Spray Tanning 101: Everything You Need to Know About Faking A Summer Glow

Spray Tanning

What is spray tanning?
Spray tanning is sunless tanning. Either you or a professional will spray your body with a mist of chemicals including Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that will make your skin cells become temporarily darker. How much darker depends on the shade that you have selected.

Is it safe?
Generally, speaking yes. But its safety is contingent upon users not getting any mist into their mouth, nose or eyes. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Dr. David J. Leffell, professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine says he believes it is safe: "Most dermatologists agree that the spray-on tans or the tans in a bottle, which basically cause coloration of the outer layer of the epidermis –- the stratum corneum -– are safe and effective.”

How long will I have my spray tan?
Generally speaking, no longer than 10 days in the summer.

How can I keep up my spray tan?
In an interview with Allure, sunless tanning expert Sophie Evans suggests gentle exfoliation in the shower followed by a basic moisturizer to keep up your spray tan. “Cocoa butter is lovely ...  Coconut oil is actually quite nice to use on a tan. It doesn’t deplete the life of your tan, whereas if you use something with a citrus product in it, then it will strip your tan off.”

How can I avoid streaks?
By exfoliating your skin and paying special attention to the places where you sweat the most, you will avoid streaking. If you don’t exfoliate and instead just try to cover up streaks with more spray tan, you will only make the streaks worse.

What should I do to prepare for spray tan?
Exfoliate your skin at least 8 hours before you receive a spray tan and make sure you shave your legs at least 6 hours prior to your tan without shaving cream as it “acts as a barrier between the tanning solution and the skin.”

What should I do after my spray tan?
Avoid showering for at least 12 hours and do not workout until you have had that first shower. Also, avoid the water for at least a day after you have gotten a spray tan.

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