Click below for our most Frequently Asked Questions about Spray Tanning. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please feel free to get in touch
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.
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. A professionally application, I.e. a sunless tan received at a salon or spa, will last longer than an at-home application as there is usually a greater percentage of DHA used.
- At-home application (lotions, sprays, mousse, etc.) = 3 to 5 days
- Professional application (stand-up spray units, airbrush, Custom Bronzing) = 5 to 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.
DHA solutions take about 16-hours to fully develop. Clients will receive the best results if they can avid bathing until the day after their sunless session. If they must bathe, they should wait a minimum of 6-hours after the application.
If showering prior to the 16-hour post application recommendation, a simple rinse with water only, is best. 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.
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.
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 tanning 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.
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’.
Preparation and maintenance of your sunless tan is the KEY to sunless success. Make sure to read our online sunless preparation and maintenance guide prior to your sunless application.
Follow these important steps to ensure maximum sunless results:
- GENTLY exfoliate your skin prior to your sunless spray session. A gentle, sulfate-free skin polish can be used prior to your sunless session.
- Any waxing or shaving should be performed 24 hours in advance of applying sunless products.
- Remove any ‘barriers’ that may prevent the sunless product from absorbing into the skin evenly. These include, but are not limited to: make-up, deodorant, perfume, oils, moisturizers, residue from hair conditioners.
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.
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.
Results will vary based on the individual’s skin type and pH balance. The solutions we carry 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.
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.
No. However, the spray does not cover freckles up either. What is darker will stay darker and what is lighter, stays lighter in contrast.