Don’t Go To Another Airbrush Tanning Salon Without Reading This First

Beauty, Skin Care 0 98
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airbrush tanning

Airbrush tanning is a way of achieving a natural-looking healthy glow or tan without the UVA / UVB damage that you would get from tanning beds or sunbathing. During the airbrush tan, a tanning solution is applied by a technician using a compressor and airbrush. Voila! Instant golden complexion. Airbrush tanning is popular because a good tan can make a person look slimmer and healthier, and it is also quick, easy, and efficient.

Interested in getting this type of tan? Good. Read on and I’ll explain  what you are applying onto your skin, how to prepare for an airbrush tan, how to maintain an airbrush tan, and how to prevent looking like an oversized oompa loompa .

Tanning Solution

The active ingredient in tanning solutions that give you that sun-kissed glow is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a colorless 3-carbon sugar chemical that causes a browning effect catalyzed by amino acids, when applied to the skin. The DHA reaction only affects the outer layers of the epidermis (stratum corneum), which is why an airbrush tan usually lasts from 4-10 days depending on the upkeep.

 Home self tanning systems to try:

DHA is FDA approved and safe for the skin because it provides a short-term darkening. But, like any chemical or drug out there, there are side effects to DHA. Some side effects include drying of the skin, skin irritation, or even allergic reactions. DHA can cause sunburn and can thus lead to cancerous skin cells. This happens when airbrush customers fail to use sunscreen because they believe that the UV protection in DHA will be sufficient. In fact, DHA contains little to no UV protection. Although DHA is considered nontoxic and noncarcinogenic, the skin is susceptible to free-radical damage from sunlight 24 hours after using a tanning service, especially if the tanning solution contains high amounts of DHA (almost equal to 5%). So, remember to wear sunscreen after a tan.

 Best sunscreens Sleekly editors swear by:

Buzzing: Drinkable Sunscreen?!? A company based in Colorado claims to have developed the world’s first ever drinkable SPF —Harmonized H2O UV Neutralizer. How it works? The company says once you ingest the liquid, the molecules vibrate on the skin and cancel out 97% of UVA and UVB rays. That’s new! Now, would you drink it?

Airbrush Tanning Preparations

To keep a tan for as long as possible, exfoliate and buff the skin before the tanning service. This will create a smoother canvas for the tanning solution to react on and will achieve a more uniform tan. Take a shower and wipe down the skin with hydroalcoholic, acidic toner to remove any alkaline residues from soaps or detergents that may interfere with the reaction between the DHA and the amino acids on the skin. Moisturize the body, especially the bony areas of the body such as the ankles, heels, and knees for a more even tan.

 Stuff you need:

Airbrush Tanning Aftercare

the more moisturized the skin, the longer the tan will last..
Once the skin has been sprayed with tanning solution, wait until it dries. Do not shower for a full 8-10 hours after a spray tan because the DHA will rinse off before it completes its chemical reaction with the amino acids, resulting in a shorter tan lifespan. For the first shower, rinse with no soap or shampoo. Don’t be alarmed if brown water runs down the drain: that is the browning effect of DHA. After the shower, pat dry the skin, don’t rub. Finally, moisturize. The more moisturized the skin, the longer the tan will last and it will fade more evenly. In the following days after a spray tan, do not exfoliate or scrub the body with rags, loofas, sea salts, toner, or astringents because the tan will fade more quickly.

best moisturizers for your skin type

be wise in choosing a moisturizer, make sure it’s good for your skin type

Best moisturizers for every skin type:

If you prep your skin and rigorously take care of the airbrush tan, it will last longer and will fade more evenly.

Orange Tans and How to Avoid

Side story: during high school, a friend of mine came to school ORANGE! She was horribly embarrassed about her new oompa loompa complexion and was extremely mad at her tanning professional. I don’t want any of you to ever look like a ripe orange, so let me explain why that happened to my friend and how you can prevent it.

The reason why my friend looked orange is because of her skin tone. If you are fair skinned and have a warm skin tone or if you have olive skin tones, your tan will naturally come out yellow or orange. What you, or your tanning professional, have to do is choose a different tanning solution that is suitable for your skin. For olive skin tone, use a tanning solution with a high DHA level. For pale skin tones, build up the tan slowly; that way you can choose the depth of color you are comfortable with. I hope this helps.

Enjoy your airbrush tan! If you have any advice, suggestions, or commentary about airbrush tanning I would love to hear it.

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About the author / 

Ana Sanchez-Tan

Ana has always been passionate about Beauty and Fashion. After graduating from Miriam College with a degree in Communication Arts, she pursued her long-time dream to become a make-up artist. Ana completed Hi-Def (HD) Beauty & Fashion Makeup and Hi-Def Pro Airbursh Makeup training at HD Makeup Studio & Academy. With her background in PR and Marketing, Ana is also a Social Media Maven. Offline, Ana loves traveling, reading books, cooking, and anything related to beauty, fashion, technology, cars and entertainment.

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