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How to prepare for an airbrush tan?

If you are all up for that gorgeous sun-kissed glow before the summer begins or you just want to give your pale skin that needs a glow-up look during the cold months, spray tanning is the safest way to do so. Jumping right onto the tanning bed sounds pretty tempting. But, did you know that it can damage your skin if you do not take any prior care? It can cause premature aging, dark spots, and other skin conditions. Instead, airbrush tan from top tanning salons is a safer way of achieving that perfect bronze look in the summer. By taking the right steps and proper care, nobody will be able to guess that you have a sunless faux tan.

How does airbrush tanning work?

Tanning salons use a sunless tanning solution that contains DHA, a custom blended solution for your skin tone and preferences. Dihydroxyacetone or DHA is a sugar-based solution, approved by the FDA for more than 30 years. This solution reacts with the outer layers of your skin which creates a natural-looking tan within 8 to 12 hours. The initial color that you see on your skin is a cosmetic bronze shade that mimics the colors you will see in the upcoming hours. It is completely okay if you see some color rinse off during your first shower. That color is only the bronzing agent. Your tan is all safe and intact.

Tips on how to prepare for an airbrush tan

Before tan: 

  • Avoid shaving or waxing on the day of your tanning session

You should be done with shaving or waxing at least 24 hours before your appointment. This will give your skin enough time to calm and will ensure a flawless and comfortable tanning experience. If you shave or wax just a few hours before your tanning session, the spray tan might seep into your pores and create dark dots. Sometimes, it can also irritate your skin especially if it is sensitive.

  • Gentle exfoliation all over

It is better to exfoliate your skin at least 8 hours before your airbrush tanning appointment. This will help in sloughing off any dead skin cells that may be present on the top layer of the skin. This is an important step as it can shed post tan and make your faux glow tan patchy and uneven.

  • No using of oils and body lotions beforehand

Skin hydration is very important. But, you must refrain from using any oil or body lotion on the day of your appointment. These oils or lotions interfere with spray tan development. Instead, your technician will apply a non-oil-based moisturizer if your hands, elbows, knees, or wrists feel dry.

  • You can take a shower

Your skin should be free of sweat before the tan. If you work out before your tan, then you can take a shower and wash your face as the sweat can sit on your skin. This will prevent the tan from absorbing evenly into your skin. The optimal time to tan is right after the shower because your skin cells are hydrated and will absorb the tan evenly and create a long-lasting color.

  • Go all-natural

As we read above about avoiding oils and lotions, you must also remove all the makeup, perfume, or deodorant with any cleansing wipe before the spray. Your skin must be free from any such products that may interfere with your spray tan.

  • No retinoids or hydroxyl acids

Retinoids and hydroxy acids should be cut out of your skincare regime twenty-four hours before your appointment. Ingredients present in retinoids and hydroxyl acids increase the cell turnover. This will cause the tan to fade away quickly. 

  • Prime your skin well

To get the most of your airbrush tan, it is recommended that you must prime your skin well with a PH balance spray right before your tanning appointment. This helps the skin reach an optimum of pH 4.5. This will help the tan to absorb deeper into the skin and last longer. The general pH of the skin is between 4.7 to 5.57. Bringing your skin to a 4.5 pH helps it match the pH of the tanning solution and absorb the solution faster.

  • Wear Loose and dark clothes

Post spray tan, some of the color tends to rub off on the clothes. That is why it is favorable to wear dark and loose clothes to avoid that issue. We recommend you wearing an outfit you do not mind ruining and discarding later. But, let it be loose – the looser the better.

  • Do not forget about your nails

Discolored nails will not be a pleasing sight. It can also be a dead giveaway of your faux airbrush tan. That is why do not forget to paint your nails before your spray tan appointment. If you visit nail salons often, tell your nail artist to use an oil-free and no-frills polish. Your spray tanner artist will also wipe your palms, soles, toenails, and fingernails. If they forget to do so, you can do it by using a pack of wipes.

After Tan

  • Stay Dry

If you can wait a while to rinse off, your spray tan will develop better. Our tan artists recommend waiting at least 8 to 12 hours before you shower or get wet. This way, you can get the best color out of your airbrush tanning. Sweating may also cause streaking in your initial bronze. That is why it is better to avoid the gym or any other strenuous activity until later you shower.

  • Moisturize

Well, hydrated skin will hold the tan for longer. You can moisturize twice daily. It is advisable to use an alcohol-free lotion. Lotions that contain small amounts of DHA help in extending your tan to an additional 3 to 5 days.

  • Use a gentle cleanser

Using a gentle cleanser and eliminating the exfoliation is a must until you are ready for your next tan. Exfoliation encourages skin renewal and is to be done only pre-tan.

  • Have a word with your spray tan artist

We all want to have a great tan experience, which is why we keep browsing on the best tanning salons near me. It is very important to communicate with your tan artist. Keep them informed about any allergies you have or any other skin conditions. Then it is also important to tell them about the shade you want. You must decide beforehand whether you want a light glow, rich deep bronze, or a medium golden tan. The more you brief your tan artist, the more they will understand what you want.

You should also tell your tan artist if you want or do not want your face sprayed. If you do not, they will simply fade the spray down the neck to avoid any harsh lines. However, most people get their face spray tanned as it looks great and the best tan artists can contour the face, chisel your jawline and add some definition to the cheekbones. They can even make the eyelids darker for a no-makeup contoured effect.

The bottom line

If you follow these guidelines, you will flaunt your sunless summery tan glow for days! Spray tans last up to 12 to 15 days on average. But, it also depends on how well you maintain it. You can surely increase the life of your new glow by touching it with a self-tanner. All you have to do is Google “best Tanning Salon near me” and get the best experience of airbrush tanning.

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