Tips for a Flawless Spray Tan by Nic Crellin @nicmakeuphair

It’s that time of year again when the sun is out, the beach is beckoning, invitations are piling up and what to wear consumes your thoughts and then – you need a Spray Tan.

If you are an expert at applying self tanners – (sprays, mousses or gels) I take my hat off to you, I only end up with tanned palms and finger marks on my legs.

Like sending off your RSVP’s, booking in your spray tan appointment with a professional Spray Tan Technician is essential.  Whether it be a mobile service or salon there are many “essentials” to keep an eye out for.

I’m big on hygiene with a Capital H.  Fresh bath mat/floor towel, new disposables (g-string/hair net) clean tent or bathroom. 

Depending on the Tanning Technician or Salon they will stock different tanning brands.  Doing a  bit of research on the ingredients or depth of colour you want will lead you to a tanning technician who will be able to give you the tan you are after. 

Discuss your tan requirements with your Technician – depth of colour you are after, longevity of tan, tan activation time, care of tan once you leave the salon.

The life of your sunless tan is dictated by the speed with which you shed your dead skin cells.  This cycle can be anywhere from 5 to 10 days.  Follow these simple steps to a flawless tan –

  • Exfoliation of your body before your tan is essential.  It means you are removing all loose and dead skin cells so the DHA will adhere to your skin better and the tan will then last longer.  Exfoliating mitts or gloves are best – some exfoliators contain moisturisers or oils that act as a barrier and prevent the DHA from adhering to your skin.
  • Hair removal (shaving or waxing) to be done 24 hours prior. If waxing is done straight before the tan the pores of the skin are still open so the tan can grab in these areas.
  • Shower before your spray tan if possible
  • For your appointment wear no moisturiser or deodorant – these create a barrier to the skin and the tan will not take in these areas.
  • Your Tan Technician will prepare you for your tan – I have found that applying moisturiser to the clients palms, fingertips, elbows, knees and feet is essential.  I also supply baby powder on Swisspers to my clients for application to the armpits, inside elbow crease and behind the knees – this stops the client sweating and does not effect the tan at all.
  • Wear dark loose comfortable clothing – if possible refrain from wearing any tight fitting clothing (eg: bra or tight jeans) as anything tight on the skin can remove the tan and activation of the tan will not occur
  • Wait the appropriate time before showering.  Your Tan Technician should discuss this with you at your appointment.  Some tans are Express (1-4 hours) and some are between 8-10 hours.
  • Shower with water only (no soap) for your first shower after your tan.  You will see a brown residue rinse off your body – don’t be concerned – the tan has had it’s time to activate into the skin.
  • Use an SLS Free body wash – such as Dermaveen and avoid long hot baths, exposure to chlorinated water, exfoliating gloves or sponges.  With regards to chlorinated water most Tanning Brands have Tan Extenders (a moisturiser with DHA) that will extend your tan if you are considering soaking yourself in the pool.
  • (SLS is a detergent and surfuctant – it breaks surface tension and separates molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair or skin. This in turn creates a lather which makes products such as shampoo, body wash and toothpaste more effective cleaners. So effective and so inexpensive is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that it’s found in a number of industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser and industrial strength detergents. It’s also widely used as a skin irritant when testing products used to heal skin conditions)
  • Moisturising every day will prolong the life of your tan.  Moisturising will stop patchiness of your tan.  Again use an SLS free moisturiser.

Happy tanning

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