What is Spray Tanning?

Sunless spray tanning is the spray/mist application of sunless tanning solution to desired areas of your body. When applied, DHA (the active ingredient in sunless tanning solution) reacts with the proteins in the skin’s superficial layer to form a golden brown color. Your skin begins to darken two to three hours after application and reaches its peak color within 24 hours. The color will gradually fade through natural exfoliation, just like a tan from the sun.

The active ingredient most often used in all sunless tanners including tinted moisturizers, self-tanners, and spray tan solution is called DHA or dihydroxyacetone. DHA is a carbohydrate (monosaccharide sugar) compound approved by the FDA for use in externally applied sunless tanning solutions. For misting applications, the FDA recommends protective measures to prevent eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. DHA is often derived from a vegetable source like beets or sugar cane. Its properties as a skin darkener were discovered in the 1920s but weren’t marketed as such until the 1960s, then added to the FDA’s list of approved colors for cosmetic products in the 1970s.

There is a wide range in quality when it comes to ingredients and manufacturing in the skin care/cosmetic industry. Ecocert is an internationally recognized certification that guarantees the highest standards are met during the creation of formulas, manufacturing, filling and packaging. Ecocert was the very first certification body to develop standards for natural and organic cosmetics. Ecocert approved DHA is the highest and finest quality of DHA available. You Glow’s inventory of different sunless spray tanning solutions all contain Ecocert approved DHA and organic aloe.

Yes. If you’ve had previous allergic reactions to self-tanning lotions or cosmetics, you should consult a health care professional before using spray tanning. Also, we can perform an allergy patch test prior to an application/appointment.

Yes. Please be advised there is not SPF in any solution that we use. Solution does not contain sunscreen protection, so you should apply sunscreen accordingly. If you choose to expose your skin to UV rays either from the sun or a tanning bed, it is important to use a lotion with SPF to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

Most sunless spray tans have a higher percentage of DHA-thus giving a deeper tan. The solutions we use at You Glow are formulated frequently, so that the DHA in the product you are relying on to give you that gorgeous glow is very, very fresh and of the highest quality. These high quality solutions also contain Eco-certified DHA, anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients, vitamins and organic and natural based ingredients. You will find your results to be streak-free, odorless and consistent (compared to over-the-counter sunless products).

The tan lasts approximately 5-10 days (even longer for some), depending on a person’s activities, aftercare and condition of skin. The proper method of exfoliation prior to your spray tan application is the most important factor relating to your spray tan longevity. With follow up applications, a person can maintain the tan indefinitely. Using a tan extending lotion like Ultimate Tan Refreshment Tanning Extender (with DHA and Erythrulose) on the skin daily will help extend tanning results while keeping the tan looking healthy and glowing. Keep in mind many over the counter products, exercise, skin conditions and hormones may create uneven post-tan fading. A sunless tan is not a long term commitment, so it is great to try for the first time!

Spray tanning does not have the potential to give you melanoma, wrinkles, age spots, moles, freckles, or sunspots. People with sensitive skin or people who have a hard time tanning (be it natural or in tanning beds) will find this form of tanning very comforting. One application with spray tanning will be equivalent to approximately 6 tanning bed sessions, therefore making it cost effective and healthy.

Yes, we evaluate your skin type to help you achieve your best sunless color possible. We will consult with you to find what kind of color you are looking to achieve. After choosing a shade of solution and understanding what level of tan you are trying to achieve, your tanning expert will then decipher what the solution flow rate should be on their spray tanning equipment. It is this extended detailed approach that results in the perfect sunless tan.

The concern some doctors have is over whether or not the active ingredient (DHA) is able to enter the bloodstream; the indications are that it cannot. DHA only penetrates the outermost layer of the skin. However, we recommend all clients get permission from their physician first. DHA has been used as a cosmetic ingredient in the United States since 1960 and no problems have ever been reported concerning DHA penetrating the skin. The FDA recommends avoiding exposure to mucous membranes, inhalation and ingestion. You Glow provides eye protection and nose plugs, and does not recommend spray tanning nude if pregnant or breastfeeding. All of our rooms are equipped with ventilation systems and all sunless specialists will inform the client when they are spray tanning the face.

Custom spray tans with a technician last no more than 30 – 45 minutes including spraying and drying time. At You Glow, we spend extra time educating our clients about sunless tans, techniques and proper maintenance. After you are familiar with our techniques, an appointment can take as little as 15 -20 minutes. VersaPRO appointments are quicker and average 5 -10 minutes. Again, at You Glow we spend extra time discussing details and customization options even when it comes to the automated booth. You could use the VersaPRO machine 20 times and we will still go over proper positioning for each application to ensure optimal results!

