Spray Tan 101 with Blush Tan Pittsburgh

Maybe this is just me, but spray tans give me life!  I feel so good and much more confident after getting some color on my pale skin.  There are probably a million reasons why I opt for a spray tan, so I’ll go over a few of those at the end, but I really wanted to chat about Spray Tan 101 because I get so many questions on this topic every time I get one!



I compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions on spray tanning.  This list includes the type of spray tan, care, what to do and what not to do, the MOST asked question of all…”Will I turn orange?” See above.  Definitely not orange.

Spray Tan 101

  1. 1. Where do you get your spray Tans?
  2. For the last few months, I’ve been going to Blushtan Pittsburgh to get my spray tan.  It is the cutest little place owned by the sweetest sisters, Hannah and Emma.  I honestly cannot say enough good things about their product and services.  I’ve been getting spray tans for quite some time and one of the things I love most is that their tans are completely customizable.  If you want to be a lighter shade or a darker shade it’s no problem at all.  It’s not just “one size fits all.” I really think this is the key to making your spray tan look natural.
  3. 2. What should I wear to my spray tan?

I “lol” a little at this question because I literally wear the same exact thing every time I get a spray.  I have a set two outfits that I probably alternate, but other than that it’s the same outfit.  (Even down to my undies!)

You’ll want to wear loose fitted clothing.  For me, I wear this little jumpsuit and a strapless bra.  I honestly usually walk out with no bra because I don’t want to risk any lines, but you can wear a bra.  I always wear a loose pair of flip flops also to avoid lines or rubbing the tan off my feet.  These Birkenstocks would be perfect or a go-to Old Navy pair!

My other option is a super old pair of cheerleading shorts.  By super old, I mean from high school.  I usually toss a sweatshirt or loose tee on with those.

3.  Will the spray tan stain my clothes/sheets/anything else?

No, I’ve never had my spray tan stain my clothes or sheets.  After getting your spray tan and until you shower, the tan will rub off on clothing, sheets, etc., but it washes out just fine.  With that being said, I wouldn’t wear your most expensive piece of clothing to a spray tan.

We have white sheets, so as an extra precaution I go to bed with loose fitting pants the day of the tan. It’s probably unnecessary.

  1. Before/After
  2. 4. I’m afraid to get a spray tan because I might turn orange or it might look unnatural.  Has this happened to you?

I have gotten spray tans in the past where I looked orange or they were way too dark for me and I looked ridiculous.  I’ve NEVER had an issue at BlushTan Pittsburgh because they are so customizable.

When we were prepping for Turks and Caicos I asked if they could spray me darker because we were going somewhere sunny and warm!  My next tan, I asked to be sprayed a little lighter just because I wasn’t at the beach and wanted to just look sun kissed with a touch of color.  (Definitely communicate your goals with the person doing your spray- otherwise they won’t know!)

  1. 5. How do I prepare for a spray tan?

The day before a tan I do the following:

  1. -Exfoliate my body
  2. -Shave
  3. -Hydrate my skin
  • If you must shave the day of make sure it is a few hours ahead of time.  If you have really dry skin it is recommended to use a sunless tanning moisturizer prior to your spray.  Otherwise you’ll want to avoid creams, oils, deodorants, etc. because they are going to create a barrier between you and the spray solution.
  1. 6. How long does a spray tan last?
  2. If you care for your spray tan, it should last 5-7 days.
  3. 7. How do you maximize the length of your spray tan?

In order to maximize the length of your tan you want to first be sure you follow the recommended length of time (based on your tan) before showering, getting wet, sweating, playing in the rain, etc.  For example, if you get an express tan it is recommended not to shower until after 5 hours.  If you get an original spray, you’ll want to keep it on for 24 hours. (I typically go with the express solution for 5 hours then wash off.  This has been working well with my busy schedule and workouts.)

You want to avoid any exfoliating of your skin.  This is immediately going to rub your spray tan off. If you can avoid shaving, that’s also a bonus too!

The thing to keep in mind (especially if you are on vacation) the more you mess with your tan, the more it’s going to come off.  If you are putting sunblock on several times a day and jumping in and out of water that is obviously going to affect the length of your tan.

  1. 8. How long before an event should I get a spray tan?

I would recommend 24-36 hours prior to an event so you allow yourself plenty of time for your tan to soak in and the ability to wash it off so you have a really nice glowy color!

  1. 9. How do you get a spray tan if you are breastfeeding?

The first thing you are going to want to do is be sure to research the spray tan products to make sure they are okay to use during breastfeeding.  If you are unsure, don’t be afraid to call your doctor and ask if the ingredients are ok.   They won’t mind.

Per the Blushtan Pittsburgh website, their products are safe to use while breastfeeding.   I typically use these nipple pads (meant for breastmilk leaks) and cover the area where my daughter would be eating to avoid her consuming any of the solution.  I use the adhesive side to stick to my breast during the tan and then toss them in the garbage afterward.

  1. 10. Does a spray tan have a “tanning” smell?

I’ve found that pretty much every tan product, spray, etc. has some sort of smell.  Blushtan is very mild and typically goes away after that first shower.

  1. 11.  Does a spray tan affect getting a natural tan? *(ie: if I’m on vacation)

No.  As I mentioned above, the more you are using things like sunblock and water it will shorten the life of your tan. (I usually bring a sunless tanning oil once my spray starts to come off).  The solution does not have an SPF so I do recommend still wearing sunblock.  In terms of your natural tan coming through, I have always tanned like a normally would.

  1. 12. Are spray tans safe for pregnancy?

Every pregnancy is truly unique and different.  I would talk to your Doctor about your specific situation and go by their recommendation.

  1. 13. Do I have any limitations while I have a spray tan?

There are no specific limitations while you have a spray tan other than that crucial first 5-24 hours (depending on which solution you choose.)  During that time avoid water, sweating, any activities that would make you sweat, dancing in the rain, etc.   After that period I go on with my normal routine.  I hold off on shaving for as long as I can.

  1. If you have any additional questions that I did not answer here, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!  I hope you find this post helpful!