Thanks for booking a custom airbrush spray tan. I know this is a long read, but following the below preparation and aftercare is critical to achieving a great spray tan!
Spray Tan Preparation
Exfoliating 24 hours prior to the session is best. Exfoliating the day of your spray than can create a skin barrier with the product ￼effecting the outcome of the tan. Exfoliation is important so the skin can be an even canvas and will help the tan last longer. You can use an oil-free scrub or an exfoliating mitt (I have some available for purchase), exfoliating gloves work well too, but use oil-free products with it. Use gentle pressure so you don’t scratch your skin, scratches will develop as darker lines. Poufs & washcloths don’t work well for exfoliation. Pay special attention to dry areas (elbows/knees/hands feet & ankles).
Do any shaving or waxing at least 24-48 hours before the session for best results. If you shave or wax right before, products can leave a barrier & cause streaking & patches on the legs. It can also settle into hair follicles and leave a speckled pattern.
Pedicures/manicures should be done the day before the spray tan session. If it is done right before, the oils will cause a problem with the tan. If a pedicure is done after the spray tan it will remove the tan from the feet and the massage product can cause the color to streak. Polish change only is OK as long as no soaking, lotion, scrub or oil is used.
Do not apply any perfumes, oils/lotions, or deodorant to skin the day of the tan as it can cause color development issues. Ensure all deodorant residue is completely removed. Leftover deodorant creates green patches.
It is best not to shower right before the session. Many soaps, hair conditioners and shower products will leave an invisible film on the skin. This can cause the spray tan to develop patchy or streaky. Showering right before the session will also hyper-hydrate the skin which means that all of the spray tan solution may not be completely absorbed. This will result in a lighter color on the skin. When you do shower, wash and condition your hair first, then wash your body paying attention to remove the hair conditioner from your back. This ensures no hair conditioner film is left behind.
Do not use bar soaps, especially Dove soap, before or after the tanning session, this always causes development or fading issues. Use a body wash free of SLS or alcohols. I like RAW sugar or Hempz brands. Using a pouf or washcloth can will cause fading. Instead, use your hands to wash your body.
If you have an event or trip, it is best to get sprayed 24-48 hours beforehand for full color development.
DURING YOUR APPOINTMENT: Wear lip balm (but not outside the lip line). Wear loose, dark clothes and loose shoes (flip flops are best). It is best not to wear contact lenses. During development, you cannot wear your bra or any tight elastic (socks/pants too) on the skin. This can effect even color development. You can undress to the level of your comfort or tan completely nude. I also have disposable thongs. Men must wear their boxers or briefs.
Spray Tan Aftercare
You control getting the best results from the spray tan session after I spray you. Please read carefully and follow all aftercare for the best results!
You absolutely cannot get wet, cry or sweat before the initial water-only rinse.
After the water-only rinse:
Please refrain from bar soaps (especially Dove), moisturize a minimum of 2x a day and drink a lot of water.
Soaps and many body wash options contain SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) and drying alcohols that will strip and fade the tan. Using certain drugstore products can cause blotching and bad fading. Failure to moisturize daily will result in a patchy, unnatural fading near the end of the tan’s life.
You must wait the proper time to rinse. Do not get wet, cry, or sweat until after your initial rinse off.
Rain will also ruin a tan. Make sure you bring an umbrella to your session if it is rainy. Melting snow will ruin a tan as well. Park in the spot closest to the door so you don’t have to walk as far in inclement weather. If you have leather car seats, please cover them with a towel. Your skin will stick to the seat and ruin your tan.
Tight clothes- You cannot wear anything tight (including bra elastic) until the after initial rinse off.
Hot tubs- This will remove a sunless tan.
Pools and Ocean- Swimming can fade the tan so if you have water activities planned, please be aware of the possibility of fading. Using a gradual tanner lotion after helps maintain color. I usually have this available for purchase.
Massages- Avoid massages in the days after the spray tan session.
Pedicures- Avoid after getting your spray tan. (Polish change is ok) but no soaking, scrubs, rubbing the skin.
When getting out of the shower each day: blot or pat the skin dry, do not rub.
Refrain from soaking in baths.
Avoid any waxing after the tan. Most people can wax at least 2 days prior to your next tan.
No skin to skin contact (your own skin or others) until rinse off…it could transfer or pull off color. Use your clothing to tuck under your arms, breasts or stomach folds so skin stays separated as you’re sitting. This is super important.
Many anti-aging or acne products can cause the tan to fade as they contain exfoliating ingredients, use sparingly or as needed for spot treating should you need.
Bug sprays can also cause the tan to fade.
Keep the skin very well moisturized every day.
