Frequently Asked Questions
Made from sugar cane, DHA (dihydroxyacetone) creates the brown hue by interacting with the amino acids in the skin. No matter what other ingredients are present in a formula, it’s DHA that’s responsible for the temporary tanning of the skin. Although the active ingredient is the same, tanning formulas do come in different strengths. The percentage of DHA in the tanning solution will determine the darkness of the tan. Higher DHA percentages result in darker tans. That is why every tan is also customizable. Consulting with your spray tan artist to accommodate your unique skin and desired result is an important step in the process.
Airbrush tanning is a consultive process where a tanning artist selects a formula perfect for your specific skin tone. This step is crucial as each person has a unique skin tone that requires a specific shade, especially if you want your skin to look naturally toned. The solution is then sprayed by hand, using an airbrush tanning gun. The technician will make sure the solution is applied in a most optimal and even way, to all areas of your body that you want tanned. A critical step is avoiding excess solution from reaching areas that you don’t want to be overly tanned, which usually includes underarms, knees, and elbows. This process should not be confused with a spray tan booth, in which a machine coats the client head to toe using a similar formula.
A custom spray tan is applied by an individual and can be customized to address certain areas where you would like more color or definition. Tanning machines, while quicker, are designed to apply an even coat over the entire body. This may also result in missed areas, too much color in certain areas, or blotchiness. Think of it like taking your car to an automated car wash versus a professional detailing service. A machine will get the car somewhat clean, but nowhere near the detail of a professional.
Spray tanning is a much safer option to the alternate forms of tanning, such as sunbathing and tanning beds. Laying out in the sun can only be harmful, with excessive exposure to UV rays that damage your skin cells and cause severe burns; increasing your risk for skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society both recommend spray tanning. Tanformations only uses formulas with FDA-approved ingredients with no known adverse side effects. With our customizable tanning solutions, you can get the tan you want without exposing your skin to UV rays that can damage your skin.
The National Cancer Institute, as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer has categorized tanning bed devices as well as any device that emits UV Radiation as “catastrophic to humans”. A survey showed the people who use tanning beds before the age of 35 increase their risk of Melanoma by 87%.
In spray tanning, the active ingredient that produces the color is dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is derived from glycerin (vegetable origin) which is a commonly used cosmetic and food ingredient. DHA has been used in cosmetic preparations for almost 30 years and was listed with the FDA in 1973. DHA is a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead skin cells of the outermost layer of the epidermis. It is not absorbed into the body and poses no possibility of toxicity.
Although the FDA and thousands of Medical Professionals approved spray tanning while pregnant, you should always consult your doctor first. Seek medical guidance about what products are safer for use on your skin during your pregnancy.
Shower, shave and exfoliate within 24 hours (no less than 4 hours) prior to your appointment. Please do not use any scented moisturizing soaps (dove, dial, bath & body works, etc.) These create barriers on your skin and will hinder the result of your sunless tan. Your skin needs to be free of any lotions, deodorants, makeup, and oils.
Your appointment will take an average of 15-25 minutes with drying time included.
Even though the tanning solution we use is water soluble, we recommend wearing something old and dark. Many females choose to wear an old bra and/or panties or old swimsuit. If you prefer to have no tan lines, women are welcome to tan topless. Men are required to wear boxers or briefs. We do carry disposable undergarments in our studio for a fee.
We recommend wearing dark, loose fitting clothing following your tan. (Tight restrictive clothes such as jeans, bras, socks, shoes, anything with tight elastic, etc. are not recommended). Think oversized shirt/dress or swimsuit coverup with flip flops. When you leave, people will just assume you left the pool. Some color may transfer on your clothing and/or sheets but should come off in the laundry. If you have leather seats in your vehicle, please bring a towel to lay on your seat to prevent your skin rubbing up against the leather.
Skin naturally sheds itself every 7-10 days. Your tan could last 5-12 days depending upon personal upkeep and skin type. The more moisturized you maintain your skin, the longer you are able to extend your tan. We sell products in our studio that are made specifically to prolong the life of your tan.
Luckily there have been several advancements made since Coppertone released its first sunless-tanning product back in 1960 that would leave users with an orange hue. Today you are able to choose between a light, medium, or dark glow.
The tanning solutions we use are unscented. Since a spray tan is achieved through a chemical reaction in your body, everyone smells differently based off their individual body chemistry. If you are concerned about smell, scented fragrance drops that are applied to your tanning solution can be purchased. Also, we have Glow by Erin body powders for sale that were designed specifically for spray tanning. Not only do these powders set and protect your tan (think shellac for nails) they are great odor neutralizers.
Yes, you can cancel all the way up to 4 hours before your appointment time and reschedule and/or be refunded. If cancellation occurs after the 4-hour time limit, you will be charged for your session.
Houston is known for its unexpected torrential downpours, and since water is the number one enemy immediately following your tanning session anywhere between 2 to 8 hours, we suggest you plan accordingly. If it is raining on your appointment day, please make sure to bring an umbrella, a loose long sleeve shirt, and loose long pants that cover all exposed areas of your sprayed skin. Exposure to rain can ruin your tan while it is developing.
STAY DRY! This means no sweating, no working out/exercising, no washing dishes, no pedicures/manicures, no baths/showers until the rinse time discussed in your session has passed.
If you are tanning for a specific occasion or upcoming event, the best time to schedule is 48 hours prior to your event since that is when your tan will have developed to its peak.
The rapid tan allows you to take your first shower anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. The signature tan allows you to take your first shower anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Signature tans are also referred to as “sleeper” tans because people like to plan their tan at the end of the day, and then go home and climb into bed to go to sleep.
Yes, but even though it is water soluble and will wash out in the laundry, people choose to wear clothing that won’t matter if stained. The Glow by Erin powder we use helps to set your tan and cuts down on the amount of transfer.
We highly recommend getting your manicure/pedicure at least 24 hours in advance of spray tanning. Getting a manicure/pedicure after your spray tan will hinder the development of your tan and cause unevenness.