How to Sleep in a Spray Tan Without Staining Your Sheets

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There’s one thing that makes some people hesitant to try spray tanning. After finally getting that flawless bronzed skin you always wanted, the next challenge is to prevent staining your sheets. Luckily for you, we can help you enjoy your spray tan to the fullest by teaching you the proper handling of fabrics while the tanner is still fresh on your skin.

How do you sleep in a spray tan without staining your sheets? Cover your skin with loose clothing, and put something else on top of your bed such as towel. You can also invest in a bed sheet protector specially designed to sleep in with a tan.

However, what exactly can you use to cover your body AND your bed? Don’t worry; we’re about to explain the specifics.

Woman in Bed

How Do You Keep the Fake Tan from Getting on Bed Sheets?

Fortunately, you don’t need special clothes for this. Loose shirts with long sleeves, sweatpants, and pajamas will do. For double protection, wear loose socks for your tanned ankles and place a large towel on your bed, especially on your pillow.

Your bronzed hands and wrists might also stain the sheets as you move, so cover them with gloves or socks (make sure they’re clean!).

Also, all fabrics that will touch your skin should have a dark color so you may still use them after a thorough wash. Black clothes, socks, and towels are perfect for that.

Not entirely convinced? You have to spend money then. A particular Australian brand sells special sheets that are invulnerable against stains from spray tanning. The silk microfiber inserts look like huge expensive sacks to fully cover your body. Learn more about the product here.

However, if you have old sheets, that will solve the whole dilemma. Don’t hesitate to use worn-out sheets temporarily.

Can I Leave My Spray Tan on Overnight?

Yes, you can sleep in a spray tan, but did you ever think about the possible consequences of leaving it on your skin overnight? Maybe it should only stay on your skin for a few hours – or not.

It’s a good thing you’ve reached this section because there’s a reason for you to worry about overnight application after all. Turns out, spray tanning products have different formulations, which means the waiting time before your first shower can either be short or long enough for the entire night.

For the sake of reference, though, the standard duration for spray tan to initially develop is eight hours. That’s a reasonable duration if your tanning schedule is nighttime. Some services offer spray tanning sessions at night.

However, be careful with other products. Eight hours might be too long for your skin tone and the formula used. The consequences include ugly skin color, fading areas, and a darker tint than what you expect. Make sure always to read the label.

Once your skin is used to spray tanning, you may start applying the tanner for the whole night regardless of the product. One condition: you have to exfoliate your skin regularly and maintain your tanning sessions as long as you can.

If you already have a darker skin tone and want to have a more even color through a spray tan, you’re extra lucky! It turns out that the tanner won’t affect your skin color too much even if you leave it on overnight.

Does Sweating Ruin a Spray Tan?

If you don’t want your skin to be out in the sun but still want that irresistible bronzed look during summer, spray tanning is your best friend. But, you should be ready for the effects of sweat on the tanner. We hate to break it to you, but sweating is the number one enemy of a freshly tanned skin.

What happens if you get sweaty while your tanner is still fresh? Your skin tone color will look uneven because of the patches and streaks.

Summer nights can be so hot, so always be prepared when you sleep in a spray tan. Cover your tanned skin with baby powder (view on Amazon), especially on your armpits, the back part of your knees, and other sweaty areas on your body. The powder can absorb sweat, so remember to take advantage of that.

If you never want to ever deal with this, you have no choice but to rely on an air conditioner.

What to Wear After a Spray Tan?

Don’t wait until bedtime to pay more attention to your newly tanned skin. Right after the tanning session, make sure to wear the right clothes. Also, apply baby powder under the elastic waistband of your pants to prevent the effects of constant rubbing.

