Wednesday, December 9, 2015

9 MORE Common spray tan problems and how to fix them!

9 MORE Common spray tan problems and how to fix them!

There are already so many misconceptions about spray tanning, so let’s do our best to make sure that we are not adding to any of these harmful stereotypes! Just like with sun tanning, spray tanning is affected by the choices that you make. A sun tan can look healthy, or it can look terrible depending on what you did (stayed out in the sun too long, put on sunblock in patches); similarly, a sunless tan can be ruined by not tanning correctly, or it can look natural and beautiful.

Check out the pictures below, and learn about how each of these problems can be easily solved.

1.      Too much tan on face

Having too much tan develop on your face is one of the worst spray tan problems you can have. Unlike having flaky legs or uneven arms, you can’t really hide an ugly spray tan on your face. This is often caused by having too much spray tan sprayed on your face, or by using a percentage solution that is way too strong for your skin type.

The Fix: Make sure you have the right percentage solution and avoid overspraying your client’s face (remember: two ounces for the ENTIRE BODY, not just for the neck up!). If the tan has already set then take a nice warm bath (with wine if needed) and exfoliate using either your best exfoliant or a DIY lemon and sugar scrub.

2. Green Underarms

Although The Incredible Hulk and The Grinch might disagree, green underarms just aren’t cool. This occurs when the coloring dyes in a spray tan react to the deodorant you are wearing, altering the instant bronzer look. The good news is that this should be temporary and usually disappears when you rinse!

The Fix: Don’t put on deodorants, or for a less stinky option: wear deodorants all day, but exfoliate under your arms before your spray tan.

3. Hands fade much faster, face fades much faster

Any spray tanner will tell you that the two areas that fade the fastest are the face and the hands. There is a very simple reason for this: hygiene. You (hopefully!) wash your face before you go to bed to remove any excess makeup and to clean your pores; you also (very hopefully!!) wash your hands after using the bathroom. Because your hands and face undergo a more rigorous hygienic routine than the rest of you, the skin cells there have a faster turnover rate.

The Fix: Simple: stop washing your hands after using the bathroom! Or you could get a tan extending moisturizer specifically designed to give back some of the tan your hands and face lost and keep your spray tan fading evenly. Personally, I recommend the second option.

4. Leaky Spray Tan Cup

A leaky cup is often the source of less-than-perfect spray tan results, and the reason why you’re swearing. A leaking spray tan cup is an indication of an imperfect air seal. Without an air seal, the air flow will be diminished. With diminished air flow, the spray tan solution will not spray properly, potentially resulting in all sorts of problems.

The Fix: There are several parts in a spray tan gun to check for quality, proper placement, cleaning, and maintenance. The best advice is to contact the company you purchased the spray tan machine from to help troubleshoot the issue, or contact me and I’ll help you out!

5. Raining on your spray tan appointment

Thankfully this spray tan problem is very easy to anticipate. What this particular photo represents is the DHA part of the tan being washed away by the rain, resulting in the streaks and uneven tan that you see. If you just got out of your spray tan appointment and you notice it’s raining, don’t be afraid to ask your spray tanner for an umbrella or an emergency parka!

The Fix: Just like why you want to avoid spilling water on yourself, excessive sweating, or going for a swim while your spray tan is developing, you’ll also want to hold off on your romp through the rain until after your tan has fully set and you’ve rinsed off the bronzers!

6. Spray Tan smells like alcohol, smells like cough syrup, or has other strong fragrances/odors

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “DHA smell”, “After tan odour”, or “Spray Tan Stink”. DHA is a colorless, flavorless, odorless derivative from sugarcane or sugarbeets. The bad smells, overpowering fragrances, or strong alcohol odors that you are experiencing are from how the spray tan solution was formulated and manufactured. Oftentimes these smells are due to the oils that are used in many solutions to combat the natural drying effects of DHA. Sometimes these fragrances can take away from a client experience, or even cause an allergic reaction.

The Fix: Look for a company that offers fragrance-free solutions.

