Airbrush Tanning

tanning beachWhat Is Spray Tanning?

Spray tanning also called sunless tanning or airbrush tanning works by applying a special mist on the skin. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is the chemical that reacts with the dead skin cells, where it cosmetically dyes them brown. This chemical is how the skin achieves a golden brown color similar to a suntan.

Does sunless tanning work?

The airbrush tanning temporarily makes the skin golden brown, not orange. The reaction to the chemical changes the color of one’s skin tone. There is no need to concern with smear because we hand apply the spray tan for an extremely detailed service. Even for fair-skinned people who normally burn in the sun will benefit to achieve a golden look from a spray tan.

Does airbrush tanning last?

There are certain measures to take before tanning to obtain that optimal golden tone. On average, the airbrush tan can last 5-10 days. Some factors that help maintain the glow are exfoliating before the session, using certain soaps and moisturizing the skin regularly.

Here is a quick lesson on dermatology. The top layer of skin sheds naturally to give way to the newer skin. The top layer of the skin is dyed by the DHA. Once that top layer wears off, the tan begins to fade.

How to maximize airbrush tan?

Before a session, one should exfoliate the skin. By exfoliating, this will eliminate the already dead skin cells. When exfoliating before the session, this will dye the layer of skin that will last for a longer period.

Another way to extend the effects of an airbrush tan, one must keep the skin moisturized. This will keep the top layer from shedding as quickly. If you apply moisturizer before the session, it has to be an oil free light lotion that will absorb fast and needs to be done at least 2 hours before a visit or the DHA will not be able to dye the skin.

After an airbrush session

We always suggest wearing loose fitting clothing when coming for a session. This way on the ride home, one can be comfortable while the remainder of the DHA dries. It is important to try not to sweat or shower for a minimum of five-six hours (overnight if possible). This will allow the DHA to take full effect.

When showering, make it brief with warm water (not hot). Also, use mild moisturizing shower gels. Avoiding bar soaps, especially deodorant type, will help maintain the tan. Gently pat one’s skin with a soft towel while still damp.

Products to avoid after airbrush tanning

It is recommended to avoid all products that contain Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, Glycolic and Salicylic Acids. Also, avoid any Retin-A type products. When washing the skin, loofahs, exfoliating mitts and scrubs with will remove the spray tan (use washcloth or shower poof only). Finally, keep away from using any exfoliating soaps as well.

For more information, please contact us at

Triad Dermatology

an affiliate of The Skin Surgery Center

The Skin Surgery Center, a QualDerm partner

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