Before a client books in for a sunless tan appointment, they need to be aware of the proper prep that involved to ensure they get the most out of their tan.
Overall Skin Health: A good diet, vitamins, plenty of water, regular exercise, and other healthy practices all have a positive effect on our health and skin. Educate clients on good healthy skin habits such as products and certain ingredients to incorporate into their daily skincare routine. You would be surprised how many people actually don’t have any type of skincare routine at all!
Shower & Exfoliate: Shower and exfoliate the day before, no less than 6-12 hours before the scheduled appointment time. Try to use no soap or soaps that contain no oil. Oils and soaps leave residue on the skin, which causes a barrier, thus the spray tan will not adhere to the skin or develop properly or may even turn an unwanted shade of green upon application. This is the chemicals in certain body washes reacting with the bronzers in the tanning solution. (Bath & Body Works products in particular do this - anything with lots of artificial fragrances and fillers.) Showering right before a spray tanning appointment is a no-no not only because of the barrier it leaves on the skin, but because it opens up your pores. The solution then pools into the pores, causing the “speckly” look that everyone tries to avoid; but many people don’t know how to stop it from happening. If you have a client with naturally very big pores and continuously gets the “speckled” tan look, you can suggest they get a quick cold rinse in the shower before their appointment, with no soap of course. This will help close the pores. Showering right before a spray tan will also result in a much lighter tan, at least 30% lighter than it would if they did not shower right before.
Shave/Wax Prior: Shaving should be done the day before, and waxing should be done at least 24 hours prior. Shaving is a way to exfoliate the skin and should not be done after the tan is applied as it risks shaving the tan off completely. If a client would like to shave after their tan is applied, suggest that they wait at least 48 hours after their appointment and use a shaving cream or soap that is oil free, and shave very lightly.
Manis/Pedis: Manicures and pedicures should be done at least 24 hours before getting spray tan. Aestheticians and nail technicians use products that contain lots of oil that remains on the skin and leaves a barrier. This could result in the tan not developing properly on the feet and hands, making it look very odd compared to the rest of the body. If a manicure or pedicure is done after a spray tan has been applied, they could soak their tan off. It is best to get manicures and pedicures at least one day before.
Avoid Bar Soap: Avoid any type of bar soap before or after a spray tan. These soaps and products, particularly ones that are found at the drugstore, contain drying ingredients that will strip a spray tan right off and cause major development issues. If a client is wondering what type of soap is good to use, there are many soaps that are tailored to help maintain spray tans - these products contain no oil, alcohol or parabens. If you need more help or information regarding these products, please reach out and I will go through my favorite sunless tanning maintenance products!
Clean Skin: It is extremely important to not have any products on your skin the day of your spray tanning appointment. This includes, but is not limited to, moisturizer, makeup, deodorant, and perfume.
Proper Attire: It is extremely important that your clients dress appropriately when attending their spray tanning appointments - this means no jeans or tight clothing. Praise your clients for coming into your salon looking like a hobo! Jeans, leggings, or any clothing of lighter colour are not recommended to wear after a spray tan, so suggest that your client brings with them some loose, dark clothing to change into after as well as proper footwear (something that will allow their feet to breathe and not sweat). Sandals are great for summertime and when the weather is nice; however, clients may need to get a little creative when it comes to what to put on their feet. If they have to wear something a little tight on their feet or socks, ask that they remove their footwear and socks as soon as they get home. If it is raining, instruct your client to bring an umbrella or have one handy at your salon so you can follow clients out to their cars if they don’t have anything with them to properly protect themselves.