Achieving the best results from your spray tan session
The most important key to a successful spray tan is to care for your skin before and after application. All tips should be followed to ensure maximum spray tan results and failure to do so may affect the development of the spray tan. These steps will tell you how to prepare for your tan and maintain it once it's applied and once it has developed. Remember that any spray tan solution is not a sunscreen and will not protect against sunburn. Take care to apply sun screen over your spray tan when in the sun.
Preparing for a Sunless Application
The day prior to sunless tanning, use the proper shower and exfoliation products from head to toe. Pre-tan retail products are highly recommended as they are made to optimally prepare skin to accept a sunless tan. These products include exfoliators, vitamin-infused body washes and skin pH balancers. Pre-tanning products don't leave residual soaps, oils or moisturizers like typical cleansing products can.
- Exfoliate skin at least 24 hours before your sunless tan. This will ensure smooth skin and a primed surface for the tanning solution to cohere to. Pay particular attention to your hands, elbows, knees and feet as these are places more apt to over-develop.
- Shave at least 24 hours before your sunless session.
- Any waxing should be done 24-48 hours before your sunless session.
- In common dry skin areas such as the hands, elbows, knees and feet, apply a moderate amount of moisturizer up to 2 hours before your sunless tan application.
- Do not apply oils, oil-based or alcohol-based products at any time prior to or after your sunless tan unless product specifically states that it is acceptable for pre-suless session use.
- Do not apply deodorant prior to your session.
- Remove any makeup before your sunless tan.
- Solution will stain fabrics. Bring dark, loose-fitting clothing and flip flops or sandals to wear after your tan session until your first shower.
Sunless Tanning Application
Follow any instructions your tanning technician has previously explained in preparation for your session. Remember to remain calm during your spray and relax your muscles for proper, natural looking contouring. Until it dries, solution may feel tacky. Try not to touch your skin during this time but if you do, carefully clean the insides of your palms with a wet wipe or baby wipe to keep them from staining. Relax, be patient and let the DHA develop.
After the Sunless Application
Wait until the instructed time after the spray session to shower and only use warm water (no soaps or bodywashes!). This will allow ample time for the DHA to react and fully develop. It is normal to see color runoff in the shower, this is only the cosmetic bronzer and has no affect on your tan. Use post-tan maintenance products including specically formulated moisturizers and tan extenders once or twice daily to extend the life of your tan. Typical bar soaps and other oil-based or alcohol-based products can strip the skin of its natural pH and mosturization balance and cause the fan to fade quicker and less evenly.
- Be patient! Wait to shower according to your directions to allow your solution to develop completely.
- Cosmetic bronzer wash-off during your first shower is normal.
- Do not apply moisturizer until after your first shower. Applying at any time before could cause streaking.
- Avoid sweating until after your first shower.
- Moisturize daily and use post-tan products as directed during the life of your spray tan. This will preserve your tan for as long as possible and ensure it fades evenly. A sunless tan can last anywhere from 3-10 days with proper maintenance.
- When in the sun, remember to use a sunscreen. Even with a sunless tan, your skin still needs protection from burning. Sunless products do not contain a sunscreen.
Many body care products exfoliate or dry out the skin and could potentially cause blotching, uneven fading of your spray tan. Body products to avoid:
- Anti-acne products.
- Anti-aging products.
- Bar soaps.
- Beta-Hydroxy acid (BHA)-based products.
- Retin-A-based products.
- Facial masks and other facial exfoliating scrubs.
- Makeup removers.
- Waxing / hair removal products.
- Body hair bleaching products.
- Alcohol-based or Which Hazel-based skin toners. These can dramatically lighten your tan.
- Hair-inhibiting lotions. These can turn your tan yellow.
- Daily heavy exercise or excessive sweating can cause your tan to fade quickly and possibly unevenly.
- Submersion in long baths, hot tubs or swimming pools can also cause your tan to fade quickly.
- Body spray, perfumes and bug sprays can be used, but it is recommended that you don't spray directly on your skin. Spray onto your clothing or spray in a mist and walk through.