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Spray tan

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Common Spray Tan Problems, and how to fix them!

Do you worry that you won’t be able to provide a perfect, even tan for your client.  The biggest fear for therapists is that you might make them too dark or even streaky!  Let me share some tips and best practices with you.

1. Uneven spray tan/missed spots while spray tanning

If your client ever complains about having received an uneven tan, or that you missed spots while tanning them, then it could be one of two things:
Technique: Make sure you are spraying with the tines of the gun at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock (the tines will be vertical). 
Could you have sprayed too quickly in certain areas?  It is important that your gun is held straight and the speed that you move your hand is consistent for each part of the body. 
Some times when clients are twisting or watching what we are doing certain areas can be missed.  Always ask them to stay still and they can look when you’re finished!

2. White lines along the knuckles or side of the thumb after spray tanning client’s hand

Ask them to slightly bend their hands before spraying.  Imagine they are holding a rugby ball .  The fingers will be bent and spread out.  Make sure you are about 10 inches away from the hands so that they are not too dark.

3. Very obvious tan line from hair nets

A hair net is only needed if your client has bleached hair or they cannot remove it from across their face.   Make sure you pull it back slightly from their forehead so that the solution can blend in with the hair line.I have seen some disasters where the hair net was across the forehead.  

4. Discoloured fingernails and toenails after spray tanning

Fingernails and toenails do tend to turn colours when spray tan solution is sprayed over them. Apply barrier cream to hands and feet before spraying and then use a tan wipe to wipe over the nails immediately after spraying.

5. Underarms have turned green

This can happen because there is deodorant on the skin.  Thankfully the lasting DHA tan underneath will not suffer from this discoloration; however, it’s important to note that if the client did have deodorant on during their spray tan service then it could have caused a barrier between the spray tan solution and their skin This could result in the area being be lighter than expected.
Preventing this is easy: remind your clients to exfoliate their armpits and not to apply any products before coming in.   You could also have wipes or prep sprays in your treatment room for them to use.

6. White spots, streaking spots on top of client’s shoulders and neck after a spray tan

Chances are this is due to your client having shampoo, perfume  or hairspray residue on their shoulders.   As above ask them to exfoliate and come in with clean, fresh skin

7. Discolored feet after spray tanning

Feet& hands tan much easier than most other parts of your body.
You must ensure you have applied barrier cream prior to spraying, use sticky feet to prevent the soles of the feet from tanning and spray 10 inches away from them.  Rest of the body is 6 inches !

8. Lines on knees and elbows after a spray tan

Similar to the issue of having white lines appear on your knuckles, having white lines appear on your elbows and knees after your spray tan service is a result of the client not being positioned properly for that portion of the spray tan. As you spray tan their joints, it’s important to make sure your client’s arms and legs are bent. Doing so will prevent any skin from wrinkling up and blocking the tan in that area. Simple as that!

9. Can I tan if I have a sunburn?

It’s not recommended. If you’ve recently gotten a sunburn then your skin is going to start peeling soon. Once it does, you’re going to lose that beautiful tan you just got! It’s much better to wait until after your skin has had a chance to recover before setting your next spray tan appointment.
10. Streaky/Runny results during spray tanIf you are spraying and you notice that the tanning solution is creating streaks or running down your client’s legs and arms then there are two things that you might need to address. First, how much solution are you using? You should be using an average of 50mls per client.  If you find you are using a lot more then you need to tighten your gun and spray only 6 inches from the body.  If your solution is running your gun is too loose.  Only turn your nozzle to 6 o’clock ( half a circle).
Is your client hot?  It could be that the solution is reacting with sweat.

11. Face fading faster than rest of the tan

Our faces will always fade faster than the rest of our tans. This is because our face is most exposed to the elements (think wind, rain, snow, dirt), and also typically endures the most rigorous daily routines (makeup application and removal, moisturisers, cleansers). But all is not lost! 
Good idea to retail tanning solution for them to apply to the face a few days after their spray tan.  Some brands so small sachets that can be retailed for £1

12. Colour is too dark

If this occurs then you are probably using a DHA percentage that is too strong for your skin type.   Try using the shade down next time.If clients are unsure I would also use a lighter shade for their first time with you.  It is better for it to be a bit lighter than them be mortified with how dark it is.

13. Flaky Ta

Flaky tans are most often the result of dry skin. What is happening is that you are giving your client a spray tan over skin that is already dead/dying and about to fall off.    Make sure you give clients pre tan advice and suggest they do a full body exfoliation before coming in for their tan.  This ensures a nice even layer of skin. ]]
Remember we shed our epidermis every 30-45 days.

14. My spray tan faded after working out

Always remember that if you are planning on working out after your spray tan that you will have to wait until you have rinsed off. 15. Overspray/solution getting on work surfacesSick of having to wipe down EVERYTHING after a spray tan service? First, make sure you’re only using about 50mls of solution–anything more and you’re likely losing a lot to overspray. Second, make sure your gun’s air flow control knob is turned down to the correct level (contact your spray tan manufacturer for help with this if need be!). Third, check the ventilation of your room. A well ventilated room will decrease the occurrence of overspray, and an extraction fan will negate it almost entirely!
Keep your hand inside your tent when spraying!

16. Spraying over an existing tan line

Spray tanning over an existing tan line is perfectly fine. If your client doesn’t mind if they still have a tan line after the service then just spray as normal.

17. Spray tanning nervous/fearful clients (who are afraid of turning orange)

If you’re client is afraid of turning orange, or nervous about being too dark, then the best course of action is to use a very low percentage solution on them. We recommend a 6% or, at most, an 8% to help ease the into spray tanning. You can always go darker next time.

If you want to do a tanning course simply call us on 01443 303034 or visit the tanning course page