Spray tanning is a great option for people who want to get a tan but want to avoid the harmful effects of UV rays. In this method of getting a sunless tan or a fake tan, a fine mist of tanning solution is sprayed onto the body. Spray tans are gaining tremendous popularity among a sea of tanning products available in the market today. There are different kinds of spray tanning and each one differs from the rest in terms of convenience, efficiency, cost and even safety. The main types of spray tanning are:
- Spray tanning booth
- Airbrush in a studio
- Airbrush at home
Let’s explore each spray tanning methods in detail.
Spray Tanning Booth
These are automatic, enclosed booths where a fine mist of chemical solution (containing DHA) is sprayed on the body with the help of nozzles. You will be required to stand in a cubicle while the mist coming from nozzles will give you a tan. This method is a great option for people who have privacy concerns. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes, from the time spent in the booth to getting yourself dry. The quality of the tan will be as good as the quality of the solution used so it important to select the right option. VersaSpa and Mystic Tan are the most popular spray tanning companies in the market today.
While opting for this method, you must consider the fact that FDA doesn’t approve of using products that contain DHA on the areas near eyes, mouth or nose. It should not be inhaled or ingested. Since you will be standing in an enclosed booth with practically no cross-ventilation, it is not possible to avoid inhaling the mist. Another downside is that a tan from the spray booth is not as even as from the airbrush technique.
The tan from the spray tanning booths will last you about 3-5 days.
Professional Airbrush Spray Tan in a studio
A professional spray tan in a studio is one of the most popular methods of achieving a sun-kissed look at any time of the year. Highly trained and skilled technicians use manual spray tan machines, called air guns, to spray the tanning solution on your body. Nowadays, mobile airbrush service is gaining a lot of popularity where you can ask the technician to come over and perform the service in the comfort of your house.
They even come with their own tent so the mess will be contained and not ruin your home. However, it can get more expensive than getting airbrushed in a tanning salon. The quality of the tan will be as good as the skill and expertise of the technician. The total process of airbrushing and drying will take about 20-25 minutes.
It is a super convenient method as you don’t have to worry about cleaning the clutter at home and not get anxious about getting the flooring, bathing tub and tiles stained. It is also more efficient than either using a spray tanning booth or airbrush spray tan at home. It is because the professional technician will be able to spray the solution more evenly, and customize the solution formula that will suit your skin tone, giving you superior results.
It is considered safe to use if you follow the proper guidelines such as not to inhale the mist and prevent it from getting near eyes and mouth. It is advisable to wear a mask during the process to prevent any accidental inhalation. The technicians, who are in contact with spray tan solutions on a regular basis, are also required to wear masks while spraying.
The airbrush spray tan from a tanning salon will last you about 7- 10 days.
Airbrush Spray Tan at Home
If you want to avoid going to expensive tanning salons, you can opt for a do-it-yourself spray tan at home. There are a variety of products available in the market that will help you achieve a perfect golden or a bronze tan from the comforts of your home. With this method, you are taking the role of the airbrush technician yourself.
While DHA is the primary ingredient in these ‘do-it-yourself’ spray tans, you can choose from products that also contains botanical oils, Aloe Vera or other high quality moisturizers to keep your skin smooth, hydrated and pampered. The quality of the product will of course impact how your tan turns out and also how long does a tan last.
As with the professional airbrush tan, you need to make sure not to inhale the mist. These instructions typically include holding your breath and avoiding the spray to get into your eyes and mouth, additionally it’s better to wear a dust or respirator mask. But this method has its pitfalls. While you spray yourself, you will have to be careful not to stain the nearby floor, walls, bathroom tiles and furniture.
In order to avoid that, consider buying a spray tan tent. It is also difficult to reach out to your back and other places that are hard to see. But with some help, practice and some precision, you will be ready to show-off that gorgeous glow. You can also always team-up with a friend, split the cost for the spray tan equipment and airbrush each other.
The tan from airbrush spray at home will last you about 5- 7 days.
Factors that influence how long the spray tan lasts
Most self-tanning products will give you a tan that will last you 4-7 days. Let’s talk for a second about the science behind it. The active ingredient in these self-tanning products is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It is a colorless chemical extracted from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane. When it is applied on the skin, DHA reacts with the cells present in the outer layer of skin.
This causes a swift darkening of the skin colour, what we know as tanning. Now, every day our skin sheds millions of dead cells to regenerate itself. As the skin begins to peel off or exfoliate naturally, the tan starts to fade away too. This is the reason why the tan developed by using fake tanners fades away with time the same as a suntan does. Ideally, the duration of the tan will also depend on your skin’s natural exfoliation process.
There are other factors at play that determines the longevity of your tan:
- Chlorine and salt in the water makes the tan fade away faster. Therefore activities like swimming in a pool or the ocean should be avoided. The same goes for hot tubs treatments where chlorinated water is used.
- Using scrubbing products more often to exfoliate your skin after the tanning treatment may cause the skin to shed the outer layer faster.
- Everyone has a different skin chemistry. The level of oil and other chemicals is different in people. So, when DHA in the tanning products reacts with different skin types, it causes the degree and intensity of the tanning to differ as well.
- Since the concentration of DHA in professional products is higher than in the DIY spray tans, the tan from airbrush spray at tanning salon will usually last you longer.
So, it is only obvious that the tan will last longer on some skins than others. Can you make the spray tan to last longer on your skin? Yes, it is possible. You can follow our Spray Tan Tips that can help you to retain your golden glow for a long time.