Frequently Asked Questions

Dihydroxyacetone (or DHA for short) is the tanning ingredient in all self-tanning formulas. DHA creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin thus creating a tanned appearance. DHA is a colorless 3-carbon sugar that when applied to the skin causes a chemical reaction with amino acids in the surface cells of the skin producing a darkening effect. DHA does not damage skin as it only affects the outermost cells of the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. The development of color takes anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each person’s skin type. The tan typically lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of skin cells naturally sheds.

The tan typically lasts 5 to 7 days (or up to 10 days when using Aviva Labs Tan-Extending Skincare products). The faster your skin cells turn over and shed from your body, the faster the sunless tan fades. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to shed. To get the longest life from a spray tan, it is crucial to exfoliate prior to the spray tan application and to moisturize daily after the application.

No. Our cosmetic bronzer is perfectly blended to give your clients that “just off the beach” look and our spray tan solution features a “what you see if what you get” effect meaning that the bronzer color they see initially exactly matches their resulting DHA spray tan. We also offer different DHA solutions in Winter Glow (our lightest formula), 8%, 10%, 12% and 14% DHA to insure that each client receives the proper amount of DHA for their skin tone.

Absolutely! A spray tan does not protect the skin from UV rays from the sun.

The sunless tanner dihydroxyacetone is currently the most popular way of gaining a tan-like appearance without sun exposure as it carries less health risks than any of the other available methods. To date, it is the only active ingredient approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for sunless tanning. The FDA has tested and approved DHA for use on the skin.

Spray tanning has not been tested on pregnant woman. Because of this we recommend your pregnant clients consult with and receive permission from their physician before receiving a DHA spray tan.

Dermatologists universally agree that the fewer the number of ingredients, the less likely the chance of an allergic reaction. Particularly in a spray on product, where inevitably the client will breathe some in, this is critical. Most competitors’ solutions contain 25-32 ingredients, but we have counted some as high as 40 ingredients. Aviva Labs’ formula contains just 13 ingredients. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a 100% allergy-proof product. However, we have dozens of salons & spas per week switch from competitors’ formulas to Aviva Labs specifically because the allergic reactions they were experiencing with the other solution goes away when they switch to Aviva Labs.

Most DHA sunless solutions take about 8 hours to completely develop and therefore, clients should not shower until after 8 hours from the time they are sprayed. Use Aviva’s Rapid Solutions to shower faster. When using Aviva Inspires Express Tan your client may shower after 4 hours for a light tan, 5 hours for a medium tan or 6 hours for a dark tan. When using Aviva’s City Tan Collection, your client may shower after 30 minutes for a light tan, 60 minutes for a medium tan or 90 minutes for a dark tan. Because a DHA tan takes 8 hours to completely develop, you should educate your clients that no matter how quickly they shower, they should expect to see their full tan after 8 hours.

It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will shed faster and the tan will fade sooner. To slow down the body’s natural exfoliation process, it is essential to moisturize daily. Aviva Inspires Velvet Soft Moisturizing Crème is specifically designed for sunless tanning and extends the life of the tan from 1 to 3 days. Aviva Inspires Skin Glow Moisturizer also extends the life of the tan by 1 to 3 days and also includes a light DHA concentration to help the spray tan fade evenly.

We recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session to minimize the chance of the bronzer transferring to clothing. When using a spray solution with bronzer, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. However, this is very rare when using Aviva Labs spray tanning solution. Vogue Magazine even nicknamed Aviva Labs as “The Bedsheet Saver.”

The Bedsheet Saver “Perfect for faketan-phobics, Aviva Labs Airbrush Sunless Tanning Solution is a clever water-based formula that’s non-sticky and quick-drying, it’s like it never happened – except that the natural-looking color starts to develop instantly… and it won’t rub off on clothes or Egyptian cotton sheets.” -Vogue Magazine,  Australia

No. Most people will not see any effect on the color of their hair. Customers with light blonde or gray hair may see some initial discoloration from the bronzer but this color will wash out after their first shower.

