Spring has sprung, which means you can kiss those heavy coats and long-sleeves good-bye and bust out the shorts, sandals, warm-weather tops, and bathing suits. *Happy dance* Many of us are making big plans for Spring Break – trips to tropical places, day hikes, camping, picnics, you name it. We’re dusting off the outdoor furniture, replacing our expired sunscreens, and looking forward to more backyard BBQ’s and less time spent scraping ice off our windshield.
At some point, you may find yourself standing in front of your full-length mirror, sporting your favorite pair of jean shorts, a neutral v-neck and Birkenstock’s. If you then find yourself horrified by the blinding white light that is your sad, pale skin after taking a long winter’s nap, a frantic desire for a sun-kissed glow will likely be soon to follow.
At this point, you will have a strong, undeniable urge to sprint to the nearest Beaches Tanning Center to get a spray tan and put an end to the pasty-look.
But what’s stopping you?
Could it be Ross from Friends?
The Oompa Loompas?
We get it. No one wants to go in for a spray tan only to come out looking unnaturally orange or splotchy. You want to come out looking like you just spent a week in Hawaii… without actually spending a week in Hawaii!
In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips on how to NOT look orange after a spray tan.
What is a Spray Tan?
First of all, you should probably know what a high-quality spray tan actually is. It ISN’T a spray gun someone picked up from Home Depot and filled with body paint.
Spray tans have advanced a lot of over the years and a lot of work has been put into advancing the equipment and the solution to give you the best color. At Beaches, we offer two spray tanning booth options: Mystic and Versa Spa. For some people, standing completely naked in front of a total stranger while they spray them with a solution would be, well, uncomfortable.
Luckily, that’s not something you’d have to worry about with the Mystic or the Versa. Both are stand up booths that have a voice guide to walk you through the entire process. Like a little voice in your head guiding you through your tanning journey. So Zen.
Once you step inside the spray booth, a liquid DHA solution is sprayed onto your skin.
What the heck is DHA?
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is the most commonly used active ingredient in sunless tanning products. It’s what gives you an even and natural-looking tan. DHA works with the proteins and amino acids in your skin to temporarily change color (a fancy way of saying that the spray tan is just enhancing your natural color). DHA goes on clear and develops over time after exposed to oxygen. Think of what happens when you cut into an avocado or an apple – after being exposed to oxygen for a while, they start to brown. That’s the same, natural process that’s happening with your skin when you spray tan.
Science is wild. And totally cool!
This leads us to our first tip on how to avoid looking orange:
Quality Spray Solution
Being mindful of what’s going on your skin is just as important as being mindful of what you put into your body. People who come out looking orange after a spray tan are often victims of low-quality ingredients in the spray solution or sunless self-tanners.
There are lots of places you can access DHA, but Beaches works with the #1 supplier of DHA to ensure we have the purest form of DHA available.
At Beaches, both the Mystic and the Versa contain high-quality DHA as well as an ingredient called Erythrulose, which is a lot like DHA but it takes longer to develop its full effect, which helps your tan last longer. Most tans can last anywhere between 5-7 days.
What you DON’T want in a spray tan solution is a bunch of unnatural ingredients like artificial preservatives, formaldehyde, and even mineral oils. At Beaches, along with DHA and Erythrulose, our Mystic solution contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and tighten skin while the Versa contains marine algae (I know that might sound weird but it’s actually amazing for your skin – it produces collagen, adds amino acids, and adds moisture to the skin. Again, science. #shook).
Choosing the right color
Now that you’re basically a tanning solution expert, it’s time to talk about choosing the right shade of color to add to your solution. Remember, when you hear “choose the shade of your spray tan”, we’re not talking paint swatches. We’re talking about DHA – how much or how little DHA you want in your tanning solution:
When using the Mystic, there are 3 shade options:
Light: 1-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone (least DHA)
Medium: 2-4 shade darker than your natural skin tone (in between DHA)
Dark: 3-5 shades darker than your natural skin tone (most DHA)
(Pro Tip: The Mystic is great for first time users because it sprays you front and back, requiring only one turn whereas the Versa requires more poses.)
One thing that sets the Mystic apart is that the solution is more customizable. There are tons of different myxers to customize your tan, such as an accelerator, bronzer, and scent. When you stop in for your tan, ask one of the Beaches Babes to show you all the myxers options so you can customize your 5-minute makeover! There are roughly 1 million different combinations you can make with the myxers so you can try a new combo every time you tan until you find one that you LOVE.
