Spray tans are an amazing way to give your skin a beautifully bronzed glow, without any damage from the sun or tanning bed!
As easy and as accessible as spray tans are, you need to make sure that you prep your skin properly and choose a good product, to avoid that dreaded orange color.
Orange spray tans do happen, and while they might not be as common as orange spray tans in the past, you do need to be wary!
How do you fix and avoid an orange spray tan? To avoid an orange spray tan, you need to properly prep your skin to hold the spray tan evenly. You also need to choose a good product and have it applied by a professional who knows what they are doing. To fix an orange spray tan, you would have to remove the tan from your skin.
If you spray tan often, chances are you will land up with an orange tan at some point, but do not stress! An orange spray tan can be fixed, and even better, avoided. Keep reading to find out how!
What Causes Orange Spray Tans?
One of the best ways to avoid an orange spray tan is to know what causes them in the first place. There are a few different things that might cause an orange spray tan. Here are some of the main reasons why a spray tan might turn orange:
The Wrong Spray Tan Product
The wrong spray tan product is a sure way to get an orange tan! You have to choose a spray tan product that is right for your skin type and your skin tone. This is why it is advised to speak to a professional who can help pick out the perfect product for you.
You can give yourself a spray tan at home, but then you would need to spend time finding out which spray tan color and product would be best suited to your skin and give you a natural-looking tan.
High DHA Concentration
DHA is the ingredient in spray tan that works with the top layer of your skin to darken it and develop a tan.
DHA is an important ingredient that makes spray tans work and last longer, but the concentration should not be too high. Anything that contains over 10% of DHA should be avoided. A gradual tanner works well for this purpose: This is my favorite gradual self-tanner.
Too Much Product/Spray Tanning Too Fast
You might be a bit impatient to wait to build up a darker tan and think it is okay to just spray tan dark really fast, but this is another way to land up with an orange tan!
You need to start with a light spray tan and work your way up from there. Go darker at your next spray tan appointment, but make sure to progress slower rather than choosing the darkest tan the first time around.
You have to prep your skin before a spray tan application, or else you can expect orange patches and tan lines!
Spray tan products work with the top layer of your skin, so you need to give them a clean canvas to work with. This means exfoliating dead skin cells and moisturizing your skin to not be dry.
Dry skin with excessive dead skin cells will turn a darker orange than the rest of your body. If it’s already too late and you forgot to shave before a spray tan appointment, read this article to learn what to do.
Preparing Your Skin To Avoid An Orange Spray Tan
The work to avoid an orange spray tan starts before you even have the spray tan done! Not only will prepping your skin properly help avoid any orange from showing up, but it will help your spray tan last for longer too.
Here is what to do:
Choose The Right Product
If you do not spray tan at home often, or if it is your first spray tan experience, it helps to speak to a professional at the salon.
They will be able to work out the right spray tan product and tone to use on your skin, which is so important to prevent orange patches and streaks.
If you are doing the spray tan at home on your own, make sure to do your research first, and know your skin type and tone, to figure out the right product to use.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Use a body scrub or a gentle exfoliating sponge to exfoliate your skin all over (check out our article on the best exfoliating scrubs for legs if you’d like some suggestions). Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and build-up from your skin, which sets it up perfectly for a spray tan.
Exfoliate your skin the day before your spray tan session, or at least 6 hours before, to ensure that there are no dry areas or areas of build-up which could cause orange patches.
Shave Or Wax
Shave or wax the areas you want the day before your spray tan appointment. This helps to exfoliate your skin further and ensures your skin is smooth and ready for the spray tan application, so no orange patches show up.
Hair can get in the way of the spray tan product settling on the skin properly, so the less hair, the better. It also means you can delay shaving or waxing after your spray tan, so your tan lasts longer.
Moisturize Your Skin
Dry skin is often the main culprit for a spray tan turning orange. Dry skin does not absorb spray tan products well, which means that the area will turn out a darker shade than the rest of your skin.
Make sure to moisturize your skin in the days leading up to a spray tan to avoid areas turning orange or darker. The areas to focus on include your ankles, knees, and elbows.
Use Proper Application Techniques
Make sure to only visit reputable spray tan salons, to ensure that they know how to properly apply the spray tan. The right spray tan technique is key to an even tan without orange patches.
If you are doing your own spray tan at home, make sure to watch some tutorials on how to properly apply the spray tan evenly.
Caring For Your Spray Tan To Stop It Turning Orange
Caring for your spray tan after it has been applied is just as important to ensure it does not turn orange, which can happen.
Here is how to care for your skin after a spray tan to stop it from turning orange:
Avoid Sweat And Moisture
You need to give the spray tan time to settle and develop on your skin once it has been applied, and this means avoiding moisture and any exercise or activities that might make you sweat.
Keep your skin as dry as possible to avoid the spray tan being disrupted when developing.
