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Airbrush Tanning

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Airbrush Tanning

Have some questions about airbrush tanning? Feel free to check out our collection of some of the more frequent questions we’ve received concerning airbrush tanning, and some simple answers to clear your doubts.


What is a sunless tan?

A sunless tanner or sunless spray tanning is basically a product that helps you get your tan without exposure to ultraviolet rays – sun rays otherwise needed for tanning. Sunless tanners contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which reacts with the outer layer of the skin, giving it a brownish tan color. Sunless tan do not penetrate beyond the outer layers of the skin and go off with every exfoliating cycle.


What is airbrush tanning?

Tanning is caused by the secretion of melanin which protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Airbrush tanning simulates the tanned look through the use of a tanning solution containing DHA. The tanning solution is applied using a compressor and airbrush to produce a bronzing effect on the skin. However, airbrush tanning provides no protection from UV rays.


What is the difference between airbrush tanning and spray tanning?

Airbrush tanning typically involves the use of an airbrush. Spray tanning, on the other hand, is applied using a spray gun. Airbrush tanning generally sacrifices the speed of a spray gun for better control. In recent times, large format airbrushes such as the Iwata G5 closely resemble a spray gun. With more and more of these types of products now available, spray tanning and airbrush tanning are more synonymous than ever.


How long will I feel the effects of an airbrush tan?

How long an airbrush tan lasts depends on the nature of your skin and the aftercare attention that follows the tanning process. Generally, sunless tans last between 4 and 10 days, until the outer layer of the skin is removed in a natural cell removal process known as exfoliation. Induce a proper exfoliation of dead cells ready to shed before tanning, and apply extender products thereafter for longer lasting tans.


How long does it take to apply and dry a sunless tan?

A single tan application takes on average 12 minutes to apply. Although it could take longer for those less used to the process.

The drying time will likely depend on the solution used. Regardless, leaving between 5 and 10 minutes for drying is ideal. Systems with a heated auxiliary function provide drying heat at the push of a button.


How do I prepare for an airbrush tan?

Use an exfoliant on the night before your tanning session to properly clean your skin. Non-oil based exfoliants work best. Be sure to avoid applying any skin lotion, makeup, and deodorant before your session as this can turn your skin green.


How soon do I shower after a session?

Allow up to 12 hours after tanning before you shower, for standard solutions. See product label instructions for “rapid tan” solutions.


Will a sunless tan highlight my skin imperfections?

For the most part, no. As your skin darkens, imperfections tend to be hidden rather than highlighted. However, rough skin absorbs more solution than surrounding smoother skin and become contrastingly darker. In such cases, moisturizers added to rough spots can help reduce the impact of the solution. Notably, this is more of an issue with advancing clients.

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