The Aviva Labs solution dries the fastest in the industry because it is oil-free. Our spray tan dries in seconds.

We recommend using the Fitzpatrick Scale (a Skin Type Guide) to determine which Aviva Labs Spray Tan Solution is perfect for each skin type.

Skin Type I Extremely sensitive to sun. Often light haired, fair skinned with freckles. Usually sunburns easily. Not likely to tan. Recommended: Aviva Inspires 8%DHA Sunless Tanning Solutions or Winter Glow

Skin Type II Very sensitive to sun. Often fair skinned with blue or light colored eyes. Usually sunburns easily. Able to achieve light tan Recommended: Aviva Inspires 8% DHA or 10% DHA Sunless Tanning Solutions

Skin Type III Sensitive to sun. Most Caucasians fit into this category. Sometimes sunburns. Achieves medium tan. Recommended: Aviva Inspires 10% DHA Sunless Tanning Solutions

Skin Type IV Moderately sensitive to sun. Often of Mediterranean, Hispanic or Asian descent. Sunburns a little. Usually tans well. Recommended: Aviva Inspires 10% DHA or 12% DHA Sunless Tanning Solutions

Skin Type V Minimally sensitive to sun. Middle Eastern, Latino, Indian, or light-skinned African-Americans. Rarely sunburns, tans deeply. Recommended: Aviva Inspires 12% or 14% DHA Sunless Tanning Solution and/or +35% DHA Booster Drops

Skin Type VI Not sensitive to sun. Dark-skinned and/or African-Americans. Almost never sunburns. Recommended: Aviva Inspires 12% or 14% DHA Sunless Tanning Solution and/or +35% DHA Booster Drops to smooth out and even skin tone and color

Aviva Labs is a spinoff of a biotech company, so health is our prime directive. Our founders have between them a Ph.D. in biochemistry, a medical degree, and a degree in science (mechanical engineering). In fact, the Ph.D., in addition to running his biotech company, is a professor at the prestigious Northeastern University. The biotech company was founded by scientists from Harvard and MIT. This means we approach skincare from an analytical, scientific angle. You are dealing with professionals, not some amateurs stirring something together in their kitchen. We understand not just how to mix ingredients together, but also why ingredients work. Our solutions are formulated specifically to target the high standards dermatologists would seek. This is why we have more dermatology clinics, med-spas, and plastic surgery clinics that trust Aviva Labs than any other brand. Most competitors’ solutions contain 25-32 ingredients, but we have counted some as high as 40 ingredients. Aviva Labs’ formula contains just 11 ingredients.

Because we have the world’s healthiest spray tan solution, more dermatology clinics choose us over any other sunless brand. Aviva Lab’s company motto, Beauty Today. Health for Life.™ has remained the same and reflects our unwavering focus on health.

Most competitors don’t list their ingredients on their website. Usually they will list a few of their “hero” ingredients, the ones they want people to see publicly. In contrast, we are very proud of our ingredients and have nothing to hide. Aviva Labs’ formula contains just 11 ingredients. We have listed our ingredients publicly since our first day in business in 2003. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the skincare industry, we see many competitors who don’t even list their ingredients on the label of their bottle (even though this is required by the FDA), or they will intentionally omit ingredients from their list. We have purchased and tested competitors’ products that listed three ingredients, but our lab tests showed at least 22 ingredients. Therefore, you can’t believe all the marketing hype you hear from a company. Aviva Labs’ formula contains the following 11 ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), Decyl Polyglucose, Isopropyl Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.

