Must you? – No

Should you? – Maybe

Can it help your spray tan fade better, or more evenly, and last longer?  Yes – maybe

Much depends on your unique skin, but if you find your tan is not fading as well as you would like, then moisturization is an option to consider adding to your routine. Try it for 30 days, and see how you tan wears, fades, and lasts. This will help you decide if this is an option for you.

For some clients, the inconvenience of daily (or every other day) moisturizing , out weighs the benefits they see. Thats okay, if it becomes a chore, then you are not going to want to do it. And you can still have a good sunless tan in many cases without added a moisturizer step.

The reason we would recommend moisturization is because dry or dehydrated skin, or unhealthy skin, will fade a sunless tan faster, and more unevenly, then moist skin. Skin with an intact protective barrier layer, that holds moisture, will also hold a tan better. Regular moisturizing can help both these things. Which will assist in the tan wear.

Rather then address all the moisturizing options, and which would be best for you (that’s a long post) Please see this post on using Coconut Oil for Skin Moisturizing.

This covers more detailed information on moisturizers types, and the best application situation for each.

How a spray tan works:

When sunless tanning products are applied to your skin – the solution sticks to, and tints, the dead surface skin layer. These are the dead skin cells attached to your body, that protect the living cells deep underneath. This is a flexible, waterproof, protective layer, that helps product the body from irritants, and germs. We loose millions of dead skin cells daily, as  fresh new skin cells are birthed from underneath, and push, to the surface.

As the living tissues push the dead skin cells up (and off), the older dead “now tanned” cells on the surface, break off and float away. This is part of your current spray tan. As they loosen and separate, more and more pale skin appears. This creates a lighter tan color depth, each day. This is why your tan fades.

Ideally your want to slow the separation process a bit, helping your tan last longer. You can never stop this process, as this is part of normal skin function, and necessary for healthy skin.

But you can slow it, and help cells to detach more evenly, allowing the tan to fade better. This is where motorization can be your friend.

Regular moisturizing, especially when applying product to shower damp skin, will help the skin stay moist/less dry.  Dry skin tends to exfoliate faster, and more unevenly.  Moist skin cells exfoliate more evenly and slower. This allows your tan to fade slower.

Does everyone need to moisturize?

The moisturizers used, your personal skin health, skin oiliness or dryness, normal cell turn over rate, age, your environment and humidity levels – all can dictate if, and how often you need to moisturizer.  Some people find their tan will wear better if they do not moisturize.

If you are in a humid location dry oil products or a thin-medium moisturizer lotion,  will be more comfortable, then a thick or heavy cream or butter.

Dry skinned types, or clients in very dry locations, may find a dry oil combined with a lotion or cream,  or a cream or lotion only, that is heavier, works best.

DHA containing lotions will also add a bit of Self Tan Glow to the moisturizer, which can extend the tan length longer.

So depending on your specific situation the answer is not a resounding YES or NO.

But moisturizing is a tool, or many,  in the spray tan arsenal, that can make a difference in how your tan wears, fades, and lasts.

Other posts you might find helpful:

Extending the life of your spraytan

Will Drinking Water Help My Spraytan Last longer?

Do soaps and cleansers used matter when spray Tanning?


  • Vicki