Airbrush Tanning Pre and Post Tan Information
What is an airbrush/spray tan and what can I expect during my service?
Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to tanning beds. Most dermatologists consider spray and airbrush tanning as safe as applying makeup.
The active ingredient for sunless tanning, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is derived from sugar cane and/or sugar beets, which reacts with the skin’s amino acids to produce color. This color develops three to four hours after application, deepens over the next 24 hours, and lasts 6-8 days. A session usually takes 30 minutes or less and is performed with a handheld spray unit. Clients undress to their level of comfort; bottoms are required. It is recommended to wear old or dark bathing suits or underwear. There is bronzer in the solution for immediate color and may transfer onto your clothing or sheets. It is water-based and should easily wash out of fabrics.
If you are thinking about having a spray-tan before a wedding or big event, it is recommended to tan 2-3 days before.
If you are pregnant or nursing, consult with your physician before this service.
Prior to your appointment, it is recommended to follow these steps for optimal results:
- Exfoliate your skin at least 12-18 hour before your spray tan. This allows the skin to naturally moisturize itself.
- Do not use bar soaps, lotions, oils, deodorant, and makeup the day of your appointment. These products can act as a barrier to the tanning ingredients.
- Shower at least 4 hours before your appointment so the open pores from the shower have time to close up to prevent a "speckled" look.
- Bring dark, loose fitting clothes to your appointment to change in afterwards.
During your appointment:
- You will fill out information regarding your skin history so your therapist has a better understanding of your skin.
- Your therapist will offer lip protection, eye protection, nose protection, and disposable undergarments if necessary. Although DHA is considered safe, the FDA has approved it for external use only if following these guidelines to protect mucous membranes.
- Your therapist will step out of the room to allow you to undress to your comfort level and will knock before re-entering the room.
- You will begin by standing in the tanning tent. You will be sprayed with a pre-tanning spray and then wiped off to prep your skin. Next, a barrier cream will be applied to your hands, feet, and any dry area. Then, your therapist will spray you with the tanning solution using an airbrush. Your therapist will give you direction on how to move throughout your tan. Once the tan is completed, your therapist will leave the room so you can redress.
- Wait to get wet (shower/swim/sweat) a minimum of 6-8 hours. It is preferable to wait 10+ hours to shower. If you shower or bathe before 6 hours, the DHA will not react with your skin proteins and you will have a much lighter tan. When you do first shower, you may notice the bronzer washing off. Your actual tan will continue to develop over 24 hours after your appointment.
- Avoid exfoliation the first few days of the tan. (I do have Sjolie's gentle body scrub and hydrating body wash available for retail.)
- Apply a moisturizer twice daily.
- Pat dry when getting out of the shower/bath.
-You’ll still need to wear sunscreen, as spray and airbrush tanning don’t provide protection from the sun.