What is Sunless Spray Tanning?

Sunless spray tanning is the spray/mist application of sunless tanning solution to desired areas of your body.  When applied, DHA (the active ingredient in sunless tanning solution) reacts with the proteins in the skin’s superficial layer to form a golden brown color.  Your skin begins to darken two to three 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.



What is DHA?

The active ingredient most often used in all sunless tanners including tinted moisturizers, self-tanners, and spray tan solution is called DHA or dihydroxyacetone. DHA is a carbohydrate (monosaccharide sugar) compound approved by the FDA for use in externally applied sunless tanning solutions. For misting applications, the FDA recommends protective measures to prevent eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. DHA is often derived from a vegetable source like beets or sugar cane. Its properties as a skin darkener were discovered in the 1920s but weren’t marketed as such until the 1960s, then added to the FDA’s list of approved colors for cosmetic products in the 1970s.


How long does a spray tan last?

The tan lasts approximately 5-10 days (even longer for some), depending on a person's activities, aftercare and condition of skin. The proper method of exfoliation prior to your spray tan application is the most important factor relating to your spray tan longevity. With follow up applications, a person can maintain the tan indefinitely. Using a tan extending lotion like Ultimate Tan Refreshment Tanning Extender (with DHA and Erythrulose) on the skin daily will help extend tanning results while keeping the tan looking healthy and glowing. Keep in mind many over the counter products, exercise, skin conditions and hormones may create uneven post-tan fading. A sunless tan is not a long term commitment, so it is great to try for the first time.


What is Ecocert Approved DHA?

There is a wide range in quality when it comes to ingredients and manufacturing in the skin care/cosmetic industry. Ecocert is an internationally recognized certification that guarantees the highest standards are met during the creation of formulas, manufacturing, filling and packaging. Ecocert was the very first certification body to develop standards for natural and organic cosmetics. Ecocert approved DHA is the highest and finest quality of DHA available. You Glow’s inventory of different sunless spray tanning solutions all contain Ecocert approved DHA and organic aloe.


What is the advantage of a sunless tan instead of a UV tan?

Spray tanning does not have the potential to give you melanoma, wrinkles, age spots, moles, freckles, or sunspots. People with sensitive skin or people who have a hard time tanning (be it natural or in tanning beds) will find this form of tanning very comforting. One application with spray tanning will be equivalent to approximately 6 tanning bed sessions, therefore making it cost effective and healthy.


I am pregnant &/or nursing — Can I receive a spray tan?

The concern some doctors have is over whether or not the active ingredient (DHA) is able to enter the blood stream; the indications are that it cannot. DHA only penetrates the outermost layer of the skin. However, we recommend all clients get permission from their physician first. DHA has been used as a cosmetic ingredient in the United States since 1960 and no problems have ever been reported concerning DHA penetrating the skin. The FDA recommends avoiding exposure to mucous membranes, inhalation and ingestion. You Glow provides eye protection and nose plugs, and does not recommend spray tanning nude if pregnant or breastfeeding. All of our rooms are equipped with ventilation systems and all sunless specialists will inform the client when they are spray tanning the face.


How do I prepare for a sunless tanning session?

A good full body exfoliation within 24 hours prior to your appointment will provide significantly better results. A loofah/poof does NOT provide adequate exfoliation. We recommend using dry sugar from your kitchen on your wet skin at the end of your shower, then rinse. 


If possible, arrive to your appointment with clean skin - free of makeup, lotions, toners, perfumes, oils and deodorants. Shave prior to your appointment (the day BEFORE is ideal, but at a minimum of 8 hrs prior is preferred). Get all of your spa treatments done including facials, pedicures & manicures, waxing (waxing should be done 1-2 days before), hair appointments and massages done PRIOR to your tanning session. Due to increased body temperatures, complete all exercise at least 2 hours prior to your appointment. If you have an existing spray tan, it is still necessary to follow the guidelines above and exfoliate. We strongly recommend waiting a minimum of 10 days between sessions to achieve more even results.