So you're looking to make a quick upgrade to your pasty white skin huh? Spray tanning is definitely a good way to get color fast without having to expose yourself to UV rays. I usually go tanning in regular tanning beds and I decided to try something that would work a little faster with less hassle. I went to Beach Bum Tanning Salon (usually where I go for my regular tanning) and got information and a package for custom spray tanning.
Here are the basics:
- Shave/Wax and shower at LEAST 8 hours prior to getting a spray tan.
- Do not put any moisturizer on as the spray will not exfoliate/blend into your skin as well.
- Wear loose dark clothing to your spray tan appointment.
- Take all of your jewelry off.
- Make sure once your tan is complete you let yourself dry for about 5 minutes and that you are even all over your body.
- When you get home from tanning do not shower for 8 hours after.
- When you finally do take a shower, do NOT exfoliate; do NOT use a loofa, and do NOT use HOT water.
If you shower in hot water, (which is generally what I like to do) your spray tan will come off A LOT faster. You will actually be able to see a lot of the spray come off your body while you shower the first time regardless but using hot water will dull/shorten the life of your spray tan. Your first shower should actually be a “rinse” and you should not even be using soap.
Now that you’ve become more familiar with some of the basic spray tan tips I’ll let you know what I personally thought of it and you can comment, ask questions and let me know how your experiences go.
If you’re getting a custom air brush spray tan most places require an appointment but if you’re using the mystic tanning booths you can usually just come in like using a normal tanning bed.
The actual experience of standing in front of some random girl basically naked in a thong was a little weird at first but I mean c’mon if that’s the only price I have to pay to be tan and sexy then that’s fine with me! =) The first thing you need to do is put on the shower cap over your hair so your hair doesn’t get sprayed. Once that is done you can pick a shade you would like to be. Beach Bum Tanning Salon has 4 levels. The first time I went I did Beach. This color can be seen on Beach Bum’s website. It is supposed to make you look like you laid out on the beach for about a week. I really liked this color because it settled well and overall looked real (none of that orange tint and it wasn’t too dark either). Now remember this is coming from someone who used to chronically tan on the Diamond (highest level) beds for several years. I am definitely one of those girls who loves to get dark, but when it comes to spray tanning less is more.
You are told to stand in front of a drop down sheet, kind of like a green screen (haha). The spray tanner will tell you how to stand; i.e. with your hands and legs out, thigh out, head up and so forth. These positions are alternated through two rounds of spraying your body. They do this so that they can make sure to get all angles of your body and not have you wake up the next day with white knuckles…but that’s another story for my second spray tan experience. Before the spray is applied they usually ask you if you want the exfoliation which of course costs about $10 more. I highly recommend you allow them to put the exfoliation spray on because your body will absorb the spray tan a lot better and faster.
After you’re done getting sprayed they usually use a tool to blow air on you to help dry the spray. You also must stand in front of a heated lap/fan for 5 minutes after the whole procedure is complete to assure you are dry and ready to put clothing back on.
Again, as mentioned before, you must bring loose baggy dark clothes to wear. The spray tan rubs off and the best items to wear are sweat pants that are black, no bras and baggy shirts. (OH AND NO SOCKS!!! Flip flops only!) If you wear socks, when you come home your feet will be white and the rest of you will be tan. So I hope that’s enough motivation to get you to bring some flip flops.
After care is quite simple, you can buy a tan extender and it should keep your tan for a little bit longer. All you do is shower as usual, of course not using hot water, and put the moisturizer tan extender on after your shower. After you get out of the shower don’t rub your body just pat it dry or allow yourself to air dry. This again will assure your tan will not rub off.
Air brush tanning can be a very big annoyance as if you are like me and work out a lot, when you sweat it will come off on your clothing. Ok, so let’s recap; what two things do I advise to stay away from? Hot showers and anything that causes severe sweating. Any residue that comes off on your clothes can be washed and usually goes away in the wash.
Spray tanning is totally ok for people who have acrylic tips too! You don’t have to wear those annoying finger nail savers that you usually would in the tanning beds. The spray can spray directly over your nails and the acrylic resists it. You might find a few splotches here and there of spray but you can easily rub it off with your fingers or rinse it off with water.
So I would say overall good experience, but the second time I went spray tanning at a different Beach Bum Tanning Salon they did a pretty bad job. The girl was super talkative and she sprayed over my body multiple times so I thought it was gonna look awesome. Yet unfortunately when I came home later that night I realized she had missed like one section in the middle of my knuckles and it was extremely obvious and weird. The girl also missed a section around my elbow. Even if these spots weren’t very visible I would still care because you’re supposed to get your monies worth. I came back the next day and had another girl fix JUST my knuckle which was pretty funny. She did her best but she couldn’t match the color very much. It looked very weird and left a bad taste in my mouth for future spray tanning sessions. The moral of this story is if your spray tan girl is talking a lot… STOP RESPONDING because she is NOT paying attention to what she’s doing and it’s at your expense!!!
Last but not least would be packages. Just as any other tanning you can buy a package of sessions which basically gives you a discounted rate for a certain amount of spray tans. If you’re a student they usually have even more discounted rates all you have to do is show them your student ID. When I went to Beach Bum Tanning Salon they charged me $20 for my first spray tan and I believe it was $25 for each subsequent session with my student ID.
Overall spray tanning is a good idea if you’re looking for quick results. You will look good but after a day or so you’ll start to see the tan fading and certain spots of you looking darker than others. I like to call this the “dirty” phase. This is the part where you start to kind of look dirty depending on how dark you got spray tanned and how hard you are trying to scrub the tan off. If you notice this dulling/fading effect come into play and you just want to get rid of the tan, I suggest you take a hot shower and use a loofa and scrub very very hard. You will probably have to repeat this multiple times throughout the next few showers but it’ll come off. You can also just wait it out. The first time I tanned I waited it out and had no “dirty” effect but the second time from the bad Beach Bum Tanning place I saw this happen. It can be a 50/50 chance. You have to do your research on where your getting spray tanned. Custom air brush spray tanning is definitely a really cool sunless and UV-free experience but it requires high maintenance, it gets expensive, and you’re probably better off saving it for special occasions.