Despite being considered the safe way to achieve a healthy and sun-kissed glow, sunless tanning, spray tanning in particular, has recently come under fire for its use of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a coloring agent derived from sugar beet or sugar cane. The controversy was introduced on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” program in a segment addressing the safety of spray tans. The segment brought up health concerns, such as potential lung complications and altered DNA, related to the inhalation of DHA, based on a panel of six medical experts who reviewed various reports on the ingredient.
Keeping it Safe
In terms of safety, it is important to note that DHA is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for external use. It has long been considered safe for topical application. “Safety is a primary concern for us, which is why we encourage our spa partners to follow all of the FDA Advisory recommendations,” says Ricky Croft, vice president of marketing at Sunless Inc. They include sealing lips with lip balm and wearing protective eyewear, nose filters, and undergarments whenever DHA is being used in a spray application. In a comprehensive report published in 2010, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) noted that, based on the available information, the use of DHA as a self-tanning ingredient in spray cabins up to a 14-percent concentration will not pose a risk to the health of consumers.
With the proper safety precautions in place, sunless tanning remains a healthy means of achieving a golden glow. This is especially appealing to clients looking to get a bit of color before embarking on a tropical vacation or tying the knot.
Sunless tanning has come a long way in recent years with advances in the formulations used. Spa-goers no longer need to fear looking more orange than tan.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does a spray tan application take?
HVLP Tanning Equipment will take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes to complete a professional spray tan. There is more airflow, larger spray coverage on the body, giving you a much quicker application. Airbrush Tanning Equipment will take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes for a complete professional spray tan. Automated Spray Booths can finish a spray tan within 3 to 4 minutes. These times are assuming the technician is fully trained and efficient.
Will the spray tanning solution from a spray tan application come off my clothes and bed sheets?
If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic bronzer, you might experience that some of the bronze color will rub off on the clothing or bed sheets. To minimize the chance of the bronzer transferring to your clothing, we recommend that you always wear loose-fitting dark clothes. This will help hide any transferring of bronzer until you wash the clothes you were wearing. Refraining from physical exertion until after waiting 6-8 hours to shower will help minimize your transferring any bronzer to your clothes through sweating. Our solution bronzer is water-soluble and will, in most cases, wash out of your clothing or sheets once washed.
How long should I wait after using a self tanner before showering?
You should wait at least 6 to 8 hours prior to showering. The DHA ingredient will not react with your skin proteins if you bathe or shower before 6 hours, giving you a much lighter tanning result. If at all possible, we recommend waiting 10 hours or longer to achieve your best results. Tanning before noon, and showering before bed is the most common practice. Some people will tan before bed, however this can leave your bed sheets with a dirty color in the morning from the bronzer in the solution. The bronzer will wash out.
How many days will a sunless tan last?
The life span of your sunless tan will depend on the the self tanning application process, the skin’s natural exfoliation process, and the skincare regimen following your sunless tan application.
– If applied at home on self (lotions, aerosols/self spray on tans, mousse, etc), you can expect your tan longevity to last 3 to 5 days.
– If you receive a professional application (Automatic Spray Booths, Salon Airbrush, Professional Mobile Tanning, Airbrush/HVLP) you can expect 6 to 8 days using Sjolie Tanning Solutions.
Professional Application is the recommended process to receive a sunless tan. Professionals will tend to use a stronger DHA percentage compared to at-home products, giving you a higher quality tan. Most at-home self tanners use only 4-5% DHA strength, as professionals will use on average 9% DHA.
Following a solid skin care regime before and after your sunless tan application will extend your tan’s longevity by days! Exfoliation before you tan your skin, then following the tan with daily tan extender lotions typically will extend your tan’s life span by 30%.