Will Spray Tans Make You Orange?

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It’s not hard to guess why people don’t want a tan that leaves them looking like they belong in a Tropicana bottle. Unless there is some strange fruit fetish going around, your clients want a tan that looks like they just came from the beach, a relaxing vacation—or maybe they don’t want anyone to be able to pinpoint what’s different, but they still want their friends to notice that something is different. There is a subtly in spray tanning that, unfortunately, too many solutions cannot grasp.

There are two main factors that go into making your skin look orange: poorly treated DHA and how sensitive your skin is to tanning.              

Part one: inferior solutions turn you orange

Developing a tanning solution is like preparing a dinner. You can use the same ingredients to make a dozen different meals, but they will each taste differently depending on how much of each ingredient you add. A dinner, like a solution, can be ruined by too much (or too little) of even a single ingredient.

How do you get the best dinner possible? Trust a chef. How do you get the best solution possible? Trust a chemist.

DHA is powerful: it tans skin very easily. Because of this, the level of DHA needs to be perfectly balanced by the rest of the ingredients in the mixture so that your skin doesn’t become super-saturated and turn orange. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: too little and you don’t get tanned, too much and you’re turned into an orange monster. It’s finding that “just right” balance that most people making the solutions simply cannot find.

Here’s a secret: Anyone can make a tanning solution. If they wanted to, anyone could gather the ingredients needed, whip something up in their garage, and sell it as a product. How ridiculous is that? I know I wouldn’t want Mike Tyson to tan me with something that he made in his garage (I mean come on, what does he know about chemistry: the guy’s been hit more times than the closing bell at Wall Street).

If you don’t want a basement quality tan that’s going to leave you orange, you really should look for a product created by an experienced chemist.

Part two: Easily burnt, easily tanned.

There is a set of guidelines that Estheticians use for determining how easily skin burns in sunlight, this is called the Fitzpatrick Scale. The Fitzpatrick Scale contains a checklist that you can follow to easily determine which skin type your client has. Some questions include:

–Does your client have light hair or freckles?

–Is your client able to achieve a tan, or simply burn and then instantly begin peeling?

–If your client can tan, how easily do they burn?

Because DHA reacts with the skin in much the same way that the sun does, this scale can be used when determining how much, and what type, of tanning solution to use. The easier a person burns, the easier that person will tan (which also means the easier they will turn orange if you aren’t careful!).

Important: Even if you are using the best solution on the market, you can still turn someone orange if you are using the wrong product for their skin type.

Generally speaking, people whose skin is fairer will require a formula that contains less DHA (and oppositely those with darker skin will usually require a more highly concentrated formula). Everyone’s skin is different and it’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule.

To Recap

Yes, a spray tan can turn you orange, but only if you are doing one of these two things:

  • Using an inferior product created by a cheap, copycat producer who really doesn’t know what he is doing.
  • You used either a DHA solution that was too strong for the client’s skin, or you used the right solution, but you used too much of it.

If you think you have done everything correctly, but for whatever reason the solution you are using is still coming out orange, then it’s safe to say the problem is most likely in the product.

If that is the case, please call Aviva and talk to one of our highly trained specialists: we’ll provide you with samples of our solution, talk you through our product’s usage, and keep those customers coming back to you for their natural-looking tans.

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