The cosmetic tan in the solutions we use at You Glow will wash off your skin after your first post shower (you will most likely see a puddle of colored water in the shower). But until then, the cosmetic tan (bronzer) is water soluble and should not stain most fabrics. Most fabrics and materials are completely safe (excluding leather, silk, lace, nylon and spandex). In relation to the cosmetic bronzer topic, be sure to never judge your spray tan or final results until AFTER your first shower. Bronzers can smudge sometimes and it does not necessarily mean your spray tan results were affected. The VersaPRO has a clear solution option available as well.

How to Prepare for a Spray Tan

A good full body exfoliation within 24 hours prior to your appointment will provide significantly better results. A loofah/poof does NOT provide adequate exfoliation. We recommend using dry sugar from your kitchen on your wet skin at the end of your shower, then rinse. Many store bought scrubs contain oils which could possibly clog your pores or leave a film on your skin. Even plain body washes can leave a film of moisturizer/oil on your skin, blocking the absorption of the spray tanning solution. A cheap wash cloth, sisal mitt or exfoliating gloves work well.

If possible, arrive to your appointment with clean skin – free of makeup, lotions, toners, perfumes, oils and deodorants. Shave prior to your appointment (the day BEFORE is ideal, but at a minimum of 8 hrs prior is preferred). Get all of your spa treatments done including facials, pedicures & manicures, waxing (waxing should be done 1-2 days before), hair appointments and massages done PRIOR to your tanning session. Due to increased body temperatures, complete all exercise at least 2 hours prior to your appointment. If you have an existing spray tan, it is still necessary to follow the guidelines above and exfoliate. We strongly recommend waiting a minimum of 10 days between sessions to achieve more even results.

Yes. For the best result remove deodorant and/or deodorant residue (it can turn GREEN). Wait 2-3 hours to reapply deodorant after a sunless tan.

Attire for women is whatever you are comfortable with. Many things can be done to minimize tan lines. The key is your comfort level, health choice or tan line preference. Attire for men is boxers, briefs, swim trunks or shorts. The FDA does not recommend that you tan nude, however, if you wish to do so, please consult with your tanning specialist prior to your tanning session. Your tanning specialist will use the utmost discretion. You Glow also provides a variety of disposable undergarments. Eye covers, nose plugs, and lip balm are available too.

Remember, you are DEVELOPING your color. What you wear could affect how you develop and create unevenness. Loose fitting, cotton clothing and sandals should be worn for leaving the facility. We have found that DHA reacts with wool, nylon, and silk. These fabrics should not be worn immediately following your tanning session. Wearing tight fitting clothing such as jeans, bras, leggings and tank tops within 8 hours of your appointment could result in a lighter/faded tan line(s).

Maintaining Your Glow

Make sure you moisturize every day! Dry skin will not only lead to a shorter lifespan of the spray tan, but poor fading. For optimum results, use a Tan Extender every 2-3 days. We have found liquid soaps/body washes work better than bar soap in preserving your spray tan (do not use a washcloth or loofah/poof). Most importantly, remember to pat dry after showering or swimming (rubbing a dry towel on your skin will exfoliate your skin/tan). Oil-free, water resistant sunscreens are recommended (lotions are better than spray cans due to the high alcohol content). Avoid excessive exposure to hot water (long, hot showers and hot tubs). Prior to exercising, applying cornstarch powder to body creases will help absorb moisture and slow down the friction factor which leads to premature fading. Avoid mineral oil in all body products. Apply perfume and bug spray to clothes, not skin.

Swimming in chlorinated water or salt water can fade the sunless spray tanning results, cause possible streaking and will diminish the length of your tan. Avoid hot tubs all together. Using a tan extender after these activities will give your spray tan more durability.

Many factors can affect your fade. At You Glow we choose spray tanning solutions that are high-quality, skin nourishing and proven to provide better fade results. For most, the hands and face fade first due to being sprayed lighter AND washing more frequently. Facial cleansers and medications will contribute to fading. A spray can of sunless tanning bronzer or a facial tan extender lotion is great for touch-ups. Friction is a cause of fading in areas such as cleavage, inside the elbows and behind the knees. If and when this fading starts, help the fade process by scrubbing these areas to help even it out. You also may get to a point at the end of your spray tan where you will want to scrub your whole body.

What you see is NOT sunless spray tanning product, but YOUR skin cells. They just happen to be colored now, making them visible.

See what the FDA has to say about sunless tanning.