Summer Spray Tanning: What You Need to Know

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The dog days of summer are upon us, and that means going to the beach, family picnics, and fun in the sun. The problem with this is that some people are going to be tempted to get their tans the “good old fashioned way”. Remind your clients of the consequences of sun tanning, and offer them incentives to spray tan instead! 

Health and Safety

Remind your clients of the dangers of sun exposure. A tan can look great, yes, but overexposure to UV rays can be extremely harmful, leading to skin cancer, as we all know, and prematurely aging your skin. If your clients want to look great, and be safe, a spray tan will definitely be the way to go!

Also be sure to remind your clients that Spray Tanning does not prevent sun burns!

Between exposure to the sun, salt water from the beach, and chlorine from the pool, our skin can take quite a beating during the summer. Always make sure your clients are taking extra care when it comes to their skin routines! Rinse pool water off as soon as possible, moisturize more often, and stay hydrated!


The Event of the Season

There are tons of things going on in the summer! You’ll want to make sure you’re in mind when your clients are getting ready to go out and have some fun. Here are a few ideas to try out:

Bridal Tanning

Bridal Tanning can be a huge boon to your summer business. Everyone loves a summer bride, and she will want to look her best. Offer a series of pre-bridal tanning sessions so she can find the color and tone that will most compliment her on her special day. And don’t forget to invite the hubby-to-be and the bridal party for tans too! The great thing about bridal tans is that it might lead you to a whole crew of new clients!


Vacation/Heading to the Beach Tanning

When we go on vacation, we don’t want to be easily singled out as the pasty, pale people on vacation. Your clients have probably spent most of their summer inside looking out with longing from their work desks, so they’ll need a touch of color before their vacation. Remind them of your services with texts, emails, and posts, showing off the body-slimming benefits of a spray tan. Their swimsuit will thank you!

Festivals, Picnics, Fireworks, Pontoon Boats, and Outdoor Concerts

There are plenty of opportunities to need a spray tan. In this, the Age of the Selfie, we need to look our best all the time. Your clients don’t want to be the only ones on the Pontoon Boat without a beautiful tan. In addition to slimming them down and showing off the work they did to get their summer bod, a good tan will also bump up their confidence, so they will be ready to party when the band starts playing!


Back to School/Off to College

Even though no one wants to believe it, summer does come to an end–all to fast! Be prepared and get the word out early: start booking appointments for the first school dances, and of course homecoming, and every college student, whether they are a Freshman or a Senior, wants to look amazing for the first day back on campus. They’ll want to look like they had a great summer outdoors having fun, and a healthy, natural-looking spray tan says that like nothing else can!


Special Events

From cheerleading competitions to a sports league’s group photo to bikini, swimsuit, bodybuilding, and beauty pageants, never underestimate the power of spraying just one person attending one of these events. If you get the chance (and the competition rules allow you to spray tan them!) then absolutely do it! Getting a foot in the door to one of these events can lead to spraying 10, 20, or even 30 new clients! Make sure the client you do spray goes to the event with a handful of business cards, and maybe offer them a referral or some sort of kickback for anyone who comes to you for a spray tan!

Quick Tips From the Pros


  • Moisturizing: everyone thinks that winter is when you moisturize because the air is so dry, but it’s just as important in the summer! The sun’s rays dehydrate your skin, so it’s critical to apply, and then reapply, your moisturizers! The more hydrated your skin, the longer your tan will last!


  • Don’t confuse Spray Tans and SPF: (We’ve already mentioned this in our article, but it absolutely needs repeating!) Spray tanning does not provide any SPF protection–you WILL still get sunburned! Be extra careful: Sunburns are no laughing matter, and neither is what happens to you and your skin down the line if you’re not careful!


  • Chlorine, Hot Tubs, and Salt Water: it seems counter-intuitive, but being in water for a prolonged period of time actually dehydates your skin! Salt and chlorine also dry out your skin, which means your tan won’t last as long unless you (you guessed it!) moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Always rinse off after being in salt water or a chlorine pool, and of course never go swimming until AFTER you’re rinsed off your bronzers!


