For months now I've had a steady stream of tanners coming into my spray tanning salon and leaving 10 minutes later with the colour of their skin in no way different from the one that they came in with.
Yet, they come again and again.
Why, do you ask, would anybody want a colorless spray tan? Isn't it totally contrary to what the whole exercise is supposed to be about?
Welcome to the new era in spray tanning!
The newest thing on the market that is gaining more and more followers is spray tanning with a colorless (clear) spray tanning solution.
Once you've had it, it is hard to go back to the old solution containing bronzer.
For years bronzer has been added to the spray tanning solution for 2 reasons:
1) For immediate gratification, so that immediately after the session it would appear that you just came back from holidays,
2) To ensure that you got even tan. The person spray tanning you had to know if she did not miss any parts of your body. The brown dye in the solution could show her exactly where she had been.
People that spray tan frequently know that until now you had to pay for those few days of golden skin with at least one day of discomfort.
When bronzer is added to the spray tanning solution, it is responsible for myriad of problems:
? There are often streaks. Sure, most of it comes out in the first shower, but until then you run around with what looks like a map of a river running down the back of your legs. A dead give away that you just had a spray tan.
? You can get dark stains, especially on your hands and feet. Those are almost impossible to remove in a hurry.
? The brown dye gets onto your clothes and underwear. Once again, most of it comes off in the wash, but if you try to wear your good satin or silk bra, the only place for it, after the encounter with a bronzer will be in the rubbish bin.
? If you have large pores on your face you will end up with a "blackhead effect". The bronzer will lodge in those pores, and it will take days for it to come out. Very unattractive. The same will happen if you shave or wax your legs. You will have spotty legs for a week.
? Because the bronzer lodges itself so deep in the pores, it can keep coming out for days on end onto your sheets, and towels. Also on the white clothes if you happen to sweat (no bride would sweat in her wedding dress, right?)
And what if spray tanning solution has no added bronzer?
Well, the problems described above simply don't exist. You get sprayed, and your own skin develops the colour. Full stop.
The only drawback of being sprayed with a clear spray tanning solution is that you will have to wait for your tan about 5-7 hours.
Oh, and another thing, you will probably have to get your tan done in a spray tan booth. The reason for it is that most of technicians that do spray tans with a hand held unit simply cannot do a good job without the bronzer.
So the way to spray tan these days is to hop into a spray tan booth, 1 minute later wipe yourself down , put your clothes on, and be on your way.
Unless of course you like to stand completely naked for 20 minutes or so in front of a complete stranger while being spray tanned and getting streaks, blackheads and stains.
The choice is clear.
Boshena is an owner of TanXtreme, a spray tanning salon in Byron Bay Australia. She also wrote a spray tanning guide, which you can view on: http://www.best-spray-tan-guide.com