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Woodbridge, VA 22193


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Preparing for your spray tan

June 3, 2015



Preparing for your spray tan properly is crutial to how well your tan will develop and how long it will last.  Several factors play a key role in the final color payout and eveness of your spray tan, and I honestly can't guarantee your tan unless you've followed the Pre Tan Care Guidelines below.  Beginning June 3rd, 2015 all new clients will be required to read the following information and sign a waiver stating that they have read and followed the instructions before any spray tan guarantees will be honored.  This isn't to scare anyone or get out of following through on my No-Orange-Guarantee, but it does stress the importance of prepping the skin to receive the spray tan effectively.


24 Hours Prior to your Spray Tan:


  • Exfoliate entire body with mild, oil free exfoliant.  Oil-free is KEY.  Most oily body scrubs contain mineral oils that coat the body and create a barrier preventing spray tanning solution from penetrating the skin and causes worse blotchiness than not exfoliating does.  If you haven't already purchased one of our Norvell, California Tan, or Kahuna Bay exfoliating scrubs from the studio already, your best bet is to mix together olive oil and sugar into a paste and use it to buff your body.  Olive oil is plant based and very similar to the natural sebum your body produces.  It will not interfere with the tanning process.  If you are exfoliating less than 24 hours before your tanning session, I recommend using a warm wet washcloth instead.  Concentrate on areas with dry skin build up like elbows, knees, hands, and feet.

  • After exfoliating, shave or use depilatory cream to remove unwanted body hair.  Do not use shaving cream though.  Use a hair conditioner to avoid creating a barrier on the skin found with shaving creams.

  • Pack your spray tanning bag: hair tie, Chapstick (you will also be provided with petroleum jelly to cover your lips in case you don’t have any Chapstick), black swimsuit or underwear (cotton), dark loose fitting clothing (cotton), black flip flops, an umbrella (in case of bad weather), and a large black towel to place over your car seat to avoid staining.


8 Hours Prior to your Spray Tan:


  • Shower, but do not apply body oils or moisturizer to skin (unless you have very dry skin) as this can create a barrier on your skin.

  • Wear clothing to and from your spray tanning appointment that are dark in color, preferably black and loose fitting (cotton clothing) to avoid excess contact or staining to your clothing after your spray tan.

  • Do not wear tight fitting jeans, pants, or shorts, or light synthetic fabrics to your appointment. Try a loose black dress.

  • It is advisable to wear dark flip flops to and from your spray tan appointment.

  • Plan your day so that you can arrive at your spray tanning appointment at least 10-15 minutes early so that you can properly prepare for your appointment.


5 Minutes Prior to your Spray Tan:

  • Remove make up and deodorant (Makeup remover wipes and baby wipes are available at the studio.)

  • Pull hair up and away from face and neck with a hair tie and cover with the provided hair cap.

  • Remove contact lenses, clothing, shoes, and jewelry.

  • Change into your swimsuit or client disposables.

  • Apply Chapstick or petroleum jelly to lips to prevent discoloration.

  • Insert nose filter into nasal openings.

  • Apply barrier cream to palms of hands and the tops of your feet.  You will be provided with Sticky Feet protective disposable sandals to prevent staining on the soles of your feet.

  • Pre-Tan Treatments are also available to add to your tanning experience.  pH balancing body wipes, exfoliating wipes, and pH balancing prep gels can get your skin ready in ways that just exfoliating in the shower at home can't.  Ask for more information at your appointment!


Other key factors to keep in mind when preparing for your spray tan:


  • Any skin care products containing petroleum will interfere with the tanning process before AND after your tan.  They block DHA absorbtion and fade spray tans.  Check the ingredient labels on your skin care products and discontinue use while you are wearing your tan.

  • The face always fades faster than the rest of the body.  If you are using products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Retinoids, or other Vitamin A based exfoliants your skin will not hold a tan for more than 2-3 days.  I recommend purchasing a bottle of Norvell 4 Faces self tanning spray to touch up your face while the rest of your tan fades.

  • Depending on which solution you choose, plan on not showering for at least 8 hours to allow your tan to fully develop.  If you opt for the Norvell Venetian ONE solution, you can shower in as little as one hour, but it will take 24 hours for the full color to develop.  The Kahuna Bay Kahari rapid solution you can shower in 4 hours for a light tan, 5-6 hours for a medium tan, or 7-8 hours for a dark tan.

  • You can read more information in the FAQs about what to expect during your tanning session and how to take care of your tan after.


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