Spray tanning in winter: The do’s & don’ts

By Salon Gold on December 29th, 2018

Considering the current climate, the likelihood of achieving a natural tan is a long way off – so the fake stuff will have to do for now. Spray tanning can help your clients achieve that year-round glow without the risk of skin damage or cancer, plus it’s suitable for every skin tone.

Sunrays naturally dry out the skin, helping to reduce the symptoms of conditions such as acne. In a similar way, spray tanning slightly dries out the skin, making it less likely for breakouts to occur. In fact, a spray tan partnered with a daily moisturiser (and drinking plenty of water) will help keep skin clear and bronzed all year round.

That said, Salon Gold have sought council from a team of beauty therapists to understand exactly how those new to spray tanning can create that perfect fake bake for their clients throughout the winter months:


Remind clients that there are certain steps they should be taking at least 24 hours before their tanning appointment. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, helping achieve the longest-lasting tan possible. Recommend a water-based exfoliating scrub rather than an oil-based one, as oils may interfere with the tanning solution and prevent it from developing fully.

In order to prep the skin for the best tanning result, your client should have been moisturising daily for a couple of weeks leading up to their appointment. Dry and rough areas of skin will produce an uneven application of the tanning solution as they will absorb the colour more than other areas.

On the day

Although keeping the skin moist is important leading up to a spray tan, ask your client not to apply any moisturiser, deodorant, perfume or any other beauty products on the day of their appointment. This includes make-up too.

Shaving or waxing before a spray tan is also ideal, as if this is left until afterwards, it will exfoliate the skin and potentially remove any existing tan. However, shaving too soon before tanning can result in irritation and redness.


Just like with make-up, the effects of contouring can be achieved through spray tanning. Ask your client if they have any areas that they want you to focus on, such as their stomach or legs. By applying an extra layer of tan in certain areas – such as across the top of the ribs or along the inner thigh – you can create the illusion of more muscle and therefore an overall slimmer appearance.


It’s best if your client comes to the salon dressed in loose, comfortable clothing and open-toe shoes or flip flops. After application, advise them not to wear a bra for a few hours, not to shower or exercise for 24 hours and not to have their hair or nails done for 48 hours.

Soaps and other beauty products that contain parabens, glycolic alpha hydroxy acids or sodium lauryl sulphates can fade the tan more quickly if used at any stage after application.

Skin should be moisturised twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Recommend the use of a moisturising soap-free body wash to extend the life of the tan. Finally, a tan extender that contains a light DHA bronzer can reduce patchiness.

Look good, feel good

As silly as it sounds, tanning (especially during the winter) can have a positive effect on our mental health. Those who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be able to cope with seasonal changes just by maintaining a healthy sun-kissed glow in those darker, gloomier months. It’s scientifically proven that when we look good, we feel good!

Are there any tanning tips that you swear by? We’d love to know. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Salon Gold provides insurance for hair salons, freelance and mobile hairdressers. For further information, please visit our Hair Salon Insurance and Freelance & Mobile Hairdresser Insurance page.

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