7. Shaved and your tan disappeared or shaved your beard after your tan, and now have a funny tan line

Shaving is one of the most severe forms of exfoliation you can have: you are taking a razor and dragging it across your skin. Obviously this is also going to dramatically affect your tan. In regards to beards: beards are made of thick, coarse hair and often block most or all of the tanning product being sprayed over them. Because of this the skin beneath the hairline will be significantly lighter than the skin outside the hairline (keep in mind this is also true for people shaving their heads too!)

The Fix: Do not shave immediately after your spray tan. If you are planning on shaving your beard: do it before your spray tan!

8. Lines on knees/elbows

Alexandra Gyecsek, Aviva Labs Sunless 101 Graduate
There is a reason why you have to strike a pose while spray tanning—having your knees or elbows bent/creased while spray tan solution is being sprayed over those areas means that the parts of the skin that “fold” will gather the spray tan solution more than the parts of your skin that are flat. Your spray tan professional should have you positioning in such a way that when they spray tan you your bends and curves are not wrinkling, dimpling, or creasing to ensure that your spray tan result is natural, smooth, and flawless.

The Fix: Listen to your spray tan professional and work that pose!

9. Bad sunburn weeks earlier can affect a tan

Your skin is pretty amazing stuff! It’s very forgiving when it comes to what we do to it. We cut it, get it dirty, burn it, moisturize the heck out of it, throw fragrances on it, and color it with spray tan solution. But you have to keep in mind that, while your skin has amazing regenerative properties, it’s not instantaneous. Sometimes you can cut yourself so badly that you leave a scar, sometimes your skin is too oily from years of mistreatment. Likewise, if you get a bad sunburn your skin can take weeks to heal. This will affect your tan by causing the most serious areas of burned skin to absorb less DHA, thus creating a patchy appearance to your tan.

The Fix: Always use proper sun protection!

Remember: If you are using a well-formulated solution and applying it using a tested technique, then the only time you should see any of these problems is on this page!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How do Rapid Tans work?

How do Rapid Tans work?

Rapid solutions are a more convenient way to spray tan. They still produce the same flawless results you expect to see with a traditional tan, but allow you to wash off in a fraction of the time, meaning you can get back to being you quicker. After you’ve rinsed the bronzer off you can exercise, go dancing with your friends, and even get caught in the rain without having to worry about ruining the development of your tan!

How long your clients should leave a rapid tan on their skin for is largely determined by the type of tan they want to achieve (subtle versus significant) and their skin type. It also is largely dependent upon the company that develops your rapid tan: some require longer wait times than others. My advice is always to consult your spray tan solution provider for your rapid tan's specific development times.

Jordan Leddy used City Tan Hollywood on this client
How rapid tans are made: rapid solutions are made by blending and preparing the ingredients in such a way that the amino acids in your skin interact with the DHA faster than with a traditional tan. Keep in mind that this does not mean that you will tan quicker—it just means that you don’t need as long of an exposure to become tanned. This is similar to the way we tan naturally: we need to stay out for less time in strong sunlight (rapid tans) to get the same tan that we achieve by staying out all day in weaker sunlight (traditional tans).

City Tan Honolulu for Sandover Medal awards night!

Rapid Tan FAQs 

I’ve helped thousands of clients with their rapid tan questions. These are a few of the ones I get asked the most, but feel free to ask your own!

1. Will my client’s rapid tan last as long as a traditional tan?

Yes, a rapid tan should last just as long as a traditional tan, should fade just like how your traditional tan fades, and should look just as good, if not better! Additionally, there shouldn’t be anything that you have to do to prepare for a rapid tan that you didn’t have to do for a traditional tan (aside from making sure your client understands the wash off times!).

2. My client washed off and her tan disappeared, what happened? 

First thing first: don’t panic. DHA requires a set amount of time to tan your skin. While some rapid tan solutions can be washed off faster, no matter what solution you are using it will still require the same amount of time to actually produce the tan. What your client washed off was the bronzer, the temporary color, in the solution. The actual tan will continue to develop and darken over the next several hours until it becomes that beautiful color you saw with the bronzer.

3. My client knows that her tan will develop over the next few hours but doesn’t feel that she got much of a tan, what happened?

