Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5 Myths About Spray Tanning

Myth: A Spray Tan Looks Unnatural

This is by far the most pervasive myth about spray tanning, and the worst part about it is that it was once true—making it that much harder to put this myth to bed. Because a spray tan solution needs to be formulated correctly to give a realistic looking tan, and because solutions can be manufactured by people who are less than unqualified, there are a lot of solutions with colors that are slightly off—or worse. I’ve seen colors ranging from velvet to a woman who looked like Goldfinger from the James Bond movie got a hold of her.

As the saying goes, “One bad egg can spoil the bunch,” and with spray tanning this is very true—the worst spray tans are the ones that usually get the most publicity. The easiest way to counter this is to prove it wrong with satisfied customers, great looking tans, and before/after photos.

What you could say:
“I could go on for days about how outdated this myth is, but instead I’ll just show you some pictures of results from our clients so you can see for yourself.”

Idea: You could even have a group of ten pictures with five spray tans and five sun tans and see if the person can pick out which is which.

Myth: A Spray Tan Can Prevent Sun Burns

This is one of the most dangerous myths I’ve ever encountered around spray tanning—falling just short of, “A spray tan can prevent a bear attack.”

A spray tan cannot prevent a sun burn. A spray tan is not a base tan—it provides no more protection from the sun than your makeup does (unless your makeup has SPF in it of course).

Myth: A Spray Tan Makes You Look Orange

This is based in the 70s right beside the “looks unnatural” myth. Back when Earth, Wind, and Fire was pumping out funky grooves, and before glam metal took center stage with tight leather and gender-confused lead singers, spray tanning was in its infancy.

DHA was discovered for its tanning abilities in the 20s, but the first tanning solution came out in 1960 (Coppertone’s Quick Tan); unfortunately, the first solutions were far from natural looking. Lots of them came out orange and others made you look like a burnt piece of toast. This happened because the companies really didn’t understand how to correctly process DHA; they just could not find the balance between too little DHA and too much. Thankfully, this is no longer the case: nowadays, most spray tans look as natural as sun-based tans.

What you could say:
“The only way I’d be able to turn you orange is if I tried to turn you orange.”

Myth: A Spray Tan Is Only For “Young People”

The idea behind this myth is that young people go tanning and older people don’t because tanning is a popularity tool and older people are more comfortable with where they stand among their friends, and thus don’t feel the pressure to “fit in”.

In fact, older clients can perhaps benefit more from the psychological effects of a spray tan. As you age, your skin slowly loses its color and begins to appear ashen or grey because your skin cells are becoming less oxygenated. This process can appear to be reversed with a spray tan, making your clients look five or even ten years younger.

What you could say: 
If you have to say anything more than, “It will make you look five or ten years younger,” I would honestly be amazed.

Myth: All Spray Tans Stain Your Clothes, Your Furniture, Your Bed Sheets

You’ve no doubt heard the same horror stories as I have: I lay down on my bed and now I have to throw out the sheets; I put my clothes back on and now my collar has a spray tan too; I sat down on my couch and my tan rubbed off on the cushion.

Sadly, this is only partly a myth. The truth is that the spray tan is not causing the stains—the oils in the spray tan solution are causing the stains. So to put it simply: if you remove the cause of the stain, you are also removing the fear of causing a stain.

That means you won’t have to tell your clients to come in wearing baggy, dark clothes—this is great news because nobody looks like they are going to try go mug someone, they are just trying to get a spray tan.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The 4 Best Things You Can Tell Existing Clients to Get Them to Try Spray Tanning

"A spray tan keeps your skin even and smooth, in the summer and the winter”

If your client is willing to get a facial cleanse, use moisturizers, and is okay with milk or oatmeal baths and exfoliating scrubs, then why not suggest yet another way to help make their skin looking even, healthy, and beautiful? In the winter, clients usually don’t use a spray tan to “get a tan”, but instead to make their skin tones look more even.

The best way to address this is a classic upselling technique: show them results. Pictures don’t lie, and if you can convince them to just try it once then they will see the results firsthand.

“A spray tan will help show off all that weight you have lost”

A spray tan is a great way to accentuate the results from burning off that winter weight that somehow seems to find us (it certainly couldn’t have anything to do with the Gauntlet of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Valentine’s Day!)

Consider a spray tan to be your skin’s favorite black dress. It’s slimming, it compliments your figure, and it makes you feel more confident and more attractive.

