Spray tanning is a popular alternative to sunbathing or a tanning bed. Spray tanning is a process in which a person enters a room and is misted with a tanning solution. One of the main concerns with spray tanning is how long the tan will last and whether or not it's okay to shower three hours after the application.
A spray tan is a fine mist that is applied to the body in a small booth. Spray tans consists of three ingredients: bronzer, DHA and aloe vera. The bronzer creates an instant tanning effect, but it comes off in the shower. The DHA component keeps the skin tan for a longer period of time. DHA will darken a couple of hours after application, allowing the skin to become its most tan. The aloe vera is used in spay tans as a moisturizer.
Spray Tan Process
You step into a booth wearing as much or as little clothing as you're comfortable with. However, any clothes worn in the booth may be stained by the tanning solution. The tanning mist is activated by a push of a button. The entire "tanning" process should take about 15 minutes, however, some spray tanning processes are quicker.
How Long Will It Last?
Every spray tan process can have different results, but most spray tans last about five days. To enhance the tan, exfoliate the skin prior to the procedure and be sure to moisturize consistently after the procedure.
Showers and Swimming
Do not shower for at least five hours after a spray tan procedure. Taking a shower sooner can cause the DHA to come off before it completely tans your skin, leaving you with a lighter tan. Don't swim in chlorinated water for at least four hours after a spray tan to prevent streaking.
Spray Tan Safety
While spray tanning is a considered a safe alternative to sunbathing and tanning beds, it does not block UV Rays and sunblock should continue to be used. The ingredients used in spray tans are commonly used in other cosmetics and should not cause an allergic reaction. However, if a reaction is experienced, discontinue spray tanning.
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April Richardson is a journalism and mass communication graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been writing for as long as she can remember, in many different formats.