Spray Tan

Crunching Numbers: How Much Does a Spray Tan Cost for Your Regular Tanning Sessions

Last Updated: August 14, 2023

In This article....

  • Delve into the world of spray tanning, a skin-friendly alternative to traditional tanning, understand its methodology and longevity.
  • Explore various spray tanning options such as salon services, home applications, or even mobile services and the considerations for each.
  • Learn about the costs associated with different spray tanning methods and factors affecting these costs, with tips on how to prepare for and maintain your tan.

Getting a nice, even tan is something many people strive for, but not everyone wants to risk skin damage by tanning under the sun or using tanning beds. Luckily, there’s a solution that can give you a beautiful bronze glow without sacrificing your skin health: a spray tan. But how much does a spray tan cost? Let’s explore the different options and what factors can affect the price.

What is a Spray Tan?

Definition and Benefits of a Spray Tan

A spray tan is a sunless tanning method that involves using a tanning solution to give your skin a temporary bronze glow. This solution usually contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical that interacts with the skin cells to create a tan look. Spray tans have become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer a safer alternative to tanning under the sun or using tanning beds, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.

How a Spray Tan Works?

Spray tans work by applying a fine mist of tanning solution to the surface of your skin. The solution typically contains DHA, which causes a chemical reaction with the dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. The reaction creates a brown color that resembles a natural tan. The amount of DHA in the tanning solution determines the intensity of the tan, ranging from a light to a dark shade.

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

The longevity of a spray tan typically depends on different factors such as your skin type, the type of spray tan, and how well you take care of your tan. On average, a spray tan can last anywhere from 3-7 days before it begins to fade. If you take good care of your skin and avoid activities that can cause your tan to fade, it may last longer.

Where to Get a Spray Tan?

Choosing a Tanning Salon

When deciding where to get a spray tan, it’s essential to choose a reputable tanning salon that uses quality tanning products and has trained technicians. Look for a salon that specializes in spray tans, and a technician with experience giving spray tans. Reviews and recommendations from friends can also help you choose the right salon.

Spray Tan at Home vs. Salon

You can either get a spray tan at a salon or do it yourself at home using self-tanning products. Although at-home tanning solutions are generally more affordable, they may not give you the same even tan as a professional spray tan. Additionally, self-tanning products can be challenging to apply correctly and may require multiple applications to achieve the desired shade.

Mobile Tanning Services

If you can’t make it to a salon, consider mobile tanning services. These services offer the convenience of getting a spray tan in the comfort of your own home. The prices tend to be higher than salon prices due to the added convenience.

Types of Spray Tan

Airbrush Tan vs. Spray Tan Booth

There are different kinds of spray tanning methods, but the most popular ones are airbrush tanning and spray tan booths. Airbrush tanning involves a technician spraying the tanning solution directly on your skin using an airbrush tool. This method allows the technician to customize the tan to your skin and give a more even application. Spray tan booths use an automated spray system that distributes the tanning solution on your body.

Tanning Solution for Different Skin Types

The type of tanning solution used depends on your skin tone and type. For instance, if you have fair skin, a tanning solution with a lower percentage of DHA is recommended. A different solution may be used if you have sensitive skin.

Natural Tan vs. Artificial Tan

A spray tan is an artificial tan as it involves using a chemical to change the color of your skin. Although it may not be a natural-looking tan, it can still give you a beautiful, even glow without the harmful effects of UV rays from the sun or tanning beds.

Factors Affecting Spray Tan Cost

Location and Salon Reputation

The price of a spray tan can vary depending on your location and the reputation of the salon. Salons located in high-end areas may charge more than those in less affluent areas. Additionally, salons with a reputation for quality services and products may charge more for their services.

Type of Spray Tan and Tanning Solution

The type of spray tan and tanning solution can affect the cost of a session. Airbrush tanning usually costs more than spray tan booths because it is a more personalized service. Similarly, premium tanning solutions with higher DHA content or added skincare ingredients can be pricier than standard solutions.

Number of Sessions and Packages

The cost per session may decrease if you purchase a package with multiple sessions, especially if you sign up for a membership. Packages can help you save money if you plan on getting frequent spray tans or maintain a regular tanning routine.

How Much Does a Spray Tan Cost?

Cost of a Single Spray Tan Session

The average cost of a single spray tan session in the US ranges from $25-$50 depending on where you live. The prices can be higher or lower depending on the salon and the type of service you choose.

