Answered: Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Spray Tan Expert
You know, like just how much prep is involved for it to actually look natural?
Spray tan season is finally upon us, and we’re committed to making this the year that we’re going to actually master the ‘sun kissed glow’ look that we’ve yet to achieve. Because no Instagram filter can hide a bad experience in the dreaded pop up booth.
So we decided to put all of our questions to actual spray tan expert Jayne Cooper, who works with fake tan gods St Tropez no less. From how to make it last longer to whether you have to be completely naked for it, we’re making sure you’re ready for your next appointment…
What’s the best way to prep for a spray tan?
Prep really is so important when it comes to tanning and an area of beauty care that really gets overlooked, resulting in streaks and uneven fading in colour. Put in the effort before your tan and you’ll reap the rewards during your self tans lifecycle.
Exfoliate, exfoliate exfoliate! This will remove dead skin cells and create a smooth and uniform surface on the skin for the tan to be applied to, which will in turn result in an even golden colour. Steer clear of exfoliators that contain oils as these will only act as a film on the skin and whilst wonderful for locking in moisture aren’t ideal for tanning.
On the day of your tan, don’t moisturise your body, or wear deodorant or perfume. If you do moisturise your face (we know it’s hard not to), just don’t use a facial oil or make-up.
How long before a big event should I book in?
I always recommend having your tan at least two days before a big event - this gives the colour a chance to really settle into the skin for a super natural glow. Once you’ve washed of the guide colour, apply lots of oil free body moisturiser to ensure your skin is super hydrated and your colour is really even. In my opinion, a spray tan’s optimum colour is on day two.
Will it ruin my white bed sheets?
The only colour that may slightly transfer is the guide colour but this will wash out of bedding, just be careful with any delicate materials such as lace and wool. You could opt for a tan which is clear on application, such as; St.Tropez’s NEW Self Tan Purity Bronzing Waters – they are perfect as you won’t get any guide colour transfer, you can even wear them throughout the day and what’s more they have an amazing tropical fragrance.
If you don’t want to sleep in your tan, you can use an Express Tan, which you leave on the skin for 1-3 hours depending on the depth of tan you want to achieve. Once you wash off the guide colour, your tan will continue to develop for up to 8 hours.
How can I make the most of a spray tan?
Prep and maintain - always! Prep as suggested and to maintain your tan, pat dry after every shower and ensure you moisturise (no oil based moisturisers though), I always use St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Moisturiser. Finally, gently exfoliate on the third day to maintain even coverage, St.Tropez Body Polish is so gentle on the skin, it won’t remove your tan, it will buff your skin to give you an even fade.
How do I describe what colour I want?
There’s a range of depths of tan to choose from, so discuss what the occasion is for your tan, what you will be wearing and take into consideration the time of the year and let your tanning expert know if you would want a light sunkissed tan, a medium golden glow or a deep dark tan. What I love about St.Tropez tan is it will adapt to your individual skin tone, so even if you have a pale skin tone, you will never look too dark even with a dark tan.
Is spray tanning bad for my skin in any way?
Tanning products (including professional spray tanning) are cosmetics and fine to use on the face and body, although depending on skin type, some clients very occasionally experience irritations due to the fragrance which is why we would recommend a skin test 24hrs before application to check for any irritations.
How long will it last?
On average your tan will last 5-7 days, remember prep and maintain is the key to getting the most out of your tan.
Do I have to be completely naked for it?
You can wear what you feel comfortable in, you will be asked to get undressed and offered paper pants to wear but if you feel more comfortable wearing your own, bring some old black underwear or a bikini. Some people feel more comfortable wearing a bra which is fine but remember, where there are clothes, there will be no tan.
What sort of things can make spray tans go wrong?
The main reason is poor preparation, so follow the tips above to ensure your skin is free from any products and exfoliate before tanning, also bring some loose dark clothing with you to stop any tan disturbing. For the following 8 hours, let your tan develop so no exercise or getting the tan wet and always, always research your tanning experts.
What makes a bad spray tan compared to a good one?
A good spray tan should look like you’re not wearing a tan. I have a few touches I always do, I offer disposable underwear, sticky feet to protect the soles and a hair turban to protect the hair, moisturise the dry area, hands, elbows, knees and feet and after the tan I always check my clients thoroughly to ensure no areas are missed. Now, for the finishing touches that perfects a tan, I use a soft buffing mitt to gently buff any areas where I want a to give a soft finish, such as the wrists.
Finally, I make sure I use a wet wipe to clean the palms of the hands, fingers and toe nails and the soles of the feet. Your tanning expert should offer you pre and after care advise to get the most out of your tan.
How do I stop it going patchy for longer?
To get an even fade, I recommend moisturising with an oil free moisturiser daily to hydrate your skin and gently exfoliate every 2 -3 days. I always use St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Moisturiser and Body Polish, by using these you can get up to 3 days longer out of your tan.
Phew, okay now we're ready to have the best tan of our lives.