Assuming that nothing went wrong, this is actually her mind playing tricks on her. Because the tan is slowly developing, often clients will forget how pale they really were before they got their spray tan. Once the tan has fully set, they’ll look at it and say, “Well I was always this color”. The best way to nullify this is to have them check their tan line—if they don’t have a tan line then a cute sticker in a not-so-visible place is a great way to show them just how much tanner they are now.

4. Can my client actually get wet, or is that just a gimmick?

Once your client has washed off the bronzer portion of their rapid tan, they are good to go! One of the biggest selling features of rapid tans is the huge convenience factor that comes with them. You don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain or licked by the neighborhood dog, and you can hit the gym as hard as you normally do without fear.

5. What if my client forgets to shower off? Will she be fluorescent orange?

Many rapid tan solutions are made to be forgiving. Your client might be darker than what they would normally like to be, but most will not turn her orange. I’ve had clients call me up and say that they accidentally slept in their rapid tan, only to have it look fine afterwards. I personally don’t recommend risking this, but it’s good knowledge to help put your client’s mind at ease if they are worried about trying out a rapid tan.

Spray Tan Balwyn using City Tan Vegas

Monday, July 20, 2015

Why did my spray tan solution go green?

Why did my spray tan solution go green?

I have experienced this and I’m sure you have too. You open your bottle of spray tan solution, pour it into your cup, or spray it on your client and notice that your solution is as green as Oscar the Grouch. 

The process by which your solution turns green (or blue) is called oxidation. Most spray tan solution bronzers are made from three bronzer colors, using either Cosmetic or the higher quality Food Grade color additives: Red, Yellow, and Blue. Of these three colors, red oxidizes the fastest—which means it deteriorates quicker than the other two colors.

As time goes on, there will be less and less red in your bronzer formula. Anyone who didn’t skip art class in school can probably guess what happens when you only mix the leftover colors: Yellow and Blue. (For those of you who skipped that day of school to go see a movie: the answer is Green.) 

Now obviously no client is going to be too happy with that unless it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and even then they might be sprinting for the nearest shower to wash off the solution. The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck pouring out hundreds of dollars of solution every week because there are some solutions that “keep” longer than others.

By Kelly Johnson Noorda using City Tan Vegas

Why do some spray tan solutions turn green faster than others?

As with nearly anything, the quality of the ingredients in your spray tan solution is extremely important. Quality plays a HUGE role in how fast a solution will turn green. Some companies out there dump a whole bunch of “extras” into their spray tan solution in the hopes that they will distract you from the truth about the actual quality of their individual ingredients. It’s basically the same way magicians work: they make you look left when you should be looking right.

But the bottom line is: Cheaper solutions use cheaper ingredients.

If your solution is made from cheaper ingredients, like Cosmetic Bronzers rather than Food Grade colorants, or if it’s made with oils and alcohols (another indicator of a lesser-quality solution), then chances are it will also turn green faster than a higher-quality spray tan solution.

By Miami Glow Tanning
Ask yourself this: Have you ever received a bottle of solution only to find out it had ALREADY turned green? Have you ever had a bottle of solution turn green only a few weeks after receiving it, even though you stored it in a refrigerator?

If you answered yes to either of these, you might be using an inferior product.

Is there a spray tan solution that will never go green?

Unfortunately there is not. Given enough time, any spray tan solution that contains bronzers will turn green. The good news is that higher-quality solutions can last six months or more—some don’t even go bad until around a year or even longer!

So the next time you’re pouring green spray tan solution down the drain, ask yourself: do you feel like you really saved any money by buying the cheaper solution?

By Coco Glow Spray Tanning using City Tan Honolulu

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store my spray tan solution? 

That depends entirely on the quality of the solution: Lesser quality solutions will need to be kept in cool, dark places out of sunlight, and possibly in the refrigerator. Higher quality solutions can be left at room temperature, and in direct sunlight (Your client will appreciate the difference!)

No matter the quality, no spray tan solution should be boiled under any circumstances!

Is it safe to pour solution back into my spray tan bottle? 

Yes, as long as the solution you are pouring in is not green of course! If you have left over solution from a spray tan, you should experience no problems by returning it back to the bottle.

My spray tan solution is green around the cap, has the entire bottle gone bad? 

