Recipes Information

Spray Tan Basics

I miss summer! I think I suffer from season depression disorder (and it's only November). You know what would make me feel better? A healthy glow! No, I don't want to be one of those tanning booth tanorexics. Those days went out for me in college when, after a steady month of tanning booth visits, a really cute football player told me I was starting to look like an oompa loompa.

I decided to try the new wave, the professional spray tan! I just didn't want a Ross from Friends situation (he forgets to turn around and ends up looking like an oompa loompa too.) I did end up having such a positive experience I want to share with you some tips to ensure you end up with a beautiful healthy glow.

First step, find a reputable shop. Word of mouth is always a good idea, if you know of no one who has done the spray tan check out for a location near you. Mystic Tan is very reputable, I would consider them the leader in spray tan technology.

After you have found your salon book an appointment. If you are tanning for a specific event then I suggest a trial run maybe two weeks before the event. If you are pleased with the results then book another appointment about 3 or 4 days before the actual event. This will allow the color to "settle in".

On the day of your appointment shower and exfoliate. Use a loofah and shower gel OR try a body scrub. This will ensure an even application.

At the salon you will probably be given an instructional video to watch but just in case, check out the online video at The video explains the whole procedure and what you need to do. Some important steps the video will review: hold your breath when the spray is going off (for about 14 seconds and it's very challenging), when spray stops turn around and more importantly where to apply the lotion to block the spray (feet and hands). The reason you block the spray from these areas is that due to the excess wrinkles and creases the spray will settle around those areas and cause tell-tale white veiny looking areas in the creases. You will be screaming "Spray Tan". In fact, next time I go I will be more thorough with the cream, I had some of those white creases.

When you leave the spray booth you will be given towels to wipe down and remove any excess spray. Make sure you wipe not blot. This is also important so that you do not ruin your clothes, though I would not wear anything too nice anyway. You won't see any color at first, it takes a couple of hours to emerge. The color lasts 4-7 days and to stretch it as far as it can go moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

I can't tell you the boost it gives me to have a bit of a tan in the cold days of fall and winter without the worry of cancer. Don't get me wrong- this is not a weekly pick me up. This is a special treat I will do when I'm really down in the dumps or if I have a special event. The treatment is pricey $30 - $40 a visit. Many places offer package deals but still they are not cheap. I purchased a package of 3 for $75 and plan to stretch it out over a long New England winter.

About The Author

Valerie is mother of 2 and co-founder of a website devoted to helping mothers rediscover their favorite hobbies like travel, fitness and girls night out.

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