearing a bra for a spray tan is optional and is determined by the comfort level of the tanner. If you do choose to wear a bra, it is best to consider wearing a strapless bra. Wearing a bra that has straps could create tan lines.

Remember that anywhere there is something covering the skin, the spray will not cover.

What Not to Wear During a Spray Tan

If you want a great tan, remember to avoid using these items before, during, and after your tan.

  • Jewelry – wearing jewelry before or after your tan will either create tan lines or rub up against the skin creating an uneven tan.
  • White undergarments – The spray tan will likely stain anything that is worn during the tanning session. Make sure to wear old, dark-colored undergarments.
  • Makeup – Wearing makeup will cause an uneven tan wherever the makeup is placed.
  • Lotions – Oil-based lotions will prevent the spray tan from absorbing into your skin.
  • Perfume – wearing perfume during your spray tan will cause unevenness. However, perfume worn after a spray tan will help cover up the smell of the tanning chemicals as you go about the rest of your day.

When a spray tanning session is unsuccessful, it is usually because the tanner had forgotten one of these important tips. To ensure an even tan, remember to prepare your skin properly and remember that whatever is placed on your skin can affect your spray tan.

2 Cute Mini-Bikinis If You Want to Wear Clothes During a Spray Tan

For those uncomfortable spray tanning while in the nude, choosing a great bikini will cover you up and still allow for a great tan. Here are a couple of options that would work great for spray tanning sessions.

This bikini swimsuit is a great option for spray tanning. The material will keep you relatively modest but will allow for tanning on all the essential areas. In addition, the bikini bottoms are adjustable, so minimizing the tan lines from the tie straps will be a good idea.

The bandeau top allows for coverage but eliminates the concern for acquiring tan lines from straps. Remember to purchase a bikini in a dark color. 

This suit does have straps on the top of the suit. However, it will still allow for a great spray tan with minimal tan lines. The bikini bottom also allows for modest coverage while also obtaining great spray coverage.

Make sure you purchase it in a dark color to prevent any staining.

Do You Have to Wear Loose Clothes After a Spray Tan?

What you wear after a spray tan is just as important as what you wear during a spray tan. Without proper clothing right after a tanning session, all the time you spent preparing your skin, setting up the appointment, and getting the tan, will be for nothing.

It is important to wear loose-fitting clothing for several hours after a spray tan. This is because the tanning chemicals take a little time to absorb into the skin, and any material that touches it could potentially rub the tan off, creating an uneven tan.

Loose-fitting clothing items like skirts and dresses are the best choice after a spray tan. Sandals are also important to prevent rubbing. Refrain from wearing any watches or necklaces until after the tan has set. Even something as simple as a pendent can cause discoloration and potentially ruin a good tan.

Do not wear leggings, socks, boots, or other tight-fitting clothing items. It is always a good idea to wear dark-colored clothing after a spray tan. While the tan is setting, it may rub off on your clothes. While there is a good chance it will wash out, it is still a good idea to keep the clothing choices dark for the remainder of the day.

What Can Men Wear After a Tanning Session?

Since men do not typically wear skirts and dresses, you might be wondering what kind of options men have to avoid ruining a spray tan. The best option for men is to wear loose sweatpants that do not have elastic on the bottom of the pant leg. Athletic shorts would also work well. A baggy shirt and loose-fitting sandals will also prevent a tan from rubbing off.


Getting your skin beautifully tanned is not always as easy as some frequent tanners make it seem. While spray tans are a great way to get a quick and even tan, it is important to be prepared with the right clothing items during and after your tanning session.

Nobody wants to spend all that time getting a spray tan, only to have it turn out poorly in the end. You will not regret spending a little extra time preparing and packing the best items to ensure you get that glowing tan.