Not necessarily. What most likely happened is that the small amount of solution left over on the cap has oxidized. The best way to ensure that your solution is still good is to pour a little bit out into your cup—if it looks good, then it is good!

My client said their armpits turned green, has my solution gone bad? 

Most likely not. If the solution was bad it would probably have resulted in a green tan all over rather than localized to just your client’s armpits. This is almost certainly a result of the spray tan bronzers reacting with deodorant or perfume. Remind your client to exfoliate their underarms properly before getting their spray tan, but don’t worry: the green color is only the bronzer—it is not representative of the finished tan developing underneath. (That being said, since they had residue on their armpit the finished tan might still be lighter since there was something there to block the tan from setting.)

Do I have to refrigerate my spray tan solution? 

This depends on the quality of your spray tan solution. Some companies state that their solutions will last longer if refrigerated and others state that it’s not needed. Typically speaking, the higher-quality solutions will not need to be refrigerated.

Can I freeze my spray tan solution to make it last longer? 

We have conducted tests where we have frozen solution, then thawed and thoroughly mixed the solutions. While some of the results from some samples were fine, others did not develop properly. This lack of consistency is enough for us to say, “Don’t Freeze”. 

By Saadiya at Lotus Touch Beauty

Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Spray Tan Bodybuilders and Fitness Competitors

Spray Tanning Tips for Bodybuilding and Fitness Competitions

We’ve all seen the pictures of guys and gals strutting their stuff on stage looking like they just climbed out of the La Brea Tar Pits, or that one with the really pale face whose body looks like a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. “I would never want to look like that for a competition,” you say to yourself. Well guess what: Neither do they! Yes, there are some competitors who prefer to be darker than others, but 99% want to look their best without looking TOO dark.

Performance tans factor hugely into the final scores, so competitors want to be sure that their tan is highlighting all their hard work rather than hiding it within a blanket of super-dark tan.

And the best way to ensure you are providing the best tan possible for your fitness competitor is to get to know the industry:

By Safely Sunkissed Glow


Even if you’ve been spray tanning for years, becoming a competition tanner is a whole new world. The application, the expectation, the requirements: all differ from everyday tanning. To make sure you and your competitors are happy when they take the stage, make sure you follow these steps:

1. Learn what your competition clients put their body and skin through:

Dryness related to excessive sweating, water rationing close to their competition day, added stress caused by the more intense training sessions leading up to the competition, and a strict basic diet are going to be your biggest obstacles: all of these worsen the condition of your clients’ already neglected skin.

Be sure to ask your client what regimen they are currently under so that you can have a better idea of what they are going through. If they are suffering from severe dry skin, give them a great moisturizer and tell them to apply it twice-or even three times more often-than a “normal” client would. Also, be sure that they exfoliate before their spray tan!

Photo by Glitterbox Studio, placed 2nd overall, Best over 45

2. Know what’s expected of your tan

Competitors are a different breed of spray tanner: they will be putting your tan through the paces under stage lighting and in unique outfits. As a result, it is of utmost importance that you know everything that’s required to spray a competitor.

A competition tan is designed to accentuate and highlight your client’s muscle definition. You want a color that will define and draw attention to your competitor’s hard work while they are on stage. When spraying your competition client keep in mind that they will be posing for the judges. This means that you need to pay special attention to their underarms and gluteal region to ensure that they have proper color—failure to do so will cost your competitor points!

By Luxury Tan 

3. Practice the technique of competition spray tanning 

Many first-time competition tanners waste time and money by over spraying their client, thinking that they need to douse them in bronzers and dark solutions to get them to their desired color. This often results in clients whose stage tan looks dirty, muddy, way too dark, runny, or even discolored; luckily, this can be easily avoided.

Remember: your spray tan should highlight and contour their muscles, not hide them!

Use slower strokes than you would when conducting a standard spray tan; you want a more defined, sculpted look rather than a lighter, subtle touch. Be sure to use two coats of a medium-to-dark solution, but be careful to avoid going too heavy around the underarms and the face so that the tan doesn’t looked caked on or clumpy-looking. As always, make sure the tan looks even!

