Tips to extend the life of your airbrush tan.

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Nothing lasts forever. Unfortunately that’s true about spray tans. But there are some tricks for keeping that tan as long as you can!

Some of the most important things to help with you tan are done at home before you step foot in the tanning salon. That begins with exfoliating!  Spray tans only work on the top, outermost layer of your skin. This makes them much safer than tanning beds or laying out in the sun, but it also means that the tan won’t last quite as long. We are always losing skin. The top layer of skin dies and falls off or gets rubbed away by clothes, showers, etc. To make sure you’re not applying your tanning solution to a layer of dead skin that is just about the fall off, you should exfoliate the day before your tanning session so that the fresh skin underneath is the skin that gets tanned. There are tons of exfoliating scrubs, sponges, and gloves on the market that can help you with this task. You can even make your own natural sugar scrub if you’re handy like that! There are tons of great recipes out there. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you do it the day before your appointment.

Also be sure you shave (or wax) the day before your appointment. When you remove hair, you often remove a bit of skin as well. If you wait until after your airbrush tan, you’ll be removing a layer of the newly tanned skin with your hair, and that will reduce the time you get to spend with that glow. Plus, if you have hair on your body, the tanning solution will get on the hair and it can block the solution from getting to your skin and working it’s magic.

On the day of your appointment, don’t put on any creams, sprays, perfumes, or lotions. A layer of lotion on your skin can block the tanning solution from absorbing into your skin. Choose your outfit carefully before you leave the house, too.  Skinny jeans are great, but don’t wear them to your airbrush tanning appointment. The tanning solution dries pretty quickly, but it’s still a good idea to avoid tight-fitting clothes that will rub against your skin and potentially rub your solution off before it has a chance to fully penetrate and give you the best possible tan.

After you’ve gotten your treatment, avoid water for a few hours if you can. It takes about 6-8 hours for the solution to completely settle in and do it’s job. Until then, avoid showers, baths, saunas, and heavy work-outs since sweating opens pores and washes away the solution just as much as a shower can.

Once your tan has settled in (after that initial 6-8 hours) then be sure you keep your skin moist to lock that skin in. You know how your skin gets flakey when it’s dry? Those flakes are dead skin shedding off. Your hydrated skin will stay healthier longer. Once your skin is nice and tan, we want to keep it! Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure that you keep that tan as long as possible. We recommend moisturizing at least twice a day. If you can find a moisturizer that has SPF sun protection built-in, even better! It will help protect your skin from those damaging UV Rays we mentioned earlier!

When your skin is nice and tan, it’s best to limit your time in chlorinated pools. Chlorine dries your skin out and sometimes can even have a bleaching effect. So it’s best to avoid chlorine altogether if possible, but if not – be sure to shower it off as soon as you can when you get out of the pool and keep that moisturizer flowing!

Following these tips can ensure that your tan lasts as long as possible.

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Airbrush Tanning: Fact and Fiction

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There are a lot of rumors out there about airbrush tanning. Let’s set the record straight about some of the most common myths about spray tans!

