It’s no secret that there’s a lot you can do to prepare for a spray tan, to be certain you get the longest possible results from your session.
And, it is true that a lot of people can get away with taking shortcuts in their preparation, and still rock an awesome spray tan that seems to last forever.
Unfortunately, though, that isn’t the case for everyone, since some body types and skin tones wear differently than others for a variety of reasons.
If you’re looking to minimize the preparation steps for spray tanning, it’s important to figure out what you need to do for your own body, once you know how your spray tan wears.
Talk to your spray tanner during your appointments (heck – you have their undivided attention for the entire length of your spray tan session – take advantage of that!), follow up, and through trial and error, you can see what your specific needs are, and which steps you might be able to get away with skipping altogether.
For example, when I spray tan, I always wear deodorant – this doesn’t affect my own personal spray tanning results, but I’ve seen it leave some serious (although temporary) discoloration on some of my clients, so I always suggest avoiding it.
Here’s what can happen if you don’t take your spray tanner’s advice:
1. STREAKS: One of my favorite things about airbrush tanning is that streaks are non-existent!
Once the tan is applied, as long as it doesn’t immediately begin to drip from over-saturation (artists are trained to avoid this), the tan has nowhere to go except to be absorbed by your skin.
HOWEVER, when showering, it’s crucial to rinse the entire body evenly.
Spray tanning solutions usually have a tinted guide added to them, so the artist can see where they’ve sprayed. This tint rinses off with the first shower, leaving behind a sunless tan that lasts a week. As water rinses away the tint, any areas that the water doesn’t reach will retain extra color – sometimes in the shape of streaks.
Easy fix! Take another shower! But this time, rub your palms over your entire body to ensure you remove the entire tint.
2. “SPOTTY-DOTTY”: Always shave at least two hours before you spray tan, and do a cold water rinse to get your pores to shrink. This will help keep the tanning solution from settling into your freshly-opened pores, leaving a dotted appearance.
3. TAN PALMS: If you sleep with your hand on your face, chances are, you’ve woken up with an extra-tan hand before!
To avoid this, I recommend showering before bedtime after getting a fresh spray, or sleeping with a loose sock over both hands.
This trick only needs to be done while the tan is in its development stage, so only the first night after a spray tan. But, if you got this message a little too late, here’s how to remove spray tan stains using everyone’s favorite window cleaner.
4. TOO-TIGHT CLOTHING: Have you ever worn leather boots over skinny jeans after getting a spray tan? That might be the worst possible combination for a fresh spray.
At the skinniest of the skinny jean trend, I saw a few clients developing stripes of dark discoloration on their legs, along the seams of their jeans. The jeans rubbed against their skin so much that it left stripes of rough skin on the inside and outside of the legs, which would then over-absorb color, leading to the discoloration.
Imagine what this tight clothing is doing to your skin, particularly after a fresh spray tan. You don’t want anything to interrupt the tan’s development process, which can lead to rub-off, or worse – rougher skin!
Loose, breathable clothing for the first few hours of a spray tan is the best way to let your skin evenly absorb color.
5. VOIDS: Hey, all you Dexter fans, you know what “voids” are better than anyone!
Voids happen when an object or body part blocks the deposition of tanning solution, which leaves a blank space in the same size and shape of the object or body part (think: tanning stickers, overlapping fingers, “smilies”). The blank space may give a clue as to the size and shape of the object, which is helpful when trying to identify the source of the void.
To avoid this, choose a reputable spray tanner, and listen closely to her posing instructions. Spray tanning poses are designed to maximize efficiency and effectiveness during a spray tan, and to minimize the potential for problems once the client leaves the salon.
Voids can also be caused while a spray tan is drying, if skin comes in contact with liquids, dissolving the tan wherever the liquid touches the skin. (Think: splashing water, baby and dog drool, sprinklers, rain, etc.)
To fix spray tan voids, simply apply self-tanner to the untanned skin, using circular motions and blending the borders of the area being touched up. Cotton balls and cotton swabs can also be used to apply the self-tanner.
ARTISTS: Find out how to get the best spray tans of your life, and start making your clients feel like SUPERMODELS today with my spray tan tutorial books: The Art of Airbrush Tanning, and Contouring for Airbrush Spray Tanning!
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