Sunless Tanning 101

What a spray tan is, how it works and what to expect.




Q:How does a spray tan work?
A:The ingredient that tans your skin is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless sugar that interacts with dead skin cells to create the tanned color. The DHA causes a chemical reaction with the proteins in the outer most layers of the skin, which causes the color of the skin to change, producing a beautiful natural tan. A spray tan does not dye the skin; the immediate color you see when your tan is applied is a color guide or bronzer that helps the technician not miss any sections and allows you to instantly see your tan. The DHA starts to react with the skin within 1 hour of the tan application and continues to do so for a total of 8-24 hours.
A spray gun is used to spray a combination of air and tanning solution directly onto the skin, which dries almost immediately. In less than 30 minutes with custom spraying you can have a flawless tan that will develop over the next 8 hours.

Q: Spray Tan Solution safe to use?
A:Our tanning solution has been extensively tested and is very safe for all skin types. The solution we use has less than 13 ingredients with these key features: 
Hypoallergenic
ECOCERT Certified DHA, highest quality (organic)
Oil-Free
Alcohol-Free
Fragrance-Free

Q:How soon will I see the tanning result?
A:You will receive an immediate, all natural looking tan as our product has a built in bronzer. Your tan will continue to develop over the specified time for the solution you choose.  This will vary from as little as 30 minutes up to 12 hours depending on the original formula or an express formula.

Q:Will a spray tan cause freckles in people who usually freckle when tanning?
A:No. There is nothing in the tanning solution that will cause more freckles to break out. In fact, in most cases, freckles and blemishes will become less pronounced because the lighter skin areas will darken and reduce the colour differentiation between the blemishes and the rest of the skin.  If you have skin that has age spots or texture differences, you may experience a darkening of these areas.  We can use a barrier cream to stop the skin from taking on more DHA.

Q:How long will my spray tan last?
A:There are a number of factors that determine how long a tan will last. Preparation and aftercare is very important if you want to extend the life of your spray tan. This means exfoliating before hand and moisturizing afterwards. Depending on your skin type and how each solution reacts with your skin your tan can last anywhere from 5-10 days on average.
It is best to use exfoliators that are especially customized for spray tan preparation, as they will not contain any oils or moisturizers, and so will not stop the tanning solution getting through. Wait at least 8  hours after spray application before bathing or exercising. Moisturize skin daily to help extend tanning results. 
We give each client a take home after care sheet for reminders to prolong their tan.  We also have a number of products that will prepare, maintain and allow you to get the most from your spray tan.  Please check out our spray tan before and after page.

Q:How long should I wait after a tanning session before showering, swimming or exercising?
A:To give your spray tan enough time to fully develop, it is recommended waiting a minimum of 8 hours after your spray tan (unless otherwise instructed). Showering, swimming or exercising sooner may diminish the intensity of the tan.

Q:Will swimming affect my spray tan?
A:Swimming in chlorinated water or salt water will fade your tan and could cause possible streaking. When swimming try to only go for short dips and rinse off in fresh water afterwards.  Remember to reapply your sunscreen.

Q:Should I shave or wax before or after I get my spray tan?
A:Whether you shave or wax is completely up to you, both should be done before the application of the tan. Ideally shaving should be done 8 hours before and waxing at least the day before. When waxing ensures that all wax is removed otherwise the tan will stick to the wax and will appear very dark where the wax has not been removed. Shaving after the application will take off some of your tan, so shave on days when you really need to and ensure that your blade is sharp. You will be sprayed with the solution containing bronzer so it is best to shave or wax one day before, as the bronzer gets into the newly created pores and can give you "spotty" look. 

Q:My skin never tans! Will a spray tan work on my skin?
A:Yes it will definitely work on your skin! We have a wide range of colours to help you achieve your desired look with your custom spray tan.

Q:Does a spray tan provide SPF protection?
A:No although your skin looks like it is well protected, spray tans do not mean that you will not get overexposed. It is very important to remember to use a sunscreen with SPF if you will be outdoors.

