For your average beauty junkie, spray tanning is the holy grail of a sun-kissed complexion without the detrimental effects of sun exposure. But the problem is that if it’s a wonderfully great alternative for the skin, why does spray make you smell terrible? Are you concerned about the smell? Are you worried about why does spray tan cause body odor and, more importantly, how to stop it? Let’s get to the root of it together.

Learn Why Does Spray Tan Cause Body Odor?

This smell is unmistakable and is typically credited to the synthetic response on the skin’s surface. The primary dynamic fixing in the majority of spray tan arrangements is Dihydroxyacetone. DHA is a colorless sugar that responds to dead skin cells present in the external layer of the skin, known as the Maillard response. Maillard response causes the skin’s shading to change, which might resemble a tan. However, it likewise makes a little musty or metallic-like smell. It has consistently been related to the scent.

The Role of DHA

The higher the concentration of DHA in the tanning solution, the more intense the tanning effect – but also, the more pungent the odor. This is because a higher concentration of DHA increases the intensity of the Maillard reaction, amplifying the scent produced during the process.

Other Contributing Factors Of Spray Tan That Cause Body Odor?

While DHA plays a significant role in developing post-spray tan odor, other factors can contribute to or intensify the smell. These include:

Personal Body Chemistry:

The interplay between your skin’s unique chemistry and the ingredients in the tanning solution is a key player in developing any post-tan odor. When Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the active compound in most tanning solutions, reacts with the amino acids on the skin’s surface to create the tan effect, this reaction can also produce a distinctive smell. This scent is temporary and fades as the skin naturally exfoliates over time. However, each individual’s skin hosts a unique combination of acids, oils, and bacteria that can influence the intensity and duration of this odor.

Pre-tan Preparation:

What you do before a spray tan can also significantly impact the development of any subsequent odors. Proper exfoliation and skin cleaning are pivotal in providing a ‘clean slate’ for the tan. However, using perfumed products or lotions before application can mix with the tanning solution and create a more potent smell.

The Tanning Solution Formula:

The formulation of the tanning solution itself can significantly affect the amount of odor produced during the tanning process. Industry innovations have led to many formulas designed to minimize the post-application scent.

Why Does Spray Tan Cause Body Odour and How to Combat It

How to Avoid Spray Tan Body Odor

Did you ever think being tanned was a luxury you must pay for to get a beautiful tan? You can take care of it using a few strategies that will help minimize or even avoid the odor.

Choose Your Tanning Salon Wisely

Do your research to identify a tanning salon that uses top-quality tanning solutions that give off a low smell and the fewest red flags. Some solutions have been developed to tone down the scent of DHA so that it remains less noticeable than before. Please do not hesitate to ask which products the salon employs for clients.

Prepare Your Skin

A reasonable method of skin preparation may reduce the odor. Before your appointment, pay special attention to the cleanliness of your skin and eliminate dead skin with exfoliation. Avoid using perfumes, deodorants, or moisturizers to prevent your cosmetics from contacting the tanning solution.

Wear Loose Clothing

Don’t wear tight clothes if you want to sweat enough, as it will lead to a very early fading of the tan. The DHA reaction, therefore, will suck more sweat, so consequently, the odor will be more pungent.

Wait To Shower

Allow yourself to sit under the lamp for the time suggested by the tanning salon, and then wait several minutes before you shower. Usually, spending 8-10 hours will be enough for the process, but at the same time, washing and showering will take the DHA off the skin’s surface, which will help reduce the post-tanning smell.

Use Scented Body Products

When the time for a shower is over, and you’ve gone through that part, use light-scented body washes and lotions to help overcome any remaining ugly smells. Choose naturally fragrant products that can shift the foul odors away. Create your unique essay by applying the given instructions.


Although the reaction between DHA and proteins in the skin, which is always accompanied by a slight smell, is common and purely natural, it doesn’t mean it is mandatory to interrupt your plans.

By acknowledging the reasons and following the ideas that are brought up above, you can get the best color your skin has ever been without the ominous stench associated with it. Remember that the winning notch of brilliant spray tan lies in choosing the right salon, prepping your skin, and giving good aftercare to the spray tan.

This article may help you understand how and why spray tanning causes body odor. I have tried my best to understand the problem and situation of spray tan causing body odor and give you the best possible solutions and tips.