If you aren’t a fan of tanning beds and don’t have much time to lay outside to tan, consider trying the Mystic Tan. The Mystic Tan is a UV-free way to achieve a perfectly nice tan without harmful rays or chemicals. Many tanning salons offer Mystic Tan, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a local salon near you that has it. Here’s what to expect.

Things You'll Need

Remove clothing and jewelry. You can wear undergarments or a swimsuit if you choose, but most people tan in the nude. Make sure to take off all jewelry that is exposed.

Use the hair tie you brought and put your hair in a ponytail. Then put the hair cap and booties on. Many places will offer a hair cap you can wear to keep your hair covered.

Lay out a towel and paper towels. You will need these when you get out of the Mystic Tan booth, but it’s easier if you get them ready before you get in.

Apply barrier cream. Make sure you get a lot of it! If your salon does not offer booties, you will need to apply barrier cream to your feet as well as your hands. Apply the cream evenly and thickly. This will keep your feet and hands from staining and being splotchy because of the many lines and creases they have. So be sure to get really well in between the fingers and toes, and up to your wrists.

Put on your goggles and nose plug, if you like. Some places will offer goggles and a nose plug to keep the spray from getting in your eyes and nose. It is your choice whether to wear these, as the spray will not harm your eyes or face. Regardless, you still want to keep your eyes closed during the spray application!

Step into the booth and stand on the metal plate. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands out to the side with your fingers spread. Keep your chin up and your palms facing away from the spray nozzles.

Push the start button when you are ready. It will give you just enough time to get back into your stance. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply to hold your breath if you aren’t wearing a nose plug. The nozzles will start spraying tanning mist. After less than 20 seconds or so, the spraying will stop. Turn around with your back to the nozzle. The spray will continue. When it stops, try to wait 30 seconds or so until the mist has cleared; then exit the booth.

Wipe off excess cream. Once you exit the booth, you can use the paper towels that you laid out to wipe off the cream from your hands and any other places you applied it. Next use your towel to towel off. Be sure you dry off just like you would if you stepped out of the shower. Continue until you are completely dry.

Apply regular lotion on your hands and feet. Wait about 15 minutes to get dressed. You have to wait at least four hours before you take a shower or get wet.


  • You can also start with your back facing the nozzles. It can be somewhat of a surprise when the high-pressure nozzles come on at first, so you may want to do your back first so you know what to expect when you turn around.

  • If you need a bronze tan quickly, ask the associate for the bronze spray. The tan will only last a short period of time, but it is useful for those going out that night.

References and Resources

YouTube video on using the Mystic Tan.