How to Avoid Spraying a Spray Tan on Your Face

Avoid spray tanning mishaps on your face.

Photo: Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images

Most health-savvy beauties know that outdoor tanning and tanning beds can permanently damage your skin, leading to premature wrinkles, skin discoloration or cancer. Spray tans have become a safer alternative to outdoor tanning or tanning beds since there's no exposure to the sun's rays. Over the years, spray colors have evolved so consumers don't worry so much about strange orange mistakes. It's actually not necessary to completely avoid spraying a spray tan on your face since you're aiming for even coloring, but follow steps to minimize exposure.


Drink a lot of water in the days before your spray tan so that facial skin remains smooth and supple. Dehydrated skin absorbs moisture more quickly, so spray tan on your face results in your skin soaking up excess tanning fluids. Building up a barrier of moisture helps avoid discoloration and direct absorption.


Exfoliate gently to remove dead skin sells, then moisturize. While spray tanning guidelines recommend avoiding moisturization for the rest of your body before spray tanning (lotions and body oils block the body from properly absorbing spray tans), an additional layer of skin cream or facial moisturizer acts as an additional block on your face. Avoid wearing makeup, especially foundation and powder, during your spray tan session. Apply lip balm to avoid spraying directly on your lips.


Apply a dollop of blocking lotion provided by most spray tan facilities to your face if desired. Blocking lotion normally prevents excess spray tan fluids from soaking into your hands and feet. If you're trying to avoid even the slightest mist of spray tan on your face, a tiny dab of blocking lotion will prevent absorption. Keep in mind that zero absorption of spray tan solution may result in a face significantly lighter than your tanned neck, chest and arms.


Rotate earlier than directed when standing in the spray tan booth to avoid the nozzle from directing spray tan solution toward your face. Spray nozzles typically travel up and down before an automated voice directs you to turn clockwise by 90 degrees for an even application. Rotating before the nozzle reaches your face level can help avoid spray tan on your face.

Things You'll Need




5.Home spray tan solution

7.Makeup pads

9.Oatmeal mask

2.Exfoliation product

4.Blocking lotion

6.Cotton balls

8.Clay mask



Tips & Tricks


If you're spray tanning at home, be careful not to spray directly onto your face. Since your eyes are closed, it's too difficult to apply evenly. Instead, dab spray tan solution onto cotton balls or makeup application pads without overly soaking, and then gently brush the cotton ball across your face in upward-sweeping motions.

Despite your best efforts, you may accidently wind up with an overly tanned face following a poor spray tan. Absorb excess dye with a clay or oatmeal mask, then exfoliate gently. Apply toner to even facial coloring, then moisturize to prevent the spray tan from cracking. Never spray tan on the day of an important event, since this reduces the time you'll have to address mishaps.


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