How do spray tans/self-tanners work?
The principle tanning agent used in all self-tanning formulas is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This ingredient does not produce a “real tan” by increasing the skin’s melanin levels, rather it creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin. The action of DHA is limited to the upper layer of the skin and involves a reaction between DHA and skin proteins and oxygen that produces brown compounds. This process is similar to what occurs when you slice open an apple and the surface of the apple browns when it’s exposed to the oxygen in the air. The development of color takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each tanner’s individual skin characteristics. The color developed by the DHA usually lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of the skin naturally exfoliates.
How Long will my spray tan last?
The longevity of a sunless tan depends on the type of self-tanning application, the skin’s natural exfoliation process, and on the skincare regimen followed before and after application. On average, self-tanners last 4-7 days. The “life span” of a sunless tan also depends on your skin’s natural exfoliation. The faster your skin turns over, the faster the sunless tan will fade. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to exfoliate. Following a good skin care regimen before and after sunless tanning will help a sunless tan last longer. Exfoliating prior to a sunless tanning application and keeping skin moisturized afterwards are essential.
How long should I wait after using a self-tanner before I shower?
DHA solutions take about 24-hours to fully develop. You will receive the best results if the you wait the full 8-12-hours for your warm water rinse.
Do not use soap during your warm water rinse. Soap destroys DHA. Delayed bathing allows the DHA bronzer sufficient time to complete its reaction with the amino acids (proteins) within the skin.
NOTE: The cosmetic bronzer is the color that is immediately visible during the session and it will wash off during the first shower, revealing the DHA bronze tan beneath.
Why is keeping skin moisturized essential to maintain great sunless results?
It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and color will fade sooner. Your goal is to basically slow down your body’s natural exfoliation process.
Will the bronzers from a spray tanning application rub-off on my clothes?
If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic bronzer (water-soluble make-up), some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. This is most likely to happen when you get dressed immediately after tanning. To minimize the chance of the bronzers transferring to clothing, we recommend you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session. Try to refrain from physical exertion that could result in your sweating until you shower and wash off the cosmetic bronzers. All cosmetic bronzers used within our products are water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash. It is however important to note bronzers may stain light hair, wool, spandex, lycra, silks or other fine fabrics. If product comes into contact with hands or clothing rinse immediately.
Spray Tanning 101
Will I turn ‘Orange’?
When used as recommended, the sunless tanning products are formulated to give a natural, just off the beach color, starting with our perfectly blended instant cosmetic bronzers that allow you to gently transition into your DHA tan over 24 hours after application.
High pH levels in the skin can sometimes give individuals an undesirable, ‘fake’ non-natural looking sunless color. Sunless application on skin that is out of balance due to high pH levels sometimes results in what many people refer to as an ‘orange’ coloring.
To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do:
- Do not use bar soaps before your sunless session. A properly pH balanced skin cleanser will not elevate pH levels on the skin, and result in more ‘golden brown’ sunless tanning results.
- We will use a pre sunless pH balancing spray prior to any sunless application. This product is formulated to lower the pH levels of the skin giving a more golden brown color, and maximizing your sunless results.
- Do not over-apply sunless products. In general, the darker your natural skin tone, the higher concentration of DHA (sunless product) you can apply to the skin and still maintain ‘natural’ color. Generally, those will fair/light skin tones should apply less DHA (sunless product) to the skin to ensure natural looking results. Be sure to not only evaluate how much product you apply to the skin, but what the concentration level of DHA in each product is. Sunless products that are designed to give a darker color may not be desirable for fair skin.
How do I know what solution is best for my skin tone?
We offer a wide range of sunless solutions that we have personally selected and when sprayed on a tanner’s skin, gives the tanner the just off the beach golden glow!
Your sunless technician should have all the tools needed to achieve the custom color you so desire.
What is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone)?
DHA is an acronym for Dihydroxyacetone.
DHA is the active ingredient found in all sunless tanning products. It is a simple carbohydrate that is primarily used as an ingredient in sunless tanning products. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin. DHA does not make your skin cells darker in pigmentation, but rather reacts with the proteins and amino acids found in the top layer of your skin to create a darkening effect or ‘sunless tan’.
What about the after-odor often associated with sunless tanning?
Our sunless solutions use advanced DHA odor encapsulation, the newest technology in odor inhibitors, to ‘trap’ odor causing molecules commonly associated with DHA products and virtually eliminate sunless odor.
