Will Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure

Will Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure? Prevention, Solutions, and More!

Spray tanning and manicures are two popular beauty treatments that many individuals indulge in. However, a common concern arises when combining the two: will a spray tan ruin a manicure?

Spray tanning is a modern solution to achieve a bronzed look without the harmful effects of UV exposure.

It involves spraying a solution containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA) onto the skin. A manicure is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands. It involves cleaning, shaping, and often painting the nails.

This article delves deep into the topic, providing evidence-based insights and expert opinions.

Will Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure?

A spray tan is unlikely to ruin a properly cured manicure, especially if it’s a gel or acrylic. However, if you’ve just had your nails done and the polish isn’t fully set, or if you’re wearing a lighter color, there’s a chance the tanning solution could cause discoloration. To protect your manicure, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over your nails before the spray tan, and wash your hands gently after the session. Always ensure your nails are completely dry and hardened before getting a spray tan to minimize any potential impact.

Will Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure?

Why Does Spray Tan Affect Manicures?

It varies according to the science behind this interaction is rooted in the chemical makeup of the tanning solution and the nail polish.

DHA, the active ingredient in most tanning solutions, is designed to darken the skin.

However, when it comes in contact with nail polish, especially lighter shades, it can result in discoloration.

The type of nail polish (gel, acrylic, regular) and the specific formula of the spray tan can also play roles in this interaction.

Benefits Of Having Your Manicure After Your Fake Tan?

Having your manicure after applying fake tan offers several benefits that contribute to a more polished and cohesive appearance. Here are some advantages of scheduling your manicure after your fake tan:

  1. Matching Skin Tone:
    Having your manicure after applying fake tan allows you to match the color of your nails to your newly bronzed skin tone. This coordination creates a harmonious and unified look, enhancing your overall appearance.
  2. Reduced Staining:
    Fake tan products can sometimes stain the nails, resulting in a patchy or uneven appearance. By waiting until after your fake tan has fully developed to get a manicure, you minimize the risk of staining and ensure a flawless finish to your nails.
  3. Longer-Lasting Results:
    Applying fake tan after a manicure can potentially cause the tan to fade or wear off more quickly around the nail area due to the removal of cuticles or nail polish remover. Having your manicure done after fake tanning ensures that your tan stays intact for longer, preserving its color and longevity.
  4. Enhanced Self-Confidence:
    Coordinating your manicure with your fake tan can boost your self-confidence and make you feel more put-together. Knowing that your nails complement your bronzed skin can give you a sense of satisfaction and enhance your overall appearance.
  5. Seamless Integration:
    By planning your manicure after applying fake tan, you can seamlessly integrate both beauty treatments into your grooming routine. This approach allows you to schedule your appointments efficiently and ensures that your nails and tan are perfectly coordinated for any upcoming events or occasions.
  6. Professional Attention to Detail:
    Getting a manicure after applying fake tan gives you the opportunity to address any imperfections or inconsistencies in your nails. A professional nail technician can shape your nails, tidy up your cuticles, and apply polish with precision, resulting in a flawless and polished finish.
  7. Improved Overall Aesthetic:
    Coordinating your manicure with your fake tan contributes to a more cohesive and polished overall aesthetic. When your nails complement your bronzed skin tone, it creates a cohesive and balanced look that enhances your appearance and elevates your style.
getting spray tan after manicure

Solutions and Precautions

To ensure the longevity and appearance of both the tan and the manicure, certain precautions can be taken:

  • Pre-Tan Preparations: Before tanning, apply a clear base coat to the nails. This acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of staining.
  • Post-Tan Care: After tanning, avoid soaking, scrubbing, or using nail polish removers as they can strip the tan.
  • Barrier Products: Specialized products, like barrier creams, can be applied around the nails to prevent staining.

Best Practices

For optimal results:

  • Timing: It’s recommended to get a manicure before a spray tan. This ensures the nail polish is dry and reduces the risk of staining.
  • Manicure Type: Gel or acrylic manicures are less porous than regular ones, making them less likely to stain.
  • Aftercare: Post-tan, avoid activities that might compromise the tan or the manicure, like swimming or using harsh chemicals.

What Not To Do After Getting a Spray Tan?

After getting a spray tan, there are several important precautions to take to ensure the best possible results and longevity of your tan.

Firstly, avoid water and sweating for at least the first 4-8 hours post-tan, as moisture can cause streaks or wash away the tanning solution before it has fully developed. This means no showering, swimming, or intense workouts.

Do not apply any products on your skin during the development time, including lotions, perfumes, or deodorants, as these can interfere with the tan’s absorption.

Avoid tight clothing or accessories that may rub against the skin and cause unevenness in the tan’s appearance.

Exfoliating or shaving immediately after a spray tan should also be avoided, as this can remove the tanned outer layer of skin cells.

Additionally, keep your skin hydrated after the initial development period to maintain the tan, but opt for oil-free moisturizers that are less likely to break down the tan.

Lastly, be mindful not to engage in activities that may cause excessive exfoliation, such as long baths or chlorinated pools, as these can fade your spray tan prematurely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Should you get a manicure before or after spray tan?

It’s advisable to get a manicure before a spray tan. This recommendation stems from the potential reaction between the chemicals in spray tan solutions and nail polish or acrylics.

Spray tan solutions contain DHA, which can react with nail polish and acrylics, causing discoloration and weakening the bond of nail enhancements.

2) How soon after a manicure can I get a spray tan?

Waiting at least a day after a manicure before getting a spray tan is recommended. This waiting period allows the nail polish to cure correctly, reducing the risk of any adverse reactions with the tanning solution.

3) What to apply to nails to prevent spray tan from staining it?

To prevent spray tan from staining your nails, apply a thin layer of Vaseline or a clear nail polish before your tanning session. Alternatively, you can use a barrier cream provided by many salons specifically for this purpose. These barriers will protect your nails from the tanning solution and can be easily wiped away after your session.

4) Will spray tan come off from nails?

Yes, spray tan can usually be removed from nails. If you do get some tanning solution on your nails, you can gently scrub them with a nail brush or a toothbrush dipped in lemon juice or a whitening toothpaste. For tougher stains, soaking nails in a bowl of warm water with denture cleaning tablets can also help lift the tan off your nails.


Navigating the world of beauty treatments can be complex.

However, with the right knowledge and precautions, one can enjoy the benefits of both spray tans and manicures without compromise.

The direct impact of a spray tan on a manicure largely depends on several factors.

Firstly, the target of spray tan solutions is primarily the skin cells, especially the dead ones on the outermost layer.

However, if the solution isn’t completely dry and comes in contact with the nails, it could cause discoloration or staining.

The time between getting a manicure and a spray tan can also influence the outcome.

For instance, freshly applied nail polish might be more susceptible to staining.

Related Posts:

Does Manicure and Pedicure Have to Match?

What Does a Manicure Include?

Can You Paint Over a Gel Manicure?

Why Are My Chrome Nails Peeling?