Oil (usually Aloe Vera) is used in most competitors’ sunless tanning formulas but not ours. Aloe is a fantastic moisturizer; we just believe it doesn’t belong in sunless tanning solutions. Though beneficial in other cosmetics and skincare products, Aloe Vera has many negative side effects when used in sunless tanners. Oil can dramatically slow drying times, clog pores and HVLP spray guns, plus stain clothes and bed sheets. Aloe-based or oil-based products also require more air compressor pressure to spray, are more difficult to clean up, and often require the addition of alcohol (which introduces a whole new set of problems) to speed up the drying time. Aviva Labs does NOT use Aloe Vera in our sunless tanners. Instead, we developed a unique, new product that is water-based (oil-free) rather than Aloe Vera-based (oil-based.) Aviva Labs’ solution is highly moisturizing, yet it dries in seconds, rather than minutes like Aloe Vera-based solutions.

Alcohol is usually added into oil-based (Aloe Vera) solutions to speed up the long drying times. Alcohol is very drying to the skin and can cause irritation. Furthermore, alcohol intensifies degradation of DHA and thus shortens the shelf life of the product.

Fragrance is the #1 cause of allergic reactions. Most sunless solutions have almost overpowering fruity or flowery smells. Their other ingredients smell so strong that lots of fragrance must be used to mask the chemicals. We spent much more time developing our products at the beginning to find the best quality, most expensive ingredients that have the least scent, so that our solutions have no smell and don’t need fragrance.

No, as Aviva Labs sunless solution (unlike most competitors’ solutions) is fragrance-free.

We will never ever use Erythrulose in our products. It’s used in about 90% of competitors’ products. They claim that, similar to DHA, Erythrulose causes the tan to look “better, darker, last longer, etc.” Not only is the performance of Erythrulose negligible, but Erythrulose is not FDA-approved. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is unsafe, but until it is approved we will not touch it for our products.

Aviva Sunless Solutions (Original, Gimme Brown!™, Winter Glow, Aviva Express, and City Tans): Aqua (Purified Water), DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), Decyl Polyglucose, Isopropyl Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.

Aviva Tango Tan Aqua (Purified Water), Decyl Polyglucose, Isopropyl Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.

Aviva Silk Solutions Purified Water (Aqua), DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), Decyl Polyglucose, Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Hyaluronate), Isopropyl Myristate, Caffeine, Xanthan Gum, Acai Berry (Euterpe Oleracea Mart)*, Coconut Milk (Cocos Nucifera)*, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis)*, Guarana Seed (Paullinia Cupana)*, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis Leaf)*, Squalane, CoQ10 (Ubiquinone), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Rose Water (Rosa Centifolia)*, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana), Orange Blossom (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis)*, Resveratrol, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin*, Hydrolized Silk Peptide, Lavender Petal (Lavandula Angustifolia)*, Hibiscus Petal (Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Linn)*, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, Baobab Fruit (Adansonia Digitata)*, Red Beet Root (Beta Vulgaris)*, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.      
*Certified Organic

35% DHA Bronzer Booster Drops (35% DHA concentration) Aqua (Purified Water), DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), Decyl Polyglucose, Isopropyl Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.

Bronzer Booster Drops Aqua (Purified Water), Decyl Polyglucose, Isopropyl Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol, EDTA.

Deep Clean Pecan Shell Exfoliant Aqua (Purified Water), Ceteareth-20, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Myristate, Crushed Pecan Shell, Fragrance (Parfum), DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A), CI 16035 (Red 40), CI 19140 (Yellow 5). Note for people with nut allergies: Contains crushed pecan shells.

