Does Working Out Ruin a Spray Tan?

It’s a common question with a not-so-simple answer. We consulted with the experts to get to the bottom of whether or not working out ruins your spray tan.


Maintaining a great-looking tan can be a challenge, and the introduction of spray tanning has made it easier for many people to better control their skin color. However, existing questions remain when it comes to working out and spray tans – can you exercise after your spray tan application? Will working out ruin your carefully achieved results? In this article, we’ll discuss how to maintain a stunning tan while staying fit and healthy.

Spray tans offer an even layer of color that closely resembles a real suntan. Depending on the solutions used, a single application can last anywhere between five to seven days. It is important to note that sunless tans will fade faster in areas of your body with more movement or friction such as elbows, shins, knees and hands. Sweat from exercise also accelerates fading because sweat detoxifies the active ingredient – DHA – which is included in most self-tanning products

Understanding Spray Tanning

Getting a spray tan is a great way to get a natural-looking sun-kissed glow without having to expose yourself to the harmful effects of the sun. However, there are certain precautions you should take when it comes to working out after getting a spray tan. In this article, we will look at the effects of working out on a spray tan in more detail.

How it works

Spray tanning is a modern form of sunless tanning that involves an aesthetician spraying you with a fine mist of color. The spray contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA), an active ingredient derived from sugar cane and sugar beets that reacts with the amino acids in your skin to produce the pigment change. This chemical reaction is called oxidation, and it darkens your skin giving you a golden brown appearance.

The tan produced by spray tanning is completely temporary — it will wear off in 5-7 days due to your body naturally shedding old skin cells — but can be maintained with regular touch ups every two to four weeks.

It takes about 20 minutes for a full body spray tan, during which time you’ll remain undressed or covered with protective clothing such as loose-fitting swimming trunks or briefs. You may also be asked to wear protective glasses and nose plugs to prevent the spray from entering your eyes or nasal passages. Depending on the brand used, a light scent may accompany the airbrushing process; most clients enjoy this gentle aroma, but if it irritates you then ask for unscented product instead. After care instructions will vary depending on what type of brand is used on you; there are special scrubs and moisturizers available that will help maintain your results longer if desired.

What to expect

Spray tanning is a type of self-tanning or sunless tanning where a fine mist is sprayed onto the body, giving it a golden glow. This type of tanning is a great alternative to traditional tanning methods, such as sunbathing, because it uses much less exposure to the sun.

Before you begin spray tanning, there are several things you should be aware of in order to ensure your experience goes smoothly. Here is what you can expect:

-The technician will ask you questions about your current skin complexion and recommend the best color for your skin type.
-The solution used in spray tanning contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA reacts with proteins in the dead cells located at the top layer of skin and forms dark matter which will gradually build up and produce a tanned appearance.
-This process usually takes anywhere from 8 to 24 hours, depending on how long the solution was applied for and what product was used.
-Your first spray tan can last up to a week before fading; however, more regular tans should last around 5 days at most before needing to be reapplied.
-Regardless of how well you prepare for spray tanning, few things can’t always be avoided – small patches or streaks may develop due to improper application or uneven coverage so make sure that always follow any post care instructions given by your technician in order correct any issues with your tan!

Working Out After a Spray Tan

Working out after a spray tan can be a tricky situation for those who want to maintain their golden glow and stay in shape at the same time. While sweat is unavoidable, it’s important to exercise safely and properly if you don’t want your tan to be ruined. So, what are the risks involved with working out after a spray tan and how can they be avoided? Let’s find out.

Sweat and moisture

Humidity and sweat are two of the leading causes of a spray tan fading quickly. To give your tan the longest life possible, it is important to avoid sweating while you have your spray tan and especially in the first 8-hour period after your appointment. This can be difficult if you’re a frequent gym-goer, but it’s important to delay exercise until you feel certain that your spray tan won’t be affected by sweat or moisture.

During the first day or two after blasting your skin with bronzing solution, use an absorbent body powder over any sweating or wet areas to help keep those areas dry. If using a powder such as talcum is not an option, blotting sweat away with cool wipes can help retain the color. Just remember to avoid scrubbing off any of that beautiful bronze color!

