1. Q. How do self tanners work?
A: The principle tanning agent used in all self-tanning formulas is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This ingredient does not produce a “real tan” by increasing the skin’s melanin levels, rather it creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin.
The action of DHA is limited to the upper layer of the skin and involves a reaction between DHA and skin proteins and oxygen that produces brown compounds. This process is similar to what occurs when you slice open an apple and the surface of the apple browns when it’s exposed to the oxygen in the air.
The development of color takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each tanner’s individual skin characteristics. The color developed by the DHA usually lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of the skin naturally exfoliates.
2. Q. How many days will a sunless tan last?
A: The longevity of a sunless tan depends on the type of self tanning application, the skin’s natural exfoliation process, and on the skincare regimen followed before and after application.
On average, self tanners last 4-7 days. A professionally application, I.e. a sunless tan received at a salon or spa, will last longer than an at-home application as there is usually a greater percentage of DHA used.
At-home application (lotions, sprays, mousse, etc.) = 3 to 5 days
Professional application (stand-up spray units, airbrush, Custom Bronzing) = 5 to 7 days
The “life span” of a sunless tan also depends on your skin’s natural exfoliation. The faster your skin turns over, the faster the sunless tan will fade. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to exfoliate.
Following a good skin care regimen before and after sunless tanning will help a sunless tan last longer. Exfoliating prior to a sunless tanning application and keeping skin moisturized afterwards are essential. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Norvell® Pro-long™ tan extending lotion, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer.
3. Q. How long should I wait after using a self tanner before I shower?
A: DHA solutions take about 16-hours to fully develop. Clients will receive the best results if they can avid bathing until the day after their sunless session. If they must bathe, they should wait a minimum of 6-hours after the application.
If showering prior to the 16-hour post application recommendation, a simple rinse with water only, is best. Soap destroys DHA. Delayed bathing allows the DHA bronzer sufficient time to complete its reaction with the amino acids (proteins) within the skin.
NOTE: It is important to educate your customer regarding instant/cosmetic bronzers. The cosmetic bronzer is the color that is immediately visible during the session and it will wash off during the first shower, revealing the DHA bronze tan beneath. An uneducated client may think their tan is washing down the drain.
4. Q. Why is keeping skin moisturized essential to maintain great sunless results?
A: It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and color will fade sooner. You basically want to slow down your body’s natural exfoliation process.
Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Norvell® Amber Sun™ Pro-long™, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer by providing subtle bronzers.
5.Q. Will the spray from a spray tanning application come off on my clothes?
A: If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic bronzer, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. This is most likely to happen when you get dressed immediately after tanning.
To minimize the chance of the tint transferring to clothing, we recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session. Try to refrain from physical exertion that could result in you sweating until you shower and wash off the cosmetic bronzer.
The cosmetic tint is water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash.
6. Q. What is Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution?
A. Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution is a formulated solution, that when sprayed on a tanner’s skin, can give the tanner a “just off the beach” look.
Norvell® offers sunless solutions that can be used in an airbrush, HVLP tanning unit or a sunless spray booth.
7. Q. What type of bronzers are used in Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution?
A. Three different types of bronzers are used in Norvell® Sunless Solutions. First, there is the instantly visible cosmetic bronzer. Cosmetic bronzer gives the “just off the beach” look, but will wash away. (For best results, cosmetic bronzers should remain on the skin at least 8 hours). Norvell® clear formulations do NOT contain cosmetic bronzers.
Bronzer type two is DHA. The DHA bronzer initially has no visible effect, but begins to react with the skin in 2-4 hours and eventually replaces the cosmetic bronzer as it washes away with bathing.
Finally, Eyrthulose is used as a slow-reacting bronzer, very similar to DHA. Eyrthulose enhances the clients color and extends the life of the spray tan.
8.Q. What is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone)?
A. DHA is an acronym for Dihydroxyacetone.
DHA is an ingredient derived from sugar cane and beets, which reacts with the amino acids in the skin to create the darkening reaction or tan.
Read The DHA Story for more information about DHA and how it is used in sunless tanning products.
9. Q. What about the after-odor often associated with sunless tanning?
A. Norvell® uses the newest technology in odor inhibitors to encapsulate the odor causing agents commonly associated with DHA products.
We then blend the fragrance with DHA in a manor which allows the pleasant fragrance of raspberry and almonds to come through, eliminating the dreaded “sunless smell”.
10.Q. What is a cosmetic bronzer?
A. The component of a sunless product that gives a a tanner immediate color for that “just off the beach” look.
Ingredients used in sunless cosmetic bronzers are similar to those used in cosmetic foundations or bronzing powders.
11. Q. When should my client exfoliate?
A. You should encourage your client to exfoliate before every sunless session. Using a mild shower gel/exfoliant, such as Amber Sun™ Body Scrub, can be done one day prior to the session.
Your client should allow at least 8 hours between body scrub use and the sunless session.
For clients with extremely dry skin, or problem areas we recommend using Sea Coral Salt Scrub. If using salt scrub, this must be done 24-48 hours prior to the session, otherwise the oils within the salt scrub will effect the sunless results.
12. Q. Will solution stain my client’s hair?
A. No. Most people will not see any affect on the color of their hair. Customers with light blonde, gray or platinum hair may see some discoloration from the cosmetic bronzers initially, however, this color will wash out with the first shower after the session. It is important when spraying to not spray directly into the hairline.
