How to Work Out with a Spray Tan

You get a spray tan to look good and feel good - and boy, does that glow do you wonders! But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice other parts of your self-care or self-love routine, like your active lifestyle. 

It’s no secret that excessive sweating may cause your tan to fade more quickly. In this blog, you’ll learn why that happens, as well as five tips on how to work out with a spray tan without worrying about awkward and unsightly fading! 

Why Does My Tan Fade After a Workout?

I meet people every day that still believe a spray tan is some sort of heavy duty makeup that stays on your skin for a week or so. The truth is, after the application of the spray tan solution that contains dihyroxyacetone (DHA), your skin’s top most outer layer will react by turning brown over the course of the first 24 hours. DHA is derived from glycerin (or sugar water), is FDA-approved, and has been tested or used on humans since the 1920’s. There’s very limited systemic absorption, meaning it doesn’t get into the bloodstream. 

I go into detail about how different strengths of DHA can cause different levels of tan (from light to medium to dark and everything in-between) in this blog

So why does your tan fade after working out? Well, our sweat is a natural exfoliator - meaning, when you sweat, you’re skin is also naturally shedding or coming off. So, if your skin is stained brown from the DHA, it makes sense that when you sweat, you would more obviously notice the shedding. 

Combine our sweat with tight clothing that rubs against our skin - like workout leggings, shorts, or sports bras - and you have a recipe for a blotchy disaster! 

How to Workout with a Spray Tan

Is there any way to avoid the bloches and STILL get a good workout in? You bet there are! Read on for five tips to keep your bronzed skin flawless while you get your sweat on. 

Tip #1 - Wait 24 hours to sweat after your spray tan. 

The DHA needs 24 hours to fully develop on your skin. Even though you’re able to get wet and go about your daily routine after your first rinse, you still want to wait on the excessive sweating caused by working out for the first day. 

Tip #2 - Moisturize before you work out. 

All that sweating can cause dry skin, so make sure you’re moisturizing up before even hitting the gym. This also helps to create a barrier between your skin and your clothing. 

Tip #3 - Use body powder before you work out. 

Body powder or baby powder can help create some additional slip between your skin and workout clothing. It can also protect those areas that tend to rub together, like behind your knees, your inner elbows, your underarms, etc., from friction (which ultimately causes more exfoliation). 

Tip #4 - Wear loose-fitting workout clothes and change immediately after. 

It might not be the cutest look, but opting for loose-fitting workout clothes that are made of lighter weight cotton or cotton blends keeps the sweat and added friction away from your body. As soon as you’re done with your workout, change into clean, dry clothing to avoid clinging, abrasive materials on your skin. 

Tip #5 - Be gentle with your skin before, during, and after your workout. 

If you need to work out like a beast to feel good, go for it! We totally get that you can’t - and shouldn’t have to - put your active lifestyle on hold every time you get a spray tan. 

The key to maintaining that glow on the inside and outside simultaneously is simply being gentle with your skin. Moisturize like crazy, and consider picking up our specially formulated Tan Extender after your appointment to help maintain your tan longer. At the gym, gently blot away sweat with a towel instead of rubbing vigorously. After your workouts, take a mild or cold rinse with sunless-safe body washes and soaps. We carry Glo Soap bars as well as all-natural, organic body washes that won’t strip or dry out your skin. 

It’s true that you absolutely have to pump up the awareness of how you’re treating your skin if you want to regularly pump up your heart rate. But at the end of the day, you can have both beautifully sunless-tanned skin AND a good work out with some mindfulness, the above tips, and the right products! 


Have you tried any of these tips before? Do you have additional tips for how to keep your spray tan looking fresh while working out? Let us know in the comments section below!