Frequently Asked Spray Tan Questions
Your Sunless Questions Answered Here! (And if they’re not…definitely give us a call!)
- Why choose Sunless?
Sunless spray tanning has come a long way since it began decades ago. People who either can’t tan naturally, or choose not to tan for a variety of reasons, still want to have glowing tan skin. Whether they want to look good for an upcoming event, or just to cheer themselves up, a sunless spray tan can give a perfect, flawless, natural-looking tan…INSTANTLY!
- How does the D.H.A. solution make your skin tan?
The D.H.A. solution causes the proteins in the outside layer of your skin to react with the oxygen in the air resulting in a bronzing effect. The best way to understand this can be illustrated in this analogy: When you take a bite out of an apple and set it down the fruit begins to turn brown after it is exposed to the air for a while. This is a very similar chemical reaction to what takes place with the D.H.A. and your skin after a session. So you can see that you are not applying a dye or color to your skin but rather creating a situation where your skin develops a beautiful natural bronze color on it’s own through a natural chemical enhancement. The sunless solution uses an ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to react with the skins amino acids.
- What is the air-brushed sunless tanning process?
The solution is “airbrushed” onto the skin using a handheld HPLV spraying machine – sort of like a paint gun. We think of the process as ‘painting’ the body, rather than misting it on like a spray tan machine.
- What kind of results can I expect?
Body Glow’s solutions have pink and brown undertones – there are no orange or yellow tones – this prevents the characteristic “orange” sunless color. The color is very natural-looking…most of our customer’s friends think they went on vacation, not got a spray tan. If you currently have fair skin, your color will be light and natural-looking. If you try to go too dark when you have fair skin, you run the risk of looking orange. We try to achieve a natural-looking tan here at Body Glow. If you are already tan, you will get dramatically darker. The darker you are coming in, the darker your spray tan will be. We have the ability to make your color lighter or darker, depending on your preference. Please consult with a Body Glow technician on the right color option for you.
- How “instant” is the tan?
As we are custom spraying you, we are also applying a cosmetic bronzer. This bronzer helps us, as technicians, see where we’ve sprayed you and to ensure even color. The bronzer also helps to give you some instant color. The real sunless process, however, takes up to 8 hours to develop, so while you will leave our salon with some color, the real color will develop darker and darker as the day goes on, peaking at around 24 hours.Our Versa Spa does not have instant cosmetic bronzers, so you will see color results begin to develop after approximately 3-4 hours.
- How long will this last?
This really depends on several factors. The sunless tanning process only affects the epidermis layer of skin. Since cells are constantly being naturally discarded it is recommended that you exfoliate with some type of scrub (like Body Glow’s Norvell Exfoliator) before you have the DHA solution applied. Just like with a UV generated tan, using a good moisturizer will prolong the life of your tan. Results can still be seen up to 10 days after application with a good tan extending lotion (like Body Glow’s Norvell ProLong Extender) but average life is 5-7 days.
- What are some of the challenges with spray tans?
If you have used a self tanner from the drug store then you know some of the problems associated with the process: orange color, streaking, blotches, and tanned palms etc. The spray tan process virtually eliminates most problems associated with self tanning. After being sprayed you need to avoid perspiration and showering for at least 8 hours. While our solution has a fresh fragrance, some people don’t care for the scent on their skin as the reaction process (explained in #3 above) peaks. Body Glow does sell an odor neutralizer to help alleviate this. Body Glow does sell an odor neutralizing powder to help alleviate this.Additionally, while we try our best to make your hands and feet flawless, there are some instances where color is absorbed too much in these areas. By letting us know of any issues you’ve had in your last session, we can easily correct those by applying more lotion or wiping hands and feet more thoroughly at your next session. Following pre- and post-session instructions is crucial when using the Versa Spa as well to avoid any problems with hands, feet, and blotches.
Finally, a spray tan is sometimes difficult to maintain over long periods of time. Our custom airbrush spray is heavier, thus making it difficult to get sprayed again before it has all worn off. Your skin needs to shed all previous color before applying another layer otherwise the color will look uneven as the new color sticks more to old color. Because our Versa Spa machine sprays a lighter mist on the skin, you can come in for a spray tan weekly to maintain your tan.
- What do I wear during the application process?
