Spa Services and Spray Tanning Order

By Darla
In Blog
Jan 2nd, 2014



-Threading, Tweezing, Epilator

Threading pulls the entire hair shaft from the skin using a twisted. One or more hairs can be plucked at the same time. This is often used on facial hair, or areas with fine body hair.

Tweezing involves use of a tweezers or similar device to pull the entire hair shaft from the skin, one hair at a time. Can be used on entire body. But more commonly used on the face.

An Epilator uses a small series of pins to mechanically grasp multiple hairs at once and simultaneously pull them out. This can be used over the entire body.

Any of the above can be done 24 hours before spraying, or 24 hours after the tan has completely developed. Make sure any soothing lotion applied to skin surface is completely washed away before tanning. The 24 wait is to minimize inflammation related to skin or follicle irritation.

Do not spray tanning solution on inflamed or irritated skin.

-Waxing, sugaring

Waxing and sugaring involve application of a wax or sugar/honey paste (or other sticky substance) to the skin surface, with or without a fabric or paper strip. The sticky material grasps the hairs, and they are manually pulled out when strip or adhesive material is quickly pulled from the skin surface.

This will remove a sunless tan, as “tanned” dead skin cells are also removed from the skin surface. It should be done a few days, up to 24-48 hours before any tanning service. All “sticky” residue or skin soothing products should be completely removed from the skin, and a prep spray to remove all product residue is recommended.  It’s not unusual for waxed areas to tan lighter, as the dead skin layer is now less dense in this area. Good pretan exfoliation technique can help even out any thicker and thinner areas, by more uniformly exfoliating all skin. This is best accomplished with a exfoliation glove, or mitt.

-Depilatory Cosmetic Products

Depilatories are often available in drugstores, as over the counter hair removal products. They are available in  gels, mousse, lotions, powders or clays that dissolve the hair on the skin surface. They can remove a sunless tan. It should be done a few days before, up to 24-48  hours before any tanning service. All product residue or skin soothing products should be completely removed from skin, and a prep spray to remove all product residue is recommended.  Skin may be very irritated after use of these products.

Do not spray tanning solution on inflamed or irritated skin.

-Hair Removal sand paper discs, blocks, friction devices

These are “buffing” discs, pads, or blocks to “cut”  the hairs at the skin surface. They work like fine grit sand paper, essentially “sanding” or shaving the hairs. They also will sand the surface of the skin. This will remove or lighten a sunless tan.

It should be done a few days before, up to 24-48  hours before any tanning service. All skin soothing products should be completely removed from skin, and a prep spray to remove all product residue is recommended.  Skin may be very irritated after use of these products.

Do not spray tanning solution on inflamed or irritated skin.


A manual bladed razor, or electrical razor is used to cut hair at the skin surface.

A dull razor will drag across the skin more, removing more “tanned” skin, so fading a tan more. Razors also create minute tiny tears in the skin surface which can increase chance of skin irritation. Wait 24-48 hours after shaving, before applying a spray tanner, to minimize irritation on legs

Sunless tanning irritation, related to shaving habits is often noticed as red, irritated, bumpy, inflamed or itchy skin on legs only, right after, and up to 48 hours after applying a self tanning product.

When using a bladed razor, use a fresh clean (not dull) quad or triple bladed razor. This will minimize irritation on the skin, cut the hair more cleanly, and minimize “drag” so removing less “tanned” skin.

Wet skin thoroughly to help soak and soften hair shaft, and always use a lubrication product made for shaving. Soaps, and hair care products used for shaving can be over irritating, and often do not provide enough “slip” action. Causing more uneven shaves, or “blade drag”. Wash all shave product residue thoroughly from skin before tanning.

If you are prone to ingrown hairs, and razor bumps, a quad or triple blade may cut to close for your needs increasing ingrown hair incidence. If this is the case, switching to an electrical razor will lessen the chance of an ingrown hair issue. Skin treatments that minimize inflammation from shaving are also recommended after every shave (Tend Skin and other anti-inflammatory shave treatments)

If your skin is not easily irritated, you may be able to shave, and tan immediately after, without issues.  Adjust timing based on what works for your skin sensitivity. Be aware, some body areas, such as genital areas and inner thighs, may be more sensitive to irritation, then other body areas.

An electrical razor shaves less close, but is also less irritating to the skin, and will remove less dead tanned skin.  So preserving more tan color. This is also a great option if your skin is prone to shave issues.

An option that works well for many, that find they must shave daily, but do not like the tan fading, which can result.

Just before tanning, shave skin with a fresh multi blade razor to get a close shave.

Apply tanner based on the recommended wait times after shaving (if needed) per your skins irritation level.

After tanning, use an electrical razor for the next one or two (or more) shaves. This will give a good daily shave, while minimizing tan exfoliation. You can use the electric razor throughout your tanning week, if the shave is close enough for your needs.

