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How Do Spray Tans Work?

spray tanning example UV tanning is a great way to keep your skin looking a healthy golden color all year round. However, UV tanning is not the only option you have to get that beautiful beach-frequent look all year-round.

You may have seen your friends still sporting a beautiful, sun-kissed glow, even as Halloween approaches. How are they doing that? The secret is going to a spray tanning salon.

Spray tans are a popular alternative to traditional tanning. For just $5, you can achieve a bright, bronze look, too. It might sound too good to be true, and we understand that you likely still have some questions, such as how do spray tans work and whether or not spray tanning is the right choice for you.

Why Get a Spray Tan?

The best thing about spray tanning is you can do it at any time of year. The process only takes a few minutes at a professional salon, and the results last up to ten days. 

For $5, spray tanning in MN can help you defeat those winter blues and avoid looking as pale as the overcast winter days without endangering your skin.

How Do Spray Tans Work?

Spray tans and other sunless tanning products contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short. This chemical reacts with the outermost layer of your skin and causes the skin cells to darken.

On its own, DHA is colorless. The browning of your skin cells is purely from the reaction. The amount of browning will vary based on how much spray tan you use and the DHA concentration in the formula.

Spray tanning only affects the outermost layer of your skin. Your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells and replacing them, which means your spray tan will affect those already dead cells.

If you want to maintain a steady color on your skin, you will need to reapply spray tan regularly. Because spray tanning only affects the outermost layer and your skin is constantly shedding off dead cells, it’s likely your color will last only five to seven days.

Are Spray Tans Safe?

Understandably, the idea of a chemical reaction happening on your skin can sound intimidating. But spray tanning is a quick and painless way to get the tan you’re looking for.

Spray tanning has been a legitimate process for decades. The main chemical found in sunless tanning has been deemed safe and harmless by the Food and Drug Administration for external use.

There is still some uncertainty about the effects of DHA when inhaled or consumed. For that reason, spray tanners are encouraged to keep their mouths closed and hold their breath during the spraying process. Goggles for your eyes and plugs for your nostrils can provide an added layer of protection.

Spray tanning does not protect you against overexposure.  regularly applying sunscreen with moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and to prevent overexposure.

Will Spray Tanning Make Me Orange?

This concern is outdated and no longer valid. Sure, there once was a time when many people were walking around with awkward orange skin tones from spray tanning. But spray tanning salons have made improvements since then.

Spray tanning has been an available option for people to give their skin a healthy glow for decades. In that time, as more people have adopted the practice, the process has gotten much more sophisticated.

The orange coloring came from an additive to the spray tan. Again, the active chemical in spray tan solutions (DHA) is colorless. As a result, the reaction between your skin and the DHA is not instantaneous. Many producers of spray tan used to add bronzers to give the tanner immediate results.

Many spray tans still have bronzers in their formula. Fortunately, time and experience have helped guide the market to more subtle approaches to achieving an instant result.

Bronzers are also helpful in making judgments about how even the coating of spray tan is. Missing an area or spraying an uneven coating will lead to variations in color on your skin later.

Can I Apply Spray Tan Myself?

You certainly could apply spray tan yourself. The low cost of doing it yourself definitely is a perk. However, there are some considerations to make before determining if that is the best choice for you. We recommend using professional sunless products to be sure you’re getting a natural looking color! We offer lotion, mousse and spray options as well as gradual and instant! These products are perfect when you can’t make it into the salon for your spray session!

How Should I Prepare for Spray Tanning?

Exfoliate your skin the night before your appointment. How? Take a loofah into the shower with you and scrub off the dead skin cells to expose younger cells to the spray tan.

Remember, a spray tan only affects your outermost layer of skin. Make sure you don’t waste your perfect tan on skin cells that are soon to fall off! Those dead skin cells are going to shed soon, anyway.

Be sure to shave your body hair before your appointment. Especially consider where hair grows thick, such as on your legs and your armpits. The spray tan will not reach your skin if your hair is in the way, and the chemical reaction won’t occur.

We also recommend moisturizing your skin before applying spray tan. Use a water-based moisturizer that will be absorbed by your skin quickly. Oily moisturizers might block the effectiveness of a spray tan.

There is always a risk of some bronzer getting onto your clothes, so we recommend you wear loose-fitting garments you don’t mind staining. 

What Should I Do After Getting a Spray Tan?

The spray tan needs time to work. In the first 4-6 hours, you should avoid getting wet, sweating, or applying cosmetic lotions or creams. Getting a shower or breaking a sweat will cause the spray to run off your body before it has a chance to give you your glow.

After the spray tan has set in, continue to moisturize regularly. Dry skin will flake off more quickly and reduce the amount of time you have with your fresh, tan look. You can expect the color from the spray tan to last between five and seven days. Sometimes, it can last for ten days, but that’s pretty rare!

Remember, the spray tan only affects the outermost layer of skin. Excessive scrubbing or exfoliating will cause it to wear off more quickly. Be gentle with your skin. Use mild soaps and pat yourself dry after a shower. Enjoy!