We have all made the teenage mistake of going wild with a bottle of tanning lotion. Emerging from our bedrooms with luminous orange legs and a weird green tinge to our hands and feet. Let’s not forget the patchy back where we couldn’t quite reach.
Luckily, as we get older, we know that it is best to leave it to the professionals. Popping to your favourite beauty salon is commonplace for men and women, whether wanting to tame unwanted body hair or indulge in a massage.
Getting a professional spray tan in a salon will leave you bronzed and free of any self-tanner tribulations such as streaks or patchiness. However, to ensure your tan looks its best, there are some steps you can take to achieve this.
If you have not had a spray tan using the products at a particular salon before it can be best to pop in for a patch test. Usually a little of the solution is applied behind the ear on the inside of the elbow. The therapist will then check if there is a reaction (only 1 in 1000 women are ever affected).
If you want any part of your body shaved, waxed, or threaded it is best to do this 24 hours before your appointment. Remember never to undergo any hair removal after your tan and before your initial shower, as this will likely make your tan patchy. You can get away with waxing or threading once your tan has developed but most men and women avoid jeopardising their tan by getting everything preened beforehand.
Similarly, make sure your skin is free of flaky areas or dead skin skills by exfoliating extensively. You should pay close attention to your knees and elbows. There are multiple exfoliating body and facial scrubs on the market and many men and women use exfoliating mitts or gloves.
Although you should not have any moisturiser on at your spray tan appointment, prepping your body the day before helps create a perfect base. Slathering on moisturiser after you exfoliate is a great habit to get into. Just remove it with a quick shower before your appointment.
Paint Your Nails
Even if it’s just a clear coat of polish, make sure you paint your toenails and fingernails before your spray tan. The spray tan formula will discolour bare nails. Those with acrylic or gel nails do not need to worry.
Remove Deodorant & Makeup
When you get to your appointment you should not be wearing any makeup, moisturiser, deodorant, or perfume. Essentially your body should be free of product, as if you have just stepped out the shower. This step is because these products can react with the spray tan liquid or act as a barrier. Most salons have face and body wipes you can use if you have come after work or running errands.
Do not be alarmed if you are mid spray tan and you look extremely dark or a slightly greenish colour. The spray tan formula has a guide colour which allows your technician to clearly see where they have applied the tan on your body. This will be removed during your initial shower to reveal the true colour.
If your appointment is in the evening, or you don’t have plans for after your spray tan, many change into loose fitting dark coloured pyjamas after to go home in. Women should remain bra free if possible, or have their bra as loose as possible. If you need to run errands after your appointment stick to dark coloured clothes that have a loose fit. Flip flops are a great option for footwear.
Old Bed Covers
Many spray tan customers will sleep in the solution overnight to allow it to develop extensively. As the guide colour of your tan is still on your skin it can be best to sleep in dark and loose fitting pyjamas and pop some old bed covers on. Those who have a salon which offers an express tan will be ready to shower in as little as one hour!
Most spray tans will take six to eight hours to achieve the desired shade. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t shower after the eight hours, your tan will only go so dark. Once you have showered and dried your skin (pat with your towel only) you will be able to see the final shade.