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Spray Tanning Tips

Whether you are having a spray tanning session done in the Woodbridge studio or in the convenience of your own home, please follow these guidelines on how to prepare your skin for the optimal tanning experience. Post tan instructions will be given to you after your appointment.  Average length of your tan is between 7-10 days and depends on how well you prepare for and maintain the spray tan.

Preparing for your tan

Spray tanning is not an exact science and a while the utmost care is given to your application process, how you prepare your skin before the appointment will greatly impact how the tan develops and how well it lasts. Please click here to download the Pre and Post Care Instructions PDF.

24 hours prior to your spray tan
  • Shave or use depilatory cream to remove unwanted body hair. Waxing should be done 48 hour prior.

  • Exfoliate your entire body with mild, oil free exfoliant. 

  • Pack your spray tanning bag: hair tie, Chapstick, black swimsuit or underwear, dark loose fitting clothing, dark flip flops, an umbrella (in case of bad weather), and a large black towel to place over the seat of your car to avoid staining. (If you are tanning at home, you'll want to cover any fabric furniture until after you've showered.)

8 hours prior to your spray tan

2010 - present

  • Shower, but do not apply body oils or moisturizer to skin (unless you have very dry skin)

  • Wear clothing to and from your tanning appointment that is dark in color and loose fitting to avoid excess contact or staining your clothing after your spray tan.

  • Plan your day so that you can arrive at your appointment at least 10-15 minutes early so to properly prepare for your session and fill out any neccesary paperwork.

General Information and Expectations

2010 - present

How does spray tanning work?

Spray tans work by dyeing the topmost layer of dead skin cells on your body a brownish/tan color.  It is a chemical process involving DHA, which is derived from sugar.  The solution is sprayed onto your skin during your appointment and allowed to dry.  Then, you'll get dressed and carry on with your day or evening.  After about 8 hours for a traditional tanning solution or 2-6 hours for a rapid tanning solution, you'll shower.  This will neutralize the DHA and stop the tanning process.  The tanning solution contains a cosmetic bronzer to allow the technician to see where it has been sprayed for an even application.  When you shower, this solution will rinse off the surface of your skin, and you'll be left with the tanned color left behind.  As the tanned skin cells on the surface of your skin naturally fall off, the color will gradually fade until you are left with your natural skin color.

Will it stain my clothes?

The tanning solution itself can cause some staining to light colored fabrics from the cosmetic bronzer in it.  Once you have showered the bronzer off, the only thing left is the dyed skin cells attached to your body.  These will not melt, sweat, or drip off onto your clothing causing staining.  Horror stories are from those individuals who wore the tanning solution under wet conditions with light colored clothing.  Dead skin cells will wash out of clothing with normal laundering just like they do when you don't have a tan.

How long with the color last?

Every person is different, but you can expect approximately 7-10 days of color from your spray tan if you prepare your skin properly and take care of your tan after the appointment.  Exfoliating patches of dead skin from the surface will aid in an even application, and avoiding long soaks in water as well as high amounts of friction with the skin will keep the tan from prematurely fading.  Keeping the skin hydrated, especially with a lotion that contains small amounts of DHA will also extend the life of your spray tan.

How dark will I get?

Again, every person is different and can expect a slightly different result from the same chemical formula as another.  However, there are varying strengths and general color results from each solution used.  When you have your tanning appointment, we will discuss your individual needs and custom blend a solution that will help you acheive the desired color result.  All formulas are recorded on your chart so that at your next appointment if you want to go lighter or darker, we can adjust the formula to your liking.  It is highly recommended that brides get a trial appointment done no less than 2 weeks before the wedding to make any necessary adjustments to the color formula prior to the wedding day.

How long does an appointment take?

New customers should plan on being in the studio between 20-30 minutes, and returning customers can plan on being there for about 15 minutes from start to finish.  This includes time for a consultation, prep treatments, the tan itself, drying, and dressing.  I know it seems very little, but I am extremely efficient at getting you tanned and on your way to carry out your day!  The solution dries quickly after spraying, and I use the machine hose to concentrate warm air over the body after each section to dry it completely.  By the time you step out of the tent, you're ready to dress.  On humid days, and in creases, I'll also apply a sheer layer of powder to prevent creasing of the solution bronzer and prevent blotches that can be caused by touching two body parts together with fresh solution.

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