That bronze is gorgeous. Would you like to keep on enjoying it?
This is the article where you’ll find out how to keep a spray tan longer.
We’ll help you find the best lotion after spray tan.
There are various kinds to choose from, so here are tips to help you decide.
When can I put lotion on after a spray tan?
The active ingredients in spray tan take time to bronze the skin. That’s why you have to wait to shower and to moisturize.
The spray tech will be able to tell you how long the tanning solution takes to develop. Then, after your first shower, you can apply lotion.
Keep your skin well-hydrated by moisturizing twice a day, and your tan will last days longer.
What lotion should you not use after a spray tan?
A lightweight, oil-free lotion without a strong fragrance is the best bet for maintaining a spray tan.
Some lotion ingredients are downright destructive for a fake tan. They include:
- Fragrance, aka “parfum”
- Mineral oil
- Shower oil
- Retinol, glycolic acid, lactic acid (AHAs)
- Salicylic acid (BHA)
Here’s what might happen if you use a moisturizer with these ingredients.
Alcohol (the drying kind, not the fatty kind) dehydrates the skin. The drier the skin, the faster it exfoliates, and bye-bye tan.
Next, artificial fragrances and dyes might cause an allergic reaction.
Mineral oil and any kind of greasy shower oil may cause the bronze to streak or go patchy. In fact, you can remove a fake bake bronze by exfoliating with a loofah and baby oil.
Although retinol and alpha hydroxy acids make the skin smooth and younger-looking, they will fade a tan faster. They speed up exfoliation. So does salicylic acid.
The idea is to keep your skin healthy and maintain the color.
What are the best moisturizers to use after a spray tan?
Lightweight natural oils like jojoba or fractionated coconut are okay because they absorb quickly. Apply them while your skin is damp for best results.
Also, look for hyaluronic acid as it’s an excellent moisturizer (1).
Finally, tan extender lotions with DHA help preserve the bronze color. Let’s start with those first.
Best Lotion After Spray Tan in 2023
Norvell Venetian Color Extender Moisturizing Lotion
The best lotion to use after self-tanning is the one that’s compatible with the brand of spray tan you used. Let’s use Norvell as the example since their products are carried by salons worldwide.
How does this moisturizer extend your tan?
For one, it contains DHA. This is the active ingredient in spray tan solution. It interacts with the top layer of skin to brown it.
But it’s only a small dose in the lotion. Therefore, it helps keep the bronze from fading. Alternatively, you can use it to build a gradual tan. You wouldn’t even have to visit a salon.
Take note that Norvell makes more than one after spray tan lotion. This one has brown and violet hues to match the exotic skin tones of the European Riviera. It’s perfect if you had the Venetian spray tan.
Moreover, it has the delicious Paradise Breeze scent. Just smoothing it on the skin is like taking a mini-vacation.
The formula is free of harmful ingredients like parabens, gluten, and animal derivatives. It’s gentle enough to use every day. That’s actually a good idea as it’s packed with rich botanicals to nourish the skin.
Besides grape seed and hemp seed oil, it has antioxidants from green tea and fruit to keep the skin young.
Norvell Prolong Sunless Tanning Color Extender Moisturizing Lotion
The Prolong lotion is the best-selling moisturizer from Norvell. It also has DHA to develop and extend a fake tan.
When you use it regularly, it doesn’t just help your bronze fade gracefully. It also keeps your skin ready for the next session at the salon.
It’s vegan and contains no gluten or parabens. It won’t clog pores or turn your skin orange, either.
The fragrance is Pomegranate Bliss.
SJOLIE Tan Extend Lotion
SJOLIE is another top brand of spray tan solution. Their tan extender lotion is safe for the face and the body. That’s great news as faces tend to fade first.
It’s 100% vegan and natural and contains no parabens or erythrulose. It uses only DHA to gradually create the tan.
With caffeine, it firms the skin. Plus, it contains moisturizers like aloe and glycerin and conditioners like Kukui nut oil.
VITA LIBERATA Advanced Organics Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion
Get the best of everything. This lotion eliminates the after tan odor plus 72 hours of hydration.
What’s more, it’s ideal for sensitive skin as it’s toxin-free. It has no artificial perfume, alcohol, or parabens. (Parabens are a type of preservative that can disrupt hormones).
Not only can this moisturizer keep the spray tan looking like new, but it’s also a self-tanner in its own right.
Apply it 4 days in a row, and you’ll have a natural-looking bronze. Your skin will also be more supple and smooth from the certified organic botanicals.
Skinerals Self Tanner Extender Lotion
Skinerals makes this moisturizer for the face and body. It has a light fruity scent and plenty of nutrients for the skin.
Some of the highlights include goji berry, fig, açai, and gooseberry.
Also important, it contains no parabens, gluten, nuts, or oils. It’s manufactured in the USA from vegan ingredients.
Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk
Although I don’t know of any gradual tanning lotion that can achieve the same results as a professional spray tan, this does a good job.
It’s a product from Australia that won the Beauty Heaven’s Best in Beauty award 2019.
It’s a moisturizer with vitamin E and aloe. It has the delicious aroma of cocoa butter while it gently bronzes the skin. It certainly smells better than many fake bake products do.
Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer by GOLDEN STAR BEAUTY
Although the packaging design and description resemble Asian-made products, this lotion is manufactured in the USA. It’s vegan and free from parabens and formaldehyde.
When you use it, you won’t have that nasty after tan odor. It’s not sticky and won’t clog pores, either.