Discounted Packages and Membership

If you plan on getting frequent spray tans, it may be worth it to sign up for a membership or buy a package. Depending on the salon, memberships can range from $50-$100 per month, and packages can range from $100-$300.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Spray Tan

Other factors like the type of service, tanning solution, and location can also affect the cost of a spray tan. Although these factors may influence the price, it’s important to choose a reputable salon instead of just looking for the cheapest option. A quality spray tan can give you the best results, last longer, and make the tan look more natural.

How to Make the Right Spray Tan Decision

Preparing for a Spray Tan Session

To get the best results from your spray tan, it’s essential to prepare correctly. Exfoliate your skin before the session to remove any dead skin cells, shave at least 24 hours before, and avoid applying any lotions or products. Wear loose, dark clothing to prevent any staining and bring something to cover your hair.

What to Expect during a Spray Tan Session

During the session, the technician will apply a tanning solution to your skin using an airbrush or a spray booth. You may feel cold, and it’s essential to follow the technician’s instructions to ensure a smooth application. After the session, avoid showering or sweating for at least six hours to allow the tan to develop fully.

Caring for Your Skin and Tan after a Spray Tan Session

To make your spray tan last longer, moisturize your skin daily and avoid swimming or soaking for extended periods. Avoid harsh exfoliants and hot showers, which can cause the tan to fade faster. It’s normal for the tan to fade over time, and you can always book another session to maintain the desired shade.


How much does a spray tan cost at a salon?

A: The cost of a spray tan at a tanning salon will depend on several factors such as the quality of the spray tan solution, the salon’s location, and the salon’s reputation. Typically, a single spray tan session at a salon will cost anywhere from $25 to $60 per tan.

How long does a spray tan last?

A: Depending on your skin type and how well you take care of the tan, a spray tan can last anywhere from five to ten days. To maximize the longevity of your tan, it’s essential to exfoliate your skin before your tanning session and avoid heavy body lotions and oils afterwards.

Is it possible to get a spray tan at home?

A: Yes, although spray tanning is typically done by a professional at a salon, it is possible to get a spray tan at home. You can either use a self-tanner or purchase an at-home spray tan kit that comes with a handheld spray gun.

What is the best spray tan available?

A: The best spray tan will depend on your skin tone and the type of tan shade you’re looking for. Some popular spray tan solutions include airbrush spray tanning, gel-based tans, and bronzer-based tanning products. It’s important to find a spray tan that will match your skin and provide an even application.

What can I expect from a spray tan appointment?

A: During a spray tan session, you’ll typically undress to your comfort level and apply a barrier cream to any areas you don’t want tanned. The technician will then use a handheld spray gun or booth to apply the spray tan solution evenly to your body. The entire process usually takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll need to avoid showering or getting wet for a few hours afterwards.

How much does a mobile tan cost?

A: The cost of a mobile tan will vary depending on where you live and how far the technician needs to travel. However, you can generally expect to pay a bit more for a mobile tan than you would for a salon-based tan due to the additional convenience factor.

Is it better to go to a tanning salon or get a spray tan at home?

A: It ultimately comes down to personal preference and how much you’re willing to spend. Going to a tanning salon will typically result in a more professional and even application, but it can also be more expensive. Getting a spray tan at home is more affordable, but you’ll need to put in more effort to ensure an even application.

How often do I need to get a spray tan to maintain my tan?

A: You’ll need to plan to get a spray tan every five to ten days if you want to maintain your tan. However, it’s also important to note that indoor tanning can be damaging to your skin, so it’s best to limit your overall exposure and always wear sunscreen.

What factors affect the cost of a spray tan?

A: The cost of a spray tan will depend on several factors, such as the salon’s reputation, location, and the quality of the spray tan solution used. Additionally, whether you choose to go with airbrush spray tanning or a booth-based spray tan can also impact the cost.

How do I prepare for a spray tan?

A: To prepare for a spray tan, you’ll need to shave or wax at least 24 hours before your appointment and exfoliate your skin to ensure a smooth surface. It’s also essential to avoid applying any heavy body lotions or oils before your appointment to prevent any uneven application.

Hello! I'm Mandi Colburn, the lead writer of TanningReview.com. Inspired by a California upbringing and a passion for health and fitness, I turned my fascination with sun exposure into a blog that offers credible, research-driven advice on tanning and skin protection. Welcome to TanningReview.com, where my goal is to guide you toward a healthier, sun-kissed glow.