It’s that time of year again-summer! Everyone seems full of life, refreshed, happy, and dare I say, even better looking. Fashion and beauty pros revel in this seasonal change by setting trends of fun styles in bold printed fabrics, bright shades of nails and makeup, all meant to be enhanced by glowing, bronzed skin.
So as you stare at your pale self in the mirror with a frown, you’re probably thinking how you can possibly pull off wearing bright teal sundresses and hot pink capris. You know that lime green or yellow nail polish is out of the question too, as you grab boring beige off the shelf. Since tanning booths are so dangerous, and with no time to spend in the sun, you figure you just won’t win the fashion game this summer…yet again (sigh).
Well, guess what? You can be a stunner for the summer! There are now more options than ever to get a fast, gorgeous tan and still be safe. One of the most popular trends this year in the quest to be bronze is spray tanning. It gives you that been-at-the-beach look, minus the sunburn and strap marks. There’s no worry of dangerous UVA/UVB rays, plus you’ll walk away feeling more attractive, healthier looking, and confident. Tans do that, you know. Bring on those splashy prints- you’ll be ready!
With all unknowns, you may be a bit worried about what the spray tan process is and how to prepare. So let’s find out, and get glowing!
Before Your Spray Tan:
• Make a smooth move-exfoliate! Remove all dead skin first to avoid streaks and spotting. You should do this in the shower just before your appointment. You can begin earlier, but have a smooth surface by appointment day for a long-lasting tan with great color.
• Shave and wax for more smooth moves. You can’t shave right after the spray tan, so complete all hair removal the day before. Be sure to moisturize afterwards.
• Tame rough spots. Smooth out knees, elbows and feet. These areas tend to absorb more color if skin is dry and wrinkled. Result? You’ll look aged and speckled. Trust me, not a good look!
Tips for Your Appointment:
• Have a fresh mani/pedi. The scrubbing action during spa services will remove the surface layer of the spray tan, so you will look blotchy if you get manicures or pedicures soon afterwards. You certainly don’t want the illusion of wearing white gloves or boots, do you? Enough said.
• Protect thyself. Put moisturizer on nails, toenails, eyebrows, and feet to avoid orange or brown staining where you don’t want it.
• Be a plain Jane. Less is best- no makeup, skin creams, or deodorants, as they interfere with the tanning process.
What to Wear:
• Your own comfort zone applies. Wear as much or as little as you like while getting the spray, but it should be dark, as staining can occur. Suggestion: An old bathing suit or dark bra and bikini bottoms for women. For men, dark swim shorts or boxer shorts. Some choose to tan topless or nude if salons allow it; it’s all your personal choice. Watch: What to wear for spray tanning
• Stay dark and comfy afterwards. You’ll feel sticky after the spray, and some color may rub off, so bring along casual, dark, loose fitting clothes to wear after your session. Keep the same “dark and loose” in mind for your sleepwear that night, so as not to transfer color onto your sheets.
• Don’t sweat It. Literally, try not to sweat for the first 12 hours. Anything involving moisture/water can affect the color from setting properly.
• Don’t clean up right away. You shouldn’t shower or bathe for 8-10 hours after your treatment. Don’t shave for a few days or you’ll “shave” color right off.
• Avoid baths and pools. Soaking in bathtubs or chlorinated pools hastens the fading of your tan and sloughs off dead skin cells. Try to keep that lovely glow longer- find alternatives.
• Give skin a creamy treat. Moisturize, moisturize! Just like real tanning, apply lots of moisturizer to keep the tan longer and fresh looking.
Final Q & A’s:
• Is it safe? Yes! DHA (the chemical DiHydroxyAcetone, which creates the tan color) is approved by the FDA and recommended by many other dermatologist associations.
• How long does it last? Spray tanning affects the outer layer of skin, so it depends on how your skin cells naturally shed. Typically, the tan should last a week to 10 days, longer if you moisturize very often. Every person is different.
• Is the beauty salon pro licensed for giving treatments? Most salons are given thorough training, courses on equipment use and are certified to apply spray tans.
• What is the cost per session? The cost will also vary depending on location and type of salon, but the average is about $25-$60 per treatment.
• Can I do this at home? Yes, but be careful. A spray tan system can be purchased for $180 and up, but you need to have knowledge, an area for it, and money for refills.
Just think- this all means no more slaving in the hot sun for hours to try and look good. In fifteen minutes, you‘ll be a summer beauty-ready to wear the trends and maybe set a few too!
Watch: Airbrush tanning video (process)