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Can I Have a Spray Tan Over Sunburn? [A Quick Guide]

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
Can I Have a Spray Tan Over Sunburn_ [A Quick Guide]

Have you ever wanted to get a spray tan solution and just spray it all over your sunburned skin?

It’s challenging to decide because your skin is one thing that builds up your confidence as it is the most noticeable, especially when burned.

Yet, we have a quick guide on your skin concerns: whether or not to spray tan over your sunburn, how to do it properly, and how to take care of your sunburned skin.

Is It Okay to Cover My Sunburned Skin With Spray Tan?

Before applying a fake tan, one thing to consider is knowing how severe or mild your sunburn is.

Mild sunburn can be a first-degree burn and has these characteristics:

  • Redness
  • Swelling and pain
  • Superficially damaged skin with a peel
  • Mild peeling skin

Since this type of burn can heal by itself in 1 to 2 days, you can wait for that period before applying self-tanners.

Yet, if you want to spray tan instantly, use spray tan without harsh chemicals.

A severe sunburn, on the other hand, can be a second-degree or third-degree burn with the following details:

  • Blisters
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness with some peel
  • Oozing with a translucent white color
  • Extreme peeling skin

This category of sunburned skin requires a healing process before you can apply self-tanner. Using self-tanners with these conditions is a BIG NO, especially when you peel badly.

It would be best to wait for the skin to be fully healed before spray tanning.

How Can I Spray Tan Properly With a Mild Sunburned Skin?

If you have a mild sunburn and you’re eager to apply a sunless tanner on your skin to hide the uneven patches, these are how you do things properly:

1.) Choose Your Spray Tans Correctly

A spray tan solution or other self-tanners have an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone or DHA.

This component reacts with dead skin cells to form your desired bronzing glow. DHA can be synthetic and natural, depending on the tanner.

Nevertheless, a synthetic DHA can speed up your aging process because it thins down your collagen and elastin fibers when exposed to too much sunlight.

Hence, in choosing your self-tanner product, always choose the ones with a naturally-derived DHA if you’ll have a hard time looking for a DHA-free fake tan.

2.) Keep Your Cool When You Exfoliate Before Tan

Even if you have sunburned skin, you still need to exfoliate before applying your self-tanner. However, do it EXTRA GENTLY.

No matter how mild the skin concerns, your skin is still damaged when sunburned. That is why being careful while exfoliating is a MUST!

Moreover, it would be best if you exfoliate to make the skin and body a smooth canvas before spray tanning.

It can also help you veer from spray tan streaks, patches, and orange tones.

3.) Give Love by Moisturizing Before Tan

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget, that would be moisturizing your skin. You can mainly use sunburn after-care moisturizers.

Even after applying a fake tan, regularly put on moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated so it can heal faster.

Also, ensure to evenly put moisturizers on tricky areas of the body like the knees, elbows, and wrists to avoid uneven tanning.

4.) Apply Fake Tan

After doing the preliminaries, you can proceed in applying your fake tan products depending on how you are used to applying them.

It will also depend on the self-tanner instructions that come with the packaging.

Are Spray Tan Solutions Safe for Sensitive Skin?

The truth is it is NOT SAFE, even for a mild sunburn.

Your skin is already damaged from the sun, and putting more chemicals into it can result in a worse visual impact!

Even natural ingredients can cause irritated skin (depending on skin type) because of how sensitive than normal skin can be with a bad sunburn.

It would be best if you put these in mind:

  • Be sensible about your skin’s condition
  • Assess if your skin’s healthy enough for a self-tanner
  • Self-tanners can dry your skin (which you need to avoid if you have a sunburn)
  • A self-tanner on peeling skin can further damage or cause irritation
  • Fake tanning while in the peeling process can cause patches and streaks

How Can I Deal With Sunburns Properly?

If you want to reduce inflammation from the sun or just give your skin time to heal before applying fake tan, here’s some advice you need to follow.

Moisturize Your Skin

It is always better to keep your skin hydrated!

You can use moisturizers infused with aloe vera and other natural ingredients that are helpful in sunburns.

Additionally, you can also use a calamine lotion to cool your peels and protect your sunburned skin. You should also put these products in a refrigerator before applying.

Cooling your skin can ease the itch caused by peels.

Drink More Water

Staying hydrated does not just depend on a moisturizer, lotion, or gel.

You must also do your part by drinking more than eight glasses of water daily. This will keep you from being dehydrated, too.

Use a Sunscreen

Of course, what better way to keep covering your burned skin and to get rid of the damages from the hot sun is by using sunscreen?

Even when inside your home, away from the sun rays, ensure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above.

Aside from this, there are also moisturizers with sunscreens that most people use even before spray tanning to avoid burn and even during the healing process of a sunburn.

Final Thoughts

Suppose you have a sunburn, peeling, or other normal sunburn effects because you have been too confident going under the sun for too long without enough SPF or covering.

In that case, all you need to do is give your skin enough time for healing.

It’s not something you can fix overnight! However, it is always better to have sunless tanning all over your body after your burned skin has healed.

There’s no safer option than that!

Yet, if you really want some tanning, carefully follow the steps mentioned above for a smooth and gentle sunburn self-tanning.