How to Spray Tan


When applying a spray tan, you need to ensure that all skin surfaces are covered and nothing is missed.

To achieve this, you need to develop a systematic way of applying the tan.

We apply in sections. Top half, then bottom half (waist down) and finishing with the face/neck.

* The detail below is a guide only. You can apply the tan in any way you wish, just ensure you do so in a way to cover all areas.



  1. Have the customer facing you, arms by their side (away from their body slightly), with palms facing backwards.
  2. Apply the tan in long vertical strokes from left to right (stop at the waist). Apply lightly to hands (relax fingers also to smooth out any skin creases).
  3. You may need to ask the client, to lift their breasts to access their underside.
  4. Turn around to face the wall, arms by their side, palms facing the floor (to avoid tanned palms).
  5. Apply the tan in long vertical strokes from left to right (apply to the back of the neck also in this step).
  6. Turn side on, arm down, palm facing thigh. Apply to the outside shoulder/arm (avoid the hand/wrist as likely covered in the front pose).
  7. Lift arm to sky (palm facing away from their body), spray lightly under the upper arm/arm pit and down the side of the torso. The side torso likely will take 2 strokes.
  8. Repeat steps 5 & 6 for the other side.



  1. Place feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Apply down the front of both legs (you may need 2 strokes for upper thigh).
  3. Turn out the right leg to expose inside thigh. Apply along inside of thigh/calf (repeat left side).
  4. Turn around. Bend forward slightly to help uncrease under the bottom. Apply to the bottom and legs in long, even strokes.
  5. In this pose, go ‘pigeon toed’ and try to access the rear inner thigh (between legs).
  6. Turn side-on, apply to outer thigh/leg (repeat other side)



  1. Apply lightly to face/neck. 2x the normal hand speed is a good guide to how much you should apply in a ‘light’ application.
  2. The face will take 3 quick strokes of the gun. Apply at a 45 degree angle on the left side, then middle, then 45 degree angle on the right side.
  3. Lift the chin, apply in the same fashion as the face to cover this area lightly.
  4. Allow 3-5 minutes to dry. You can speed this up using your spray tan machines hose or a fan.



Once finished, inspect the clients skin to check for any areas you may have missed.

In colder months, use an infrared heater. This will not create such a cooling effect on the skin as a fan forced heater.

Use an extraction fan to ensure you and your client are not breathing in overspray and this will also assist in drying due to the air movement around the client. It will also prevent build up of overspray on walls/floors/everything over time (it is difficult to clean).

Ensure the customer is aware of the preparation and aftercare advice. This will ensure the tan is not disturbed after application (ie. tight fitting clothing/sweating) and the tan will last and fade well.



You should be aiming to use between 30 – 50 mls of solution per application for an ‘average’ sized person (50-80kg).

Using too much solution will cost you $ in wasted solution and will not result in a natural looking tan.

Do your best to develop your application technique to a point where you are consistently spraying the correct amount of solution.


The time you leave a spray tan on the skin is dependent on the solution type you are using –    ‘2HR Tan’  or the  ‘Original’ 6HR Tanning Solution’.

Often confused with being a rapidly developing tan, the 2 hour tan develops at exactly the same speed as the traditional spray tan (first showing at 3 hours and peaking at 8 – 12 hours).

The advantage is in the ability to wash the solution off 2 hours after application. This convenience allows you to go about your day sooner, without waiting to wash.

Note: The 2 hour tan is an efficient absorber – do not leave the tan application on for longer than 2 hours, over-development may result.

Your ‘traditional’ tanning solution – leave on your skin for 6 hours before washing off.

You may ask, why use the Original 6 hour tan when I can get the same result in 2 hours?


The 6 hour tan is still convenient for those who schedule a tan in their lunch break or before work and are unable to wash the application off after 2 hours.



Your tan will typically last between 7-10 days. Achieving the maximum value from your tan depends on three main factors.



A tan is only as good as the solution being used. The key ingredients which affect a spray tans lasting ability are Erythrulose and the use of high quality absorbents to deliver the active ingredients sufficiently into the dead skin layers.

  • Erythrulose has the advantage of an extended development time which peaks 2 days after application, giving your tan two extra days of vibrancy.
  • DMI (Dimethyl Isosorbide), a plant derived skin absorbent works to temporarily dissolve loose fat and oils on the skin’s surface, allowing the active ingredients an efficient pathway into the skins outer layers.



Preparing for a spray tan correctly is one of the most important factors which will determine the lasting ability of your tan and how well it fades. This preparation is simply – exfoliation.

By exfoliating the dead skin from your body before a spray tan, the active ingredients have a fresh layer of smooth skin to interact with. This new layer of skin will take much longer to naturally exfoliate and hence your tan will stay with you for longer and fade better.

Ask your spray tanner for a OneTone – Skin Prep Spray before your tan application if you have dry skin. This will even out the absorption of the tanning ingredients to avoid any over absorption in dry areas. In particular – wrists – elbows – knees and ankles.

DO NOT wear any makeup, deodorant, moisturisers or perfume before your session as these create a barrier to the tanning solution.



Exfoliation is vital before application but detrimental after your spray tan. Your tan is captured in many layers of dead skin.

Reducing the rate at which these layers shed will lead to a longer lasting tan. The natural exfoliation of your newly tanned skin can be reduced by following three simple steps.

  • Moisturise every day after showering (while still damp)
  • Pat dry after showering
  • Avoid hot showers and long swims (especially in chlorinated water)