When using the Versa, you can choose between levels 1-4:
Level 1 – Light
Level 2 – Medium
Level 3 – Dark
Level 4 – Dark+
While the Mystic has a customizable solution, the Versa has customizable spray options so you can choose how the booth sprays you. You can spray just your face, just your legs, double legs, double body, etc. Pretty cool, huh?!
Now that you have an idea of what your options are, how do you choose?
Well, what you DON’T want to do is choose a shade that is dramatically different that your current skin tone. That’s a great way to come out looking orange! Instead, choose a shade that is maybe 1-2 shades darker (to start) for a natural-looking sun-kissed glow.
When you think about it, there really are SO many options. By utilizing our Beach Club program, you can have unlimited access to both the Mystic and the Versa, which means you can always come back and try something new. You will always like you tan, but it may take a couple tries to find what booth or solution combination that you LOVE.
If you’re still not sure what shade to choose, ask one of our Beaches Babes! Beaches Tanning Center has the BEST employees – they are super knowledgeable, kind, friendly, and helpful. Total rockstars. They will ALWAYS give you their 100% honest opinion so you leave feeling confident and beautiful!
Plus, they see more “before and after’s” than anyone, so I’d definitely trust them!
Preparation is Key – Wash, Shave/Wax, Exfoliate
For best results, we always recommend customers wash, shave/wax, and exfoliate BEFORE getting a spray tan. This process will remove dead skin cells and unnecessary hairs, which will then allow the tanning solution to adhere better and prevent uneven, splotchy tanning or dark spots.
What You Put on Your Skin Matters – Before AND After
On the day that you plan to tan, avoid the use of heavy body wash, moisturizers and lotions. They can cause the spray tan to not fully develop because they create a barrier to the skin.
Instead, using a sulfate-free body wash, such as our customer-favorite Hemp Nation Sea Salt & Sandlewood, will help to restore softness, smoothness, and hydration to the skin without drying or stripping your color. This stuff basically flies off the shelves every time we get it in stock so don’t hesitate – grab it if we have it!
Using a Primer, like our California Tan Sunless: Perfecting Primer or DS Faux Natural Sunless CC Primer, will better prepare your skin for the perfect spray tan by offering the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates to promote optimal sunless color development. The California Tan Sunless: Perfecting Primer is a yummy spray (has a coastal sands fragrance… delish) that is great for those who want a user-friendly lightweight primer that hydrates and soothes your skin. The DS Faux Natural Sunless CC Primer is a great lotion that acts as a color corrector and produces faster, darker color. Don’t let the black and gold bottle fool you – this lotion sports an aromatic passion fruit mango fragrance to compliment your sunshine-ready glow!
Post spray tan care is also super important! Healthy skin is hydrated skin, so drinking lots of water will certainly help with that. However, I’d recommend grabbing a tan extender to have on hand, such as our Awestruck Tan Extender. Remember that icky barrier we don’t want? The one caused by heavy washes, lotions, and moisturizers? Well, a tan extender is the sneaky way we get the added moisture our skin craves and NEEDS without compromising the quality or life of our tan. The Awestruck Tan Extender has what’s called “Invisible Barrier Technology”, which means it forms an invisible barrier on your skin to protect it against toxins and pollutants. It’s designed to be lightweight, so that invisible barrier is both strong AND breathable! This my personal-favorite tan extender because it makes my skin look and feel so smooth. Plus, it smells UH-mazing.
If you want to pick up some of these products, test any of them out, or learn about some of our other options (WE HAVE A TON!), just swing by Beaches (click here to find a location near you) and one of our Beaches Babes will help you out!
This all might seem a bit overwhelming to spray tan newbies, but I promise you it’s actually quite simple. Go to Beaches Tanning Center where they have the best spray booths, high quality ingredients in their spray solution, and stellar store associates that can help you choose the right shade. Prep your body before you swing by (wash, shave/wax, exfoliate). Avoid heavy body washes, lotions, and other moisturizers like the plague and instead grab some body wash, primer, and lotion from Beaches to ensure your tan goes on evenly and lasts a long time! Boom, baby!
We hope to see you at Beaches! Be sure to mention this blog and let us know if it helped you!
At Beaches, we’re used to helping customers who have experienced similar phenomena. To achieve this new-found desire for a sun-kissed glow, some people opt for utilizing various tanning beds (Hybrid, Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver) while others prefer a quick and easy spray tan. While both are great solutions, in this blog post we’re going to focus on Spray tanning.