Spray tans are a perfect way to achieve that glowing look all year round consistently and, more importantly, safely. But did you know that there are ways you can ensure that your spray tan looks even better? It’s true! There are certain preemptive and aftercare steps you can take to ensure that you get the best spray tan—and that it lasts as long as possible, too. The following are some essential ways that you can get the best spray tan ever!

Exfoliate before your appointment

One of the ways to achieve a better spray tan is to make sure that you exfoliate your skin from head to toe before your appointment. You should ideally do this the night before, but you can do it the morning of your appointment as well. You should pay particular attention to areas with thicker skin like the knees and elbows, as well as areas with thinner skin like your neck, face, and chest.

Talk to your physician if you take certain medications

If you take medications like Accutane or you use Retin-A, you should consult your physician before getting your spray tan and ask if it is safe to go off your medication for 7 days before your spray tan appointment. The reason for this is that they can actually affect how your skin absorbs the spray tan, resulting in an uneven or even splotchy look.

Avoid getting wet after your tan

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to factor time right after your appointment  for the solution to process on the top layer of your skin undisturbed.  This means leaving in loose, dark clothing and avoiding sweating or getting wet until you’ve taken your initial rinse. Typical solutions offer 8 hour processing time before you can rinse, and many salons also offer an express solution which allows your tan to process in half the time. Gotham Glow in NYC is known for its signature, super natural formulas. The entire time you have your tan,  you will want to avoid baths and opt for shorter showers instead so you don’t exfoliate your top layer, which is essentially your tan. Since every salon offers different solutions,  you should consult where you’re getting the spray tan about how long you should wait before you shower.

Use tan extenders to prolong your tan

One of the ways you can keep your spray tan looking nice for longer is to use spray tan extenders. Spray tan extenders are rubbed into your skin and help preserve the color of the spray tan. However, you should definitely consult with the salon you use about what—if any—spray tan extenders are recommended, since the brand or type of extender that is best for your tan will depend on factors like the ingredients, your skin type, what level spray you received, and more.

Avoid exfoliating and shaving unnecessarily after your tan

It’s recommended that your avoid exfoliating your skin for at least several days after you get a spray tan, since this can result in a faster loss of color. Shaving your legs or body can also result in color loss due to the skin that naturally gets exfoliated when you shave. You should avoid exfoliating or shaving unnecessarily for at least a week after your spray tan.