How Does an Airbrush Tan Work?

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Most airbrush tanning solutions contain the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. This ingredient reacts with the cells of the skin, causing it to turn tan. The more DHA a tanning solution contains, the darker it will turn the skin. Although there are salons where airbrush tans are applied by a machine, the results are usually more precise and customizable when they are applied by a skilled tanning technician using a handheld airbrush gun.

There are other ingredients in tanning solutions besides the DHA that vary from one product to the next. Some professional tanning salons use custom blended tanning solutions as their “signature” products. Tamar Vezirian of Gotham Glow explains that “Our tanning solution is custom blended from all-natural ingredients which provide nutrition to the skin and leave it feeling healthy and beautiful.”

How Airbrush Tans are Customized

The most skilled airbrush technicians are able to apply tanning solution to shade and enhance areas of the body that you want to diminish or enhance. For body builders who are in competition, the right shading can give more definition to their muscles and improve their “cut” even more. For a woman who wants to maximize her cleavage, applying more tanning solution between her breasts will help to create the desired illusion.

The color of tan achieved is another way that an airbrush tan can be customized for the individual. There are many skin colors in the world and even in the city! The optimal tan isn’t one that is the darkest; but one that enhances the individual’s natural beauty and improves their natural color. For some people, that may mean getting a light glow while others will benefit more from a darker application of color.

After You Tan

Since the tanning process occurs with the cells on the surface of the skin, what you do to your skin afterwards will affect the color. You will have to let the solution dry completely before you shower and only the solution that didn’t adhere to the skin will wash off. However, body scrubs which are made to exfoliate dead skin cells can remove the tan itself.

You should also realize that an airbrush tan may look natural, but it isn’t the same thing as getting a base tan. When you tan in the sun or other source of UV light, your skin produces melanin to protect itself and this is what causes the tan color to the skin. The melanin will also protect the skin somewhat when you go out in the sun again.

The tan that you get from a tanning solution does not cause an increase in the melanin of your skin and it does not work like a base tan for going out in the sun. That means if you are getting an airbrush tan to keep you from being pale on the first day of your vacation, you will need to wear sunscreen to prevent you from being burned. A fake tan is all about enjoying the benefits of tanning without putting your skin at risk of damage from the sun.

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