  • Tan Lines and Spray Tans: It’s inevitable. You are going to get a client who comes in with some tan lines, and wants to cover them up with a spray tan. So how do you accomplish this? If you spray a tanning solution over the body which is darker than the tan then this will go a long way in evening out the tan lines. Alternatively you can also blend the colors by spraying a bit more on the untanned skin, but this will most likely require a bit of trial and error, and maybe a return visit for an extra layer.


  • Sun Burns and Spray Tans: Another inevitability. If your client burns BEFORE their tan, gently remind them that the burned area, once it starts peeling, will be significantly lighter than the surrounding, unpeeled skin, resulting in a patchy, uneven tan. The best option for this is to have them very gently exfoliate before their tan, to try to slough off as much as the about-to-peel skin as possible. If your client burns AFTER their tan, they will likely see the same issue with uneven fading, unfortunately in this scenario there is nothing you can do to keep the tan even short of multiple repsrays as their skin continues to peel, but it will be a great lesson for the future


  • What Sunscreens work well with Spray Tanning? Is there a Spray Tan Approved SunScreen?


    1. We have not yet found a sunscreen product that works so well with spray tanning that we would approve it over all other products, but here is a quick reference checklist for your clients:
      1. Choose an oil-free sunscreen lotion: the types of oils used in sunscreens are often not the good, moisturizing kind we all know and love, and usually end up drying out your skin!
      2. Stay away from the aerosols, which don’t provide even coverage, causing an uneven tan
      3. Avoid sunblock that contains alcohol, which can dry out your skin
      4. Avoid fragrances when at all possible because they often come with oils and alcohols, and are the leading cause of breakouts, which no one needs in swimsuit season!


Understanding UV Rays and SPF

Ultraviolet Radiation: UVA, UVB, UVC

Sol, our sun, is the reason we are all here today, instead of being frozen popsicle people on a giant iceball. It heats our planet, nourishes our plants, and nourishes us. Humans need Vitamin D to promote bone health. The sun is truly amazing, but it’s also dangerous–afterall, it IS a giant burning ball of fire and gas which emits deadly radiation!

Sunlight is made up of a bunch of different types of radiation, or rays. If you remember your science classes then you’ll know there is a visible and an invisible spectrum of light: meaning what the human eye can see, and what it cannot. It’s the invisible rays, the Ultraviolet Radiation, that we want to watch out for, even though we can’t see it!

Ultraviolet radiation is responsible for your skin getting tanned, getting burned, and can eventually lead to skin cancer and skin aging. It is most often broken down into three subcategories: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVC: just ignore this one–it’s extremely strong and extremely deadly, but good old Mother Earth blocks all of these rays from reaching us, so unless you’re an astronaut, don’t worry about it! If you are an astronaut, hopefully NASA has invented some UVC sunblock for you!

UVA can be remembered easily: A for Aging. This radiation type penetrates deep into your skin and is most commonly associated with skin aging, like sun spots, wrinkles or sagging skin, and hyper pigmentation. It’s also the majority of UV radiation that you’ll absorb–so the more unprotected UVA you get, the more Aged your skin will look!

UVB can easily be remembered as: B for Burning. This is what gives your skin the beautiful tanned appearance, but can also lead to getting sunburnt, which no one enjoys! This is also the ray that’s often associated with most skin cancer.




SPF stands for Sun Protective Factor. It is the rating determined by how long it takes your skin to redded when exposed to UV rays when compared to unprotected skin. This is a simple multiplication problem (oh joy, math!). All you have to do is multiply how long it takes you to start turning red with each SPF rating.

Here is an example:

If you normally start to burn in fifteen minutes (the average time it takes to start to burn), and you apply SPF 30, then you multiply 15 minutes by SPF 30. 15×30 is 450 minutes, or 7.5 hours that this will protect you for, if applied correctly. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT ONE APPLICATION WILL PROTECT YOU FOR 7.5 HOURS. What this means is that, if you continuously apply the sunscreen as directed, you will be protected for up to 7.5 hours, BUT YOU NEED TO REAPPLY FOR THIS TO WORK!!!

SPF does NOT measure protection against both UVB and UVA. It only is a measure of how well UVB rays are blocked. SPF 30 provides roughly 97% UVB protection, while SPF 40 provides roughly 98%. There is no SPF that we are aware of that blocks 100% of the UVB Rays.

To help block UVA Rays, you should look for “Broad Spectrum” products, or any products that explicitly state that they also block UVA rays.

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