  1. Spray tans make your skin look orange.  The fact is, airbrush tans are very hard to tell apart from natural sun tans. The solution sprayed onto the skin during an airbrush tan is NOT a dye or stain the way some tan-in-a-bottle sprays are that you can find at the local market. Professional airbrushing solutions use an organic compound called DHA which causes the very top layer of your skin to darken naturally. DHA is FDA approved and doesn’t carry the serious risks that tanning beds or laying in the sun can carry. Airbrush tanning technicians are professionally trained to know which solutions and how much are appropriate for each client based on their skin tone. They make sure that your color comes out looking natural and radiant, NOT orange!
  2. Spray tans wash off in the shower.  This simply isn’t true. You should avoid showers for several hours after you apply a spray tan because you need to let the solution thoroughly seep into your skin in order for it to work properly, but as mentioned above – an airbrush tan isn’t a dye or stain. It’s an actual natural reaction that causes the top layer of your skin to darken. We are constantly losing skin cells as they die and get sloughed off. When the layer of airbrushed skin is gone, the tan leaves with it, and that’s why an airbrush tan may only last 7-10 days. But it’s not because the color “washes off” with water in the shower. In fact, it’s recommended to keep your skin moisturized with lotion while you have an airbrush tan so that the skin cells don’t dry out, die, and flake off as quickly.
  3. Airbrush tanning is dangerous. There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to tanning. The sun and tanning beds both create a tan with UV rays that penetrate deep into your skin. These rays cause a tan, but they can also can cause many BAD things, such as wrinkles, sun spots, sun burns, and even skin cancer! For that reason, people are sometimes wary of tanning. But airbrush tanning doesn’t use UV rays. Airbrush tanning uses DHA to create a tan instead. If you don’t know what DHA is, you might think that sounds scary; like you’re spraying a bunch of chemicals on your skin. But DHA is organic and our solutions are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It’s a natural compound that creates a natural reaction in the very outermost layer of your skin. It doesn’t affect the deeper layers of your skin, and doesn’t carry the risks that UV rays do. The FDA approves of using DHA on the skin and it hasn’t been shown to have any damaging effects.
  4. Airbrush tans won’t work with certain skin tones.  Not true! There are many different solutions that have been specifically designed for people’s unique skin tones. Everyone, from the most pale and freckled, to the darkest skin toned, can get an airbrush tan that looks natural and glowing. Airbrush tans even out and conceal skin tone blemishes for people of every color.
  5. Spray tans smell bad. When people first discovered how DHA works, they had trouble with the smell created by the amino acids in the skin reacting to the DHA. We’ve come a long way since then! We’ve improved the ingredients and technology used in creating our airbrush tanning solutions so that they smell GOOD rather than bad!

Now that you know a little bit more about airbrush tanning, you should feel more comfortable and confident to go ahead and try it for yourself!

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How Do We Tan?

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To understand how tanning works, you need to understand a little about the sun.

Light from the sun reaches earth in three forms: visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet light. The last type, ultraviolet light, is classified into three categories:
UVA (315 to 400 nm), also known as black light, which causes tanning.
UVB (280 to 315 nm), which typically causes damage in the form of sunburn.
UVC (100 to 280 nm), which is filtered out by the atmosphere and doesn’t reach us.
The problems we associate with sun exposure, such as skin cancer, wrinkles, etc. are mostly caused by UVB rays. Research suggests UVA might have an increasing hand in these things as well, however. Most of the sun’s UV radiation at sea level is of the UVA variety.
UVA isn’t just hitting you from above – it can be reflected! Snow reflects roughly 90% of UV light, which is why you can get severe sun burns while skiing and “snow blindness” is serious business! Sand reflects up to 20% of UVB, so at the beach, you’re getting more UV exposure than you would sitting in your backyard. But at the same time, certain surfaces, such as glass, can absorb UV radiation!

Ultraviolet light in the sun stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin in our skin. This pigment absorbs UV light, protecting cells from damage. Over time, this protective pigment makes your skin look darker, hence: a tan! Caucasians typically have the least amount of melanin in their skin on a day-to-day basis, but in many other races, there is a continuous melanin production, which causes the skin to remain pigmented and also offers more protection against UV rays on a daily basis.

Melanocytes produce two different types of pigments: eumelanin, which is more brown, and phaeomelanin, which is yellow and red. People with red hair usually produce more phaeomelanin and less eumelanin, which is why they typically don’t tan as well. In albinos, the chemical pathway that produces melanin is blocked because an enzyme called Tyrosinase is missing.

It’s important to note that all UV rays are potentially dangerous. They can cause deep damage to your cells, which at the least results in painful sunburn and at the most can cause fatal skin cancer. It’s important to protect yourself from skin damage by wearing sunscreen when you’re outside. Avoiding direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself. This really ruins your chance at a tan, though.

There’s one more way that you can get naturally darker skin, however. That’s through DHA.  DHA is a non-toxic, organic compound that creates a chemical reaction within the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin. This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the change in color. It is similar to the maillard reaction which occurs in food. It’s a natural, temporary color that looks just like a tan that occurs from melanin. The active ingredient in airbrush tanning is DHA. The color produced in an airbrush tan typically lasts 7-10 days, but it is much safer than roasting yourself in the sun or using a tanning bed.