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Lessons In Airbrush Tanning

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

My airbrush tanning adventure was definitely a learning experience. Being inexperienced with spray tanning, I collected several tips along the way. I must say I did not anticipate the number of considerations when searching for a streak-free experience! The devil is definitely in the details here! While, I had an in-depth conversation with the owner of Body Bronze ahead of time, I still found there were many things I wish I would have thought through in advance!

After weighing out the specifics of my research, and my one booth spray tan about 15 year ago, I decided on Body Bronze in Champaign for my airbrush tan experience because:

  • They use a hand-held airbrush spray system for thorough, even detail, unlike a spray booth.
  • Each room is equipped with a ventilation system to immediately remove the mist from the air.
  • You can choose the depth of color you prefer (sun-kissed, light, medium, dark and anything in between). I chose sun-kissed to light, which was plenty of color for a girl who is not used to seeing herself with a tan. However, they offer options for all preferences
  • They offered two types of solutions for a range of shower times to fit most schedules.

When You Call To Schedule Your Appointment:

  1. Don’t be shy! Tell them that you are new to airbrush tanning! Ask for an explanation of what you should expect. Ask for their advice on what you can do to get the best outcome.
  2. Ask about your options. They likely offer different types of solutions that vary in dry time. It is important because your dry time will dictate your life until you can shower for the first time.
  3. You will be assigned a “shower” time at the end of your appointment. This is based on the solution and color depth you choose. I would recommend asking for an approximate shower time when you schedule your appointment. Keep in mind that you will be sticky and very dark until you are able to shower. I made the mistake of scheduling my spray tan prior to a meeting. This was not the best plan.  I had some explaining to do.  Lesson learned!

72 + Hours Before Your Appointment:

  1. At least 72 hours before your appointment, kick up the hydration! Moisturize your whole body every day if you are not already moisturizing on a daily basis.
  2. If you are planning on waxing, do it a few days prior to your spray tan. Removing the wax will also remove your spray tan in those areas.
  3. If you are planning a mani or pedi, do it prior to your spray tan. Exfoliation, rubbing and chemical can remove your spray tan. I did not think about this ahead of time and therefore, missed out on my planned pampering. Instead I carefully painted my nails on my own and missed out my “me time. “ Lesson learned.

24 Hours Before Your Appointment:

  1. Shave – Try to shave 24 hours before your appointment instead of right before your appointment. This will lessen the chance of getting solution into your pores because it can leave dots of color on your skin, which is not likely to be the look your shooting for.
  2. Exfoliate – your whole body while in the shower. Avoid the use of oily salt or sugar scrubs. Instead just use an exfoliation mitt or washcloth.
  3. Moisturize – Keep your skin well moisturized 24 hours prior to your spray tan. Well-moisturized skin will accept the solution better than dry skin.

The Day Of Your Appointment:

  1. Shower / Exfoliate – Your best bet for avoiding a blotchy, uneven spray tan is to thoroughly and evenly exfoliate your entire body again the day of your spray tan. Using an exfoliation mitt or washcloth will do the trick. Because I was still a little paranoid about streaking, I had an in-office microdermabrasion treatment for a thorough exfoliation on my face and common dry skin areas (underside of wrists, hands, knees, ankles…) to assure an even application. That worked great! My tan was even all over and fading very evenly as well.
  • Be sure to pay special attention to dry skin areas like your elbows, ankles, knees, feet and hands.
  • Avoid oily sugar or salt scrubs as they can leave a residue on your skin that can effect the absorption of the tanning solutions.
  1. Arrive with clean skin – Do not apply lotions, sunscreen, perfume, deodorant or make-up the day of your appointment. If you must wear make-up or deodorant, the spray tan facility you choose is likely to have wipes for you to remove your make-up and deodorant but you should check with them in advance or bring your own oil-free / alcohol free wipes.
  2. Dress The Part – Arrive to your appointment with loose fitting, dark clothing and loose flip fops or slides. Tight clothing can rub off some of the solution leaving you with a funky tan and stained clothing.
  3. It’s A Process – It takes time for the spray solution to process. You will have to wait 2-12 hours to shower. Your technician will give you an exact shower time. During this time, you will also need to avoid sweating, washing your hands, or getting wet (might want to check the weather forecast, consider rescheduling if you are likely to get caught in a downpour!).
  4. Shower Time – Once your waiting period is up, rinse your body in lukewarm water. You will see lots of color rinsing off in the shower. Continue to rinse until the water is clear. Do not use washcloths or soap during this first shower. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Do not rub your skin with towel. Cover your entire body in a good moisturizer. Once you have showered, your tan will continue to develop over the few hours.

THINGS THAT CAN SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR TAN:

  • pools / hot tubs
  • scrubs
  • AHA’s / BHA’s
  • retinol
  • masks
  • pore strips
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • waxing
  • mani / pedi
  • shaving

One Last Thing:

A spray tan is not a substitute for sunscreen. Contrary to popular wives tails, it will not stop you from getting a sunburn. Use sun protection and avoid exposure when possible.

Sincerely,

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond,

Skincare and Laser Specialist

G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

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