The most common questions we get from our clients
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.
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.
Very rarely. 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.
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.
The tan lasts approximately 5-7 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 (we have for purchase) 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.
Spray tanning does not have the potential to give you melanoma, wrinkles, age spots, moles, freckles, or sunspots. One application with spray tanning will be equivalent to approximately 6 tanning bed sessions, therefore making it cost effective and healthy.
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. Mad Sun provides eye protection and nose plugs and does not recommend spray tanning nude if pregnant or breastfeeding.
The cosmetic bronzer I use will wash off your skin after your first post-tan shower (you will most likely see lots of colored water in the shower). The cosmetic 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 and it does not necessarily mean your spray tan results were affected.
How to Prepare for your Spray Tan
A good full body exfoliation within 24 hours prior to your appointment is a MUST! A loofah does NOT provide adequate exfoliation. An exfoliating mitt works best and is available for sale at Mad Sun Spray Tanning. A secondary option is baking soda from your kitchen on your wet skin at the end of your shower, then rinse. Many store-bought scrubs contain oils which could possibly clog your pores or leave a film on your skin. Even plain body washes can leave a film of moisturizer/oil on your skin, blocking the absorption of the spray tanning solution. Avoid DOVE products as they are known to leave a film on your skin.
If possible, arrive to your appointment with clean skin – free of makeup, deodorant, perfumes, lotions, oils and toners. Shave prior to your appointment (the day BEFORE is ideal, but at a minimum of 8 hours prior is preferred). Get all of your spa treatments done including facials, pedicures & manicures, waxing (waxing should be done 1-2 days before), hair appointments and massages done PRIOR to your tanning session. Due to increased body temperatures, complete all exercise at least 2 hours prior to your appointment. If you have an existing spray tan, it is still necessary to follow the guidelines above and exfoliate. We strongly recommend waiting a minimum of 10 days between sessions to achieve more even results.
Yes. For the best result remove deodorant and/or deodorant residue (it can turn GREEN). Wait 2-3 hours to reapply deodorant after a sunless tan.
Attire for women is whatever you are comfortable with. Many things can be done to minimize tan lines. The key is your comfort level, health choice or tan line preference. Attire for men is boxers, briefs, swim trunks or shorts. We will use the utmost discretion. Mad Sun Spray Tanning also provides a variety of disposable undergarments. Eye covers, nose plugs, and hair covers are available too.
Remember, you are DEVELOPING your color. What you wear could affect how you develop and create unevenness. Dark, loose fitting, cotton clothing and sandals should be worn for leaving the facility. We have found that DHA reacts with wool, nylon, and silk. These fabrics should not be worn immediately following your tanning session. Wearing tight fitting clothing such as jeans, bras, leggings and tank tops within 8 hours of your appointment could result in a lighter/faded tan line(s). Also, if you have leather seats in your car make sure your legs are covered or use a towel – to prevent sweating.
Maintaining Your Spray Tan
Make sure you moisturize two times a day, once in the morning, once at night. Dry skin will not only lead to a shorter lifespan of the spray tan, but poor fading. For optimum results, use our Tan Extender every 2-3 days. Most importantly, remember to pat dry after showering or swimming (rubbing a dry towel on your skin will exfoliate your skin/tan). Oil-free, water-resistant sunscreens are recommended (lotions are better than spray cans due to the high alcohol content). Avoid excessive exposure to hot water (long, hot showers and hot tubs). Prior to exercising, applying cornstarch powder to body creases will help absorb moisture and slow down the friction factor which leads to premature fading. Avoid mineral oil in all body products. Apply perfume and bug spray to clothes, not skin.
Swimming in chlorinated or salt water can fade and diminish the length of your tan. Try to avoid hot tubs all together. Using our Tan Extender after these activities will give your spray tan more durability.
Many factors can affect your fade. At Mad Sun Spray Tanning, we use spray tanning solutions that are high-quality, skin nourishing and proven to provide better fade results. For most, the hands and face fade first due to being sprayed lighter AND washing more frequently. Facial cleansers and medications will contribute to fading. Tanning water (Mad Sun sells) is great for touch-ups. Friction is a cause of fading in areas such as cleavage, inside the elbows and behind the knees. When fading starts, gently scrub these areas to help even it out. At the end of your spray tan, you will want to scrub your whole body.
What you see is NOT sunless spray tanning product, but YOUR skin cells. They just happen to be colored now, making them visible.