Sunless spray tans are becoming more and more popular for those who want a little additional “color” in their skin without exposure to ultraviolet rays and sun damage. Here is some helpful information about the tanning solution, how to prepare your skin for a spray tan, and what type of skin care will help your spray tan last the longest time.
What is in the Spray Tan Solution?
“According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective sunless tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. DHA is a colorless chemical (it is derived from glycerin) that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change. Since these dead skin cells are constantly being shed, the color change produced by DHA usually lasts about five to seven days. DHA is not absorbed through the skin into the body and it has no known toxicity.”
A Spray Tan differs from a Bronzer as described by FDA.gov:
“Like the term “sunless tanner,” “bronzer” is not defined in either the laws or the regulations enforced by FDA. It is often used to describe a variety of products intended to achieve a temporary tanned appearance. For example, among the products marketed as bronzers are tinted moisturizers and brush-on powders. These produce a temporary effect, similar to other types of makeup, and wash off over time. Some products are marketed with other ingredients in addition to DHA in order to provide a tanned appearance.”
A Spray Tan is longer lasting, from 5 – 7 days, and is not washed off, as a bronzer is. Bronzers also can leave residual coloration on clothing, furniture, and any other material the bronzed skin has come in contact with.
How Do I Prepare My Skin for a Spray Tan?
Because the tanning solution interacts with dead skin cells to make a color change, and because skin cells are constantly being shed, the best way to prepare your skin for a Spray Tan is to perform a mild exfoliation of your skin beforehand. An effective Scrub or Mild Acid Peel for your body is an excellent way to remove the surface skin cells that are ready to slough.
What is the best Skin Care to Use After to Help My Tan Last Longer?
First thing after you have been freshly sprayed with the tanning solution, is to stand calmly while avoiding touching anything for a good ten minutes to allow the spray to dry.
Try not to bathe or shower for 8 – 10 hours post spray tanning, and when you do bathe or shower, do not use abrasive cleansers, scrubs, peels, and nylon or other fabric for scrubbing the skin. After you cleanse, pat dry your skin and use a good moisturizer to prevent the newly tanned skin flaking off.
Moisturizing frequently, avoiding harsh chemicals and acids in your skin care, and the use of drying agents can allow your tan to last an additional day to two longer.
What should I be cautious about?
You should avoid getting the spray tan solution on your mucous membranes or inhaling it.
“The FDA states that commercial facilities should specifically protect clients from DHA exposure to the eyes, lips and mucous membranes as well as preventing the inhalation or ingestion of products containing DHA.”
Who’s Not the Best Candidate for a Spray Tan?
“There are also certain skin conditions which may result in an uneven, unattractive “tan.” These conditions include skin that has been previously damaged by the sun, “older” skin, mottled or freckled skin and scars. Care should also be taken to prevent DHA coloration of the hair and nails.”
As your skin loses its elasticity with age, it is probably best for those of us in our older years to use a bronzer for those special occasions where a temporary boost of color in your skin is in order.
My Product Recommendations:
- 20% Glycolic+Lactic+Salicylic Acid Peel -> Celloxylin MD 20Ex Acid Peel
- Facial Cleanser -> Celloxylin Creme Cleanse
- Facial Moisturizer -> Celloxylin Night Repair 3-Deep
- Body Cleanser -> Hydroburst Moisture Intense Body Cleanse (do not use the nylon sponge)
- Body Moisturizer -> Hydroburst Moisture Intense Body Lotion
- Scrub -> Enzyme Activated Microscrub
I would love to hear how your spray tan comes out and how long it lasts, what you did to make it last in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by!