7 Myths About Spray Tanning

Spray tanning is a safe, effective alternative to spending hours in the sun or lying down in a tanning bed. Simply by applying a single beauty product, you can get that glowing sun-kissed tan you’ve always wanted without taking any unnecessary risks. There’s no better way to look great and stay healthy while doing it.

Unfortunately, the practice of spray tanning is plagued by myths and misconceptions, none of which have any basis. After learning the truth once and for all, you’ll be ready to adopt safe and practical tanning practices.

1. The Tanning Solution Is Messy

Woman looking at a towel with a stinky face look

Some people imagine that after a spray tan their clothes and furniture will become stained. Modern sprays are quick to dry and will not rub off after you leave the facility. Today’s airbrushing products and technique employed by spray tanning practitioners are specially designed to avoid making a mess. After waiting a few minutes for the product to dry, you can head out into the world without any fears of dirtying the objects around you. You’ll almost certainly forget you even have the product on your skin, and your clothes and furniture will be just as safe as ever.

2. My Tan Won’t Look Natural

A photo of knees overlooking the ocean with water on them.

Nobody wants their spray tan to look phony or orange. If you’re like most people, you’ll want your tan to look as natural as possible. You know how your skin appears after a long afternoon at the beach, and you want to recreate that aesthetic. There’s a certain look that many people associate with spray tanning, defined by a nasty orange hue with awkward white spaces around the eyes. You don’t want to look like that. Nobody does. Luckily, you won’t have to deal with the problem at all when you get a professional spray tan.

People may have told you that it’s impossible to get the natural look you’re after with a spray tan. That’s simply not true. Spray tanning professionals evaluate your skin undertones and customize the perfect color to meet your desired outcome. 

3. My Tan Will Look Uneven

A woman about to receive a spray tan.

When people think of a spray tan, they sometimes imagine the blotches and patches that occur after runoff. While this could certainly become a problem if you used a suboptimal product and applied it yourself, it’s not an issue at all when you go through a professional service.

The airbrushing process dries the spray onto your skin almost immediately. Your tanning professional will apply barrier cream to those areas that tend to be drier and attract more tanning solution such as:  fingernails, toenails, elbows, and heels. During the spray tan the technician will blend uneven areas on your skin resulting in that perfect sun-kissed flawless and even tan.

4. The Spray Will Irritate My Skin

Women laying by the pool on pool chairs.

Many people think a spray tan will irritate their skin. They assume the spray is full of harmful chemicals that will fill the pores and wreak untold havoc. In reality, tanning sprays are made with harmless ingredients free of harmful substances, many of which are organic.

Far from damaging your skin, a spray tan will actually have a positive effect on your health. Your dazzling appearance will keep you from having to sit outside in the sun. This, in turn, will make it less likely that you’ll develop serious skin conditions.

5. I’ll Get Sick From the Spray

A myth of spray tanning that a woman is tired laying on the couch.

People sometimes assume that spray tanning can make a person sick. After all, you’re covering most of your body with a foreign substance. What’s more, that substance is applied in the form of a spray that surrounds your entire body. While these concerns might seem to make sense, they’re completely unfounded.

The only way to get sick from the spray is by ingesting large amounts of the solution which would only happen if you drank it.  Your tanning professional will guide you through the tan directing you to look in the opposite direction of the area they are applying solution.  When applying the solution to your face you will be asked to close your eye, mouth, and hold your breath.  The process is very quick and will not cause any discomfort.  Additionally, your technician will have nose plugs available should you desire additional precaution.  Once the application is complete, there’s no way the product can have any harmful effect on your body. While a sun-induced tan comes with all sorts of danger for the skin, a spray tan is completely safe.

6. My Tan Will Fade Too Fast to Be Worth It

A woman laying in a floating device in a pool.

A spray tan might not be expensive, but it’s also not free. Some people think it is hardly worth the money to acquire a tan that will fade in just a few days. What they don’t realize is that a spray tan can last between 7 and 10 days. The key is simply to take care of it properly.

There are a few steps you can take to extend your spray tan’s lifespan. First, it is important to exfoliate prior to your tanning session and not to apply lotions, makeup, or deodorant. Then, make sure you choose a professional provider who uses a top-of-the-line spray tanning products. After the application, wait at 8-24 hours to shower depending on the solution being used.  The processing time should come from your professional spray tanning technician.  After the appropriate processing time you are free to take a shower using paraben and sulfate free shower gel.  Keep in mind that rubbing your skin with washcloths and towels will begin to strip your tan slowly. Practice pat drying yourself after a shower.  Apply a paraben and sulfate free body butter to moisturize your skin daily.  Finally, stay hydrated to help avoid your skin from drying out and flaking.  Having dedicated a bit of time to the pre and post process, you’ll ensure yourself a longer-lasting tan.

7. The Spray Will Protect Me From Sunburns

A woman with a strap of her shoulder exposing where she didn't get sunburnt.

This final myth is particularly dangerous because it causes people to put their health at risk. Spray tans are meant to enhance beauty and improve self-confidence. They are not meant to block the sun, and they do not prevent sunburns. After the spray tan application, your skin is just as vulnerable to the sun as before. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you are still at risk of developing sunburns, blisters, and even skin cancer. Applying 30-50 SPF when exposed to sun will aid in prevention of sunburns and skin cancer.

You may have heard that spray tans can help prevent skin diseases. This is true insofar as a spray tan eliminates the need to go sunbathing. Use a spray tan to achieve the look you’re after, then take care of your skin as directed by your dermatologist.



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