Some people desire enough of a tan for just one occasion such as an evening out. Some people look at all options available in sunless tanning products and decide to tan the old-fashioned way, after all. For those who opt for a traditional, sun-induced tan, caution and protective measures are recommended.
Currently, sunless tanning spray can be found at high-end salons or spas and can anywhere from $25 per session to up to $100 for a few one-hour sessions. Sunless tanning spray contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is applied in a fine mist to the entire body of the customer.
DHA reacts with dead skin cells on the surface of the body, causing them to turn brown. Most tanners who use the spray method report good, realistic results and excellent coverage. The spray-on tans last five to seven days, typically.
Sunless tanning spray is either water or oil-based. The former is recommended for people with sensitive skin. The FDA has approved DHA as safe since the 1970s. It is colorless — the color change in the tanners' skin is chemical — but may at first emit a slight odor, which should disappear after showering. It will not stain clothing.
Sunless tanning spray is not recommended for people with dry and flaky skin or for people with very fair skin. In the case of those with dry skin, a spray tan may end up looking patchy, due to the accelerated shedding of dead skin cells. For those with fair skin, the tan may end up looking too dark or otherwise awkward.
Moisturizing can optimize the life of a spray tan. Other preparations to take are to exfoliate before having sunless tanning spray applied, avoid showering for at least four hours before the tanning session, and avoid physical activity for a short while after the spray tan is applied. The better precautions are taken and the more diligently aftercare is pursued, the better the results of a spray tan will be.