My Sunless Tanning Routine

I feel like I do some sort of “stop tanning now” post every year, but guess what – you need to stop tanning. And this is coming from a former tanning bed lover.

With the warmer weather approaching, we’re all going to need to get a little color before rocking the shorts. I, however, choose to get my color via spray tanning.

Years ago, I swore off tanning beds for good. And I’ve never gone back on that. (Fun fact: I actually worked in a tanning salon during college and, after seeing women come in who had tanned for years, decided I’d stop. Seriously. I didn’t want to look like that.) Funny that it took working in the industry to make me want to quit, but that’s how it worked out.

Nowadays, I rely on Versa (a spray tanning booth) to give me color. It’s not cheap, (my salon is around $27 a session), but if you know a few tricks, you can stretch out the time between sessions to get the most bang for your buck. I should note, I've used the Mystic system before, but after being introduced to Versa last fall, I much prefer the color it gives. 

Tips for getting a flawless spray tan that will last at least two weeks:

-Three days before plan to spray tan, start moisturizing like a maniac. I like C. Booth’s Honey Almond Body Butter. It smells clean and also doubles as a great stretch mark preventer! (I used only C.Booth during my pregnancy with Caroline and didn’t get a single line.)

-The day of your spray tan, take a shower, shave your legs really well, then use a salt or sand scrub over your entire body, including your feet.

-When you arrive at the salon, apply the barrier cream to the drier parts of your body: knuckles, knees and ankles, in between fingers and toes, and ESPECIALLY on your heels. Orange heels are a dead giveaway that you’ve been sprayed : )

-After your session is over, ask to use the restroom and wash your hands really well, making sure to scrub in between fingers and on the palms of your hands. This will ensure that you don’t end up looking like you dipped your mitts in Tang.

Now…wait. They’ll tell you to hold off on showering for six hours. I say, “hogwash!” Wait until the next morning. Yes, you’re going to smell a little funky crawling into bed that night, but that tan will stick around far longer if you’ll hold off for 12 hours on a shower.

So, that’s it. How I stay tan during the warm months without actually having to, well, get a suntan.

*Versa Tanning System doesn’t know me from Adam. I just really like their tanning system as a UV-free alternative and thought I’d share my tips with you all.


  1. Thank for this. I am the palest italian girl in the entire world. For real. At easter, people actually thought I was wearing tights. Not as a joke, as in for real.

  2. I am a sunless tanner junkie! I love to try different spray tans and luckily there are several places where I live that are somewhat affordable. The problem that I face is that I perspire a lot during my runs, leaving me with a horrible sports bra line from where every bit of my spray tan has come off! Resulting in $30 down the drain :(

  3. Love Versa Pro!!! I used it last year before my wedding and I am hooked. I always get the primer and the hydration as well and always makes such a difference. The smell is not so good, but the results are well worth it!

  4. I am obsessed with sunless tanner! I'm too cheap to go to a salon, but I'd love to try it sometime soon! Right now I use St. Moriz and LOVE it! It's idiot proof (which is perfect for my sunless tanning abilities) and super cheap. I've heard great things about the Versa spray tan so maybe I will have to spring for it this summer!

  5. I love doing the "airbrush tan" at my local salon. The color is amazing and can be customized to the darkness you prefer. If you ever try it, ask what tanner they use. Norvell is the best! That's what the Victoria's Secret models use.

  6. I love sunless tanning! I recently started using the Tan Towels gradual glow and LOVE it. So much better than Jergens.

    I need to try Versa - I like spray tanning, but I feel like it doesn't last well with my workout regiment :(

  7. After having 2 spots removed that turned out to be pre-cancerous... I stay out of the tanning beds too! Plus, the perks to a spray tan is that you never burn and get instant results! lol

  8. I am anti tanning beds as well! I am all about spray tans and self tanners these days!


  9. I'm addicted to sunless tanning! I love the versa and in between sessions I love using a good sunless tanner. Somedays I miss the tanning bed but I can't stand the thought of wrinkles ;)

  10. i'm with you on the versa...i LOVE it!!! i bought a year package and saved a ton of $$$ because i get one every 1-2 weeks as well. it ends up working out to be like $12 each session. thanks for spreading the word on no tanning beds. i worked at one in college, too and have paid the price!!


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