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How long will my tan last?

Typically a tan will last 7-10 days. The first 4 days usually have the best, fullest color, and then the tan starts to gradually fade over the course of the next week. However, the length of time your tan lasts depends on many factors. Some have to do with aftercare, while others have to do with age and/or environmental factors. Everyone's skin cells regenerate at different rates, and depending on the rate your skin cells turnover, your tan may fade quicker or last longer. Typically younger peoples cell turnover rate is quicker and therefore the tan may last for about 5 days. Older peoples skin takes longer to turnover and therefore may enjoy their airbrush tan lasting 2-3 weeks. Also weather or the seasons can play a role in how long an airbrush lasts. Dryer climates = dryer skin and therefore the skin cells that your tan adhered to, will shed off quicker. That's why moisturizing with the proper moisturizer everyday, is key to preserving your tan. 

Can I swim or go in a hot tub? And how does swimming affect my tan?

Yes you can swim and go in a hot tub, but do expect your tan to fade faster. Both chlorine and salt water dry the skin out and therefore cause skin cells to shed quicker. Some tips for minimizing the effects of swimming on your tan are to rinse off with cool water as soon as you can after swimming and then applying the Moorea Moisturizer afterwards to hydrate the skin. Also using the Tan Extender will reapply the color that you've lost which will help maintain your tan.

How does a spray tan work anyways? Is it "painting/staining" my skin?

Surprisingly a spray/airbrush tan is not depositing color on the skin, in fact the tanning solution is clear. The way it works is there is an ingredient derived from sugar beets called DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which reacts with the amino acids in the surface layer of the skin, and creates a reaction which causes the skin to turn brown. The reason the airbrush solution looks brown is because cosmetic bronzer is added to the solution to act as a guide during the application process (otherwise it would be like applying water to the skin.) Once you shower the bronzer washes off and the developed tan is revealed. DHA can be derived from both sugar beets and sugar cane. Interestingly, it was discovered in the 1960's by a nurse who was feeding sick children with a concoction that contained DHA in it. She would notice that the chins of the children would be stained brown. With this discovery applied to the skincare industry, sunless tanning was developed.

How does an express/rapid tan work? Will I be tan sooner?

An express tan still takes the same amount of time to develop, however you can rinse it off sooner. Some people prefer this because they would like to rinse off before going to bed. The name "express"/"rapid" is deceiving, as it seems like the tan itself is "rapid", however the proper term should be "rapid rinse". The tan itself still takes a minimum of 8 hours to develop. So if you rinse after 3 hours, you will still have another 5 hours to go before you'd expect to see any major color change. It's kind of magical, you step out of the shower as your normal self, and then BAM a few hours later you're a bronzed babe.

What should I wear during my tan?

It is up to you how much or little you'd like the wear during your tan. I will provide a disposable thong for you to wear, but if you prefer not to have any tan lines, going fully nude is also an option. Some people bring a bathing suit to wear or just wear their underwear. Men most commonly wear their boxers/briefs or shorts, however these are optional and do not need to be worn if no tan lines are desired.


If it is your first time getting an airbrush, I suggest having some type of indicating mark so that you can see the contrast between you natural color and your tan. If you don't want a line from wearing an under garment, I have small tanning stickers you could place somewhere on the body. It's easy to forget what shade you started at, but with having some sort of tan line, it really helps show you the result. You can then easily decide if you want to go lighter or darker next time. 

I thought I couldn't wear lotion or any oils before an airbrush tan?!

If you thought you couldn't wear lotion or anything with oil in it when getting an airbrush tan. your not alone. I too was told that when I first became an airbrush technician, and therefore that is what I told my clients. However, as an esthetician, I am curious about ingredients, and so one day I started reading the back of the airbrush aftercare products . And to my surprise, the airbrush aftercare lotion is packed with tons of different oils. I was confused, and after a little research, as well as speaking with the developer of the airbrush solution + products, I learned the truth about airbrushes and oils. Instead of telling everyone not to use anything with oil in it, we should be educating people not to use anything with MINERAL oil. Plant based oils are perfectly fine, and in fact help moisturize the skin and therefore preserve the tan. Mineral oil, also known as petroleum jelly, is not only bad for airbrushes, it's also bad for us in general. I won't go in to detail about the health risks it poses, but for an airbrush, if worn prior to application it would create a barrier, preventing full saturation of the airbrush solution. Mineral oil, if used afterwards would prematurely break down the tan. Did you know that products like Jergens Natural Glow intentionally put mineral oil in their products to make the tan fade quicker so that you have to use it more often, which = more $ for them.  

Now back to the question regarding can you wear lotion to your tanning session. I am happy to inform you that yes you can, as long as its free of mineral oil / petroleum jelly and parabens. In fact, if you use the lotion designed for airbrush maintenance prior to your tan, your tan will be applied more evenly, and last even longer. Not to mention your skin will just feel so much better. I know that after prepping for an airbrush: showering, shaving and exfoliating, my skin feels dry, tight and itchy. I NEED to moisturize, and I assume you may feel the same way. If you want to make sure you have the correct lotion, stop in the Glow studio to grab yourself a bottle, or if you would like to try it out first, I have samples off all my products available. No need to make two trips, just let me know when you arrive that your skin is thirsty, and I'll provide you with the most compatible airbrush lotion available. And yes, it is totally fine to apply it moments before your tan.  

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