Not all spray tans need to be dark bronzed and super obvious. You might just want a lighter spray tan that elevates your skin slightly from pale to gently sunkissed, and that is completely doable.
The problem comes in when you need to get the lightest spray tan possible – you might be worried that even the lightest shade will turn your skin too dark, or that the spray tan technician might not know what you are wanting.
What do you need to ask for to get the lightest spray tan? The best way to get the lightest spray tan is to be open with your spray tan technician about what you want. It helps to understand your skin tone and what light color will complement it enough with a subtle tan, and nothing too obvious.
You do not want to walk away from the spray tan salon with a tan that makes you feel uncomfortable, so keep reading to find out how to get the lightest spray tan, and what you need to ask for.
How To Ask For The Lightest Spray Tan
You need to be open and honest with your spray tan technician on what you want, and while they are so great at giving constructive advice, you need to be strong with only wanting a light spray tan if that is what you came to the salon for.
An experienced and professional spray tan artist will never try to talk you into a spray tan that you wouldn’t want, and would instead listen to you and your needs, and take other factors into consideration to work out what the best spray tan formula would be for you.
With pale skin, you do not need to go for a stronger or darker spray tan formula, your skin does not need the extra help to darken, and what will happen is that your skin will be left orange and way too dark.
When you visit the spray tan salon, the spray tan technician should help you work out your skin tone, and then choose the best formula for this, even if it is the lightest tan that you are after.
What works for one skin type will not be the same for another, and you do have to consider your unique needs, and the spray tan you are after, and communicate this well to your spray tan technician.
The Spray Tan Options
You might have fair skin and want a light shade for this, or you could have medium skin and want something subtle that doesn’t make your skin much darker than what it is.
The lightest spray tan you can get will depend on your skin tone. The different spray tan options can range from extra light, light, medium, medium to dark, dark and then extra dark. What works as the lightest shade for one skin tone will not be the same for another.
These are the recommended shades for the different skin tones:
Fair-Skin : Extra light to light
Olive/Medium-Skin: Light to medium or medium
Tanned/Dark-Skin: Light to medium, medium, medium to dark.
These are just a guide to work with, and these skin tones all have their own range of shades to consider.
A light spray tan should only be between 1-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone, and anything more than this would be more noticeable, and not what you would be looking for.
Tips On Keeping Your Spray Tan Light
There are some things you can look for, and that you can do, to ensure that your spray tan is light, and that it stays light.
Prepare Your Skin
Preparing your skin before the spray tan can help you achieve your desired shade. Exfoliating your skin the day before helps to remove a build-up of dead skin cells, which evens out your skin more.
Removing build-ups of dead skin cells and dry skin, and then moisturizing your skin, will ensure that you won’t have some areas that are darker than others (spray tan formulas cling to dry skin and develop darker) and that you have a lighter tone all around.
Check The DHA Content
DHA is the active ingredient in spray tans which reacts with your skin cells to darken your skin color. The more DHA in a spray tan formula, the darker your spray tan will be.
The percentage of DHA can range between 5-12%, and if you are looking for a light spray tan, you should choose a lower DHA content such as 5%. Higher contents will give medium to dark tans.
However, your spray tan technician should be guiding you with this, as they should know all about the DHA content and how the spray tan will react with your skin.
Check The Spray Tan Color Chart
Spray tan color charts can look very confusing, and you might feel quite intimidated trying to work them out!
The spray tan technician will help you work out your skin undertone, and then you would be able to work out (with their help) the color off the chart that you should use.
Spray tan formulas are designed to work with different skin undertones, so it is important to know yours, whether it is cool, warm or neutral, to pick out the best one for you, to enhance your skin and look as natural as possible.
Shower Within The Recommended Time
Some spray tans contain bronzers, which give you an instant tan to enjoy while the actual spray tan formula works to develop a darker color on your skin. Whether your spray tan has bronzer or not, the DHA in the formula will take hours to develop fully.
Spray tans stop developing at around 8-10 hours, and if you want the darkest shade possible from your spray tan, you should wait this amount of time before showering. When you shower, you wash the product off your skin, and the darkening process is stopped.
If you are only wanting a light spray tan, then you should shower 2-4 hours after the spray tan is done, to ensure that the formula does not have too much time to develop on your skin.
Keep The Seasons In Mind
When choosing the best spray tan color for you, keep the time of year and the season in mind. A light tan in winter is different to a light tan in summer, and you might want to consider what a natural looking tan would be for that time of year.
If you have a light tan in winter, you might want to go up one level in summer, just to give your skin that natural sun-kissed glow.
The Best Light Tans At Home
If a spray tan seems a little too much for you, and you would rather be in control of your tan at home, there are some self-tan products designed to be used to give a light tan instead of a darker bronzed tone.