Q:How do I prepare for a Spray Tan session?
A:For the maximum result, before your session, shower and exfoliate the skin. The spray tanning solution affects only the dead skin cells. Your skin has a build up of dead skin cells on top of it. The thicker the layer, the sooner it will fade. If you exfoliate, the layer will be very shallow, and it will take days for your skin to "build up". Your tan will last longer. 
Make sure your skin is free of perfumes, lotions, oils, deodorants, gels or any product on the skin that would create a barrier or cause the tan to develop unevenly. We have products and cloths at our studio for our clients if they are coming from work etc and have some of these products on their skin.

Q:What should I wear?
A:You may wear whatever you feel comfortable in whether you wear nothing, underwear, thong bottoms or a swim suit, it is  completely up to you.  Our solution washes out of your clothing so their is no need to worry.  You may also want to take into account clothing that you will be wearing over the next few days. Think about the styles of clothing that you will be wearing for your special occasion or your vacation to determine where you do or don't want tan lines. Men are required to wear some sort of short.  

After your tan, wear loose, dark and preferably cotton clothing.  Your tan will be dry but there may be residue on your body(the hairs on your arms for example)   It is best to wear clothes and shoes as loose as possible, to make sure nothing rubs off. Ensure any clothing that is worn immediately after the application of the tan is dark in color to prevent the risk of staining it.  Our solution is water soluable so any residue will wash out of your clothing.

Q:Will a spray tan ruin light clothing such as a wedding dress?
A:No, the tan will not ruin any light clothing but ensure that you have the tan applied the day or two before you intend to wear any light coloured clothing. Also remember to shower twice to ensure that all the bronzer has washed off.

Q:What else can I do to extend and beautify my new tan?
A:Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!!  Avoid shaving your legs with a heavy hand, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing, stay away from creams with AHA and try to avoid chorine.  We offer a wide range of products that will help you prolong your new tan., including custom self tanning moisturizers to use throughout the week after your session. These product helps to maintain your tan's intensity for a longer period. Our suggestion is to use your high spf sunscreen by day and your self tanner at night while you are out for dinner and sleeping.  It's like reversing your tanning while saving your skin!!  You will look great your whole vacation!

Q:How is Suva's spray tan applied?
A:One of the many benefits of Suva's spray tanning is the efficient, personalized application.  Our solution is professionally applied in minutes by an experienced technician using an HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure) System with a spray gun. The gun applies a soft mist with compressed air. Because each Client will have slightly different results with sunless tanners, the application can be tailored to a Client's specific needs (a darker application for a more tropical glow, tanning of legs only, a light application during the winter, etc). Special care is taken around hands, feet, elbows, and knees to make sure they are not too dark. The result is a natural look, not orange or streaky, creating a uniform golden tan.

Q:How do spray on tanning solutions work?
A:The solution that we use at Suva contains the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar cane derivative which reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of your skin.  DHA combines with the amino acids to form a brown color. The "tan" from our bronzer gives you instant gratification after application, and can continue to develop for up to 12 hours.

Q:How long will it take to get my spray tan?
A:The actual custom spray tanning process only takes about 15 minutes. You can expect to be at our salon for approximately 30 minutes, including filling out our client profile (first time clients) undressing, having the spray tan applied, drying, and dressing. 

Q:What are the advantages of spray tanning?
A:Tanning via the sun or tanning beds causes damage to the skin, leading to premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, pigmented spots and potentially skin cancer. You have made the safe choice by deciding to sunless tan. You can have a beautiful bronze glow and take care of your skin as you can never get your skin back!  For more information on skin cancer, please go to www.skincancer.org.  Sunless tans provide no protection from UV rays.  Please wear a sunscreen every day.

Q:How dark will I get after one session?
A:Sunless spray tanning is not a perfect science. Results will vary based on each individual’s skin type and we have different strengths of solutions that can be used according to each client’s skin type. We help our clients determine the look that they are wanting taking into consideration of the event, place, or surrounding.  We want our clients to be glowing on the inside and out!! 

Q:What is the solution made of?
A:β€œJust walked off the beach” bronze colour – no β€œorange tan.  Up to 66% fewer ingredients, dries in seconds and contains only essential, natural, safe ingredients. It is designed for every skin type  and every skin pigment.  The solution is not greasy and it won’t stain clothes or bed sheets  Hypoallergenic  Alcohol-free  Oil-free  Fragrance-free  Highest quality, ECOCERT Certified DHA on the market  Fades like a natural tan. Won’t clog pores or cause break outs. Doesn’t cause excessive dryness to the skin.