Will sunless solution stain my hair?
Most people will not see any affect to the color of their hair; however, those with light blonde, gray or platinum hair may see some temporary discoloration from the cosmetic bronzers. This discoloration will easily wash out during the first after session shower. A hair cap may also be worn during application.
How can I prevent patchy or uneven wear-off?
Many individual factors can contribute to patch or uneven wear-off, as each person’s skin is different. It is best to follow our Preparation and Maintenance Guide for maximum sunless results.
- Be sure to gently polish the skin before each sunless session
- Keep skin hydrated on the inside and out. We recommend Cetaphil. This will extend the look of your tan.
- It is also recommended that individuals not tan more than 3 times in a 2 week period, to avoid build-up of tanning solution that will contribute to uneven wear-off. For frequent sunless tanning clients, we recommend exfoliating with a salt scrub 1 to 2 times per month, to remove sunless tanning build-up. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours after Salt Scrub application before applying any sunless product, and do not shave immediately prior to using Salt Scrub.
Should I allow the skin to rest between spray sessions?
It is recommended that individuals not tan more than 3 times in a 2 week period, to avoid build-up of tanning solution that will contribute to uneven wear-off. This allows a complete cycle of natural exfoliation and eliminates patchiness or uneven areas of wear, such as around the waist, inside the arms where the elbow bends, underarms, and backs of knees. These are natural areas of the body where friction from clothing and daily activities may cause premature exfoliation. In addition, spraying too frequently may also cause the skin to exfoliate more rapidly (decreasing the longevity of your sunless tan), as over-application can alter the skin’s pH levels, causing it to shed more frequently.
How long after tanning should I wait to enjoy a pool/spa/ocean?
We recommend avoiding these situations for the first 48 hours following your spray tan. Chlorinated pools & spas can increase the rate in which the skin exfoliates causing the tan to wear and fade rapidly.
How long does a spray tan take to dry?
Our solution should dry enough to re-dress in 8-12 minutes. Your spray technician can reduce this time by removing the spray gun from the quick disconnect air hose and “blow drying” the skin.
How dark will my tan appear after one application?
Results will vary based on the individual’s skin type and pH balance. Our solutions have been formulated to provide a color that will be appealing to the majority of sunless tanners, and a variety of shades will allow you to find the perfect solution for your individual needs.
Your sunless technician should have all the tools needed to achieve the custom color you so desire.
Will a sunless tan protect me from exposure to UV sun rays?
No. It is common to get a false sense of security when you have been spray tanned. Your skin will still burn when overexposed. It is still necessary to apply SPF lotions or sprays when in the sun. Our solutions do NOT contain any SPF.
Common Skin Conditions & Medical Concerns
Can pregnant women be safely sprayed?
Our Sunless Spray Solutions are non-toxic, and utilize only Eco-Cert® DHA which has been vigorously tested and certified organic by the Group Eco-Cert®.
Our solution is:
- Paraben Free
- Gluten Free
- Sulfate Free
- Nut-Allergen Free
- Propylene Glycol Free
- Phthalates Free
- Synthetic Fragrance Free
With all of the above being said, we not licensed physicians, therefore as you would before using ANY product on an expectant mother, we recommend each customer consult with their personal physician before receiving a DHA sunless spray tan application.
Is a DHA spray tan safe for a diabetic person?
We have received no feedback from any medical authority that would indicate a risk to a diabetic person, however, as you would before using any product on a diabetic person, we recommend each customer consult their physician before receiving a DHA spray tan application.
I have Vitiligo, will the solution cause a change in the affected areas?
Yes. Our sunless solution does work on the affected areas, however, it is important to remember the skin that is lighter “tans” and the unaffected skin areas also tan, therefore they will remain different colors. While both areas do achieve a sunless tan, they will appear “two toned” when finished. Our solution is a blend of the natural skin color and the sunless color.
Sunless color is not a “cover-up”, but rather a blend. Customers looking to darken only the lighter skin will need to take care and apply solution to these areas only.
I have very sensitive skin, should I be concerned with a possible reaction to the solutions?
If you are concerned with a possible allergic or skin reaction to the solution we recommend you first patch test a small area of the skin prior to a full body session. We will be happy to arrange a pre-session patch test before scheduling a full body session.
Will sunless solution cause additional freckling to already freckled skin?
No. However, the spray does not cover freckles up either. What is darker will stay darker and what is lighter, stays lighter in contrast.