How to have the sun kissed look without the burn

It has been one of the hottest summers on record and with temperatures clearing the 35 degree mark  the chance  to have a healthy sun kissed glow becomes more and more remote.  Any time spent out in the sun without broad 50+ sunscreen can result in a burn and it only takes minutes to damage the skin. This is even more severe for young children and the elderly. So what can you do to have the sun kissed look without the burn?

Spray tanning is becoming more and more popular not only with the younger generation but the appeal is more widespread than ever. In the past, spray tans could leave a yellow tinge and lines along creases in the skin which made the tan look unnatural. Advancements in product technology have improved the quality of the tan and now it can look almost seamless. Here’s how they work and how to get the most out of your spray tan.

To start with we need to understand what is the skin undertone colour. To do this we look at the veins on the underneath side of the wrist, cool undertones will present with blue or purple veins, blue to green veins indicate neutral undertones and green to olive undertones indicate a warm skin tone. Spray tan solutions vary in colour intensity by the percentage of Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) for short.  The higher the percentage of DHA the stronger the tone of the tan. DHA is originally derived from sugar cane and when it comes into contact with the skin causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids producing a darkening effect.  The higher the concentration of the DHA the stronger the reaction.

When considering to have a spray tan there are a couple of things to consider. Spray tans offer no SPF sun protection – although you will feel like you can go out in the sun with your brand new sun drenched skin, the reality is that you will burn just the same as unprotected skin.  If it is the first time having a spray tan it is recommended that you have a patch test 24 hours prior to the full spray tan application to ensure that there is no allergic reaction to the products. Certain parts of the body absorb the tan and react with the DHA in the spray tan solution causing inconsistencies in the overall evenness of the tan so to combat this issue we use a barrier cream on the hands, knees, elbows, face. and any other area needing protection. An experienced beautician will already understand this issue and may not use a barrier cream but apply a lighter spray from further away to create the same effect.

Personally I love getting spray tans. It is a really quick service that promotes confidence in the person that receives the service. Everyone will look at you and try to contemplate what  is different what has changed, and very few will get it right.  To ensure client modesty the client usually uses disposable underwear, sticky feet which attach to the soles of the feet.  Usually there is an exhaust fan to suck the sprayed air out of the booth with can assist those who suffer from asthma related issues.  Once a person has received the spray tan they need to wear minimal clothing for a period of between 2-4 hours so that the chemical reaction can take effect and then you have a shower to wash it off. What is left is a luxuriant sun kissed complexion. 

If considering a spray tan then these tips are an absolute must

Exfoliate using a body scrub two days prior will create an even tone and improve the overall appeal of the tan and place extra focus on hands knees and elbows.

Caution should be taken when shaving or waxing as any process impacting on the can  change the evenness of the tan – waxing would be advised two days prior to the service also adding that shaving or waxing after the service will almost instantly erode the quality of the tan after the service has concluded.

Consider after care – Normally a spray tan can last up to 2 weeks after application although 

This will be even more is you use the correct after care. Normal soaps are too harsh on the skin that has been spray tanned and if you choose to use a normal Supermarket soap you will watch you tan rinse away down the plug hole of your shower.

The spray tan solution is extremely cold and needs to dry on the skin – This processing time can differ between products although normally I would wait a minimum of two hours 

Some products will stain cloths, bed sheets. 

Ensure that your skin is completely clean from any products as they will interfere with the tan impacting on the end result.

After the initial drying period which varies depending on the products used and the type of spray tan it is recommended to use a moisturiser

Spray tans are a great way to achieve a darker complexion without  impacting on your skin health.  They are suitable for almost all people as allergic reactions are quite rare. There is a wide variety of products on the market all of which offer  a darkening of skin tone but what makes a spray tan product stand out from the rest is the overall quality and realism of the tan.  Some of the best products that we have found are the Bondi Sands brand of spray tan solution. It offers a great tan very realistic and has a great smell – there are also a great range of after care products to really get the most from your spray tan.

In this age of trying to make a product out of “healthy” alternatives to chemicals,  coffee beans and even tea  leaves have been suggested as a great alternatives for use in tanning.  The thought of getting up at 5 am and rubbing myself with a solution of coffee grounds was not my idea of a good start to the day, but I tried it out. 

The verdict – the coffee/lotion solution stains everything it touches. To make it more intensive I added more coffee grounds, but the smell put me off and I love coffee. As with all tanning solutions it did take an extensive amount of time to dry but did give a realistic tan.  The main difference between the average and good quality spray tans is how they work over creases of the body like the wrinkles on the inner elbow. For this reason the coffee solution did not provide a realistic tan. Where the skin folds are reduces the amount of solution and therefore leaves lighter areas which looks unrealistic. 


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