|Photoshoot by Bicyclette Boutique|
Photographer Jason Matos
Spray tans are a quick safe way to get your "summer glow" and not piss off your doctor. The process is under half an hour in the shop and can last up to two weeks. There is some prep you can do at home that helps ensure the best results, below is a condensed easy version of what to do and under that an extremely detailed version for the nervous spray tanner. We always books extra time for first time spray tanners so we can make sure you're totally comfortable with the treatment!
The short version of what to do: exfoliate in the shower before coming, don't wear body product and wear lose fitting dark clothing. Avoid getting wet or sweating, plan on not showering and smelling like a spray tan for at least 6 hours afterwards. Other spa services should not be done the same day as the spray tan.
The long version of what to do:
- wax 24-48 hours before tanning, you don't want any residue left on your skin
- exfoliate before tanning, either one big thorough scrub or a couple days of using an AHA and loofah lightly in the shower. You want to concentrate on the obvious spots like knees, ankles, feet, hands and elbows. Some less obvious spots would be where any straps land, like your bra, underwear, pants or socks. If you're using an AHA make sure all residue is removed prior to tanning
- shave before the tan, shaving can be slightly exfoliating which will lift the tan
- sweat is acidic and can break down the tan faster, so plan your work-out accordingly
- the area around new tattoos or scabs can potentially take slightly darker, same with eczema or psoriasis
- yes guys can get spray tans too (just like guys can get suntans and sketchy moles too)
- wear loose fitting dark clothing, the spray is tinted and can get on your clothes. Bra, underwear and sock straps can either make the tan take darker or lift, so avoid those if possible
- if you have long hair it is recommended you plan on keeping it up
- remove all jewellery, it will either leave a tan line or get build up on it from the product
- do not use any oils on your skin day of the tan, they can be occlusive
- make-up, if you plan on tanning your face, can be an issue as well
- deodorant has the potential to change the tan's chemistry on very rare occasions, resulting in a different colour. There are wipes in the room for removing make-up, deodorant or body oils
- we will provide a disposable hairnet, thong, bra and nose filter. It's your call on what you want to wear, underwear does leave a tan line. Some people bring their bathing suit to be sprayed in, any of your clothing you choose to wear has the potential to get stained
- if you feel any clammy or wet skin please let us know beforehand so we can dry the skin prior to application
- if it's raining bring an umbrella and wear closed toe shoes, flip flops in general can leave a line in the tan
- we can go darker on your legs, skip your face, help contour your waist etc. so think about if you have any specific spots you'd like us to skip or go darker or lighter on
- there's no way around it, you're going to smell like a spray tan while the product takes, so keep that in mind.
- the product needs to be on for at least 6 hours, we recommend coming in on your way home and sleeping in the tan
- do not go for a manicure, pedicure or facial afterwards, it will remove the tan
- do not work out afterwards!
- some people report feeling their skin is dehydrated afterwards (just like with a suntan). A body butter rich in shea or coconut butter always helps (please avoid essential oils, they can break up the tan unevenly). Vaseline and mineral oil/baby oil will not add any hydration to your skin, it will only create an occlusive barrier
- anything that exfoliates your skin will lift the tan faster, usually tans break down fastest on the face and chest. Legs and stomach last the longest (thank god).
- once you start noticing patchiness (usually in the crook of your elbows or back of knees) exfoliating will help buff out any unevenness
- the colour you see immediately is essentially body make-up, you're going to see the tan get darker for 6-10 hours after application. Your final "finish" is going to match the tone of the fresh spray/colour when you left the spa, it's just the tint over your developing tan doubles up the colour temporarily, don't freak out like Eliss did the first time.
- you will see colour settle in lines throughout the day, your tan will not take that way
- we recommend against wearing a bra afterwards
What to expect during the spray:
- feeling like you're doing a weird on land synchronized swim routine while being sprayed
- anxiety over whether you want a tan line or not
- inability to gauge how dark you've gone if you choose against a tan line
- you will be brought into the room, your technician will discuss expected results from the spray tan, you'll get changed and then stand in the booth facing out. Your technician will apply a cream to the areas that tend to take darker and adjust your hairnet to prevent a weird tan line, you will be sprayed using a hand-held airbrush gun doing an array of fantastic positions, the depth of colour will be confirmed as acceptable, afterwards your hands and feet will be wiped and you'll be asked to stand in front of a fan that will automatically turn off when you're dry enough. You'll then get dressed and come to the front. It is important that while drying and in the booth you're careful not to disturb the fresh tan with skin to skin contact, the tan can smudge in those few minutes.
- like said above, accept the smell. It's inevitable and temporary
You can read about our new rapid spray tan that lets you shower in just 1-3 hours here!