If you or the customer prefer, you can have them wear a hair cap, but it is not necessary. Note: when wearing a hair cap, make sure to pull the cap back to expose the hairline and behind the ears, otherwise you will create a hard line around the forehead and temples.
13. Q. How can clients prevent patchy or uneven wear-off?
A. Daily application of Norvell® Pro-Long™ color extending moisturizer will extend the look of the tan. This bronzing booster will also reduce the appearance of uneven wear and patchiness.
Pro-Long™ is a nutrient rich moisturizer that contains low levels of DHA bronzer to extend the look of any sunless tan. This exclusive formula not only extends the tan it also incorporates the latest skin care with skin-firming technology. Delivering “dynamic copper” to the skin
14. Q. Should I recommend to my clients that they allow the skin to rest between spray sessions?
A. We recommend that after every 5 weeks of spray tanning, the client allow their skin to rest for 10 days. This allows the customer to completely loose their tan periodically which eliminates patchiness or uneven areas of wear. These areas are caused by normal contact with clothing and other surfaces which cause additional exfoliation.
15. Q. Will my clients turn “orange”?
A. No. We have perfectly blended our cosmetic bronzer to give your customers that “just off the beach” look and transition smoothly into their DHA color that will later develop.
All Norvell® solutions are designed to create a custom color shade between the DHA/Erythulose combination and the customers natural skin tone.
The “orange” color, as it is sometime called, is the result of high pH levels within the skin. Extremely light complected customers or those tanning for the first time should be sprayed with Norvell® xLaTan™ pH Balancing prep spray to balance the skin’s pH levels prior to their application.
16. Q. How can I avoid over tanning my clients hands and feet?
A. Never apply as much product to thin skinned areas like the hands, feet, wrists and ankles. Spray these areas with a very light misting only. A good rule of thumb is to double your spray distance to 14-15 inches when spraying these areas.
17. Q. How long after tanning should my clients wait to enjoy a pool/spa/ocean?
A. We recommend avoiding these situations for the first 48 hours following your spray tan. Chlorinated pools & spas can increase the rate in which the skin exfoliates causing the tan to wear and fade.
18. Q. Can pregnant women be safely sprayed?
A. As you would before using any product on a pregnant client, recommend that she consult with her personal physician before tanning. However, Norvell® solution is a non-toxic, food grade product that is not known to have any detrimental effects on an expectant mother.
19. Q. Is a DHA spray tan safe for a diabetic person?
A. We have received no feedback from any medical authority that would indicate a risk to a diabetic person, however, as you would before using any product on a diabetic person, we recommend each customer consult their physician before receiving a DHA spray tan application.
20. Q. I have a client with Vitiligo, will the solution cause a change in the affected areas?
A. Yes. Norvell® sunless solution does work on the affected areas, however, it is important to remember the skin that is lighter “tans” and the unaffected skin areas also tan, therefore they will remain different colors. While both areas do achieve a sunless tan, they will appear “two toned” when finished. Norvell® color is a blend of the natural skin color and the sunless color.
Sunless color is not a “cover-up”, but rather a blend. Customers looking to darken only the lighter skin will need to take care and apply solution to these areas only, and may be best served with any of the retail self-tanning applications available from Norvell.
21. Q. I have a client who has very sensitive skin, should they be conerned with a possible reaction to Norvell® solutions?
A. If a client expresses concern over allergies or skin reactions to the solution we recommend you first patch test a small area of the skin prior to a full body session.
22. Q. Will sunless solution cause additional freckling to already freckled skin?
A. No. However, the spray does not cover freckles up either. What is darker will stay darker and what is lighter, stays lighter in contrast.
23. Q. Should our Tanning Technician wear a filtering mask when spraying?
A. Norvell® sunless solutions contain no known toxins or allergens. It is a food grade product that has no known detrimental effects on the body. However, as with ANY substance, repeated exposure to, or inhalation of, airborne matter may cause irritation or discomfort.
Common sense tells us to recommend people who will be using the product on a daily basis should wear some sort of air filtering mask to reduce contact.
24. Q. How long does a spray tan take to dry?
A. Norvell® Solution should dry enough to re-dress in 8-12 minutes. You can reduce this time by removing your spray gun from the quick disconnect air hose and “blow drying” the skin.
25. Q. Will my client be sticky after being sprayed?
A. It is normal for there to be a slight sticky feel immediately following the session. Norvell solutions is formulated to be the fastest drying formula available. Clients should feel completely dry and non-tacky within 8-12 minutes following the application.
26. Q. How dark will my client appear after one application?
A. Results will vary based on the individual skin type and pH balance. Norvell® solutions have been formulated to provide a color that will be appealing to the majority of your customers, and a variety of shades will allow you to find the perfect solution for each client.
If your customer prefers darker initial results, you can darken the cosmetic effect by adding Wonder Drops™ to the solution prior to the session. You can also lighten the effect by adding CLEAR solution to your bronzing spray. You and your client will need to experiment with this mixture to obtain the desired results.
27. Q. Will a sunless tan protect my client from UV sun rays?
A. No. Your client make get a false sense of security when they have been spray tanned. Their skin will still burn.
The skin is not protected and they still need to apply SPF lotions or sprays when in the sun. Norvell® solutions do NOT contain any SPF.