Tan FAQ & Care

9182248501f7019dbc6194b2ea78700c1. Sun tanning vs Spray tanning?

Sun tanning occurs when the skin produces pigment to protect itself from UV rays and permanent skin damage.

In spray tanning, a technician uses a compressor and airbrush to apply the tanning solution. The

active ingredient in the solution is called DHA (dihydroxyacetone). DHA reacts with the outer

layer of your skin to create a bronzed effect.

It is important to note that a spray tan does NOT provide UV protection.

After your spray tan, your skin colour will continue to develop and darken for an 8-12-hour


Typical solutions also have a bronzer that provides an immediate tan effect and helps the

technician to distinguish areas of the skin that have solution already applied. The majority of

this bronzer will be washed off when showering after application.

2. What is DHA and how does it work?

DHA is a cosmetic colourant which is FDA approved for external application.

DHA is scientifically known as dihydroxyacetone and is classified as a 3-carbon sugar. When

applied to skin, a chemical reaction occurs between amino acids and the outermost skin layer,

the strateum corneum, to produce a brown colour, or tan.

It is considered nontoxic and noncarcinogenic.

3. Will the spray tan make me go orange?

This always depends on the tan technician. In order to avoid an orange result, it is important

that the correct shade is chosen for your skin type.

4. Is airbrush tanning safe for my skin?

Yes – definitely. You can get a gorgeous tan without the risk of sun damage to your delicate

skin. It is also suitable for sensitive skin types.

As your skin cells naturally exfoliate off in the shower and on your clothing, so does the tan.

5. How long does it take to be sprayed?

A tan is complete within 20mins! Norvell Tan is quick drying and water based.

6. How long will my tan last?

Your tan will last up to 10 days and naturally exfoliates away with the dead skin cells.

Every day, millions of dead skin cells are worn away from the surface of your skin. Every 35 to

45 days, you have an entirely new epidermis. This is why tans from sunless- or self-tanning

lotions will gradually fade – as the dead cells are worn away, so is your tan.

Good maintenance and moisturizing will prolong your tan.

7. Can pregnant or breastfeeding women be sprayed?


8. Do I have to be completely nude?

This is completely up to you and what you are most comfortable with. Some clients wear a full

bikini, just the bikini bottom, just underwear or naked. Choose something that will minimize tan


9. Will you spray tan my face?

Yes. A light layer is applied to the face.

10. Will tanning solution stain my clothes or sheets?

Natural fibres will wash out; anything nylon or polyester will stain permanently.

Wear loose black/dark coloured clothing to your appointment. Also bring flip flops.

11. I have an event, when should I come for my spray tan?

A day before your event is sufficient or first thing in the morning of the event (if it’s an evening


12. What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?

  • Shave/wax before you come for a spray tan. If you do so after your tan, it will remove a light layer of the tan. Wax at least the day before the spray tan (It leaves a waxy layer on your skin that blocks out the spray tan)
  • Gently exfoliate the entire body. Why? The tan solution penetrates only the dead skin cells. The thicker the layer of dead cells, the sooner it will rub off. If you exfoliate before your appointment, the dead cells layer will be very shallow, and it will take a while for it to “build up” again. Your tan will last longer. Use an exfoliating glove/sponge; Avoid exfoliating products that don’t contain oils; the oil can be a barrier for the tanning solution.
  • Do not apply any creams, lotions, perfumes or make-up. Do not wear deodorant or roll-on
  • Wear loose fitting, dark clothing with sandals. Bring along your favourite dark/black g-string if you want good tan lines

13. How do I maintain my tan after the application?

After the tan application (same day – within 8hours) DO NOT:

  • Wash your hands or drip water on yourself
  • Wear tight clothing, socks, jeans or shoes
  • Exercise or sweat
  • Swim
  • Apply moisturizer/anything wet to the skin (powder/pencil type makeup is FINE) Moisturising hands, feet or face after 3 hours is ok as the product has taken effect

After the tan application (8-12 hours later):

  • After at least 8 hours you may shower. Use a soft soapy sponge (not exfoliator) and wash well. This is the only time we recommend normal soap (see maintenance below).
    At this stage your tan has already developed, so do not be alarmed at the brown colour washing off your body – like any tint there is excess product that must be rinsed off. The colour guide/bronzer must come off. This will mark your clothing if you don’t wash it off it properly.

General maintenance:

1) Daily moisturizing

will maintain your tan and nourish your skin.

Top tip – Use Aqueous cream instead of soap as your body wash. Soaps dry out skin! Aqueous

cream contains a detergent and is used on babies to wash them. Moisturise with Nutraderm®.

2) Avoid the following tan-reducing factors:

  • Submersion in hot tub or swimming pool can fade the tan slightly. If you are in water for long periods of time, your skin cells rub off rapidly and the tan will fade faster.
  • Using a loofah/scrub/mitt, etc. for daily washing will fade the tan – not recommended.
  • Wax, shaving or Depilatory hair removal products (Nair, Veet,) will remove a light layer of the tan – use a sharp blade. (but ideally wax/shave before your tan)
  • Band Aids or sticky tape will pull off the colour
  • Alcohol based sun block will fade the colour
  • Chlorine or salt water swimming will bleach out the tan

Regular spray tanners – do not scrub hard each week before your next spray tan, just the odd

parts that require light tan removal (especially feet). Follow the suggested Aqueous/Nutraderm

regime above to avoid dry patches and encourage a more even tan fade.