Instead, it smooths and softens the skin with certified organic aloe and argan oil. It also has hyaluronic acid to restore moisture.
There’s just enough DHA and melanin to maintain and extend your tan, whether it came from a bottle or the beach.
Tanceuticals Self Tanner – CC Lotion
You’ve heard of CC cream for your face. Now, how about color-correcting cream for your body?
It’s made by a company that’s received awards from Marie Claire and Vive Magazine for their self-tanning products.
You’ll never look streaky or orange. Moreover, it smells like fresh coconuts, not like a sunless tanning product.
By itself, it keeps you bronze for up to a week after you apply it. It’s also excellent for maintaining a spray tan.
Fake Bake Fair Gradual Self Tan Lotion
Fake Bake has a funny name but a serious self-tanning reputation. The gradual tanning lotion will instantly make you darker because it has a cosmetic bronzer in it.
The purpose of the bronzer is to show you where you’ve applied it. It will wash off when you shower.
In the meantime, DHA will work behind the scenes to deepen your color.
Happily, this is a lotion made for all skin types. It won’t harm sensitive or oily skin. Furthermore, it won’t leave a sticky residue.
If you have fair skin, it will give you a natural-looking tan. It will also help your spray tan fade evenly.
It has no parabens or formaldehyde releasers like the DMDM hydantoin in it.
Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion
As Alba Botanica points out, remember to wear sunscreen even if you have a tan. Or should we say especially if you have a fake tan.
DHA, the active ingredient in sunless tanners, can make you prone to sunburn. So please, put on the sunscreen before you go outdoors.
It’s also best to use sunless tanning lotion like this one at night instead of in the morning.
This one is based on sweet almond oil and shea butter to make the skin velvety soft. It’s free from artificial fragrances, phthalates, parabens, and gluten.
It only takes 3 hours to bronze the skin. Put it on at bedtime, and you’ll wake up as if you went on vacation overnight.
Sunless Tanning Lotion by L’Oreal Paris
L’Oreal makes one of the least expensive drugstore lotions for after a spray tan. But is it worth it?
As a moisturizer, it’s not bad. It’s not hydrating enough if you have very dry skin, but it will keep normal skin smooth and soft.
Also, you’ll need to pay attention to which version you get. This one is for medium skin tone. It might look too dark on pale skin.
After using it for couple of days, you’ll notice that you’re starting to develop a tan. It usually doesn’t streak unless you get it wet too soon after you apply it. In other words, don’t put it on and then go sweat at the gym.
On the downside, the formula is disappointing. It contains denatured alcohol, parabens, and an artificial fragrance.
Jergens Natural Glow Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer
The Jergens tan extending lotion is also second-rate compared to some of the other products above. It’s cheap, and it will darken your skin color. Therefore, it will help prop up a fading spray tan.
But sadly, it’s loaded with mineral oil as well as parabens and an artificial fragrance.
Millennium Tanning SOLID BLACK TAN EXTENDER Moisturizer
If you’ve gone indoor tanning, you’re probably familiar with this brand’s products.
However, this is not a tanning lotion or a self-tanning product. It’s merely a moisturizer that relies on aloe, cocoa seed butter, and argan oil, among other things.
It extends any type of tan by keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.
Ed Hardy INK Tattoo & Color Fade Moisturizer Tan Extender
This body lotion doesn’t contain bronzer, either. It’s pleasant to use after and or tanning or outdoors.
It’s also useful for prolonging a spray tan.
It has Ed Hardy’s signature Body Fit formula that makes cellulite less noticeable. It also has anti-aging ingredients like lotus extract that prevents premature aging from sun exposure.
If you have tattoos, it can help make the ink look vibrant, too.
The unisex fragrance is bourbon and honey.
Australian Gold Pomaberry Hemp Nation Tan Extender Lotion
I always find it amusing when moisturizers with hemp feel the need to point out that they have no THC in them. At least they recognize the value of hemp seed oil as a potent moisturizer even without the psychoactive component.
Australian Gold is experienced at making tanning lotion and sunscreen. It’s not surprising they’ve branched out to making after tan lotion as well. And this one is intensely moisturizing with jojoba and shea butter.
The benefits are aimed at those who tan indoors or outdoors. But they’re also helpful for extending a fake tan.
The anti-aging formula fights wrinkles with vitamins and antioxidants from pomegranate, açai, and goji berry. It also contains soft-focus microspheres that make fine lines disappear.
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
Which is the best face moisturizer after a spray tan? You’ll find that this mist is refreshing, and it won’t mess with the color.
In fact, it’s a bronzing product with natural tanning agents.
Apply it before you put on makeup to give your face a golden glow. It won’t streak or rub off on clothing. It also has no self-tanning odor.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Here’s one final oil-free body moisturizer for a fake tan. It’s all business with no extra bells or whistles. But it’s one of the best lotions on the market, especially for dry or sensitive skin.
It has no tanning ingredients, no fragrance, and it won’t clog pores. It’s so gentle it’s been approved by the National Eczema Association.
The formula keeps any type of tan looking great for longer because it’s an excellent moisturizer. It’s based on hyaluronic acid and ceramides to attract and seal in hydration.
It works for 24 hours after you apply it.
Enjoy the afterglow of your spray tan for longer by using the right kind of lotion.
Avoid oils, alcohols, and exfoliants in favor of natural moisturizers. This will keep the color from fading unevenly.
Then try a gradual tanning lotion to extend the bronze even longer.
1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work, published May 29, 2019, accessed October 14, 2020