Tan your competitor for the first time about 2-3 days before the competition itself, then have them come in for another round of spray tanning so that they can go a level darker or can get some touchups if needed, or to address any concerns or issues before the day of the competition.

It’s important to remember that traditional spray tans require 8-12 hours to fully develop, and that your client may have to sleep in it overnight. Be sure to remind your client that they should avoid excessive sweating while their tan is developing!

Bela Santos Masters 3rd Place Fitness Diva & 4th Place Bikini Model

On the day of the competition: Many competitors ask their spray tanner to accompany them to competition day so that the bronzer can be applied right before they go on stage. This is a great way to avoid streaking, running, or blotching from being sprayed the night before. Thankfully, your client will not need to exfoliate before the competition bronzer is applied.

If you can’t make it to the competition, or if the competitor has to travel, spray them at the latest possible time and then have them CLOSELY follow the instructions in the “Make sure they aren’t sabotaging their tans” section found below.

Note: Make sure you find a bronzer that will not streak or run when a competition glaze is applied to it! (This may require testing before the competition).

Knowing your audience can help your competition client gain some extra points: Judges prefer bodybuilders to be shinier on stage but bikini girls don’t need to be shiny

4. Make sure THEY aren’t sabotaging their tans:

Look over these common mistakes and the significant impact each can have on your competitor!

Improper prep: In and out of the competition tanning industry, this is one of the leading causes of a lackluster tan. Make sure your client is exfoliating with an oil-free exfoliant, and not just rinsing off. It’s also important to make sure that they don’t then put anything on: no soaps, deodorants, body scrubs, oils: no nothing—keep your skin as fresh as possible for your spray tan! –Click here to learn more about proper care of your spray tan

Additional Note: Make sure your client shaves their entire body BEFORE getting a spray tan. Any area that the judges can see needs to be shaved.

Bring in your outfits: If possible, have your clients bring in their outfits so that they can see how the tan will look on stage—this will also ensure that you don’t miss any spots when tanning.

Don’t wear that hat: A tight hat might smudge the competition bronzer across your forehead so if you do want to wear a hat, make sure it’s very loose.

Avoid tight draw strings: Draw string pants can cause rubbing and/or a lightening of the tan if they are pulled too tight.

Conduct a glaze test: If it’s possible, have your competitor bring in the glaze that they will be using on the day of the competition so that you can do a test run on them to see how the final color looks—it’s always better to be prepared than to be disappointed on stage. Beware of fruit: If you have a hankering for some fruit, be sure to drape a towel around your neck so that you don’t get squirted with the juice—fruit juice, especially that from grapefruit, can alter the color of your bronzer and could turn it green!

By Bella Bronze Tan

Spray Tanning for Competition FAQs:

How much should I charge for competition tanning?

--Competition tanning requires a lot of work from both the competitor and the tanner, therefore it is understood that this is a premium service which does come with a higher price point. Some competition tanners offer a “one-time fee” which includes two pre-competition tans, a bronzer application, and any touch ups required; others offer it as a “as needed” service, meaning that they charge only for what the competitor uses (so if they need only need one session of spray tanning they don’t get charged for the second session). Realistically you should expect to charge anywhere around $95-$150 if you are not traveling to the competition and $150-$200 if you are joining your competitor at the event.

How many tans will my competitor need?

--Your competitor will probably need one full tanning session followed by another session of either tanning or touchups, and a bronzer application session. But keep in mind that they may need some emergency touchups, so if you commit to being their tanner be aware that you may be receiving some frantic calls!

What should I tell my client to wear to his/her tanning session?

--Because competition tanning goes on a bit heavier than standard spray tanning, even with an oil-free, less sticky solution it is recommended that your client wears loose-fitting clothing with no elastic waistbands; and as always make sure they don’t get wet and avoid excessive sweating!

How long will a competition tan last?

--Because the first two sessions of a competition tan were conducted with a medium-to-dark spray tan solution containing DHA, you can expect that the spray tan will last anywhere between 5-15 days depending on how dry your client’s skin is and how frequently they use a moisturizer. The bronzer portion of the competition tan will wash off as soon as your client rinses in the shower: this is important for them to know so that they don’t rinse before attending the event if you are spray tanning them early!

By Sprayz Mobile Spray Tanning