DHA - (Dihydroxyacetone) is a simple carbohydrate that is primarily used as an ingredient in sunless tanning products. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, by the fermentation of glycerin.
DHA does not damage the skin, and is considered a safe skin coloring agent and nutritional supplement. Contact dermatitis is rarely reported. Most cases of sensitivity are due to other ingredients in the skin product preparation, such as preservatives, plant extracts, dyes or fragrances.
How to Get the Best Spray Tan
By Danielle Pergament
My advice on getting a spray tan is always to err on the light side. More self-tanner doesn't just mean a deeper tan?it's also more likely to streak.
· Prepare yourself. The morning of your appointment, use a nonoily scrub to exfoliate your skin, particularly the knees and elbows (which tend to absorb more tanner and turn dark), as well as the neck, chest, shins, and face (where the skin is thinner and streaks show up). Coat any scabs or recent scars with Vaseline, and if you use Retin-A (or an over-the-counter retinoid) or take Accutane, talk to your doctor about going off it one week before your appointment. These can affect how the active ingredient, DHA, is absorbed, which can lead to a splotchy tan.
· Dress for the occasion. This is not the moment for your nice lingerie. Wear a thong that you don't mind ruining (most tanners wash out, but better safe than sorry) or the paper one provided.
· Go it alone. Spray-tan booths tend to be less expensive than an application by a technician, but the color won't be as even, and you might not catch any mistakes. If you're using a booth, put a light layer of lotion on the soles of your feet, between your toes and fingers, and on your palms, knees, and elbows; this will ensure a smoother tan. After the tanner has been sprayed on, look for drips or pools and gently blot them?never wipe. To avoid tanning the soles of your feet, stand on a towel in the booth, and when you step out, wipe your feet on another towel.
· Look sharp. Even if a technician sprays on the tanner, it's still a good idea to check her work and make sure there are no splotches. Once your skin is totally dry, which takes at least 20 minutes, put on loose, dark clothing, and skip the bra for the next six hours?if you can.
· Make it last. It's best not to let your skin get wet for eight hours. Don't exfoliate for at least a week, shave your legs as infrequently as possible, and moisturize from head to toe after you shower.
UV-Free Spray Tanning
DHA- (natural tanning agent in spray tan solutions)
When applied, DHA (a sugar based derivative) reacts with proteins in the skin's superficial layer to form a golden brown color, it is not a dye, stain, or paint. Your skin begins to darken 2 to 3 hours after application and reaches its peak color within 24 hours. The color will gradually fade through natural exfoliation, just like a tan from the Sun. You'll be tan after one session, but it may take additional sessions to achieve your desired color. Once you reach your ideal color, you should be able to maintain it by spray tanning every 7 to 14 days.
Airbrush Spray Tanning Preparation
Exfoliating is the most important step to prepare for a spray tan.
Dry skin flakes off quicker and prevents an even application of color.
We advise applying lip balm or Pro-blend barrier cream to your lips, eyebrows, nails, tattoos, and palms of your hands.
Do not apply lotions or perfumes prior to tanning.
Do not use deodorant.
You should shave the day before you tan.
Remove make-up and jewelry before the tanning process to avoid blocking the spray mist.
If desired, select an old bathing suit to wear while being sprayed
Boxers, underwear, or genital covering is mandatory for men.
Remember to bring loose fitting clothing to wear home.
What to Expect During a Tanning Session
The Spray Tan Technician will step out of the room to provide privacy while you undress. What you wear or choose not to wear is your choice (males are required to wear covering over the genital area). Our clients have worn bathing suits, underwear, disposable spa wear (see picture below), or have opted for no tan lines and gone topless or nude. The disposable bra allows the entire back to spray tanned without tan lines (see picture below). The choice depends on your comfort level.
During the airbrush spray tanning session the Spray Tan Technician will instruct you on how to position your body to allow for an even application. The spray session will take approximately 20 minutes to complete (6-10 minutes for the application and a minimum 10 minutes to fan dry).
Loose, dark, clothing should be worn after tanning, as the solution may stain clothes if not completely dry. Any color that does rub off on clothing usually washes out. However, please wear clothes that you do not mind the possibility of staining.
("Before" Photo Showing Disposable Spa Wear)
Advantages of an Airbrush Spray Tan vs. a Spray Tan Booth (AKA-"Human Car Wash")
Airbrush Tanning is applied by a trained Technician who is skilled at providing the most even coverage you can possibly attain. This means a more natural and uniform tan!
A Spray Tan Booth works on the premise "One Spray Fits All" which is simply just not the case, and often results in terrible coloring effects (light/dark and missed areas).
The Technician is professionally trained to recognize and trouble shoot hard-to-apply areas, for an uniform application, such as behind the knees, around the elbows, hands, fingers, feet and other areas that the spray booth may not. In short, the spray booth cannot effectively provide even coverage in all areas of the body. Why? We all have different body types.
Airbrush tanning is consistently being used by major Hollywood stars, cheerleaders, beauty pageant contestants, models, dancers, and body builders. If the people who are in the business of looking good prefer Airbrush Tanning, shouldn't you?
Everyone's skin is different. Some people may retain color longer than others. To help extend your spray tan beyond the average 1 to 2 week time period, follow these simple steps.
Step 1 - Be sure to not shower for at least ten hours, preferably longer if possible. The longer you wait, the more the tan will intensify and inevitably last longer.
Step 2 - Do not to exfoliate your face or body after your spray tan session. This will shed the skin layer and quickly remove your tan.
Step 3 - When showering, avoid taking long, hot showers.
Step 4 - Only use mild moisturizing soap that you lather onto your hands or rub onto a soft cleansing cloth. Gently run the cloth over your body to clean it and then rinse your body with warm, not hot water.
Step 5 - Don't shave. It will only remove the hair, skin layer, and your tan.
Step 6 - If you do shave, be sure to use a clean blade and moisturize your skin by using hair conditioner instead of soap or shaving cream. Afterward, rinse the conditioner off.
Step 7 - Towel pat dry your skin. Never rub it, or else you'll be rubbing away your tan.
Step 8 - Apply a good moisturizer every time after you shower. It's important to keep the skin soft and not dry or flaky, which will result in skin shedding and tan fading. Try to use a moisturizer with at least a 3 percent active DHA additive, an ingredient in the tanning product that will keep your color in tact longer.
Step 9 - Try not to wear any clothing that is too tight that will rub against and chafe the skin, causing possible fading of color.
Do I get better results if I shave my legs before Spray Tan Session?
Exfoliation prior to using any type of Self Tanner, is really the key to acquiring a tan which will provide the most natural fade. Your skin on the surface when looked at under a microscope looks like a series of peaks and valleys, as a result of dehydration and flattening of the keratinic cells that migrate to the surface of the skin.
Thus shaving, whether on the legs of women or the face of men, which is a major form of exfoliation is best done prior to the tanning session, this in combination with a good sound skin care regimen, will ensure your tan will last longer and fade more evenly.
Obviously since Spray Tanning Solution, lasts approximately 7-14 days, you will need to shave some time in between. Proper preparation of the skin, prior to tanning as well as after the session, will help achieve the best results.
What about people with fair skin that have never been able to tan?
Spray tanning was designed specifically for individuals who can't or don't want to tan conventionally.
What if my hands or feet get stains on them?
Some people's palms take on more solution than the others. The simplest way of getting your palms white is to spread some lemon juice on them.