Spray tanning and airbrush tanning have become a popular form of getting that healthy bronze glow we’re always after and can be a great alternative if you want to avoid possible damage from UV rays. Before you hit the salon or a buy a bottle of tanning spray to try at home there are a few thing you should know before getting started to ensure you get the best results.
The Basics of a Spray Tan
Spray tanning works by spraying or airbrushing an FDA approved substance called DHA (or dihydroxyacetone) onto your skin. This is a form of sugar that sticks to the dead skins cells on your body and causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids on your skin to create a browning result. Since it affects the outermost layer of skin, it lasts only about a week or so until the tinted skin has been exfoliated away. Be sure to exfoliate beforehand to maximize the time your tan will last.
Where to Get It
This is a process that can be done at home or in a salon and can sometimes even be found at a kiosk at the mall or beach. The thicker skin on your body such as your hands and feet can absorb more DHA creating a more intense colour, so if you’re applying your own spray tan, it may be best to do these areas last or not at all. Salons will offer this service by means of a booth that sprays you automatically or by applying the spray by hand with an airbrush.
The Spray Tanning Process
The tanning spray is misted onto the body from an automatic nozzle in a booth or by hand from an airbrush gun. If you want the best results, you may be more inclined to have a well trained technician apply it with the airbrush to avoid missing any spots, applying too much solution to one area, or giving yourself any streaks or blotches. A professional spa technician should also be able to advise you on the correct application to get the perfect tone for your natural skin colour.
This process is done a few minutes, the extra spray is towelled off, and the results can be noticed in about an hour or so. You will likely be advised to wait about 4 hours before showering to avoid rinsing the spray off while the chemical reactions are still in progress. Keeping your skin moisturized will slow the exfoliation of your skin and should help to keep your tan lasting longer.
Precautions to Take
Like any cosmetic product you apply to you skin, possible allergic reactions can occur. If you have sensitive skin you may want to do a test patch on yourself before getting a full body spray. This process could also dry out your skin so be sure to use proper moisturizers to keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful.
The tanning solution used is for external use only, so be careful to cover your eyes and mouth during the application. Holding your breath or using a breathing filter (such as a small mask) while spraying areas even away from your face may also be a good idea if you have sensitive lungs.
Whether you want to just get a little darker for a special event or will be repeating the process each week, spray tanning is a great way to get a healthy looking bronze while avoiding the sun and its UV rays. This process doesn’t give you any kind of a base tan that will protect from UV exposure, so be sure to still use sunscreen when tanning outdoors or spending any time in the sun.