Spray Tanning Questions

How to Remove Spray Tan from Toenails (Nail Polish?)

Written by: Anastasija

Posted on:

Updated on:

Despite its many benefits, spray tan can be a bit of a fuss at times, especially when there are certain things you have to get around, such as the solution getting stuck to your toenails. As horrible as it may sound to some people, it’s a real issue, and here’s how to fix it.

How do you remove spray tan from toenails?

One thing that many people notice when they get back from their spray tanning appointment is that the tan has stuck to their toenails and discolored them, particularly around the edges. While this can be inconvenient and frustrating, there are ways to fix it, and even prevent it from happening in the first place, which is super easy, and you can do at home.

The best method of removal only takes around 10 minutes, and you’ll need:

  • A large sink, bowl, or basin which you can soak your toenails in
  • Some type of soap – anything should work, but dish soap is often effective for removing spray tan solution
  • A cuticle trimmer
  • Warm water
  • Tea tree oil

To begin, you need to fill your bowl, sink or whatever container you’ve chosen with warm water. This basin must be accessible and large enough for you to comfortably soak your feet in and, if you are struggling to think of somewhere, the bath is a great option, but it may use a lot of water and soap. Another thing you could do is sit on your kitchen counters with your feet in the sink, as long as you’re okay with it!

Add some hand soap or dish soap into the warm water, enough so that it creates some bubbles, and swirl it around using your finger, to ensure it’s all been mixed in thoroughly. Once this solution is prepared, stick your feet in, and relax, soaking your feet there for around 10 minutes. This method also works for your fingernails, if that’s something you struggle with too.

Once the time is up, take your feet (or hands) out of the water, and use a cuticle trimmer to remove any extra bits of skin, which has been stained and can’t be soaked off, away from the outside of the nail. Finish with another soak fresh warm water, but this time adding a few drops of tea tree oil to it. You don’t need to wait here for very long – only a few minutes, and then you’re done!

If you want to prevent the nails from getting stained in the first place, you could always ask your tanning salon for some barrier cream, which they should be happy to provide for you to apply around your toes, or purchase some of your own if you spray tan at home.

Also read: How to get a Spray Tan Off Your Body, Feet, Face, or Hands?

Should I get a spray tan with or without nail polish?

nail polish

One of the best ways to prevent your nail polish from getting ruined during your spray tan is not having it in the first place, so which types of nail polish are appropriate to wear for a spray tan? There are three main types of nail polish which people use: regular, acrylic and gel, and here’s what you need to know about each.

Regular nail polish

If you are getting a spray tan, and you are looking to protect your nails, a quick coating of regular nail polish is actually a good thing, as it prevents the solution from attaching to your nails. Even if it’s just a clear polish, the tan won’t stick to it.


Acrylic and gel nails

Acrylic nails and gel nail polish can be much pricier than a quick coating of regular nail polish, so you need to be sure that they won’t get spoiled under the spray. Just like regular nail polish, your acrylic or gel nails will be fine, without getting stained by the tanning solution.

One thing to make sure is that you’ve allowed a few hours, at least, after getting your nails done before getting a spray tan to make sure that any cuticle oils or moisturisers have already been absorbed onto the skin, and won’t end up causing a barrier which the tan doesn’t stick to.

On Sale - $5.00Bestseller No. 1
Beetles 2 Pcs 15ml No Wipe Gel Top Coat and Base Coat Set - Shine Finish and Long Lasting, Soak Off LED Nail Lamp Gel Base Top Coat Finish Nail Art Design Manicure Gifts for Women
  • Beetles No Wipe Top Coat and Base Coat: Enjoy long-lasting wear for over 28 days with a perfect shine. The flexible top coat prevents nicks, chips, and smudges. Tip: The base coat is designed to remain sticky, providing a solid foundation for the next coat of polish. (Note: The base gel should not be used as glue.)
  • Healthy Top Coat: Our formula includes 9 toxin-free ingredients, making it healthy and low-odor. It avoids harsh ingredients or adhesives that can damage nails, making it an ideal Gift.
Bestseller No. 2
Beetles Holiday Gel Nail Polish Set - 6 Colors Burgundy Red Brown Champagne Gold Brown Gel Polish Kit Snow White Nude Grey Soak off Nail Uv Lamp Gel Polish Gel Nail Manicure Kit DIY Gifts for Women
63,431 Reviews
Beetles Holiday Gel Nail Polish Set - 6 Colors Burgundy Red Brown Champagne Gold Brown Gel Polish Kit Snow White Nude Grey Soak off Nail Uv Lamp Gel Polish Gel Nail Manicure Kit DIY Gifts for Women
  • 6 Colors Holiday Gel Polish: We put together the top 6 trendiest colors for the year 2024! We studied the upcoming color trends closely so you could display a colorful, stylish, modern manicure every time for a happy Christmas Holidays! It comes with Snow White, Glitter Silver, Burgundy Red, Champagne Gold, Coffee Latte gel nail polish to DIY at home for a Christmas Holidays gel polish kit. Color Numbers are: 459-460-461-462-463-464. Our new seasonal Thanksgiving Gift sets!
  • Environmental & Healthy: The 6 pcs silver glitter, burgundy red gel polish colors are made from 9 Toxin-Free Ingredients, making it safe and having low odor. No harsh ingredients or adhesives that lead to damaged nails. Only used for nails and non-direct contact with the skin. Wash immediately if contact occurs. If you feel unwell, instantly stop using and seek medical attention. Keep the products away from pregnant women and children.

If you click Buy on Amazon and make a purchase, I'll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Is it a problem if I have acrylic nails when getting a spray tan?

Acrylic nails can get in the way of lots of things when you have them, so it’s good to be sure that they won’t be a problem for your spray tan. Fortunately, your acrylic nails will cause no issues with your spray tan and, as mentioned earlier, they will actually protect your nails from being stained.

The solution will not discolour your acrylic nails, as they don’t contain any amino acids, which are in the skin and react with the chemicals in the tanner to cause the colour.

Is it a problem if I have gel nail polish when getting a spray tan?

Just like acrylic nails, gel nail polish shouldn’t cause any issues for you or your spray tan, for the exact same reasons. Even though the two nail polish formulas are slightly different, when it comes to this scenario, they don’t make any difference to each other.

As before, however, you will have to make sure that any cuticle oils, etc have had enough time completely soak into the skin and have also been washed off since application, to ensure that they can’t create any barriers which would prevent the spray tanning solution from binding with the skin.

Also read: What Body Wash Is Best for A Spray Tan? (4 Best Ones)

If I remove my nail polish, how long should after my spray tan I wait before applying it again?

If your nail polish was old, or you just decided to remove it before your spray tanning appointment, you will, in fact, have to wait before putting it back on again. This is something you’ll have to take into careful consideration, especially if you’re planning for a large event or occasion, as it does take some thought.

It’s recommended that you wait 24 hours after your spray tan before going to nail salon and getting a manicure or a pedicure as this allows the pigment to fully develop and be absorbed into your skin, reducing the chance of any treatments sabotaging it. If you are having your nails done, make sure the salon doesn’t use any exfoliating products on your feet or legs, as this can remove the spray tan.

How to Remove Spray Tan from Toenails pin

Also read:
How to Protect Nails from Spray Tan? (Prevention Methods)
What Colour Nails Look Good on Tan Skin? (Explained)

Final thoughts

If you’re a fan of polished nails and spray tans, you’re in luck, as you can have both, without needing to change any routines or give up any products. There’s no chance of the solution discolouring your nails when they’ve got polish on, and there are ways you can fix your natural nails if they get discoloured at all!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

Leave a Comment