What is Sunless 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.
What is DHA?
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.
Has anyone ever had an allergic reaction to sunless spray tanning solution?
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.
Can I UV tan on top of my sunless tan?
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.
How long does a spray tan last?
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!
I am pregnant &/or nursing — Can I receive a spray tan?
The concern some doctors have is over whether or not the active ingredient (DHA) is able to enter the blood stream; 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. 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.
Will my spray tan stain my pajamas, sheets or clothes?
The cosmetic tan in the solutions we use Glow will wash off your skin after your first post tan shower (you will most likely see tan or 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.