“A spray tan can make your skin look younger”

As we age, our skin turns grey because our heart cannot pump oxygen throughout our body as effectively as it once had—our skin is the first thing visibly affected by this. While this is a natural process of aging, it can still be a point of embarrassment for many.

A spray tan does not have to make you look like you just got off the beach. There are solutions that are formulated for older clients in mind; they are subtle and provide just enough color to do away with ash-colored skin and restore the appearance of a youthful glow.

“A spray tan will clear up specific skin problems”

A healthy, natural, oil-free and alcohol-free spray tan can help specific skin problems like acne and blackheads. A spray tan can also help cover up age spots, Rosacea and certain types of Vitiligo.

Acne mostly affects the face, back, and upper chest, and is often caused by stress, hormones, and oily skin. If you have acne and you want to get a spray tan, look for a solution that does not include oil!

Rosacea cannot be cured, but you can take steps to control your symptoms.
Make sure to take care of your skin using gentle cleansers and oil-free, water-based skin-care products. 

Avoid products that contain ingredients that may irritate your symptoms. These include alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and exfoliating agents.1

From: Healthline

1. Rosacea: Signs and symtpoms. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved June 8, 2012, from

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Six types of clients and how each affects your Spray Tan business success

Thankfully, the world is filled with different types of people.

For your business this can be either a godsend or a constant source of irritation—depending on which types happen to live nearest your business. Like Blanche DuBois from a Streetcar Named Desire, spray tanning has always depended on the kindness of strangers. Similar to a large beat up van whose driver is giving out free candy and puppies, sometimes these strangers can be more trouble than they are worth. In this business you need to know when to push the sale, know when to let the sale come to you, and “know when to fold ‘em”.

1. The Browser

Do you mind if Eyebrows?
“I may be interested in spray tanning, but then again maybe not. What I’ll probably do is walk around your shop asking you questions that I’m only kind of curious about and take up your valuable time that could have been spent on a more serious customer. I’ll probably leave, but then come back and ask you the same questions again or ask about any deals or discounts you may be running now or in the future—but don’t be fooled: chances are I won’t take advantage of what you offer me. If I do finally make a choice, it will often be one of your least expensive services, ensuring that whatever money you make from my business will not have been worth your time.”

2. The Deal Seeker

“Alright, so here’s the thing; I know you got a business to run, but I’m just a guy trying to save a few bucks—you can understand that can’t you? So what I’ll do is offer you my business, but only if you give me a deal, and then I’ll take that offer and bring it to another salon and promise them my business and see if I can get a better deal there. Pretty slick, eh? The truth is I don’t care about your business; I’m just looking for the cheapest I can get. I can be terrible for your salon because I’ll tempt you to lower your prices just to “win” my business even though there is a good chance that I’ll only ever come back if you offer me the same price—or even lower since I found that great salon down the street that is offering such an amazing deal right now!”

3. The One-Timer

“Oh my God you have the cutest salon! The only problem is that I’m just trying all this out because I got a gift card from a friend of mine—maybe you know her, she’s so great--or maybe I’m only in here because I’m going to a wedding; either way you’ll probably never see me again. So yeah, I’m a lot like the Browser, but there is a small chance that I might become a long-time customer—but it’s going to take tons of work, and probably a lot of time and deals just to convince me. After all, I wasn’t really interested in this business anyways—but I’m not going to waste a gift card!”

4. The For-Lifer

“I came in here once—what was it hun, five years ago now? I liked it so much that I never even went looking anywhere else: I just know that nobody does it as good as you. On a monthly basis I tend to send you a referral or two, but sometimes my demands and expectations can be a little ridiculous—like that time I asked you to give my dog Cookie a haircut, or how about when I had my ungrateful sister’s wedding to go to and asked you to drive three hours out of your way for my appointment? Because you’ve been so good to me, I’ll probably never leave you, but you should know that because I see us more as friends I will almost certainly expect you to occasionally bend over backwards for me: but usually I’ll be more than generous when I compensate you—and you’ll get a wonderful holiday card with Cookie and her new haircut!”

5. The Gossip Guru

“Did you hear about Joanne? You did? Then you must have heard about what her fiancĂ© did? No? Then sit down—you’re going to love this!----This is how I start, maintain, and end every single one of my visits. While I am certainly lively, and we never run out of things to talk about, I can also be very demanding: sometimes I may insist that we finish a conversation after my appointment has finished which can push into your next appointment window and other times I might not “take the hint” that you are really busy and follow you around like Joanne’s puppy that her fiancĂ© took back (can you believe it?). The good thing is that, as a gossip guru, I talk about how wonderful your salon is to anyone who will listen so I tend to create a healthy amount of word-of-mouth sales for your business; I’ll admit though that I may also scare away some of your potential clients because some people might find my gossiping annoying which is just so ridiculous because, I mean, if they didn’t want me to talk about their business then they would keep their affairs more secret, wouldn’t they?”

