Here are a few questions I come across with my new clients, and some misconceptions that you may have heard also:
Wax vs. Shaving
Waxing or shaving before your tan is crucial to have not only a quality tan, but a longer lasting tan. When the solution is being applied, it clings to the top layer of your skin and turns brown. A freshly waxed or shaved surface allows for even application and a more consistent development. However, many clients ask me when they should wax or shave. Waxing or shaving after the tan will exfoliate the top layer of skin which in turn will take the tan away with it. I strongly recommend scheduling waxing appointments around your airbrush applications.
You want to be waxed when you have absolutely no tan left on your body, that way you won't have to worry about large patches of your tan being taken off. If you are going to be waxed, I prefer my clients schedule their appointment two to three days prior to the airbrush appointment. That way all redness has subsided and the skin has recovered from the waxing.
When it comes to shaving, I've found that it works best for clients to shave the morning of the tan, not just before like many believe. The reasoning behind this lies with your skin's moisture levels. Airbrush solution works best with happy hydrated skin. Shaving in the morning allows for you to be able to but moisturizer on your body and then allow it to absorb through the day, and gives your skin time to generate natural oils. Shaving is a little more forgiving than waxing. I tell my clients that they can shave again within three days of the tan. For best results, avoid shaving (use your best judgement) for the duration of your tan. The longer you go without shaving, the longer the tan will last. Most tans fade within a week because of the exfoliation caused by shaving. This is why spray tans usually last longer on men than they do on women. With my male clients, I prefer any facial/manscaping to be done within three hours of the application, with care taken to avoid any heavy moisturizers or aftershaves.
This is huge. Ladies (and some boys) TAKE OFF YOUR MAKE UP. Time and time again, I find myself half way through a tan when I hear my client say "oh, does it matter if I have foundation on"? Yes. It matters. It really really matters. The airbrush solution has to make direct contact with your skin. Leaving on any make up can really cause problems once the tan has developed. Uneven color and splotches are just some of the issues that can arise when there is make up on the skin.
Most manicurists use essential oils and lotions during their services. If you are planning an airbrush appointment the same day as you are getting a manicure or pedicure, the mani/pedi must be done before the tan. Water neutralizes the active ingredients in the airbrush solution. Also, if you happened to schedule your appointments within 6 hours of each other, please inform your manicurist to not use any oils and forgo that calf massage you always look forward to. The oils used by nail salons tend to stick around on the skin for a longer period of time. These oils and creams can create a barrier, leaving the possibility for splotches.
Exfoliation goes hand in hand with tanning. Exfoliation helps remove the dead layer of skin cells so that the solution has a smooth surface to cling to. I recommend doing a mild sugar scrub or soak in a bath the night before your appointment. Not only does it help with the tan results, you get to have a mini spa night. For ultra smooth skin, try using coconut oil as moisturizer after your scrub.
"When can I work out"?
I'd say I hear this question from 4/5 of my clients after a tanning session. Because water neutralizes the tanning agent, I suggest not working out for a minimum of 5 hours after your tan. Sweat is water, so streaks can happen if you work up a sweat before the tanning process is complete. I also suggest showering with lukewarm water and no soap before your first work out after the tan. The reason behind this is because of the cosmetic bronzers that are on the top layer of your skin. Sweating can cause the bronzers to run, which won't affect the tan (so long as it is done processing) but it will make it look like you've got streaks of dirt down your face. So, if you MUST work out that day, do it first thing in the morning.
Check back soon for a few more tips on how to help your tan last longer, and what which at home products I recommend to my clients when they need to travel.