Q:Are there any harmful chemicals in the solution?
A:Absolutely not! Suva Spray Tan Studio  does not use alcohol or any harmful chemicals in the solution we use.  We use a high quality DHA and the other ingredients listed above.  We will proudly make our full list of ingredients available to anyone who asks. 

Q:What is a cosmetic bronzer?
A:This is the component of sunless products that gives you immediate color for an "instant gratification, just off the beach" look. The ingredients used in cosmetic bronzers are similar to those used in cosmetic foundations or powder bronzers.  

Q:Will I get that fake β€œorange” colour?
A:No. We use the highest quality tanning solution that will give you that β€œkissed by the sun” look and will transition smoothly into your DHA color that will develop later.

Q:Will it stain my hair?
A:No. Most people will not see any affect on the color of their hair. People with gray or blond hair may see some discoloration initially, but will wash out with your first shower. We supply a hair cap to protect your hair.

Q:Will the colour wash off in the shower?
A:The cosmetic bronzer that is visible immediately when you are sprayed will wash off with your first shower (after waiting the set set time), revealing sunless tan.

Q:What should I wear during my spray tan session?
A:What you wear during your session is your choice.  The preference of most Clients is to wear bottoms only, however, we understand that each Client’s comfort level is different.  Tan lines are optional for female Clients.  For the comfort of our Technicians, we ask that male Clients wear bottoms of their choice.  

Q:How long will it take the DHA to develop?
A:You will see an immediate tan. This is due to the natural cosmetic bronzer that is used as a color guide to see where your Technician has applied the solution.  It also gives you the immediate gratification of having a beautiful tan. Your actual tan will take at least 8 hours to begin developing and can continue to develop up to 12 hours. The developed tan will be visible once you have showered off the bronzer.

Q:How can I prevent my tan from fading unevenly and looking patchy?
A:Applying a good moisturizer at least twice a day will prolong your tan and reduce the appearance of uneven fading and patchiness. Using a tan extender will help and exfoliating between maintenance sessions is very important.

Q:Can I tan if I am pregnant?
A:Pregnant women have been using sunless tanners for over 40 years with no problems or reports of side effects on mother or child.  The FDA put  DHA on its list of safe cosmetic ingredients in 1973, yet some sunless tanning companies take precautions.  Suva Spray Tan Studio is one of those companies! Please advise the Studio if you are pregnant as we can supply a list of Ingredients for you or your doctor upon request.

Q:What about spraying over a tattoo?
A:If a tattoo or piercing is fully healed, your spray tan will not affect the area.  Sunless tanning does not fade a tattoo the same way exposing the area to UV tanning does.  You will not need to remove piercing jewelry prior to your session, however, you may need to clean the jewelry and you may experience a tan line depending on the nature of the piercing.

Q:Are there any medical conditions that would prevent me from getting a spray tan?
A:When you book your appointment, please let us know if you are pregnant or nursing or have any allergies, medical conditions and/or physical limitations.  This will prepare your Technician in advance so we may provide the best service to meet your individual needs.  We ask that you be courteous by canceling or not booking your appointment if you have open wounds or any communicable diseases such as a cold or flu.  This is for your own comfort as well as the protection of our Technicians and other Clients.

Q: My last spray tan was different than the previous one, even though it was done in the same spray tan salon.
A: Again, it comes down to your skin. Your skin is a living thing, and is affected by many things like: time of the month, season, food you eat, stress, medication you take etc. If your tan is different, even though solution used was the same, the most probable cause is the condition of your skin.

Q: Will I spray tan evenly if I have hair on my legs/arms?
A: Hair is not a problem. At the end of the tanning cycle you will notice droplets of solution on your hair, just towel this excess solution off with a towel provided.

Q: Does the solution have unpleasant smell like some self-tanners on the market?
A: No, the solution that Suva uses is fragrance free

Q: I had bad experience with a spray tan before. Should I assume that spray tanning is not for me?
A: No, there are many factors that could affect your tan; the skill of the technician (if tanned with hand held gun), the quality of solution, your skin condition at a time.
Also remember, that the spray tanning solution is a cosmetic, and so the particular one that you had used, might not be acceptable to your skin.