If possible, wait at least 12 hours before showering. During this time, limit activities as much as possible if heavy sweating is unavoidable! Otherwise, try and avoid exercise for 24 hours post-tan for best results. After then however you may resume exercising as normal – just don’t forget to moisturize regularly!

Sun exposure

In addition to the risk of running out the tan post workout, it is important to consider the effect that sun exposure can have on your spray tan. Whether you are working out in a heated or unheated studio, you should always be protected from direct sunlight as this can lead to uneven fading and patching of your tan. This is especially important for outdoor workouts, as the combination of heat and UV rays will cause your tan to fade more quickly. Be sure to wear light layers and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before beginning any outdoor exercise session.

It’s also important to remember that even if you are exercising indoors with no direct sunlight, the heat from exercise (or any other activity) combined with sweat can start to break down your spray tan faster than usual. To help prolong your tan, wear lightweight breathable fabrics, take breaks throughout your workout session and drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising.

Clothes and fabrics

It is important to keep in mind the type of fabric chosen for workout apparel following a spray tan, as different fabrics can affect the evenness of the tan. Generally, wearing breathable, light materials is advised after getting a spray tan. For example, it is important to avoid fabrics like wool and other rough textures that can cause friction against the skin as this may cause your spray tan to rub off faster than intended. Instead, looser clothing such as cotton will allow your body to breath while keeping moisture away from your skin which will help to maintain a long-lasting color and an even application. Furthermore, lighter colors are recommended for post-tan workouts as darker colors can cause increased perspiration and lead to streaking or unevenness in the tan’s appearance over time.

Tips for Working Out After a Spray Tan

Working out after a spray tan can be tricky as it can lead to sweating and ruin your tan. But, with a few tips and tricks, you can work out without ruining your spray tan. In this article, we will provide you with some helpful tips for working out after a spray tan so that you can stay fit without compromising on your gorgeous tan.

Wear loose-fitting clothes

Working out after a spray tan can be intimidating. To minimize color fading, easily sweat off patches and embarrassment, it’s important to wear the right type of clothing. You should avoid tight-fitting clothes and instead opt the brands that are made from 100% natural fibers, such as organic cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics. Synthetic materials like nylon or spandex can stick to your skin and create unsightly patches when you sweat. Wearing items with short sleeves, longer hems and breathable fabrics will help reduce your body temperature while keeping you adequately covered whilst you move and stretch through your workout.

Avoid direct sunlight

When working out after a spray tan, it is important to take precautions to protect your tan from fading. Direct light can cause the tanning particles of the spray tan to break up and cause your color to begin fading quickly. To protect your spray tan, it is advisable to always wear loose clothing when exercising and always try to stay in shaded areas or away from extreme temperatures during workouts. If you are working out outdoors, take extra precautions such as wearing a hat or visor and using sunblock for additional protection from sunlight. Additionally, it is important to remember that sweat can make the spray tan fade quicker, so be sure to wash off with cold water as soon as possible following a workout session.

Use a sweat-proof barrier

It is essential to remember that any physical activity — from running a light jog to engaging in a high-intensity hard workout — can cause sweat which allows salt and other chemical residues on the skin to affect your spray tan’s appearance. To ensure that your color stays even and vibrant, create a sweat-proof barrier between your skin and these elements. Wear light, airy clothing to protect skin from salt buildup or chemical residue, such as athletic spandex, loose-fitting tank tops or shorts with elastic waistbands. Don’t forget to wear headbands, hats or visors when exercising outside in the sunlight, along with sunglasses and lip balm containing SPF 15. Skipping makeup altogether is also beneficial when working out post-tan too!


Overall, the effects of exercise on a spray tan depend on the intensity of your workout and the quality of your spray tan. Sweating can gradually start to fade a spray tan after each workout, so it’s important to take precautions like showering quickly afterward or, if possible, applying a hydrating moisturizer or mitt after each session. If you take these steps and keep your tan in good shape in general, then workouts shouldn’t ruin it.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you don’t have to worry about fading due to exercise is to invest in quality products that last longer and have been specially designed for those who lead an active lifestyle. That way, you won’t have to go through any unnecessary hassle when trying to keep your glow intact!

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