Spray tanning has always been quite popular, especially for those who like to showcase a tan all year round. There are many women (and men) who are turning to this solution for a great even tan. This is partially because people are beginning to take notice of the dangers of skin cancer. In this article we’ll give you a quick introduction to spray tanning so you can decide if it’s right for you.

History of Tanning

In the 1950’s, tanning first started to become popular. This is partially to do with people being able to enjoy their holidays elsewhere around the world. Sunbeds rose in the mid 1970s and were continuously in demand by many.

Key Facts

Pain: None
Duration : Short Term
Typical Cost : $25-70
Sessions Needed : 1
Treatment Time : Low

However, certain stories stating the risks of sunbeds were circulated and the public believed that sunbeds were likely to cause skin cancer. Thus, the public looked for other alternatives to sunbeds and spray tanning gained popularity.

Spray Tanning Basics

The whole process can be done very quickly which is one of the reasons why it’s popular. People don’t like to wait and but they love fast results. At the salon you can have it done in a booth or have an airbrush tan. It works by the spray solution being released on to the desired parts of the body.

For those who want to get an airbrush tan, a technician is needed. The technician will be the one responsible for spraying the solution, rather than a machine. Either way the treatments are usually uncomplicated and fast.

Other popular ways of getting a tan included traditional sunbathing and sunbeds. Sunbeds are a popular alternative to regular sunbathing. However, they still can lead to problems if you use them too much. Even though they’re not as bad as they once were.

DHA or Dihydroxyacetone is the main ingredient in spray tanning and is approved by the FDA. DHA reacts with the amino acids to make the skin look darker. Other ingredients that might be found in some solutions are emulsifiers, color enhancers, and emollients.


  • You’re able to have a tan any time during the year. This makes it possible to sport darker skin in the middle of winter. It’s also possible to get a tan even if the sun isn’t shining in your part of the country.
  • It decreases the risk of getting skin cancer which can come from traditional sunbathing. Take note that you must still apply SPF (sun protection factor).
  • The results are instant. Instead of having to go outside on a regular basis or spend time in the sun for many hours, you can instantly get it by spray tanning. On top of that, you can also choose exactly how dark you would like your tan to be.
  • The skin does not age as fast as regular sunbathing. Skin visibly looks older after too much time in the sun. That’s why older people who stay in the sun too much have skin which looks like leather! So, people of all ages can enjoy the elasticity of their skin for a longer period of time.
  • It provides the benefit of getting a tan for specific parts of your body or all of it. It is also better than putting on tanning creams which can take a while and have mixed results.
  • It is affordable and it comes off naturally by fading.


However, you should also be aware of some of the disadvantages associated with sunless tanning:

  • Newest research has shown that spray tanning may be linked to cancer. DHA may be dangerous once it enters the bloodstream. It enters through inhalation which is the reason why you must make sure that protective gear like nose plug are available. If proper safety is observed then you should be fine.
  • You don’t get the advantages of being in the sun. These are advantages like a better mood, vitamin D intake, and building up a natural resistance to sung light. It’s advisable to get at least some sun if you spray tan.

The advantages substantially outweigh the disadvantages as you can see. However it’s important to get the treatment done in a reputable salon. Make sure proper safety equipment is in place such as goggles and nose plugs. Try and have a look at some reviews of the salon too. Just because it isn’t as potentially dangerous as injections, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research it. It can be both an embarrassment and massive inconvenience if the tan goes wrong.

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