Our Spray Tanning Most Commonly Asked Questions - Answered!
HOW OFTEN DO MOST PEOPLE SPRAY TAN?
Be careful! Spray tanning is addictive. How often you spray depends on preference and skin type. Tan-aholics spray tan weekly. Some spray tan bi-weekly. If you come in more often, you will need to make sure your previous tan is removed to avoid spray tan buildup. We offer removal mousse and exfoliating mitts that take off residual tan quickly and easily.
HOW DOES A SPRAY TAN WORK CHEMICALLY & IS IT SAFE?
Spray tans are considered safe and are FDA-approved. Spray tanning and sunless tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short. DHA, a three-carbon sugar, reacts with amino groups in the proteins of the top (dead) layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. This chemical reaction with the outermost layer of the skin is non-systemic and causes the skin cells to darken. Because the outer layers of skin are “dead,” they are constantly being sluffed off through by the skin’s natural exfoliation process, which is what causes the tan to fade.
BOOTH VS. CUSTOM? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Booth tans are unreliable, miss spots, and you leave wet. Custom tans are sprayed by a certified technician, rather than a machine, which means we can advise, answer question, customize, and purposely avoid certain areas of the body, while ensuring your tan is applied evenly. We use powerful fans and post-spray tan finishing powder, so you leave completely dry, feeling fresh, and smelling like the beach. Custom spray tan formulas can be customized at each appointment and sprayed accordingly. We also offer barrier creams, shower caps, nipple covers, disposable thongs, hair ties, sticky footies, towels, facial wipes, cleansers and more. We have thought of it all so that you don’t have to!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRADITIONAL AND A RAPID TAN?
TRADITIONAL | Has a slower development time and a longer rinse wait, meaning you typically sleep in it overnight while tan develops. Typical development times are 12-24 hours.
RAPIDS | Stronger formulas = faster development times, and shorter rinse wait. Perfect for events on same night, if you don't like sleeping in a tan, or just have a shorter window to wait. Typical development times are 1-5 hours.
WILL I BE ORANGE?
This is really an outdated notion from the infancy of spray tanning. Spray tanning technology has advanced, now boasting natural and organic spray tan formulas, and a variety of depth/undertone options. We spare no expense, sourcing the highest grade formulas available. Many of our selections are violet/purple undertones, which minimize brassiness. That being said, the stronger the formula, the higher concentration of DHA, the faster and greater the absorption, skin can develop more “golden,” but not “orange.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TAN FOR MY BIG EVENT?
Most book their spray tan 1-2 days prior. We prefer 2 days prior. Two days allows your tan time to fully develop before your event. Any leftover odor will have faded (Although our tans are very low odor). You will most likely have showered twice, meaning no residual bronzer, or chance of bronzer transfer. 1 day prior is also perfectly fine. If you have less time, or forgot to book in time, we suggest a rapid formula, which develops in 1-5 hours.
WHEN SHOULD I WAX/SHAVE BEFORE/AFTER MY SPRAY TAN??
Before. Along with pedis and manis, waxing should be done 24-48 hours before. Shaving is ideally done 12 hours before, or same-day if you must.
WHEN IS IT BEST TO EXFOLIATE?
It's ideal to shave and exfoliate the day before your tanning session, leaving at least 8+ hours between exfoliation and application of the tan. It is important that your skin settles and the pores close before your tan. It also helps to finish shower/bath with cold water.
DO MOST PEOPLE SPRAY TAN NAKED?
Yes, most people spray tan naked and we recommend it, especially if you will be in a swimsuit and/or tan lines will be an issue. Occasionally clients opt to wear panties, and we recommend a G-string or thong. Occasionally clients opt to wear a bandeau or strapless top, but we recommend going topless. Rest assured! You are beautiful just the way you are, we see naked women all day, and we do NOT think anything of it. GET NAKED GIRLY!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO MY SPRAY TANNING APPOINTMENT?
We recommend baggy, loose, long sleeve and/or maxi dresses, and open-toe shoes.
No jeans, leggings, bras, or anything tight after a tan. You run the risk of dragging material over skin & removing spray tan.
Most tuck top into bottom, so that elastic waist bands don't rub against skin.
Make sure to bring closed-toe shoes and an umbrella if it’s a rainy day.
DO I HAVE TO SLEEP IN MY SPRAY TAN?
Most spray tan formulas develop over a 12-24 period, which means sleeping in your spray tan. If you do not want to sleep in your spray, or have a same-day event that requires you to rinse first, we recommend booking a rapid tan.
Rapid tans are stronger and develop faster, typically in 1-6 hours. A rapid tan is a better choice if you do not want to sleep in your tan.
HOW DO I PROPERLY SLEEP IN MY TAN?
We recommend wearing long pajama pants and a long-sleeved loose-fitting shirt. If you don't cover your skin while sleeping, you run the risk of touching your body with your hands while you sleep, which can cause your tan to smudge or rub away, leaving you with some funky "tan lines." The bronzer may also transfer to the sheets, so it's best to just bundle up! Spray tan formulas are water soluble and wash out of clothing and sheets easily. Some have also purchased "spray tan sheets" to sleep on.
IS THERE A WAY TO MAKE SURE MY TAN COMES OUT PERFECT?
Make sure that you exfoliate 24 hours (removing any tan buildup), prior and shower /shave before you go to your tanning session.
No aluminum based deodorant, perfume, lotions, oils on your skin the day of your tan.
