The active ingredient in virtually all sunless tanning formulas is DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a carbohydrate (monosaccharide sugar) compound approved by the FDA for use in externally applied sunless tanning solutions. DHA is usually derived from a vegetable source like beets or sugar cane. When DHA is applied to the skin, it causes a harmless chemical reaction with the existing amino acids in the skin to produce a tan, much like the sun does, but without UVA and UVB damage. The tanning solution is manually airbrushed in a fine mist all over the body or desired areas. There are absolutely no tanning beds or spray tanning booths at Kona Tanning Company. The process will take about 20-30 minutes including drying time.


DHA sunless tanning has been recommended by The Skin Cancer Organization, American Academy of Dermatology, The American Cancer Society, The American Medical Society, and has been approved for cosmetic use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been used for over 30 years without any harmful effect.

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Additional Frequently Asked Questions:


How long does a Kona Tan last?

A Kona Tan lasts about a week, depending on the condition of the individual’s skin. The most common way to extend your tan is by applying moisturizer daily, even twice daily. Kona Tans can be maintained indefinitely by scheduling follow up applications, as well as using Kona Tanning Company’s Gradual Tanner, a tan extending lotion with the Kona color built right in!

Can a Kona Tan be removed?

Kona Tans do not rub off easily. The tan simply fades over time, as you lose your dead skin cells. If you wish to remove the tan, it is best to use an exfoliating mitt to loosen skin cells that contain the tanned color. We love the Kona Tanning Exfoliating Body Mitt as both a tan remover, and a preparation tool for the next airbrush session. You may also find that soaking in a Jacuzzi or swimming pool will help to remove or fade the color faster.

What if a person normally can’t get very tan?

Not a problem with a Kona Tan. Even if you have the fairest of fair skin, you too will be tanned like never before. The active ingredient in our solution is called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and will tan any skin tone to a natural golden brown.

Will a Kona Tan cover up or harm tattoos?

Our tans will not cover up or harm tattoos. In fact, tattoos seem a little brighter and more colorful with a moisturizing Kona Tan.

How long after the application can I go in the water or sweat?

It’s best to wait 12 hours before coming into contact with water or liquids. We recommend rinsing prior to participating in any strenuous activities that could cause you to perspire heavily. After your first shower, you may live life as normal and do any of the activities you normally do.

How can I minimize natural exfoliation from hot tubs, swimming pools and the ocean after I get a Kona Tan?

After your tan has fully developed and you have rinsed off the cosmetic bronzer, it is completely safe to go into the water. It is best to use a strong waterproof sunscreen like Bullfrog, Iguana, or Blue lizard. These types of sunscreens repel the water off of your skin, and will help keep your color richer, longer. It is also recommended to rinse off after being in water that may contain a high content of chlorine or salt. These can be very harsh on your skin, causing the tan to wear away faster. After you have rinsed, air dry and apply more sunscreen or moisturizer as needed.

Will a Kona Tan stain my pajamas or sheets?

The Kona Tanning House Blend is a water soluble product, and washes out of most fabrics. However, the tanning solution could stain Silk, Nylon, Wool and Polyester. Since there is a bronzer in the spray, it is best not to wear your expensive clothing until after you tan has developed, and the bronzer has been completely rinsed off. If you are sleeping with the bronzer on your skin and allowing your tan to develop while you sleep, it is best to wear loose pajamas, and lay a towel over your pillow to prevent any bronzer transfer due to perspiration while you sleep. Try to avoid any skin on skin contact while you sleep – even with others! After you have rinsed the bronzer away, there will not be any rub-off or transfer of the tan.

Why do I need an exfoliator?

Exfoliating your skin before your tanning session is very important, and ensures that the tanning solution is absorbing into your new and fresh skin cells, resulting in a smoother, softer, longer-wearing tan. If you choose not to exfoliate before your tan, you may experience a drier-looking appearance, and flaking or patching may occur much sooner than normal, resulting in the need to exfoliate your tan off completely. It’s always best to have an even, consistent palette when creating a masterpiece!

