One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients when they book their first airbrush tanning session is how to prep their skin for the best results. Of course, there are many factors that go into achieving the perfect tan, but prepping the skin properly will help ensure that you get a flawless, long-lasting tan. Preparing for the session is extremely important and should never be overlooked.
1. Prepare yourself
The morning of your appointment, use a non-oily scrub to exfoliate your skin, particularly the knees and elbows, which tend to absorb more tanner and turn dark, as well as the neck, chest, shins, and face. These are areas where the skin is thinner, and streaks show up. This also ensures you removed any existing self-tanner you may have from previous sessions. If you use Retin-A (or an over-the-counter retinoid) or take Accutane, talk to your doctor about going off it one week before your appointment. These can affect how the active ingredient, DHA, is absorbed, which can lead to a splotchy tan.
Remember to do any waxing or shaving at least 24 hours before your session to avoid streaky legs. Also do not apply any oils, lotions, perfumes, makeup, or deodorant the day of the session, as they can act as skin barriers. This can cause streaking green areas or prevent color from being absorbed.
If you are getting sprayed for a special occasion, it is important to get your manicure, pedicure, and any spa treatments before tanning.
2. Dress for the occasion
This is not the moment for your nice lingerie. Wear underwear that you don’t mind ruining; most tanners wash out, but better safe than sorry. It is important you avoid tight clothing, so bring with you loose-fitting pants, top, and sandals. Once your skin is totally dry, which takes at least 20 minutes, put on loose, dark clothing, and skip the bra for the next six hours — if you can.
3. Make it last
It’s best not to let your skin get wet for eight hours. Don’t exfoliate for at least a week, shave your legs as infrequently as possible, and moisturize from head to toe after you shower.