Spray Tans & How to Prep Your Skin

Who doesn't LOVE being tanned? I certainly do! It literally lifts my mood, makes all my clothes look better on me and even makes me feel skinnier. I know it sounds superficial but having a bit of a bronzed goddess glow makes me feel 100 times better. 

In recent years I have been cutting right down on the sun baking and loading up on the SPF 50+. Its seems insane to me that anyone these days would even dream of baking their bodies in oil on the beach for hours on end. With all of the scientific research directly linking sun exposure to melanomas/ skin cancers it's all the more reason to 'Fake It' not 'Bake It'. You wont have to go through the painful sunburn, potential skin damage, and (if your'e like me) certain peeling - only to return to your natural colour of pure whiteness. With the right research, skin preparation and maintenance your spray tan will last upwards of a week AND will save your skin from the damaging effects of tanning.   

Here are my tips and tricks to prep your skin and maintain your tan:

PREP - Get in the shower and shave your legs (if you're anything like me, it's probably been about 3 weeks anyway - so you're due). Shaving the hair off your legs helps the tan go on smoother. If you can imagine the tiny particles of tan mist getting stuck to your leg hairs instead of your skin, you can imagine it might end up a bit patchy. Exfoliate your entire body. Take this time to really pamper yourself, if you're spending $30-$50 on a professional spray tan you'll want to prep your skin in the best possible way. Exfoliating gets rid of any dead or dry skin they may peel off after your tan leaving you with a flaky, dry, patchy tan! DON'T MOISTURISE when you get out of the shower! Even if you feel like you need to... just don't... put the body butter down. If you're prepping your skin the morning of you tan it's SO important to have clean, dry skin when you get there - the technician will put a barrier cream where needed to prevent the tan building up on dry areas (knees, elbows, ankles). Basically anywhere you mositurise, the tan will not sick! Last of all make sure you have a dark lose dress to put on afterwards, something that isn't restricting and wont rub the tan off while it is still developing.

Okay now we are ready to tan :) When clients come to see me I am happy for them to wear whatever they want while they are being sprayed. Anything from a tank top to a G-string, whatever you're comfortable in is fine with me, there is no pressure to strip down to your birthday suit for a tan if you don't want to. If you aren't comfortable going topless, wear a bra. If you're rocking a low plunging, backless number on the weekend and want some bronzed boobies - go for it. It's always awkward to get your gear off in front of someone you don't know, but don't forget I do this all the time! I've literally seen every kind of body and yours isn't any bigger, wobblier, whiter or more cellulitey than anyone else's. Everyone's body is beautiful.

Now that we are past the initial shock of being half naked, in a tent, with a sexy hair net and our tanning underwear, we can get the the spraying. I will start on your back, move you in to strange poses to reach certain places, spritz your face and hands and dry you off with the warm air from the tanning machine hose. And you're done! 

Now stay away from the water (for at least 2-3hrs). If you get wet within the developing time, your tan will be streaky and uneven! Once your waiting time is up jump in the shower and rinse off the indicator. Don't freak out when you see a whole bunch of colour running down the drain, that is just the colour indicator so that I know where I am spraying. The colour will usually develop slowly over the following 8-12hrs so don't be disheartened if you're not as dark as the night when you first get out of the shower. Wait till the next day to see the full colour payoff! In the following days when you shower don't exfoliate, scrub or shave your skin, and when you're drying yourself with your towel use patting motions instead of scrubbing yourself dry. Now pop on some moisturiser and you're ready to go! My suggestion is to stay away form chlorine pools, strong cleaning products or anything else that my have a bleaching agent for obvious reasons. 

The tanning solution I use is called Naked Tan. An organic, green based tan which counteracts fake orange tones and smells like vanilla and coconut. I have always had positive feedback on the colour of this tan, it gives a beautiful, natural olive colour and my clients often tell me people compliment them on their "natural holiday tan". I'll keep it our little secret!