Sunless Tanning: Everything You Need to Know About Spray Tans

October 3, 2023
spray tan

As the awareness of the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure has grown, sunless tanning has become an increasingly popular alternative to achieving that golden, sun-kissed glow. Spray tans, in particular, have gained popularity for their convenience and ability to offer a natural-looking tan without needing hours of sunbathing.

Understanding Sunless Tanning and Spray Tans

Sunless tanning, also known as self-tanning, is a method of achieving a tan without exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Spray tanning, specifically, involves the application of a tanning solution to the skin in the form of a fine mist or spray. The solution comprises an active ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which responds with the amino acids on the outmost layer of your skin to produce a temporary tan.

How Does Spray Tanning Work?

DHA, the main ingredient in spray tans, is derived from sugar cane or beets. When it comes into contact with your skin, it undergoes a chemical reaction that darkens the skin’s pigmentation. This reaction is similar to natural tanning when your skin is uncoveredin the sun. However, spray tans are considered a safe alternative, unlike UV-induced tans, which can damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Preparing for Your Spray Tan

Achieving the best effects from your spray tan starts with proper preparation. Here are some important steps to follow:

  1. Exfoliate: Begin by exfoliating your skin a day or two before your appointment. This helps remove dead skin cells and creates a smooth canvas for the tanning solution. Focus on rough skin areas like elbows, knees, and ankles.
  2. Shave or Wax: If you plan to remove hair, do so at least 24 hours before your spray tan appointment. This allows time for your pores to close, preventing the tanning solution from settling into them.
  3. Avoid Lotions and Oils: On the day of your spray tan, avoid applying any moisturizers, oils, or perfumes to your skin. These can create a barrier that inhibits the tanning solution from adhering evenly.
  4. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Opt for loose, dark-colored clothing and flip-flops to wear after your spray tan appointment. The tanning solution may rub off on clothing but should wash out easily. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that could rub against your skin and potentially disrupt the tan.
  5. Remove Makeup: If you’re wearing makeup, remove it before your spray tan appointment. Makeup can create a barrier and lead to uneven tanning.

spray tan

The Spray Tan Application Process

Once you’ve prepared your skin, it’s time for the actual spray tan application. Here’s what to expect throughout the process:

  1. Protective Gear: Your technician may provide you with disposable undergarments, hairnets, and nose plugs to protect certain areas and prevent inhalation of the tanning solution.
  2. Application: You’ll stand in a specially designed spray tan booth or area while the technician sprays the tanning solution evenly onto your body. They will typically start from the bottom and work their way up, ensuring even coverage.
  3. Drying: After the application, you’ll be directed to stand in front of fans to help dry the solution and prevent streaking. This usually takes a few minutes.
  4. Post-Tan Care: Your technician will provide instructions for aftercare, which may include avoiding water, excessive sweating, and tight clothing for a specific period (usually around 6-8 hours) to allow the tan to develop properly.

Maintaining Your Spray Tan

To make your spray tan last as long as possible and maintain its evenness, follow these tips:

  1. Hydrate: Keeping your skin well-hydrated can extend the life of your spray tan. Use a moisturizer daily, preferably one that’s free of oils and heavy fragrances.
  2. Avoid Long Baths and Hot Showers: Excessive exposure to water, especially hot water, can cause your tan to fade faster. Opt for shorter, cooler showers and pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it.
  3. Skip Scrubs and Harsh Soaps: Abrasive exfoliants and harsh soaps can strip away your tan. Use mild, sulfate-free cleansers and gentle exfoliating products if needed.
  4. Be Mindful of Chlorine and Saltwater: Chlorine in pools and saltwater in the ocean can also contribute to tan fading. Rinse off after swimming and reapply moisturizer to help protect your tan.
  5. Touch-Up as Needed:You may want to schedule touch-up sessions depending on your tan’s longevity. Avoid over-applying tanning products, leading to an unnatural or uneven appearance.


Spray tanning has become a popular choice for those seeking a safe and convenient way to achieve a beautiful tan without the risks related to sun exposure. You can enjoy flawless and long-lasting results by understanding the basics of spray tanning, preparing your skin properly, following the application process, and maintaining your tan. Whether you’re preparing for a special occasion or just want to enjoy a sun-kissed glow year-round, spray tanning at Blanc Bridal Salon offers a safe and effective solution for achieving the golden tan you desire.

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