6. The Reviewer

“Because I post to about a hundred different review sites, and talk daily on forums, and host three blogs, I’m what you might call a review professional.  Much like Clint Eastwood I can make your day. Also like Eastwood I can be your worst enemy. I review everything from grocery stores to deli carts. Make me mad and I might try to ruin your business with a one-star write up filled with things that may or may not be true (after all, most reviews are proven to be emotionally-driven):

“Pale No More” tanning salon had rats running around the floors and bird feces on the walls. I slipped on the sidewalk and nobody came out to help me. Only go here if you hate yourself. Less than one star!”

On the other hand I can worship you like a Goddess and say things like:

“When I first stepped into “Pale No More” tanning salon I felt as if all my cares fell away—during my appointment I was treated like a king, and when I left I nearly cried because I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life. Your life is empty if you haven’t gone to “Pale No More”. Ten out of Five Stars!” 

If you enjoyed these be on the lookout for: Six more types of clients and how each affects your business success.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

8 reasons why fragrance oils are bad for your spray tan

When I was growing up, all those years ago, I remember going into the shopping malls and walking through the beauty section with all the free sprays and sample perfumes and colognes. The next day, after sampling the various fragrances on my neck and the back of my hands, my skin would be irritated and red.

For years I never attributed that to the fragrances I put on my skin the day before. I blamed it on the wool lining of my pea coat or thought that my soap had dried out my skin. Only now do I realize that, of course, it was the oils in the fragrances that were causing my skin to react so negatively.

Taking that knowledge, I applied it to fragrance oils in spray tan solutions and did some research. 

This is what I found:

1. Fragrance was voted Allergen of the Year in 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. 

A lot of the fear concerning fragrances comes from the fact that companies are not required to disclose the actual chemicals used in their fragrance formulas, which raises concerns among some consumers1

Basically the companies are acting like vintage cigarette advertisements: They tell you the terrific and leave out the terrible.

(2013’s Allergen of the year was Methylisothiazolinone or MIT or MI; Found in hand-creams, lotions, and other leave-on cosmetics.)

2. Fragrance oils and essential oils are not the same thing!

Fragrance oils are primarily synthetic—made with things like oil byproducts, vegetable oil, and petroleum. While fragrances can be made from essential oils, oftentimes companies will go the shortcut route. This is because it is a lot more work to properly treat, dilute, and accommodate an essential oil into a compound rather than simply create the same fragrance in the lab.

Fun fact: it takes 100 pounds of plant material to make one pound of lavender oil.

3. Causes allergies via peanut allergies and stuff

Allergens are like a bad date: they make you uncomfortable, never leave you alone, and make you regret ever giving them a chance

In England, 11 people a day are diagnosed with a peanut allergy

55% of Americans have some form of allergies

According to a fragrance sensitivity study on the US National Library of Medicine, 30% of participants claimed that fragrances were irritating, while 19% reported experiencing health problems related to fragrances2.

That means 94.2 Million people find fragrances irritating, while 62.6 Million have fragrance-related health problems.

To put this in perspective: the largest city in the world, Shanghai, has only 17 Million people (New York City only has 8 Million).

4. Can cause eczema and other reactions
One of the components in many fragrance oils is propylene glycol. Basically fragrance oils are your junk mail, and propylene glycol is the mailman—but one you want your dog to attack. 

According to a 2010 study by Karlstad University, the concentrations of PGEs (counted as the sum of propylene glycol and glycol ethers) has been linked to increased risk of developing numerous respiratory and immune disorders in children, including asthma, hay fever, eczema, and allergies, with increased risk ranging from 50% to 180%.

5. Dries slower

The bottom line here is simple: the longer you have to attend to a client, the less you are making per hour. If you charge 30 dollars for a spray tan and it takes you an hour then you are making 30 dollars an hour; however, if your appointment takes half an hour then now you can potentially make 60 dollars an hour because you can service two clients where before you could only serve one.

