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Buying guide for best home spray tanning kits

Having a sun-kissed glow can instantly make your skin look a little healthier, but we all know the dangers of tanning in the sun. Spray tans are the ideal alternative because they give your skin a bronze color without exposing it to any dangerous UV rays. And with a home spray tanning kit, you can give yourself a flawless tan whenever you want. 

A home spray tanning kit is a device that allows you to give yourself or someone else a spray tan at home. It consists of a compressor and a spray gun connected by a hose. The gun has a canister that holds the tanning solution, which is converted to a fine mist that you spray over your skin. The solution contains ingredients that react with and gradually darken skin.

With so many home spray tanning kits to choose from, shopping can be a challenge. In our buying guide, you’ll find all the tips you need to choose the best home spray tanning kit. Still a little overwhelmed? We’ve included some specific product recommendations to make shopping even easier. 

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A spray tan doesn’t provide any sun protection, so you should still apply sunscreen before you go outside.

Key considerations

Spray gun vs. airbrush gun

Home spray tanning kits have either a spray gun or an airbrush gun. 

Spray gun: This can cover large areas of the body quickly. It disperses a greater amount of solution in fewer passes over your skin, so you’re able to achieve a more even, blended look. 

Airbrush gun: An airbrush gun covers a smaller area at a time, so it takes longer to spray tan your body with an airbrush gun, as much as 30 to 40 minutes. As a result, a spray gun is almost always a better option than an airbrush gun unless you plan to use the airbrush gun for makeup, too. However, an airbrush gun may be a cheaper option if you’re on a budget. 


Some spray guns are low volume low pressure (LVLP), while others are high volume low pressure (HVLP). 

LVLP: These spray guns operate at low pressure, around 1 psi, and allow you to adjust the spray pattern and flow. They create a fine mist that dries quickly and typically doesn’t create much mess. 

HVLP: These spray guns run at a higher pressure, usually between 4 and 10 psi. That allows them to produce an even finer mist and create less overspray.


To cover the body in a spray tan, you usually need 2 ounces of tanning solution. You want a home spray tanning gun that can hold at least that much, so you don’t have to refill the gun in the middle of a tanning session. If you like a particularly deep tan, you might want to get a gun with an even larger capacity so you can go over your body more than once. 



Spray guns in home spray tanning kits are usually made of plastic or metal. Plastic guns are lightweight and can be more comfortable to hold. Stainless steel guns are heavier but more durable. They usually have a finer, more controlled spray, too, which some users prefer.


Home spray tanning kit compressors can make quite a bit of noise. It may not be an issue if you’re only applying spray tan to yourself, but if you regularly spray your friends or family, too, the noise could get to be too much. Look for a kit with the lowest decibel rating if you’re concerned about the compressor being too loud in your home. 


Some home spray tanning kits come with a pop-up tent that you stand inside when you spray yourself. It can help prevent overspray from staining surfaces around your home and minimize the mess. If your kit doesn’t include a tent, you can purchase it separately or use your spray gun in your shower or bathtub where you can easily rinse away any overspray. 

Tanning solution

Many home spray tanning kits only include the spray gun, compressor, and hose, but you can find some that include other accessories so you can spray yourself right away. Look for a kit that includes at least one bottle of tanning solution if you want to be able to give yourself a tan as soon as you open the box. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy the solution separately. 

Home spray tanning kit prices

Home spray tanning kits vary in price based on the type of gun, capacity, and the included accessories. Most kits cost between $80 and $470.

Inexpensive: The most affordable home spray tanning kits typically have an airbrush gun with a capacity of less than 2 ounces. They don’t include any accessories like tanning solution. These kits generally cost between $80 and $140. 

Mid-range: These home spray tanning kits have either an airbrush or spray gun with a capacity of at least 2 ounces. They usually include some accessories, such as tanning solution and a pop-up tent. These kits range from $140 to $270.

Expensive: The most expensive home spray tanning kits have a spray gun with a capacity of 2 ounces or more. They usually include accessories, such as tanning solution, a pop-up tent, hair caps, and nose plugs. These kits typically cost between $270 and $470.


  • Exfoliate first. For the most even spray tan, exfoliate your skin with a body scrub, loofah, or brush before you use your spray tan kit. Also apply a good body lotion to make sure that your skin is hydrated. The tanning solution can look splotchy on dry skin.

  • Cover your hair. To keep the spray tan solution from staining your hair, pull your hair back and put on a shower cap first. 

  • Work your way up. It helps to start with your lower body when you’re applying a spray tan. If you start at the top, you could end up with lines in the tan on your top half when you bend over to spray your legs.

  • Go lightly on your face. If you want to spray tan your face, lightly mist it. It helps to work in small sections, too.

"It’s best to wear loose, dark clothing after applying a spray tan because the color may rub off for some time after application. "


Q. Is spray tanning safe? 
A. Unlike sunbathing or using a tanning bed, spray tanning doesn’t pose any risk for skin damage or cancer. Spray tanning solution has approval from the FDA for external use, but be careful not to get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Q. How long does it take to apply a spray tan? 
A. If you’re just learning to apply a spray tan, it can take a little longer, so you might need up to 30 minutes for a full-body session. However, with practice, you often need only 10 minutes to apply the spray tan. 

Q. How long does a spray tan usually last? 
A. It depends on the tanning solution that you use and how well you care for your spray tan afterward. Most spray tans last an average of four to ten days. 

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