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Will A Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure?

If you have a big event coming up, and you want to look your absolute best, it can be tempting to get a spray tan. But if you already had a fresh manicure done, will the spray tan application ruin it?

Will a spray tan ruin my manicure? You don’t want to risk your pretty nails getting stained, so keep on reading to find out if you need to protect your nails from your spray tan appointment. 

Will A Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure?

What Kind Of Things Can Stain A Manicure Or Pedicure?

It’s easy to stain your nails, and some stains are a nightmare to try and remove. If you want to avoid any potential stains on your manicure and pedicure, you’re going to want to be careful around the following things, which could lead to potential stains and nail damage:

Chemicals and Harsh Products

Beware of chemicals and harsh products in everyday household items, such as cleaning agents, laundry detergent, and even hair dye. These can stain both your acrylic nails and natural nails, and in some cases, even dissolve your nail polish.

Excessive Moisture

Too much water exposure, like soaking in a pool or taking long showers, or applying too much lotion, can cause your nail polish to chip or lift, especially if it’s not completely dry.

So, try to keep your manicure or pedicure as dry as possible, and avoid submerging your hands and feet for extended periods.

Dark-Colored Food and Beverages

You might be surprised to learn that dark-colored food and drinks, such as red wine, tomato sauce, berries, and coffee, can stain your nails.

If you’re enjoying these juicy delights, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward to avoid letting these pigments tint your polish.

Spray Tans

A spray tan might give you that perfect summer glow, but it can also wreak havoc on your manicure or pedicure.

The tanning solution might react with your nail polish, causing discoloration and staining. If you’re getting a spray tan, schedule your nail appointment before, not after, the tanning session.

Improper Nail Prep

Sometimes, a stained manicure or pedicure results from improperly prepped nails. Dead skin, dirt, and oil left on the nail surface can interfere with polish adhesion, leading to a less-than-perfect finish.

When you’re at the salon, make sure your nail tech cleans your nails thoroughly before applying the polish.

Will A Spray Tan Ruin My Manicure?

Be assured that your spray tan will not ruin your manicure in terms of the tan itself sticking to the nails.

This is because nails do not contain amino acids, which are required for the tanning agent to adhere to the skin. So, there’s no need to panic about your manicure getting stained by the spray tan solution!

However, to ensure the best results, it’s a great idea to get your nails done before your spray tan appointment.

This way, your nails won’t come into contact with exfoliating, soaking, or any scrubbing that could potentially interfere with your tan.

Speaking of manicures, gel nail polish could be a fantastic option for you.

Gel polish is known for its longevity and durability, making it the perfect choice to avoid any untimely chips or cracks that might occur during your spray tan session.

Plus, it offers an extra layer of protection for your nails, keeping them looking flawless.

How To Protect Your Nails From Spray Tan?

How To Protect Your Nails From Spray Tan?

Exciting news! You can keep your nails looking fabulous even when getting a spray tan. It’s important to protect your nails from discoloration and other issues that may arise from the tanning solution.

Follow these simple steps to ensure your manicure stays flawless during your spray tanning session.

First, applying a coat of nail polish before your spray tan appointment will create a barrier between your nails and the tanning solution.

Opting for a clear coat of nail polish is a great way to avoid color conflicts and still protect your nails.

  • If you don’t prefer nail polish, using a barrier cream is another fantastic option. Barrier creams work as a shield on top of your skin and nails. Apply the cream to your nails and cuticles to prevent the tanning solution from being absorbed.
  • Don’t forget to ensure the products you use, like barrier creams and nail polishes, are oil-free. Oily products can prevent the spray tan from adhering to your skin evenly, resulting in a patchy appearance.
  • Consider using wax or other similar products, available in the market specially designed to protect your nail tips and cuticles skin cells.
  • Lastly, avoid using sunscreen before your spray tan as sunscreens usually contain oils that can interfere with the tanning process.

Remember, protecting your nails from a spray tan is easy, and following these steps will ensure your stunning manicure remains intact throughout the duration of your spray tan experience.

You could always opt for bronzers or sunless tanners if you plan to get a manicure or paint your nails, and don’t want to worry about spray tan staining issues.

Should You Get Your Nails Done After You Get A Spray Tan?

It’s usually better to get your nails done before your spray tan appointment.

Soaking, scrubbing, steaming, exfoliating, nail polish remover, and other treatments you come into contact with during a manicure and pedicure can actually remove your spray tan in those areas.

However, if you choose to get your nails done after your tanning session, there are some tips to keep in mind to avoid ruining your beautiful new tan:

  • Be cautious with exfoliation: It’s important to remember that exfoliating treatments, like pedicures, can potentially affect your spray tan. Try to avoid nail services that involve any rigorous scrubbing or exfoliating.
  • Avoid soaking your hands and feet: Hot water can cause your tanning solution to fade or become uneven. Instead, opt for treatments that don’t involve soaking your hands or feet in water for extended periods of time.
  • Mind your nail polish: Remember that you’ll need to wait 12-24 hours for your nail polish to fully dry. It’s essential to schedule your manicure and spray tan appointments with enough time in between to allow for proper drying.
  • Be gentle during touch-ups: If you happen to have a small smudge on your tan, try some gentle spot treatments, like using a cotton swab or small brush to fade the area, instead of scrubbing the whole area or using chemicals that may affect your tan.

So, while it’s not impossible to get your nails done after a spray tan, it’s definitely best to schedule your manicure appointment before your tanning session to avoid any potential issues. 

What Can You Do To Remove Spray Tan Stains From Your Nails?

What Can You Do To Remove Spray Tan Stains From Your Nails?

There are several ways you can remove spray tan stains from your nails without causing any damage. Just follow these simple tips, and your nails will be back to perfection in no time.

Firstly, try using a gentle makeup wipe to clean the surface of your nails. These wipes are designed to remove makeup and dirt, so they can be effective in removing any unwanted spray tan residue.

If a makeup wipe doesn’t completely remove the stain, the next thing to reach for is nail polish remover.

Choose an acetone-free nail polish remover, as acetone can be harsh on your nails and potentially damage your manicure or pedicure.

Gently dab the nail polish remover onto the stained areas using a cotton ball or a Q-tip, and watch the stains disappear.

  • Makeup Wipe
  • Nail Polish Remover (Acetone-Free)

For more stubborn stains, you might want to try a DIY paste made of baking soda and water. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a thick paste.

Apply the paste to your stained nails, and gently rub it in using a soft toothbrush or a cotton swab. Rinse off the mixture after a couple of minutes, and your nails will be as good as new.

  • Baking Soda
  • Water

Finally, if the spray tan stains persist, you can consider soaking your nails in a mixture of warm water and dish soap.

Fill a small bowl with warm water, and add a few drops of your favorite dish soap. Soak your nails in this solution for a couple of minutes, and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush or another nail brush.

The dish soap will help break down the spray tan stains, making it easier to remove them.

  • Warm Water
  • Dish Soap



Getting a spray tan is a fantastic way to give yourself an instant glow and look your best. But you will want to take some precautions to protect your freshly done manicure or pedicure from potential staining.

To keep your nails looking great, try scheduling your nail appointment before your spray tan session. Alternatively, you can apply a barrier cream or coat of polish on top of the nails before the appointment.

If you do end up with spray tan stains on your nails, there are several remedies you can try at home, such as using makeup wipes, nail polish remover (acetone-free), baking soda paste or dish soap solutions. 

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