Wait the recommended 12-24 hours before showering, and moisturize daily after each shower.
Remember: Tanning results are 50% us and 50% your before and aftercare.
HOW DO I PROLONG MY SPRAY TAN?
Moisturize after every shower. Dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and the color will fade sooner. Your goal is to slow down your body's natural exfoliation (skin cell turnover) process, which can happen unevenly. Providing moisture will allow the skin to function at peak performance and the tan to fade gradually, without separating. By staying moisturized and hydrated, you aren't fighting your tan, you're working with it!
WHEN CAN I USE SOAP AND/OR LOTION?
We recommend avoiding soaps until your second shower post tan - basic or rapid. This is usually anywhere from 12-24 hours after you have been sprayed. For the initial rinse, we recommend just using water and avoiding soaps. Lotion can be used after the first rinse and again after each subsequent shower.
IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD USE ON MY SKIN TO RETAIN MY TAN?
Natural, fragrance-free lotions are best. This will ensure your skin remains healthy and hydrated and that your spray tan lasts longer! You can you use sun protection. That will not harm your tan, and you CAN get sun burned with a spray tan.
HOW LONG WILL MY SPRAY TAN LAST?
Spray tans typically last 7-14 days. Longevity has a lot to do with skin type and post spray tan care. Hydrated, well moisturized skin, retains a tan optimally, fading soft and even. Dry, dehydrated skin fades faster and separates in a scaley manner. Exposure to drying elements like chlorine, salt water, excessive sweating, hot tubs, saunas, shortens the life of a tan, especially when moisture isn’t replaced.
CAN I GET A SPRAY TAN IF I HAVE A SUNBURN??
The simple answer is no. Spray tanning on any sunburned area, that is at risk for peeling, won't stick. Your skin is still healing and turning over quicker than normal, so the dead skin on top won't hold your tan. This can lead to patchy results and spots where dead skin has shed. We will do this in emergencies, where a burn needs to be evened out for an event. However, the tan will not last.
CAN I WEAR SUN PROTECTION AFTER A SPRAY TAN?
A spray tan does NOT protect you from UV rays or contain sunscreens. You can and should continue to use sun protection. Sunscreen will not harm your tan. Keep in mind that chlorine, salt, and heat (saunas) and excessive sweating does break down a tan faster. Stay moisturized to prevent breakdown.
IS IT SAFE TO GET A SPRAY TAN WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
Yes, it is perfectly safe. Spray tan solution reacts with your top, dead, skin cell layers and is non-systemic. Another concern for pregnant moms is inhaling solution during the spray tan. At Image By Lisa our spray tan room is open (you are not in an enclosed space like a big-box booth), We have top of the line ventilation systems, extraction fans, and drying fans to keep you safe. We also offer nipple covers for our breastfeeding moms.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MESS UP AFTER I LEAVE?
Do not fret! Most of the time, you have just messed up the bronzer, which is topical and cosmetic only. The DHA (what makes you tan) has already absorbed into the skin, and once you rinse, it is likely the tan will look perfectly fine. We recommend blending the area of concern with a sponge, makeup brush, or towel, to soften the edges.
We also recommend that frequent tanners purchase "tan-in-a-can" spray. After blending the affected are, spray with tan-in-a-can.
DOES A SPRAY TAN DARKEN AGE SPOTS AND SUN SPOTS?
Yes, a spray tan makes everything darker, age/sun spots included. Some don't notice, as spots darken in correlation with the rest of skin. So although they are darker, the final result will be less noticeable, as you are overall darker. To prevent the absorption of DHA on age/sun spots of concern, use a high coverage concealer, petroleum jelly, or barrier cream, with Q-tip to conceal before your appointment. Also, exfoliation before your spray tan helps, as age/sun spots are drier, which increased absorption of DHA.
HOW WILL MY SPRAY TAN FADE?
Hydrated, well moisturized skin, retains a tan optimally, fading soft and even. When skin is in well-maintained, you shouldn’t notice the tan fading. Dry, dehydrated skin fades faster and separates in a scaley manner. Exposure to drying elements like chlorine, salt water, excessive sweating, hot tubs, saunas, shortens the life of a tan, especially when moisture isn’t replaced.
WILL A SPRAY TAN STAIN MY HAIR AND NAILS?
Spray tan technicians purposely avoid hair, so shower caps are not required, but are offered. We do recommend a shower cap if you have recently bleached your hair, to protect the roots. Nails that are painted WILL NOT absorb spray tan, as the polish acts as a barrier. Unpainted nails WILL absorb a spray tan and can yellow with repeated exposure. Our technicians are trained to clean unpainted nails after every spray tan.
DO I SPRAY TAN MY FACE TOO?
Yes, we typically spray the face lightly. Some choose not to have their face sprayed, opting to use a darker foundation to match their body. This is a personal preference issue. Most people do wash their face before bed to prevent the transfer of bronzer to their pillow and to keep the face lighter. The face does fade the fastest, due to the frequency of washing. We have products to extend the life of the tan on your face, and we carry darker foundation colors.
HOW LONG DOES AN APPOINTMENT TAKE?
Our spray tan appointments take 10-15 minutes each. Things that can speed up your appointment?
Arriving on time
Without jewelry on
Hair tied in a top knot
With makeup removed.
We book our spray tan appointments back to back. Late arrivals cannot always be accommodated, as it throws off other people’s schedules.