Skin Glow Tan-Extending Moisturizer Aqua (Purified Water), Dihydroxyacetone, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Olea (Olive) Oil, Cocos (Coconut) Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A), Fragrance (Parfume), DMDM Hydantoin

Shower Glow™ DHA-Infused Body Wash Aqua (Purified Water), Dihydroxyacetone*, Sodium Coco Sulfate*, Coco Amide*, Coco Betaine*, Coco Glucoside*, Glycerin*, Aloe Vera* (Aloe Barbadensis), Sunflower Seed Oil* (Helianthus Annuus Oil), Fragrance* (Parfum), Sea Salt, Potassium Sorbate, FD&C Yellow #6. *plant-derived

Velvet Soft Moisturizing Crème Aqua (Purified Water), Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Olea (Olive) Oil, Cocos (Coconut) Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A), Fragrance (Parfum), DMDM Hydantoin

Our business startup packages allow you to ultimately choose on your own if you would like to use the T100 or not, however it’s important you understand the features you should look out for if you decide to shop around for an HVLP (high pressure low volume) unit and how our T100 HVLP Spray Tan Machine compares.

Don’t settle for a wimpy spray machine other companies offer! The spray machine is the heart of your business. You don’t want to have to deal with the stress from an inefficient motor prone to overheating and burn-outs, especially when you have clients dependent on you. As your business multiplies, our T100 will prove reliable & dependable every time you turn it on. When your business grows to 30, 60, and then 100 spray tans per week, this motor will keep up with you.

We feel so strongly about the power and efficiency of this machine that we give you an 12-MONTH stress-free dependable warranty when you purchase it from Aviva Labs. 


Aviva Labs T100 HVLP Spray Tan Machine is of salon-grade quality that is designed for heavy duty and rigorous use in a business environment. The T100 has steel where it counts. The needle is stainless steel, not plastic. Plastic will become pitted and break down over time with excessive pressures and liquid flow (picture what Niagara Falls has done to rock over time).

Many competitive HVLP units are of consumer quality, not salon-grade quality and prone to damage. They are often made of plastic parts that are prone to breakage and wear down with use.

Many alternatives are fine if a consumer was spraying themselves once every few weeks. This unit is designed for the intensive and non-stop use on salon and spa clients. Salons and spas want a spray gun, hose, and fittings that won’t easily break.

Other units are far too heavy and lead to arm fatigue. Ours is lightweight and designed to lower fatigue. When you are spray tanning several clients in a row, your arm fatigue can really kick in for every extra pound you are holding in your hand.

Our Aviva Labs T100 Is designed specifically for spray tanning. Many airbrushes are designed as multi-purpose sprayers, for nail art, temporary tattoos, T-shirt artists, plastic model painting, airbrush makeup, and canvas artists.

Similarly, industrial HVLP spray machines are usually designed to paint everything from cars and boats, houses, decks & patios, furniture, woodcrafts, and they are tuned for thick liquids like oil- and latex-based paints. Sunless tanning solution has a different viscosity than all of those alternatives…using other types of equipment is a guessing game, trying to find the right setting and then remember it is tricky. The T100 removes the guessing for flawless results, time after time.

It’s amazingly lightweight, small and portable allowing a salon or spa to move it from room to room for multiple clients, so they aren’t limited to one dedicated spray tanning room. Additionally, it is ideal for mobile business, trade shows or specialty events where the spray consultant must pack up the unit and hit the road. The machine weighs in at less than 10 pounds.

The T100 is designed to be forgiving, easy to use and simplistic for any novice to feel comfortable, so they focus on the artistry of the spray, not mechanical engineering. The spray gun must be uncomplicated and unsophisticated, with very simple controls.

Other HVLP units have inconsistent and unpredictable air pressure, leading to poor results with clients. The Aviva Labs T100 HVLP Spray Tan Machine consistently emits a super fine, highly atomized directional spray. If the equipment is emitting too little air the solution doesn’t adequately atomize and comes out as “spittle”, tiny little droplets that result in uneven tans. Too much pressure (over-atomization) will result in “overspray,” wasting solution and leading to an unimaginable mess, coating walls, floors and ceiling. The T100 has the right combination of airflow to the needle/orifice opening and will reliably and properly atomize the sunless solution.

This is why Aviva Labs sells the T100 Mini-Mist spray machine, the one with the 12-MONTH stress-free dependable warranty. Don’t settle for a wimpy spray machine from other companies.