Faux Tanning Expert Courtney Claghorn Reveals the Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Courtney ClaghornCourtney Claghorn
Vanessa Tierney

Airbrush tanning expert Courtney Claghorn tells ET how to avoid the most common mistakes when it comes to sunless tans.

Sun-kissed skin! With the summer in full force, everyone wants the perfect glow, and airbrush tanning expert Courtney Claghorn knows how to achieve it. 

Since opening her SUGARED + BRONZED studios across California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and racking up an impressive list of celebrity clients like Zooey Deschanel, Storm Reid, Alyson Hannigan, Brittany Snow, JoJo, and Whitney Port, the founder has mastered all the faux tanning tricks, and she’s sharing them with ET. 

"Going faux means all the confidence of a tan, without harmful UV rays. … I definitely have a little more pep in my step when I wake up with a fresh tan," she says.

"S+B is obsessed with providing a flawless service to everyone who comes through our doors. … Our spray tan solution has been perfected over time through endless iterations of testing to get to the perfect blend," the businesswoman adds. 

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Through this, visitors can expect their tans to last from a week to two weeks, depending on their skin type, skin cycle, lifestyle, and care.

To make your tan the best it can be, Claghorn recommends following specific pre- and post-tan rules. 

"Avoid using body lotions, creams, or oils before your spray tan appointment, as they can create a barrier on your skin that prevents the tanning solution from adhering even and shower," the beauty guru spills.

"Exfoliate the day prior to your appointment, rather than immediately before your session. If you are removing hair through sugaring and also tanning, make sure to sugar before your tan," she continues. 

As for the aftercare: "If showering 1 to 8 hours post-session, don't use soap, lotions or cosmetics post-rinse. If showering 8+ hours post-session, soap is OK to use and the fully developed tan will be apparent post-shower. Avoid sweating, even light perspiration, until after your initial rinse or shower too," she explains. 

And while a cold shower or dip in the pool or ocean may be tempting as the weather heats up, be sure not to spend too much time in the water.

Brittany Snow/Instagram

"Avoid activities that speed up your skin’s natural exfoliation process. Keep in mind that long showers, baths, hot tubs, heavy sweating, and swimming in saltwater and chlorine all tend to dry out your skin and will accelerate the rate at which the tan fades."

If you can't make it in for an appointment and want to master self-tanning at home, Claghorn says most mishaps are fixable with a few steps.

"Common mistakes with self-application can be uneven or missed spots. Those are easiest to fill in with our Bronzing Mist or Bronzing Mousse, depending on the situation and the body part," she says. "If you’ve gone too dark, soak the area in warm water for an extended period of time or exfoliating the area with the our Body Scrub and exfoliating mitt."