So simply put, it’s in your best interest to have a spray tan solution that has the fastest drying time you can find: and a solution that has fragrance oils will dry slower than one which does not have fragrance oils. Why? Because oil and oil byproducts take a long time to dry.

6. Causes it to be stickier

Because fragrance oils often include oil byproducts like propylene glycol, many spray tan solutions with fragrances will leave your skin feeling sticky and tacky. The reason why oil makes your skin feel tacky is because your skin cannot absorb the oil quickly so it just sits on top of your skin for a long time.

7. Causes stains

Like a skunk with a leak, fragrance oil will stain your clothes, your bed sheets, your sofa, your dog, and possibly your hair. 

8. Fragrances also means oils and alcohols

If you have fragrance oil in your spray tan solution, it means you also need alcohols to counteract stickiness and the other effects of the synthetic compound. In addition to making your spray tan fade blotchily, these alcohols have side effects and problems of their own—which you can check out in my article:

And if you have alcohol in your spray tan solution then you also need more oils. See what oils do to your spray tan in my other article: 6 Reasons Why Alcohol is Bad in a Spray Tan Solution

And if you have oils, alcohols, and fragrance oils, you will also need…see where I’m going with this?

The bottom line is this: the more you put into a spray tan solution, the less effective it will be. The more you put into a spray tan solution, the more likely it is that you are going to cause an allergic reaction.


Monday, January 13, 2014

6 Reasons Why Alcohol is Bad in a Spray Tan Solution

Almost everyone loves a good drink, but everyone loves a good spray tan; many companies try to combine the two. I know! At first I was excited too: just open your mouth and get your spray-tan-drink on! Unfortunately it isn’t the right alcohol, and even more unfortunate is that alcohol can drastically affect your spray tan.

1. Dries out the skin 

Here’s a quick bit of logic for you: Alcohol can leave your skin very dry. Very dry skin sheds its layers faster. The faster your skin sheds its layers, the faster your spray tan will fade. Not too hard to figure out why alcohol isn’t great for a spray tan.

2. Is itchy and irritating

As a result of leaving your skin drier than the Sahara, alcohol also makes your skin itchy. This is because scratching is your body’s way of trying to get you to scrape off the irritated layer of your skin for the fresher, healthier skin beneath.

No brainer tip: Scratching your skin off will hurt your spray tan.

3. Tan lasts a shorter amount of time 

Your skin dries out, sheds faster, and then you feel itchy and you begin to scratch it off: it is not hard to imagine why alcohol in a spray tan solution can drastically reduce the life of your spray tan. What’s worse is that alcohol can drastically reduce the life of a future spray tan as well!

4. Causes a tan to fade blotchy 

Because alcohol causes your skin to dry out faster, it will also make your tan fade unevenly. Oftentimes this takes the form of unsightly patches, blotches, or even thousands of spots. While this might be great if you are trying to fit in with a pack of cheetahs, it would look strange around the office.

5. Actually hurts your skin in the long run

Much in the same way that scary clowns damage childhoods, alcohol in a spray tan solution damages your skin forever. Once alcohol has ruined your skin like an untrained cat ruins couches, it continues to harm you by breaking down your skin’s natural barrier so that other substances can penetrate your skin more easily.

For more information, please check out the segment about the Acid Mantle from the Doctor Oz website: Click Here to read the article.

6. Can cause acne breakouts

Yes, many people with acne use acne treatments that have alcohol in them: but guess what? That’s actually making it harder for them to maintain a healthy regime. Alcohol dries out the skin, and thus prompts your body to actually produce more oils—thus actually increasing your acne breakouts in the long run! In addition, the drying out is irritating, itchy, and can damage your skin’s barrier system.

Why would a spray tan company use alcohol?

Alcohol allows DHA to set more easily into the skin, but at the cost of ruining your skin’s protective barrier—destroying your skin’s health.

Please check out the research article at the National Library of Medicine for more information:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

5 reasons to avoid oil in a spray tan solution

Sometimes this job can be very hard

I like oil. I love oil. But when it comes to a natural-looking, healthy spray tan solution, I hate oil. While oil is great in skincare products, it can ruin the experience and result of a spray tan; making it about as useful as a concrete parachute.

1. Dries way faster without oil

You could stand around in front of a fan, feeling like you just got sneezed on by a camel with strange, lavender-scented drool; or you could choose to already be on your way out the door.

While oil is great for making sure your skin is healthy and hydrated, it also causes whatever product it’s in to have a much longer drying time than a water-based alternative.

