The goal in providing a premier spray tan service is creating a result that is natural looking and long-lasting. However, you and I both know getting a drop dead flawless spray tan is a 50/50 game! We can’t do it all on our own, unfortunately. Having to rely on our clients to take their pre-tan prep seriously is one of the most challenging parts of delivering the best sunless results. We HAVE to rely on clients to follow instructions, which means that we, as the artist, have to provide clear and concise instructions in the first place! You may have noticed, one of the first questions clients ask before booking their appointment is: “how long does a spray tan last?” We know that on average, a spray tan will last 7-10 days with proper prep and care. We also know, we can only control so much of what impacts the quality and duration of the tan, so what do you actually have to communicate to your clients in order for them to do the proper necessary prep? If you haven’t quite started your sunless business journey or taken a course yet, you may not even be totally clear on what good spray tan prep entails. If that’s the case, these tips will definitely help aim you in the right direction to breaking down the skin prep on the client’s side.
The Week Prior
The keyword to know for the week before a spray tan appointment is “moisturize!” Moisturizing is particularly important during the cold months when the air is more dry or if the client’s skin type is dry. DHA interacts with the skin most effectively and naturally when the skin is well hydrated and moisturized. If the skin is too dry or has dry spots, DHA may overstate and pull orange. This means, the week prior to the spray tan appointment, the client should be moisturizing 1-2 times a day. However, although their prep includes moisturizing the days leading up to the appointment, it’s crucial to include in the prep instructions that they should not be arriving to the appointment with any moisturizers on that could form a barrier between the sunless solution and their skin.
The Night Before
The night before the appointment, or within 24 hours, the client should follow specific instructions on how to prep for their spray tan. This prepping of the skin involves shaving, showering and exfoliating. Doing these steps too close to the appointment time can cause the tan to develop improperly. Exfoliating is especially important during spray tan prep because it ensures that the top layer of dead skin cells is sloughed off to create a nice even canvas for the tan to develop on, which also allows the tan to last longer! The prep that is involved within the 24-48 hours before the appointment can be the difference between a tan that turns out flawless or one that doesn’t develop correctly. It should be communicated that the spray tan appointment is the last in the line of beauty services. This means that if the client is planning on getting any other beauty services done, such as nails, facials, waxes, massages, they should schedule them at least 24-48 hours prior to their spray tan.
It’s common for clients to think that they should moisturize before heading into their spray tan appointment. In order to get a tan that develops fully in color and evenly, the client should show up to the appointment with skin that is free of all the things, including lotions, perfumes, makeup and deodorant. Anything that is present on the skin can cause a barrier between the skin and the spray tan solution, which means that the client may experience a tan that doesn’t last as long, doesn’t develop to its full depth of color or looks uneven and blotchy. All of these outcomes are what causes negative stigmas toward spray tanning!
As you can see, the results that take place from your client’s spray tan appointment is heavily dependent on the prep process! Although we can only advise clients of what they can do to help make their tan as flawless as possible, there are still a few steps we can take at the appointment to prep the skin before we start spraying:
- Use pH Prep Spray to equalize the skin’s pH level before every tan. pH spray creates a clean canvas by removing any leftover dirt and debris that’s left on the skin from improper client prep, while also adding extra hydration for a longer lasting glow.
- Always apply barrier cream on areas of the skin that tend to be more dry, such as hands, feet, ankles, wrists and elbows to ensure the spray tan solution does not over saturate the area and pull orange (a client’s worst fear!).
- Have a five minute pre-tan consultation to ensure that the client’s skin is free of all makeup and deodorant. If the client does show up with makeup or deodorant on their skin, instruct them to use a baby wipe to remove all products before you start spraying.
Although prepping for a spray tan is a 50/50 process that relies on the commitment of the client, effectively communicating the prep process to your clients well in advance of their appointment will allow them to get the best results and trust you as the professional that knows what she’s talking about! Using automation to your benefit is the perfect way to make sure your clients never miss out on the important details of their prep process. You can check with your booking system to set up an automation that sends out instructions to the client once they book their appointment so that the transmission of their instructions is simple and streamlined.
As we always say, “knowledge is power!” At X-TAN Sunless we have taken all of the knowledge we’ve gained throughout the many years in the sunless industry and created products for professionals that will elevate their artistry and client experience. If you’re ready to stock up your kit with the most premier sunless products visit our X-TAN Sunless Pro Shop for all professional and retail items available to artists.