Our Versa Spa is a machine that allows for privacy, therefore you may wear little to no clothing at all when getting sprayed. For our custom airbrush clients, male customers do need wear briefs or boxer-briefs. Females can wear as little or as much clothing as you like. Keep in mind that whatever you do wear while getting sprayed, you will have tan lines in the shape of what you wear. For ladies who do not want tan lines, you may be sprayed in the nude if you like. At the least, we recommend ladies wear nothing on top (we’ve had several customers who wore a bra or swimsuit top come back and say they wish they hadn’t worn anything on top because of the tan lines they had).Body Glow can provide disposal thong underwear if you don’t want to wear your own underwear. For bathing suit season, again, keep in mind that you will have tan lines if you wear bottoms – and those tan lines need to somehow hide underneath your suit. Keep this in mind as you plan what you want to wear (or not wear) while getting sprayed. Any garments worn while being sprayed will get stained.
- What can I expect during my visit?
Body Glow prides itself on making our customers feel very comfortable during the sunless tanning process and it is our number 1 goal! You will be in a private room where you will be able to get dressed and undressed privately. For our custom spray tan clients, a technician will help you apply a barrier cream on your hands and feet to avoid over-application on these sensitive areas. Barrier cream on the elbows and knees is NOT necessary with our solution. You will wear a hair covering to protect your hair. Nose plugs are available but because of the minimal overspray of the solution, most customers don’t feel the need to use them.Custom spray tan technicians use a hand-held sprayer (much like a paint sprayer) and spray air mixed with a light solution to your skin. The process can be cold to the skin, but we do try to keep the room warm with a heater to help alleviate that (if you can be really warm when you get here, that helps!).
Technicians begin with the front of your legs, work their way up to your torso, arms, back of legs, back, back of arms, sides of body, and then end with your face.
The solution dries almost instantly so there is no need to wait for it to dry. Technicians will wipe excess color off of your hands and feet for you. Your skin may feel a little sticky for an hour or two after application but will be less sticky as the day goes on.
Your custom spray tan is complete!
- 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. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Norvell ProLong Tan Extender, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer by providing subtle bronzers.
- How frequently do you recommend I get an airbrush sunless spray? Can I do it several days in a row?
The frequency of sunless tanning application depends on your skin cell turn over and preference of color intensity. People with quick cell turn-overs may want to get sprayed once a week to keep color fresh, while others may need to wait and get sprayed every other week. It is important to fully exfoliate prior to your next sunless session to prevent “layering” of old color. Body Glow’s Custom Airbrush solution does not require back-to-back application – 1 session will give you perfect color! Because our Versa Spa machine sprays a lighter mist on the skin, you can come in for a spray tan weekly to maintain your tan.
- Can I use a sunless spray in addition to a regular tanning bed?
Absolutely. In fact, the sunless tanning results are phenomenal over a nice base tan. If you want to combine both applications in a single visit, we recommend to use the tanning bed first, then the sunless spray. We call it a “cocktail”.
- Will the spray tan from a spray tanning application come off on my clothes?
Our Versa Spa machine does not spray a cosmetic bronzer so you don’t have to worry about a color wearing off on clothes, furniture, or linens. For our Custom Spray tans, yes, 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 tint transferring to clothing, we recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session. The cosmetic tint is water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of cotton clothing in the wash.
- Will a sunless spray tan affect the color of my nails or nail polish?
The solution will not discolor nail polish. However, the solution can cause unnatural coloration of cuticles and nails. Therefore, we recommend you apply a barrier cream to nails and cuticles prior to a sunless spray application to avoid any discoloration.
- Will a sunless spray tan discolor my hair?
DHA reacts with proteins. As hair is a protein, it can discolor some hair types if it penetrates the hair follicles. Those with light hair, such as blonde, white, or grey hair should take extra precautions. It is recommended you wear a protective hair cap, provided by Body Glow, to ensure protection from discoloration. Make sure the forehead, ears, and hairline are exposed.
- Why do I need to wear sunscreen even if I have a sunless tan?
Although you may feel and look like you have a real tan, a sunless tan is only the temporary appearance of a tan and therefore provides your skin with no real sunburn protection. It is absolutely necessary you wear a sunscreen when outdoors to protect your skin from burning.