2. Isn’t Sticky or Tacky

By its very nature, oil has a sticky feel to it—if you’ve ever got olive oil on your fingers while cooking then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Now imagine that same stickiness that’s on your fingers spread over the entirety of your body: in between your fingers and toes, in your elbow, down your neck—all sticky like you fell into the La Brea tar pit.

How terrible would that be to wear clothes while feeling like that?

3. Doesn’t stain sheets clothes or towels

DHA does not stain clothes. Let me say that again in case you missed it. DHA does not stain clothes.

A solution that has oil (including fragrance oils) in it will stain. That is why most companies tell you to wear baggy, dark clothing to a spray tan appointment: it’s still going to stain the clothes when you put them on, but they are hoping that you won’t notice because you are wearing black.

Baggy, dark clothing is great, but what about for those of us who aren’t going to a heavy metal concert after our spray tan? Is there a way we can get a tan without looking like we want to bite the head off of a bat?

With an oil-free solution, you can have your tan and look like a normal member of society all at the same time!

4. Gives the client a better experience during and after the spray tan

This should be a no-brainer. You’re running a business: would you rather have good customer reviews or bad? Which review would you prefer:

“I went to Sun on my Buns tanning salon and everyone was so friendly! I felt like I met a bunch of new friends. Unfortunately, after my spray tan I had to sit awkwardly in front of a fan for a few minutes and let Jane Doe pat me down with a towel to make sure I was dry—all while I was topless! After that, I put my clothes on and when I got home I noticed a stain on the collar of my shirt. I called the company and they walked me through the best way to clean it, but there is still some color that I just can’t get out. It was a nice enough salon, but I’m unsatisfied with my experience.”


“I went to Sun on my Buns tanning salon and everyone was so friendly! I felt like I met a bunch of new friends. My spray tan dried in seconds and I was back in my work clothes before I knew it! Great experience, great salon—can’t wait to go back again! Thanks Jane Doe!”

5. Allergies from peanut oils and other things

If nothing else, you should be aware that oils, and fragrance oils, can cause allergic reactions. These could range from rashes, acne, breakouts, and blackheads to worse reactions if sprayed on someone with a serious nut allergy.

Think of it like a dartboard: with each throw you have a chance of landing on a number. What if each time you landed on the number 3, one of your clients was going to have an allergic reaction? Would you keep playing, or would you get a new dartboard?

Should there be oil in my spray tan solution?

Much like after you spray the family cat with the garden hose, a bad spray tan can keep you up at night worrying about the choices that you’ve made; unlike your now revenge-hungry cat, a bad spray tan will not try to kill you in the night. 

One way to avoid a bad spray tan is to avoid any spray tan solution that includes oil, one way to avoid being murdered by your cat in the night is to get a dog instead.

Almost everywhere you look, you will see products with a smorgasbord of new, amazing ingredients. Acai berry, avocado, banana, coconut oil, aloe vera, lavender oils. It’s truly an amazing time to be a moisturizer! Now normally I would congratulate you on plunging into the vast ocean that is the skincare industry, but before you jump ship with a spray tan solution that has “moisturizing coconut oils” in it, you might want to think about what a spray tan is supposed to achieve.

Is a spray tan supposed to moisturize your skin? No. It’s supposed to give you a tan so beautiful and natural looking that sun tanners will be wondering how you did it. 

Is a spray tan supposed to be your deodorant or perfume? Of course not. So then why do they even have these fragrances in them? If you ask, most companies will probably tell you “because DHA smells bad”. That’s simply not true. If you formulate DHA properly it will smell like you are getting sprayed with water, and yet are still receiving a wonderful tan! Did you know that fragrance oils are one of the leading causes of many allergic reactions?

Oil is a main component of many spray tan solutions. Most companies are pretty clever about how they advertise too:

“Made with Aloe Vera to moisturize your skin while you spray tan”

“Created with enriching Coconut Oil to breathe life into your skin”

“Carefully formulated with Essential Oils to hydrate”

When what they are really saying is:

“We have no idea what we are doing”

“Oil is a great moisturizer, so it must be great for a spray tan right?....right?”

“We heard this was a good idea from some other company, so we copied it because they must know what they are talking about”

What we are saying is:

Oil is a great moisturizer, but guess what? It can wreak havoc on your spray tan! Oil can make your spray tan solution heavy. This can cause overspray in your spray gun and all the problems that come with it—being heavier, the solution requires a stronger airflow from your gun, which can actually cause the spray tan solution to quite literally bounce off your client.