Can A Spray Tan Cover Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are a common occurrence amongst many of the human population. They can be caused by sudden weight loss or weight gain, pregnancy, and various other reasons. The question is, will a spray tan help hide any unsightly stretch marks?

In short, the answer is yes. This being said, although your stretch marks will not be completely hidden a spray tan can greatly reduce the appearance of any stretch marks that you may be wanting to hide.

When using a spray tan to hide stretch marks you must remember that the success of the spray tan will be highly dependent on the type of skin tone that you already have as well as the age of your stretch marks.

Every individuals’ stretchmarks will react differently to a spray tan.  The most you can do is to give it a shot and try to see if it is going to work for you.

What Exactly are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are extremely common and can typically be described as blemishes on the body. Stretch marks are caused by many factors.

These factors can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Weight training
  • Adolescent growth spurts
  • Hormones and genetics

When stretch marks first start to appear, they look like thin pink skin. These emerging stretch marks can also quite often be a little bit itchy. After a while, these stretch marks will begin to turn red, brown, or purple and become more raised.  Over time, however, the stretch marks will then start to become more silver in color and therefore a lot less noticeable.

Unfortunately, stretch marks are permanent. With skin treatments and the use of certain types of oils and creams they can become significantly faded, but there is no way to ever remove them permanently. This can sometimes be quite disheartening to many people who are body conscious and want to look their best.

How Spray Tans Help to Cover Stretch Marks

A spray tan is used to create a wash of color over the entire surface of the skin. Unlike make-up and certain foundations that can be used to disguise stretch marks, a spray tan is more transparent in color.

The reason for the tanned look of the skin after having a spray tan is due to the DHA which reacts with the top layer of the skin to develop a tanned color. The DHA darkens the skin tone and helps to hide the stretch marks that are on the surface of the skin.

If your stretch marks are red or pink then they may be able to blend in with the spray tan, especially if you have a pale skin tone.  Although these stretch marks may still appear to be pink or red, they will often blend in more with the spray tan thus making them less visible.

As stretchmarks age, they tend to become whiter or silver. Aged stretch marks can absorb the spray tan solution a lot better than newer stretch marks. Again, of course, this varies amongst individuals and the type of tanning solution that is going to be used by your tanning expert.

Natural Tan versus Spray Tan to Hide Stretchmarks

Natural Tan

Stretchmarks have a different make-up to normal skin and lack the pigment that is found on skin that does not have stretch marks. When this pigment is no longer found in skin with stretchmarks it can make them almost impossible to hide when it comes to traditional tanning or sunbed tanning.

​Pigment cells found in normal skin are a crucial part of tanning naturally in the sun. The pigment that is produced by the skin cells on normal skin produces a substance called melatonin to protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays.

When it comes to skin that has stretch marks this pigment is not present so no tanning will take place on the stretch mark affected areas. The UV rays will not do anything to affect how your stretch marks look, even though the rest of your body will receive a natural tan.

Spray Tan

The dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in spray tanners does not need pigment cells for it to work.  The spray tan works to cover the outermost layer of your skin to mimic the same effect as a tan.

Due to this reason, spray tanning hides stretch marks more effectively than other types of tanning and in some cases, the stretch marks are even able to absorb more of the spray tan solution as they age.

Even though a spray tan is not always a guaranteed solution in which to hide your stretch marks it is much more effective than conventional tanning or using a tanning bed.

Preparing for Your Spray Tan

Whether you are using a spray tan to disguise your stretch marks or you are doing a spray tan to tan your whole body there are a few ways in which to prepare your skin before the spray tanning session.


It is important to exfoliate at least one day before your spray tan and make sure to properly exfoliate the patches of skin that have stretch marks.

A human’s skin sheds daily and if you have too many dead skin cells on certain areas of the body it can lead to darker patches when you are done with your spray tanning session.

Exfoliating will also help your skin to obtain a much more natural and even tone so that your stretch marks will blend in more with the rest of your body and be less visible.



In most cases, the skin surrounding the stretch marks is a lot drier than normal. This can give you a darker skin color on these areas as compared to the rest of your body.

It is best to moisturize with a lotion that is oil-free so that your skin can absorb more color when you go for your spray tanning session. A well-moisturized skin will allow for the color to blend into your skin and hold the spray tan for longer periods.


Spot Testing

Once you have decided that a spray tan could be a good way of reducing the appearance of your stretch marks then it is best to test your theory first. You want your spray tan to help your skin to get a golden glow and hide your stretch marks rather than accentuate your stretch marks even more.

You need to find out how your body is going to react to the spray tan as well as what the final results are going to look like before you decide to spray tan your entire body. For this reason, it is a good idea to do a spot test a day before you are due to have your spray tan.

To do this you need to apply a small amount of spray tanning solution to a part of your body that has stretch marks and wait for it to develop for at least six hours. Once you have let the tan develop then wash it off gently. This will give you a better idea of what your stretch marks will look like after your spray tan.


Spray Tanning Skin That Has Stretch Marks

Stretch marks and healed scars are generally not very sensitive to spray tanning, but if you decide to use over-the-counter tanning creams and products it is important to make sure that these products are fully washed off before you go for a spray tan.

Using DIY self-tanning products can affect the exfoliation of your skin causing an uneven look as well as the likeliness of your spray tan fading very quickly.

These over-the-counter tanning products can also increase the sensitivity of your skin, especially if your stretch marks are relatively new. It is important not to use these products on sensitive areas of the skin or while your stretch marks are still fresh.

When you decide to get a spray tan it is important to let your salon specialist know that you want to cover your stretch marks with the spray tan as much as possible. The specialist will more than likely suggest a patch test to see how the skin reacts to make sure that the tan blends into the skin properly to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.

A professional spray tan specialist will be able to help you choose the tone that is best for your skin type and color to give you a natural and even-looking tan.

After your spray tan, it is important to avoid the shower for at least 6 to 12 hours until your tan has fully developed. Moisturize daily and do not use products with too many harsh chemicals on your body.

When washing your hair try to wash it under a basin so that the shampoo and conditioner do not mix with your spray tan. This will help to maximize the time that your spray tan will last.