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What is the Real Price of a Spray Tan?

Looking tanned is such a great feeling, isn't it?

There are three methods of getting that feeling.

1. Getting out into the sun. Great if you are young, and believe that all this hype about skin cancer has nothing to do with you. Goes hand in hand with high alcohol consumption, speeding and living on credit. It will catch up with you sooner than you think.

2. Solarium. Possibly a little more sensible solution if you take it easy, and build up your tan very gradually. Might lower your chances of getting skin cancer if you never burn, but if you tan regularly, it will definitely not save you from real bad skin damage and broken capillaries (very high temperatures boil blood in your capillaries- yuk).

3. Spray tan. A relative newcomer. It can take less than one minute to apply (in a booth), does not damage your skin in any way and saves you hours and hours on trips to and from solariums or lying on the beach.

Spray tanning seems to be such a great solution, so why doesn't everybody, who wants a tanned look, do it?

Judging from the reactions that I encounter at my salon, it seems mainly to be the cost. A single session can cost up to $70 in some places, the average being about $50.

Isn't it cheaper to go to the beach?

If you are asking this question, chances are, you are still very young. Look at your mum. She is probably spending hundreds, and hundreds of dollars per year trying to reverse the damage of frying on the beach in her youth. Unfortunately, our generation was told that getting suntan was healthy (whom can we sue for those lies?).

She also has to watch her skin very closely to make sure that she catches any cancerous changes early.

Solariums- a cheaper alternative?

Apart from also causing serious skin damage long term, how much does it cost in money terms?

A single session is on average about $15, so lets see:

To build up your tan safely: about 5 sessions, then two sessions per week to keep your tan that way.

First month: 9 sessions (5 to build up the tan+ 4 to maintain the tan) at $15 each=$135.

Subsequent months (8 sessions)=$120 per month

What about spray tan?

The beauty of this method is that if you spray tan regularly the skin gets used to the solution and then holds the tan much longer. You will need about 3 sessions 5 days apart to get your skin to this stage (but you will be wonderfully brown right after the very first session), after which (if you supplement your spray tan with tan extending products) you will only need a spray tanning session about every 2 weeks.

First month: 4 sessions (3 to get your skin used to the solution+ 1 to maintain the tan) at $50 each= $200 Subsequent months (2 sessions) =$100per month

So, after higher initial cost you will start saving money and definitely lots of time on trips to the salon. Of course down the track you will save yourself thousands and thousands of dollars on skin care products repairing sun damage.

Additionally, you will have a very low chance of developing skin cancer.

The above prices are a guide only, different salons will have different charges, but almost every salon will have packages, where you can save even more.

If spray tanning not only gives you a great tan, saves you from skin damage and cancer, but is also cheaper compared to other methods, does it not make sense to switch over ?

Go on. Do your skin a favour, and try spray tanning.

For advice and lots of spray tanning tips visit

Boshena is an owner of TanXtreme, a spray tanning studio in Byron Bay, Australia and author of spray tanning guide. Read it on


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