The tan should last anywhere from 4-9+ days. It will depend on your individual cell renewal factor, hormones, skin PH and how well you follow post-tan care. It will also depend on your level of activity (sports, etc) and how well you take care of the tan.
A spray tan is affecting the outer layer of the skin so anything you do that will exfoliate will result in a quicker fading (scrubs, retinols, shaving, etc). Should you need to shave, use light pressure and a new razor to minimize tan fade.
Immediately after tanning, you will see instant color due to the cosmetic bronzer (this is my color guide and does not indicate the final tan result). However, the actual tan takes 9-12 hours to fully develop. I use rapid tans, this means you will rinse in 1-4 hours (determined by the spray tan professional if you’re resistant to color-4 hours) but full color still takes 9-12 hours to fully develop and color will continue to darken over the next 24 hours. Don’t panic if you see no color after your water-only rinse.
The recommended time frame to leave on before rinsing is as follows:
1 hour- Very Light (6%)
2 hours- Light-Medium (8%)
3 hours-Medium-dark (10%)
4 hours Dark (12%)
Leaving it on longer than recommended results in an unnatural appearance. Do not sleep overnight in your tan. You must rinse no longer than the 4 hour mark.
You must do a thorough warm (not hot) water-only rinse at the determined time. Don’t forget your face for at least a few mins! No soaps or body wash for this initial rinse. No rubbing the skin, let the water rinse away all the cosmetic bronzer.
Do not apply any oils, lotions,perfumes to the skin after the first rinse. That is because the tan will still continue to develop over the next 12 hours. You can use lotion the next day but you shouldn’t feel dry as the tan solution contains hydrating ingredients.
Product use information:
This is not an all-inclusive. Not everyone will have a problem with these items. This is only a guide. If you have any questions, please ask me. I’m happy to help!
A women’s tan may develop differently during various hormonal changes (ovulation, menstruation, pregnancy) It may be, patchy, fade sooner, or produce lighter or no color. There is sometimes a trial and error with tanning solutions. This is why you should get a trial tan before events…especially brides.
AHA/BHA products (Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, Citric, Salicylic and Tartaric acids). Anti-aging products that “renew” “refresh” or otherwise exfoliate skin.
Anti-acne products that exfoliate, or dry the skin- Accutane, and Salicylic acid, can affect tan fading. Skin also peels, which can look unacceptable, especially with a tan. Antibiotics or other medications that affect your skin, can also affect your tan.
Band-Aid or adhesive tape applied to skin will pull the color off.
Bar soaps (especially Dove), deodorant, or antibacterial varieties of soap.
Body hair bleach products will bleach a tan.
Retin-A type products (Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, Tretinoin) all will cause faster fading.
Biore type adhesive facial strips, or “peel-off” masks will pull off color as well.
Bug spray, perfumes, body sprays when sprayed directly onto skin, can make your tan look splotchy and fade faster. Instead, spray clothing, or spray a “cloud” of spray that you can walk through, instead of directly onto skin.
Dove soap, and Dove Shower gel, Curel lotions will fade a tan faster.
Facial masks and exfoliating scrubs. Toners containing Alcohols or Witch Hazel in the top three ingredients listed can lighten tan.
Hair inhibiting lotions such as Jergens tend to make a sunless tan turn yellow.
If you exercise and sweat heavily your tan can fade faster, especially in body fold areas. (arm bends, knee bends, between/under breasts etc.)
In winter skin is often very dry, and tan will fade faster. Switch to twice daily moisturizer use. Use a lotion after showering on damp skin. Try a heavier body cream, or butter, just before bed. Body butter can also be used twice daily.
Makeup remover, cleansing products or oils used to clean away eye makeup should be avoided. Do not rub the skin when removing make up.
Pat dry after a shower, don’t rub.
People with oily skin tend to develop a lighter tan then people with dry skin. The oils can coat the skin, dry skin absorbs more products faster, so can look darker. Please consider this when determining rinse off time.
Shaving exfoliates skin, so it also fades your tan faster as well. Use a sharp, clean razor, with a lubricating product will help to lessen the exfoliation, a dull razor scrapes off more skin and “tan”. An electric razor or Epilator will fade your tan less.
Submersion in hot tub or swimming pool: (an application of a thick waterproof lotion sun block helps build a temporary barrier) Even a long hot bath can break down the color faster.
Sweating feet inside shoes or behind knees and arm bends can fade a tan faster, or make the temporary color guide look greenish or yellowish.
Use of a loofah, scrub, mitt, washcloth, Norwex towels, etc. may strip your color faster. Wait until you’re ready for your next tan to use these.
Wax or Depilatory hair removal products (Nair, Veet, Neet, etc) will strip your color immediately.
Lotion Ingredients that are bad for your spray tan:
• Mineral oil
• Essential Oils
If you have any questions, please let me know