What is the best exfoliator?

We love to use the Kona Tanning Exfoliating Body Mitt for exfoliating prior to tanning, and also to remove a lingering tan. The Kona Tanning Exfoliating Body Mitt is made from 100% floss silk. The fibers swell and form a gentle, non-irritating friction, allowing your skin to achieve maximum exfoliation without the use of any oils or creams, which can leave a barrier on the skin, preventing the tan from fully absorbing and developing. Many exfoliators on the market today contain oils and sharp materials (like walnut shells which can scrape the skin). Be sure to avoid these products entirely.

Can a person UV tan on top of a Kona Tan?

Yes, of course you can tan naturally on top of a Kona Tan. However, keep in mind that a spray tan does not provide any SPF protection. Please be sure to take the proper safety precautions and protect your skin from the sun, by applying your waterproof sunscreen frequently and liberally.

Normally I freckle in the sun… will a Kona Tan cause freckles?

A Kona Tan will not cause freckles on the skin. In fact it does just the opposite. The Kona color helps to blend your pre-existing freckles, making them less noticeable. The Kona Tanning House Blend was actually created for our freckled, redheaded owner, Kona Katie, bug looks spectacular on all skin tones.

What if I have a bald spot?

Finally say goodbye to your hats and baseball caps! Bald spots can be tanned, which helps to blend a thinning hair line. Many men with receding hair lines love how the tan can soften a dramatic hair line, and rave how the tan makes their hair appear fuller.

Why isn’t there any SPF in Kona Tan’s House Blend Solution?

Since SPF only lasts about 4-8 hours on the skin, it would be misleading and unsafe to our clients to include the sun protection. Our tans last a week or more, so obviously the SPF would not last throughout the life of the tan, therefore it is very important to apply your sunscreen as often as possible!

Should I shave before or after the Kona Tan application?

All shaving and waxing is a form of exfoliation, so it is best to do all of your shaving before the Kona Tan, preferably at least 8 hours before tanning. Shaving and waxing after your tan can remove some of the tanned skin cells, so make sure to use a clean new razor with a shaving cream or lotion to keep from scraping the skin too much. If in doubt, use extra cream or lotion to shave, and try not to put too much pressure on the razor.

I like my Kona Tan but I want it darker.

We have several options for you. First, we offer a Double Dip tan. This is our basic Kona Tan times two, so double the intensity and richness of the color. Second, we recommend using the Kona Gradual Tan Extender lotion to replenish any color that may be lost throughout the life of your tan, caused from natural exfoliation and wear and tear. The Kona Gradual Tan Extender can be used alone or over your Kona Tan. We also offer one ounce travel-sized tan extending bottles called “Kona Spritzers,” which is one ounce of our famous formula, for touchups on the go!

I like my Kona Tan just the way it is- how do I keep it?

For best results, it is always best to moisturize your tan daily with lotion, or the Kona Gradual Tan Extender. Our Gradual Tanner is extremely hydrating, and full of luxurious ingredients like soybean, coconut and sunflower seed oils, shea butter, honey extract and plumeria flower extract.

Which fabrics should I avoid after my tan has just been applied?

Silk, Leather, Spandex, Lycra, Nylon and stretchy or tight fitting materials should be avoided. Your Kona Tan is most vulnerable after it has just been applied, so it’s best to avoid these fabrics for at least 12 hours, or until you have rinsed in your first shower to remove the bronzer. Also avoid tight articles of clothing like bras, sports bras, socks and tennis shoes, boots and closed toe shoes until you’ve had a chance to rinse. 

Will I turn orange or streaky with a Kona Tan?

Kona Tanning Company takes pride in producing non-orange, flawless, odorless masterpieces called Kona Tans.

Are Kona Tanning products cruelty-free?

We love animals, and we would rather test our products on US than THEM.  All Kona Tanning products are proudly cruelty-free!

Additional Resources:

 Learn spray tanning tricks and tips from industry pros