If you’re looking to give your winter skin a fresh, sun-kissed glow without the sun’s harmful effects, you might be considering spray tanning. Whether you’re new to the concept or just curious about what it entails, we’ve got all your questions about spray tanning covered!
What Is Spray Tanning?
Spray tanning is a temporary method of achieving a bronzed complexion, regardless of the season. It’s a popular choice for those who want a tan without exposing their skin to sun damage. During a spray tan session, a fine mist of a tanning solution, typically containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is sprayed evenly over your body. DHA reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of your skin, resulting in a temporary tan that can last up to two weeks.
However, there’s more to discover about spray tanning before you take the plunge. Here’s a comprehensive guide to address all your spray tanning queries.
Do Spray Tans Look Natural?
Naturally, you may wonder whether a spray tan will look authentic or leave you with an unnatural orange hue. Professional spray tans are designed to appear as natural as possible. They should be free of streaks, patches, and orange undertones. Your spray tan technician will help select the right product to match your skin type, ensuring a natural-looking tan. It’s crucial to choose a reputable salon or technician to achieve the best results.
The Different Methods of Spray Tanning
Two primary methods of spray tanning are commonly used in salons: airbrush tanning and spray booth tanning.
Airbrush Tanning: This method is the most popular and typically involves a skilled technician selecting the ideal tanning formula for your skin. They then use an airbrush tanning gun to evenly apply the solution to your skin. This technique requires precision to ensure an even, natural appearance.
Spray Tanning Booth: In this method, you stand in an automatic spray tanning booth fitted with nozzles at different levels. These nozzles spray the tanning solution evenly over your skin. Proper positioning is crucial for even coverage, but it may be slightly less accurate than airbrush tanning when it comes to maintaining precision.
How Long Does A Spray Tan Last?
Spray tans are temporary, so if you want to maintain a bronzed look, you’ll need regular appointments. The duration of a spray tan’s longevity depends on its darkness:
- A typical spray tan lasts about 10 days.
- Lighter spray tans may fade in around 5 days.
- Medium-tone tans can last approximately a week or more.
Several factors, such as the DHA concentration in the tanning solution and the quantity applied, influence how long your tan lasts. Adequate pre-tan preparation, following recommended development times, and proper aftercare can help extend the life of your spray tan.
Is Spray Tanning Safe?
Spray tanning is generally considered a safe alternative to sun tanning. DHA, the active ingredient in spray tan formulas, is FDA-approved for external use. Unless you have exceptionally sensitive skin, DHA should have minimal effects. Spray tan solutions typically include moisturizing ingredients to counteract any drying effects, ensuring your skin remains hydrated and nourished.
Do Spray Tans Come In Different Strengths?
Indeed, spray tans are available in various strengths to suit different skin tones. The key differentiator is the concentration of DHA in the solution. Higher DHA levels result in darker tans. A knowledgeable spray tan technician can assist in selecting the appropriate shade that complements your skin tone, ensuring a natural and flattering tan.
Do You Have To Prepare For A Spray Tan?
Preparation plays a vital role in achieving the best spray tan results:
- Exfoliate: Exfoliate your skin the day before your spray tan appointment to remove dead and dry skin cells, providing a clean canvas for the tanning solution. This also helps prolong your tan.
- Shave or Wax: Ideally, shave or wax the areas you typically treat before your appointment. Do this a day in advance to allow your pores to close, preventing potential dark spots or uneven tanning.
- Moisturize: Keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing leading up to your appointment. Avoid using oil-based moisturizers on the day of the spray tan.
How Do You Care For A Spray Tan?
Proper aftercare is crucial to maintain your spray tan’s appearance:
- Avoid Water: For the first 10-12 hours after your spray tan, refrain from showering or exposing your skin to water. Be cautious with activities like doing dishes, walking in the rain, or brushing your teeth, as even small amounts of water can affect your tan.
- No Exfoliation: Avoid exfoliating your skin, as it can lead to tan fading. Delay shaving or waxing if possible.
- Moisturize: Apply a water-based body lotion to keep your skin hydrated and nourished, promoting even fading.
- Avoid Harsh Treatments: Stay away from treatments like hair removal creams, acne products, and face scrubs, as they can strip away the tan.
What Do You Wear To A Spray Tan?
Your choice of attire during a spray tan session depends on the level of tan coverage you desire. For a full tan, wearing as little as possible is recommended, such as going nude or wearing a thong and bra (be cautious of potential tan lines). Disposable underwear can be convenient to avoid staining.
Remove jewelry, hair accessories, makeup, and deodorant before the session. After the spray tan, opt for loose-fitting clothing to prevent rubbing that may affect the tan’s even development. Avoid clothes that could cause sweating, as moisture can disrupt the tan.
How Often Can You Spray Tan?
To maintain a consistent, bronzed appearance, you’ll need regular spray tan sessions, as spray tans are not permanent. The frequency depends on how long your tan lasts and your preferences:
- You can typically get a professional spray tan 2-3 times a month, waiting for your previous tan to fade.
- A week between tans helps keep your skin healthy and hydrated, allowing it to recover.
Consult with your spray tan technician to create a suitable schedule tailored to your skin type and tone.
In conclusion, spray tanning offers a safe and effective way to achieve a natural-looking tan without sun exposure. It’s essential to choose a skilled technician and follow pre-tan and post-tan care instructions for the best results. Whether you prefer airbrush or booth tanning, you can enjoy a radiant tan year-round with the guidance of a professional.