A spray tan is a great way to get that beautiful glow on your special day, or as your weekly must have.. With a spray tan a fine mist of tanning solution is sprayed onto your skin, the active ingredient DHA(Dihydroxyacetone) then reacts within your surface skin cells turning the cells brown. A spray tan will last anywhere from 7-10 days, the DHA works on the top 25% on skin cells, as the body naturally sheds these cells the tan will gradually fade. This will also depend on each individual persons rate of cellular renewal, but the average is 28 days, meaning that the top 25% lasts for around 7 days. A spray tan will always look the best the first 1-3 days. As the tan begins to fade, gentle exfoliation will help it fade evenly. As with any treatment of this nature, before and after care are important to have an amazing result, below are some before and after care instructions to help you get the most out of your spray tanning treatment. At Blue Dahlia Makeup Artistry the spray tanning product in use is Moroccan Tan, this product is available in different DHA concentrations to suit your individual skin colouring and ideal level of tan. You can also customise the colour to suit you by leaving the product on your skin for varying lengths of time, 2 hours for a light tan and up to 6 for a darker tan.
I only offer full body spray tans, this is because it is just as easy to spray a full body as a half body with the technique I use, I also find that even though you may only be exposing certain sections of your body you still get the see the full thing and that it's much nicer to have an all over colour, and hey it's for yourself that you are getting the tan done. You are more than welcome to wear a swimsuit or shorts and a singlet with the straps tucked down if you feel more comfortable, just please make sure they are black or dark in colour so to avoid any possible stains.
There has been talk around the safety of having a spray tan while pregnant, this like using hair dye is purely up to you to make your own decision on if it is the right for you or not.
Below is my advice on how to get the best long lasting tan you can, as well as some information about the products came to be available.
The Tan Commandments
If you shave or wax please do so the day before your spray tan. Shaving the day of the tan can make your skin sensitive to the tanning solution, and as waxing leaves the follicles open for up to 24 hours tanning solution may enter leaving brown dots.
Wear minimal or no deodorant. If you must wear deodorant roll on is recommended as it can be applied to a small area. Sometimes the metals in the deodorant can react to the bronzer of the tanning solution turning it green, this doesn't affect the developing tan but does look funny until the bronzer is rinsed off.
Avoid showering a few hours prior to your spray tan. As showering can affect the skins ability to absorb the tanning solution.
Exfoliate the night before using an exfoliating glove or preferred exfoliating method. This preps the skin by removing any dead skin cells about to shed, helping the tan to last longer and fade more evenly.
Avoid applying body moisturizer on the day of your spray tan, as it can also affect the absorption of the tanning solution by the skin.
Come wearing loose dark clothes or have some loose dark clothing to change into. This is to avoid rub lines in your tan. This also includes not wearing a bra after your spray tan until you rinse the bronzer off.
Wear jandals or similar open footwear. Any close fitting footwear will rub the tan off your feet.
You will be provided with a disposable G-String to wear during the tanning process. If you are uncomfortable wearing one you may wear your own underwear or swimwear. Be aware that the tanning solution can discolour light coloured fabric, I would suggest wearing items in black or another dark colour to avoid this.
NOTE: NO tan will be applied without wearing some form of underwear.
With a Moroccan Tan(Rapid Tan) application please leave for a minimum of 2 hours(for a light tan) and a maximum of 6 hours(for a dark tan). With a Rapid tan application it is recommended to leave it no longer than 8 hours, and to not sleep with product on your skin.
Wearing loose dark clothing is a must while the tan develops to avoid rub lines.
Avoid doing exercise or anything that causes you to sweat while the tan is developing. As this can affect the tans development, resulting in a lighter or patchy tan.
If it's raining or looks like it might rain wear or have some clothing that will keep you covered and protect the developing tan from the rain.
There is a bronzer component to the tanning solution, this shows where the product has been applied, and also helps protect the tan from friction as it develops. As the tan will develop under this bronzer please don't panic if it seems too dark or if you see some lines or marks. This bronzer will wash off in your first shower, you will notice it washing away brown in the water.