Aside from loose dark-colored pants and long-sleeved shirts, you may wear the following after a spray tan:

  • Cotton fabric for easier cleaning in case of stains
  • Strapless bra with high-quality hooks to reduce rubbing
  • V-neck top
  • Hoodie and loose boots for winter
  • Soft maxi dress
  • Tunic dress
  • Onesie
  • Scarf
  • Flip flops
  • Loose slipper shoes

On the other hand, NEVER wear these after a spray tan:

  • Wristwatches
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Bras with straps
  • Sports bras
  • Tight shorts
  • Leggings
  • Jeans
  • Tight socks
  • Tight boots
  • High heels
  • Strappy footwear

When Can I Shower After Spray Tanning?


We mentioned earlier that the initial waiting duration for your tanner to develop is usually eight hours. So, does that mean you may take a shower immediately?

Yes! That’s the point of the eight-hour wait. However, you should still monitor your skin from 12 to 72 hours based on the type of blend your tanner has.

If the color is just too light, increase the waiting time to 12 hours the next time you use the formula. If the color still has a lackluster effect, add one or two hours in your future attempts until you get the color right.

What if the color is too dark or bright (orange tone)? You may shorten the wait to four or six hours before you first shower next time.

How Do You Keep a Spray Tan On?

There are more ways to make your fake tan last longer. It’s not always about wearing the right clothes and showering at the right time.

One thing that can make or break the results is the moisturizer. Don’t apply moisturizer on your skin right before the tanning process. However, after the procedure, you’re required to do otherwise.

Make sure to use a moisturizer every single day starting from your first shower. Directly apply the lotion containing jojoba oil or coconut oil while you’re still damp. The moisturizer can prevent premature fading.

You may even use a body wash containing moisturizer. Spray tanning can make your skin extremely dry so always moisturize it.

For a longer-lasting tan, use a tan enhancer (view on Amazon) as well. Choose a product with DHA plus moisturizing ingredients.

What about the necessary preparations before your scheduled session? Don’t forget to shave unwanted hairs and exfoliate with a body scrub 24 hours before the appointment. Exfoliation will close your pores and remove your dead skin cells, perfect for a flawless spray tan.

How Does Spray Tanning Work?

If you never tried spray tanning before, you deserve to know what goes on during the process. You now have an idea about the before and after stages, so go ahead and check out the procedure itself.

There are two ways to have a spray span. You may choose to either visit a professional tanning service or do everything at home.

For the professional way, there are two options available. There are services using machines that look like booths. Simply step inside and stand correctly according to the instructions given. In just a few minutes, you’ll be covered in spray tan because of the DHA mist.

The other option is the airbrush tanning. The attendant will use a high-pressure spray to cover your body with tanning solution evenly. Another great thing about this process is you can focus on specific areas of your body. Some people like to emphasize their abs, muscles, and cleavage with an airbrush spray tan.

Regarding the at-home process, it will be downright messy. You should do it in your shower room or bathtub. You may even do it in your backyard. To reduce the mess, cover the floor with dark-colored or worn-out towels. Use a good quality tanner such as the Self Tanner by Golden Star Beauty (view on Amazon). It’s easy to apply and effective.

You should also consider asking for help. It’s best to do the process with a person who can spray the solution on your back and other areas you can’t reach.

Whether you’re going for the professional or DIY method, always protect your eyes, nose, and lips. Inhaling or swallowing the fumes is dangerous to your health.

Is a Spray Tan Worth It?

Admit it – it can be a hassle to maintain a spray tan. From dirty sheets to the tedious waiting game before you can start showering again, is it really worth the stress?

If you’re particular about having gorgeous skin, by all means, go for it! Spray tanning is packed with benefits as long as the ingredients are safe for your skin.

Since you don’t need ultraviolet (UV) rays with a spray tan, you’re less likely to suffer from skin cancer. If the FDA approves your tanner, there’s no need to worry.

Additionally, a spray tan can provide you flawless coverage. With the right procedure, your bronzed skin will look so natural.

The only drawback is the expensive maintenance. Spray tan won’t last long on your skin. It can only last for a week at most. So, if you want a “sun-kissed” color all the time, you’ll be forced to spend many bottles of tanners or look for a cheaper yet safe alternative.


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