If you find hair is growing to fast and you have uncomfortable stubble daily or every other day, alternate shave devices.

Use a blade before you tan. Apply tanning products. Then use the electrical razor on the next shave.  The third shave use the blade. Use the electric on the next shave, alternating devices each shave. Change out your razor blades once a week.  This will often create a happy mix between, smooth skin, and helping maintain tanned legs.

After a few days, if legs start to look faded, apply a lower DHA level Glow or “Daily” Tanner, or a full strength DHA Aerosol or Mousse Tanner, or other “Home Applied” Tanning product of choice to your legs, to help maintain your Spray On Tan.

-Laser Services (Laser, Laser Diodes, LEDs, IPD etc)

Light based hair removal devices  work by “burning” the hair follicle under the skin surface, and slowing or stopping hair production. To work well they must be used on pale/untanned skin. Sunless tanners applied before using light based services can cause increased irritation, dryness, and burning to the skin surface.

This service should only be done before tanning. Often skin can be very dry or irritated for 24-72 hours after laser type services.  It is recommended skin be well cleaned, and well moisturized for a few days before applying any self tanning treatments.

Make sure skin is well exfoliated, and all lotion or moisturizer residue is removed before applying a sunless tan product.

Do not spray tanning solution on inflamed or irritated skin.

If the freshly tanned skin develops with small repeating square or circular patches, often  in a grid work, 24-72 hours or so after tanning; this is a direct result of the irritation and dryness from the laser services.

You are seeing “patches” from where the light emitting device contacted and dried out the skin.

The tanner was applied two soon after the services.


Bleaching / Dyes

Any bleaching services for lightening body hair,  will also lighten a self tan product. Self tanning services should be done 24 hours or more after body hair bleaching. Skin should be un irritated and well cleaned or all residue.

Scalp hair colorant services can lighten or stain skin, and lighten a spray on tan.

Some chemical permanent wave/straightening services can lighten a tan if product drips onto skin surface.

Heavily bleached or chemically treated scalp hair is often more porous then virgin unprocessed hair. Chemically treated hair can easily discolor from self tanner that overspray, or rubs onto the hair. All light colored or grey or porous, dry , chemically treated hair should be covered with a cap when using a spray on self tan product. Immediately after being sprayed, client should keep hair off of neck and shoulders until after their first shower, when all excess bronzer colorant can be washed from the skin surface.

Body Wraps

Body warps are body treatments that help slim or tighten the body. These are temporary, and work through application of various lotions, solutions, masks, or pastes applied to the skin surface. The skin is then wrapped with fabric or plastic to help “tighten” the skin area.  Results last from 24-72 hours roughly.

These are normally done before a special event, and depending on material used they may lighten a sunless tan. If possible the product should be tested to confirm it will work well with your self tanner, as  results are dependent on the ingredients in the specific wrap. Not all are identical in formulation.

Many wraps also leave a “coating” on the skin to maintain the skin tightening effect. These can alter the way a sunless tanner absorbs.

If possible, apply tan one to two days before a wrap. Keep in mind that tan may fade in wrap area.

Facial Wraps / Masks

Since results will be very dependent on actual ingredients used, tan effects can vary.

Some products will leave a coating on the skin surface to create a temporary tighten effect, much like Body Wraps. This can hamper self tanner penetration in the area the treatment is used.

Some facial masks also have exfoliation properties, which will remove or lighten an already applied sunless tan.

Best results would be obtained by applying a self tanner 24 or more hours AFTER any facial treatments. Making sure skin is non irritated, and well cleaned or any product residue.

Manis & Pedis

Hand and foot soaks can lighten a sunless tan. Any callus removal service, treatment or exfoliation will also remove a self tanner.

Tan should be applied after these services, to well cleaned, well exfoliated skin.

Nail polish remover can remove self tanner from the hands, so use caution when applying polish on client with sunless tanners.

I hope the tips above will better help you understand have  some of the more popular beauty Treatments can alter your tanning results.

With careful timing, and an understanding of how specific treatments work with the skin surface, is is often possible to combine a combination of Beauty Based Services, and still have gorgeous results.

3 Responses to “Spa Services and Spray Tanning Order”

  1. Maxine Brown says:

    Great read Darla, informative and valuable 🙂

  2. stacey louise says:

    Shaving is a real pain to get across! Nothings ever the clients fault though…. hmmmm…. :@
    Great info, think I might staple this to the forehead of next client who dares to question me / the brand I use haha 🙂

  3. sophie-jones says:

    I shall be printing for use in the salon, this will be our new beauty bible!
    It is hard sometimes telling customers what they can cant do. You don’t want to seem like you are constantly saying ‘no you cant do that with a spray on…’
    Some is common sense but still useful to have in the salon for therapists and customers alike. Thank you

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