How to help clients make their spray tans last longer
The key to a long-lasting tan is well prepared and hydrated skin. I always advise clients to start prepping the skin 24 hours before the tanning session – this will include removing any unwanted hair, exfoliating the body and moisturising all dry areas.
I also always ask them to bring loose-fitting, dark clothing to the appointment, which they can wear after the tan. It’s important clients don’t wear tight-fitting clothing that could rub off the tan before it’s had a chance to develop. You should also advise them to avoid deodorant and perfume before their appointment.
Before starting the tanning treatment, make sure your space is clean and clear of any obstructions. This should include a space for the client’s clothes and shoes. Have fresh towels, sticky feet, a head towel, baby wipes, moisturiser, plenty of tanning and buffing mitts, tanning solutions and disposable underwear to hand, and ensure your gun is clean before the client arrives.
When the client arrives and after filling in record forms, make sure deodorant, fragrance and make-up are removed from skin. Apply moisturiser to all dry areas, paying particular attention to hands, feet and elbows, because these are areas where tan can cling to the skin.
A professional tan should last around seven days with at-home skin maintenance. There are several things therapists can advise clients to do to maintain their tan. The first is to keep the skin well moisturised. Hydrated skin will help to lock in the tan, so advise your clients to use a shea butter-based moisturiser in the morning and evening to keep skin healthy and glowing.
To help a tan fade evenly, advise clients to gently exfoliate with an oil-free solution around day three. This will help to lightly buff away any dead skin cells and keep the tan even. Another option is to top up the colour using a gradual tan solution to increase skin moisture and add a dose of self-tan.
To benefit from a long-lasting professional tan, therapists should advise clients on the importance of maintenance and work this into their retail technique. Ensuring that your client leaves with a moisturiser will not only help the tan stay put for a longer period of time, it will also keep their skin hydrated and looked after between tan sessions.
It is also important to educate clients to lightly exfoliate their tan around day three or four, using an exfoliator to lift away any dead skin cells and avoid the tan going patchy. By incorporating an exfoliator with a moisturiser and retailing it as an aftercare kit, you know that your client’s tan and skin will be in good hands.
If clients would like to keep their tan topped up at home in between professional appointments, why not suggest a gradual tanning lotion to keep the tan glowing. Another retail option is face products, such as St Tropez Luxe Tan Tonic Drops or Purity Face Mist, because the tan on the face fades faster due to skincare routines.
Clients can also use a tanning mist to top up tan on the hands, chest, feet and hard-to-reach areas like the back. Retailing tanning products is all about building up clients’ at-home tan toolkit to help maintain their natural glow in between professional tans.
Michaella Bolder is a facialist, skincare expert and ambassador for St Tropez, who specialises in both spray gun and hand tan application techniques to deliver a realistic and natural effect.