Wait To Shower
You should wait at least 4 hours before showering after a spray tan session, but do not wait longer than 24 hours to shower.
When you do eventually shower, use an oil-free, gentle soap to cleanse your skin, and do not rub your skin too hard.
Getting out of the shower, pat your skin dry gently with a towel instead of rubbing your skin dry, to not disturb the spray tan. Make sure to not have too hot of a shower either!
Make a habit of moisturizing your skin (check out this moisturizer from CeraVe) at least twice a day following the spray tan. It is advised to wait two days before moisturizing your skin so that the spray tan has the right amount of time to develop.
Use an oil-free moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and nourished. This will work well to prevent areas from drying out and turning a darker color or orange the days after the spray tan.
How To Fix An Orange Spray Tan
If you are unfortunate enough to land up with an orange spray tan, you don’t have to wait it out until it fades, and there are some ways you can remove the orange tone from your skin.
Exfoliate Your Skin
If quite a bit of your tan has turned orange, you might want to remove your whole spray tan and start again.
One of the best ways to remove your spray tan is to exfoliate your skin. You can use a body scrub to do this, and an exfoliating sponge. An exfoliating mitt is also a great option, as you can comfortably reach lots of areas of your body.
It might take a few exfoliating sessions to remove the spray tan from your body, but if you notice an orange tinge from early on, the sooner you start exfoliating, the better.
Shower Soon After The Spray Tan
Sometimes, you can see quite early on that the spray tan is orange on your skin. As soon as you notice this, you should hop into the shower. The shower will wash away a lot of the spray tan that hasn’t developed yet, and this can prevent the orange tone from developing further.
Bathing can also help to lighten the color of the spray tan, and if you can, jump into a chlorinated pool. The chemicals in the pool can help to strip the spray tan from your skin, which will hopefully remove the orange!
Use Hair Removal Cream
Hair removal cream can work to remove orange patches of spray tan from your skin. You can apply the hair removal product to your skin and leave it for a few minutes before wiping it off.
Hair removal creams are quite powerful at breaking down hair follicles, so they can do well to remove the spray tan from the surface of your skin too.
Use Baby Oil/Coconut Oil
Another way that you can gently remove orange spray tan from your skin is by using baby oil or coconut oil. Apply baby oil or coconut oil to your skin and leave it to soak in for some time, to pick up as much of the spray tan as possible.
Once you have left the baby oil or coconut oil to soak into your skin and the orange patches, jump into the shower and wash it all away. You could also exfoliate in the shower after this for extra orange removal.
Use A Baking Soda Mix
Baking soda is handy for so many reasons – and one of those reasons is to help remove orange spray tan!
Mix up some baking soda with lemon juice or coconut oil to make a paste. Massage this paste onto the orange area of the spray tan, and allow it to sit and soak for up to an hour.
Wash off the baking soda paste, and you should notice that the area has lightened. You can repeat this process the next day until the orange has disappeared enough.
Go Back To The Salon
If you had the spray tan done at a salon, and are not happy with how it has turned out, the best option might be to go back to the salon.
They will be able to help you remove the orange tones, or they could reapply some spray tan to even the color out more, to stop it from looking so patchy.
Why Did My Armpits Turn Green After Spray Tanning?
Turning orange is a common problem that people experience when spray tanning, but looking and seeing green armpits after a spray tan might be a new one for you!
If you notice green armpits after spray tanning, don’t be too alarmed. This is another common problem that happens with spray tans, and it can be fixed.
The reason that armpits turn green after spray tanning is if there was deodorant left on the skin when the spray tan was done. The bronzers in the spray tan product react with the deodorant and cause a green appearance.
The good news is that the DHA in the spray tan is not affected by this, and the green can be wiped away using exfoliating wipes.
Just keep in mind that the deodorant might have created a barrier between the DHA in the spray tan product and your skin, so the skin might not actually develop a tan. You would have to wipe away all product from your skin and then spray tan again.
How To Fix And Avoid Orange Spray Tans
Unfortunately, when spray tanning, you are always at risk of an orange tone, but nowadays, with spray tan products being so advanced, orange spray tans are not as common.
Make sure to follow our above advice on how to prepare your skin for a spray tan, and how to care for your skin after a spray tan, to reduce the chance of the spray tan turning orange.
If all else fails and you do end up with an orange spray tan, there are ways to fix it, and you should be able to remove the orange tone within a day or so!
Here are a few more questions that might pop into mind when dealing with orange spray tans!
Do all spray tans look orange?
Not all spray tans will turn orange, and there are some really great products on the market that will help to give your skin a beautifully bronzed glow.
You do need to put some time in to find the right product for your skin, to ensure the tan looks as natural as possible.
Will a spray tan look more even after a shower?
How long you wait to shower after a spray tan will determine how dark the tan develops, and it can sometimes help to even out your spray tan.
The bronzer in the spray tan will wash away once you shower, but the deeper tan will continue to develop over the next few hours.