When looking at the below products, keep your skin tone in mind to pick the one that would be perfect for you.
1. Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
Being able to control how much self-tanner you use is key to developing a light tan that isn’t too obvious.
The Isle Of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops give you power over how much self-tanner is applied to your skin, and therefore how dark your skin goes.
You simply need to add between 2-12 drops of the tanning formula to your normal moisturizer, and then apply this to your skin.
So if you are wanting a lighter tan, you would only add in around 2-5 drops.
Other than giving you the best control on your tan color and allowing you to develop a light color, the drops are also infused with skin-loving ingredients such as grapefruit, chia seed and avocado oils.
These also help to give your skin an even, longer-lasting color too. Give yourself complete control over your lightest tan with these drops, and use them as often as you need!
2. Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion Fair To Medium Skin
The Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion is ideal to create a flawless tan which develops naturally.
There isn’t a sudden drastic change in your skin color, and you instead have better control of how dark your skin tans.
Formulated to make your skin glow, the lotion works to enhance your natural skin tone, so it will always look natural. It will also hydrate, smooth and moisturize your skin too.
As you can use the lotion in the shower, you don’t have to worry about any wait time before washing the lotion off, and you can carry on freely as it gradually develops on your skin.
With a fresh scent and moisturizing properties, you get to enjoy all the benefits of this light tanning lotion, and not worry about your skin being too tanned.
3. Tanologist Express Self-Tan Water, Light
Tanologist have the Express Self-Tan Water in light, for those who want to give their skin an extra bit of a glow, but without causing their skin to darken too much.
The formula is non-comedogenic too, which means it will not clog pores and cause any breakouts.
The water is also transparent, so it will not transfer onto clothes and cause any stains.
You can use the spray on your body and your face, as it is gentle enough for all areas of your skin.
The formula develops so light, that it can even be used as a hydrating setting spray.
For a light glow and subtle tan, this is a great option to use, and the spray mechanism means that applying the formula evenly is a breeze.
4. Beauty By Earth Self-Tanner Tanning Water
The Beauty By Earth Self-Tanner Tanning Water for light skin is a gradual, buildable tan that helps you develop the tone that you are wanting.
The quick spray tan formula absorbs into skin fast, and develops a bright but natural glow in a few hours.
As the formula has color correctors, the tan will never look out of place or unnatural, and will just work to enhance your natural tone.
Made with natural and organic ingredients, this self-tanner is also very gentle and kind to your skin, and not only will you have a light tan to enjoy, but nourished and soothed skin too.
5. Fake Bake Fair Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion
The Fake Bake Fair Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion is great for sensitive skin, and is best suited to be used on light and pale skin tones, as it does not develop a dark color, and instead gives you a light tan.
The glide on formula has a slight cosmetic color guide that allows you to apply the self-tanner evenly all over, and make sure that you haven’t missed any spots.
It contains all the great ingredients that Fake Bake is known for, but just with a lighter pale fudge-color.
Naturally derived DHA and erythrulose work to develop a natural looking lighter tan on your skin, and you can achieve your desired tan by smoothing the lotion onto your skin as your daily moisturizer, and give it a few minutes to settle before getting dressed and carrying on with your day!
Does Pale Skin Spray Tan Orange?
It is completely understandable to worry that your pale skin might turn orange after a spray tan, but this is thankfully not as common as it used to be.
Just because you have pale skin, it does not mean that your skin will turn orange. You need to choose a professional spray tan technician who will help you choose a formula that would suit your skin tone and enhance its natural colors, rather than leaving you orange.
If you are in doubt and are fairly nervous, then the best option is to stick to a light formula, even the lightest one possible, to subtly build-up your tan and not make your spray tan seem too obvious.
Lightest Spray Tan
A dark spray tan might not be right for you, and if you are looking more for a subtle sun-kissed color and a slight glow, then you would want the lightest spray tan.
To ensure you get the lightest spray tan, you should chat to your spray tan technician about what you want, and tell them that you do not want to go any darker than a shade or two more than your skin tone.
Your spray tan technician will be able to help you pick out the right color and formula for your skin and for the results you are after, and hopefully you will walk away from the salon with a light tan that you love!
How dark is a level one spray tan?
A level one spray tan is the lightest spray tan you could choose, and it is ideal for fair skin tones and for when you are wanting more of a glow than a tan. The next level, level 2, gives more color, and the tan color gets darker from there onwards.
How can I make my spray tan lighter?
The best way to make your spray tan lighter is to exfoliate your skin to remove any dead skin cells that are holding onto the tan color. You could also use baby oil to saturate your skin, and then wash this away with a body scrub to remove some of the color.
Just remember that this might not even your tan very evenly, and exfoliating too much can harm your skin.