Will Spray Tans Turn you orange? And other Spray Tan Questions Explained!

Share This Post

There are so many misconceptions about spray tanning. Most of these stem from the early days of spray tanning when DHA was new and blended into self-tanners that turned out some very interesting colors or from spray tan booths that give a very fake all-over coat of heavy spray tan solution. The good news is that there are now spray tan solution manufacturers who actually know how to properly formulate DHA, and there are HVLP machines used by spray tan professionals to give spray tans that are so natural-looking you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from a sun tan. Below is a list of the most common misconceptions and other spray tan questiosn we’ve gotten over the years–take a look: the answers might just surprise you!

Will a spray tan turn you orange?

Answer: Any company that markets a spray tan solution as “orange free”, or by saying that it won’t ever turn you orange is lying. Any spray tan solution or self-tanner in the world that has been blended with DHA has the chance to turn you orange, even ours. What’s important is understanding why DHA turns you orange so that you can prevent it from happening!

Dihydroxyacetone (or DHA for short) is the ingredient in a spray tan solution that darkens your skin. Too much DHA (also called DHA oversaturation) and your skin will instead react by starting to turn orange. The good news is that there is a tool, the Fitzpatrick Scale, that can help you determine which percentage strenghs of DHA your skin can “handle” so that you can get a spray tan and be worry-free. You can also check out our interactive Color Guide here for our recommendation on what solutions might work best for you!

Will a spray tan look unnatural? Does a spray tan have to look unnatural?

Answer: We are happy to tell you that a good, quality spray tan will be indistinquishable from a sun tan. Spray Tan booths tend to create unnatural-looking tans, and some solutions are so dark or oily that they couldn’t possibly be mistaken for a “natural” tan, but thankfully there are other, better options out there for you to choose from.

Will a spray tan protect me from the sun?

Answer: A spray tan will not protect you from the sun, so be sure to always use sunscreen!

Isn’t a spray tan only for young people?

Answer: Spray tanning is actually very popular amongst the older generations. While mature clients might not want to look too dark, they always love the youth and vibrancy that lower percentage solutions give. A spray tan helps them maintain their youthful appearance, and makes them appear healthier overall.

How old do you have to be to get a spray tan?

Answer: It’s important to remember that each state, territory, province, and country has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to spray tanning. Most likely the age will be around 18 years old without needing anyone’s consent, but anyone younger than that will most likely need permission from a parent or guardian. But you should of course check rather than assume anything!

Don’t spray tans stain clothes/bedsheets/etc.?

Answer: Oil-based spray tan solutions will stain clothes, bedsheets, and other fabrics (like upholstered furniture) if the spray tan bronzers rub off. Water-based spray tan solutions like Aviva Labs will not stain.

What is PH Balancing Spray?

Answer: Supposedly, a PH Balancer is sprayed on your skin so that you don’t turn orange as easily—the issue here of course is: anything that goes on your skin before a spray tan can actually prevent the tan from setting as well as it could. It would be like putting on foundation, but then applying a clay face masque. Unfortunately it’s been proven that PH Balancing Sprays and other prep products offer no discernable benefit to a spray tan.

What is Barrier Cream?

Answer: A barrier cream’s job is exactly what you guessed it was: it is supposed to act as a barrier between the spray tan solution and your skin for the spots on your body that react more strongly to DHA like the palms of your hands and your feet. Barrier cream is unnecessary if you use the correct technique when applying the spray tan.

Why do spray tans smell?

Answer: It’s important to note that not all spray tans smell. In fact, Aviva Labs solutions are fragrance free. Most spray tans smell either like french fry oil or like a sickly sweet fragrance. The reason for this is because DHA, when improperly formulated or when a cheaper quality of DHA is used in the formulation, exhibits a strong odor. When premium grade DHA is formulated properly, the solution doesn’t need any cover up fragrances because there is nothing to hide.

Can you “heat up” spray tan solution?

Answer: If your solution needs to be refrigerated, or if you just want your solution to be a bit warmer for your client, then you’ve probably wondered this. We do not recommend heating up solution in a microwave or oven, but you certainly can let the product sit until it has been warmed to room temperature. In the most extreme scenarios you can put the solution near (not on!) a radiator or near a space heater to warm it a bit, but we have found that turning up the temperature of the spray room itself works just as well, and doesn’t run the risk of breaking down the solution. We have tested heated spray tan machines, but have yet to find one that produces the quality results we demand of our HVLP equipment.

Do guys get spray tans?

Answer: Men do spray tan, often for the same reasons that women do: to appear thinner, feel more confident, and look younger and healthier. While men may be more hesitant to try spray tanning, once they do they are just as hooked as everyone else!

Do people spray tan in the winter?

Answer: Yes they do! In fact, we would argue that spray tanning has an even more dramatic effect in the winter. In the winter, we become cave people and the sun is just a distant memory. This means our skin tends to look wan and pale, unhealthy and rather sickly, made even worse by unflattering artificial lighting. Many are afraid that a spray tan always has to look like the person just got a tan from the beach or vacation, but there are subtle solutions available as well and a light spray tan (think a 6% or 8%) can help bring a sorely needed breath of vitality to your skin in the winter.

Become Spray Tan Certified by Aviva Labs

Sign up for one of our one day workshops located in a city near you!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Want to Learn More About Aviva's Spray Tanning Solutions?

drop us a line and keep in touch