Summer is in full swing, which means short shorts, teeny tanks and lots of exposed skin. Golden limbs and sun-kissed cheeks are always in fashion during the warm season, but are you really willing to pay the price for that tantalizing tan?

We don’t want to bum you out on this gorgeous summer day, but healthy, beautiful skin is our business, and therefore, it’s our duty to remind you that tanning beds and sunbathing cause skin cancer and can visibly damage your skin. The World Health Organization places tanning beds and lamps into its highest cancer risk category, and the Centers for Disease Control warns that in addition to causing a range of skin cancers, sun exposure and tanning beds also cause changes in skin texture and premature aging of the skin—think spots and wrinkles.

You probably already knew all that, but maybe you didn’t know this: Spray tanning has come a long, long way since the olden days. A spray tan gives your skin a smooth, even, and natural bronze glow that won’t cause damage down the road.

How Does Spray Tanning Work?

Spray tanning involves evenly coating your body with a fine mist of tanning solution. The active ingredient in tanning sprays is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. Extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets, DHA reacts with the amino acids in your upper layer of skin, oxidizing it to produce a natural tan. The color begins to appear within a few of hours of application and reaches its peak intensity around 24 hours afterwards.

Is Spray Tanning Safe?

When properly applied, a spray tan is a safe alternative to sunbathing and tanning beds. But many professional spray tan solutions contain artificial preservatives and fragrances along with alcohol and other skin-drying ingredients. Bella proudly uses SunFX products, which contain no artificial preservatives, alcohols, parabens, glycol, or other harmful substances. These luscious, natural solutions are infused with aromatic botanicals and nurture your skin with vitamins A, C, and E.

Getting the Most Out of Your Spray Tan

A spray tan will last from five to ten days, depending on a range of factors. Preparing for your spray tan and maintaining it properly can help you glow longer.

Before your appointment

  • Exfoliate to remove dead and dry skin cells. Exfoliate every day for the three days leading up to your appointment to ensure your skin is in the best possible condition to absorb the solution. Try Bella’s handmade exfoliating scrub, concocted in-house. This summer’s scent is cooling, invigorating Rosemary and Peppermint.
    Skip the moisturizer and makeup. Although you want to moisturize your skin well in the days leading up to your appointment, moisturizers and makeup can interfere with absorption. Go moisturizer- and makeup-free on the day of your spray tan.
    Wax at least 24 hours prior. Waxing too close to your spray tan can produce a dark pore look.
    Wear loose clothing. Loose clothes will prevent fabric from rubbing against your skin and smearing the solution before it sets.
    Bring an umbrella if it’s going to rain. You don’t want your spray tan getting wet before it sets.

Immediately after your appointment

  • Don’t touch! Your skin may feel a little sticky after your spray tan, but try not to touch it, scratch it, or otherwise disturb it.
    Don’t shower or sweat for the allotted time. Your esthetician will let you know how long to wait before you shower. This will range from two to eight hours. We know it’s hot outside, but try not to sweat too profusely.

Long-term care

  • Exfoliate gently. Vigorous exfoliation will shorten the life of your tan. Exfoliate lightly every two or three days with a gentle, natural formula.
    Pat dry. Don’t rub your skin with that towel after your shower. Gently pat dry.
    Use a natural, fragrance- and dye-free shower gel. Some body washes can leave a residue behind that will shorten the life of your tan. Use a basic, natural shower gel.
    Use an oil-free moisturizer. Oil-based moisturizers spell disaster for your spray tan. Use a natural, unscented moisturizer that’s not oil-based.
    Don’t forget the sunscreen. A spray tan isn’t sunscreen. Keep applying your fragrance-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.

Get Your Summer Glow at Bella

At Bella, our mission is to help you achieve the healthiest, glowingest skin possible. Sun exposure is the number-one reason for skin damage, including spots and wrinkles. No matter what your age, you can prevent further damage by staying out of the sun and away from the tanning bed. Call Bella today at 402-327-9726 to book a spray tan with one of our experienced estheticians. No one will be the wiser, and your skin will thank you.