The slight tacky feeling to the skin after the tan is just the moisturizers contained within the tanning solution, it helps prevent the skin from drying out. It means you will feel a bit like you skin is still wet after the tan, but the tan is not wet anymore.
Once you have had your first shower help keep the tan looking amazing and help it fade evenly by applying moisturizer, Dry skin will cause the tan to become patchy.
Full Body Spray Tan, Rapid Tan:
Notes for brides
Your tan will be lighter than normal, as most brides wear white or off white dresses on their wedding day, a too intense tan colour can be amplified by the contrast with the dress colour. Making the tan appear too dark or orange in colour.
It is best to have your tan no more than 2 days prior to your wedding day, as the tan will always look the best the first 1-3 days.
It is always best to have a trail tan 2-4 weeks before your wedding day, this allows you to experience the process and to see the colour result. It also gives enough time for the tan to fade away completely before the next application.
A full body tan is always recommended for a bride, even if you are only showing you upper body in your dress.
If you are going on a honeymoon after the wedding, a top up tan can be applied to darken up the tan before you go.
It is not recommended to have any manicure or pedicure treatments that involve soaking, massaging or exfoliating the skin immediately prior(within a few hours) or after your tan application.
It is also recommended that any waxing treatments are done at least 3 days before your spray tan application, this allows the hair follicles to close prior to the application of the tan, it also allows the skin to settle down meaning there will not be any lines between wax and unwaxed areas of the body.
If you have bridesmaids it is a good idea for them also to have spray tans, and preferably with the same technician who also did your tan, this helps to have a continuity of colour.
A little history Behind DHA
DHA was first recognized as a skin coloring agent by German scientists in the 1920s. Through its use in the X-ray process, it was noted as causing the skin surface to turn brown when spilled.
In the 1950s, Eva Wittgenstein at the University of Cincinnati did further research with dihydroxyacetone Her studies involved using DHA as an oral drug for assisting children with glycogen storage disease. The children received large doses of DHA by mouth, and sometimes spat or spilled the substance onto their skin. Healthcare workers noticed that the skin turned brown after a few hours of DHA exposure.
Eva Wittgenstein continued to experiment with DHA, painting liquid solutions of it onto her own skin. She was able to consistently reproduce the pigmentation effect, and noted that DHA did not penetrate beyond the stratum corneum, or dead skin surface layer. Research then continued on DHA's skin coloring effect in relation to treatment for patients suffering from vitiligo.
This skin browning effect is non-toxic, and similar to the Maillard reaction. DHA reacts chemically with the amino acids in the skin, which are part of the protein containing keratin layer on the skin surface. Various amino acids react differently to DHA, producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are called melanoidins. These are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance in the deeper skin layers which brown or "tan", from exposure to UV rays.
Today, DHA is the main active ingredient in all sunless tanning skincare preparations. It may be used alone or combined with other tanning components such as erythrulose. DHA is considered the most effective sun-free tanning additive.
Sunless tanning products contain DHA in concentrations ranging from 1% to 15%. Most drugstore products range from 3% to 5%, with professional products ranging from 5% to 15%. The percentages correspond with the product coloration levels from light to dark. Lighter products are more beginner-friendly, but may require multiple coats to produce the desired color depth. Darker products produce a dark tan in one coat, but are also more prone to streaking, unevenness, or off-color tones. The artificial tan takes 2 to 4 hours to begin appearing on the skin surface, and will continue to darken for 24 to 72 hours, depending on formulation type.
Once the darkening effect has occurred, the tan will not sweat off or wash away with soap or water. It will fade gradually over 3 to 10 days, in conjunction with the skin's normal exfoliation process. Exfoliation, prolonged water submersion, or heavy sweating can lighten the tan, as these all contribute to rapid dead skin cell exfoliation (the dead skin cells are the tinted portion of the sunless tan.)