Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to come in before an event or wedding?

It is ideal to come in 2 days before your event. This will allow 24 hours for the spray tan to process, plus 24 hours for a natural fade. 

PLEASE NOTE: WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING A TRIAL A FEW WEEKS PRIOR, as you would your makeup or hair. Everyone’s skin is different and the spray tan requires before and after care. It is important to practice the quick rinse and shower timing, and post spray tan care regimen at least once before important life events. For out of town weddings, please book a couple days before leaving so we can address any concerns or do a touch-up if necessary.

Should I shower before my spray tan appointment?

The simple answer is, no. It is actually important to not shower directly before your spray tan appointment because your pores will be open and the spray tan won’t absorb properly. It is recommended that you shower 2 hours before your spray tan, or not at all, and just utilize our refreshing cleansing and exfoliating wet prep mitt when you arrive.

How do sunless tanners & spray tans work?

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.

How long will my spray tan last?

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 professional application 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.

Why is it important to keep my skin moisturized after my spray tan?

It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and color will fade sooner. Your goal is to basically slow down your body’s natural exfoliation process.

Will the cosmetic bronzers from my spray tan rub off onto my clothes?

If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic bronzer (water-soluble make-up), 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 bronzers transferring to clothing, we recommend you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session. Try to refrain from physical exertion that could result in your sweating until you shower and wash off the cosmetic bronzers.All cosmetic bronzers used within Norvell products are water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash.It is however important to note bronzers may stain light hair, wool, spandex, lycra, silks or other fine fabrics. If product comes into contact with hands or clothing rinse immediately.

Should I allow my skin to "rest" between spray tan sessions?

It is recommended that individuals not tan more than 3 times in a 2 week period, to avoid build-up of tanning solution that will contribute to uneven wear-off.This allows a complete cycle of natural exfoliation and eliminates patchiness or uneven areas of wear, such as around the waist, inside the arms where the elbow bends, underarms, and backs of knees. These are natural areas of the body where friction from clothing and daily activities may cause premature exfoliation.In addition, spraying too frequently may also cause the skin to exfoliate more rapidly (decreasing the longevity of your sunless tan), as over-application can alter the skin’s pH levels, causing it to shed more frequently.

How long after my spray tan should I wait to enjoy a pool, spa or ocean?

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 rapidly.

How long after a spray tan application should I wait to sweat or work out?

It is recommended to wait 2 days before sweating and doing rigorous workouts. Sweat can cause the spray tan to wear off and become patchy. If you don’t want to miss a workout, a light and non-heated yoga practice is better suited for the first couple of days.

Will a spray tan protect me from the exposure to the sun's rays?

No. It is common to get a false sense of security when you have been spray tanned. Your skin will still burn when overexposed.It is still necessary to apply SPF lotions or sprays when in the sun. Spray tan solutions contain NO amount of SPF

Can I spray tan while pregnant?

Yes! But please double check with your physician (we’re not the doctors). We use a nontoxic, food grade product. The spray tan rests within the outer most layer of skin, so the only stipulation would be inhalation. We have ventilation in the rooms and you are welcome to wear a mask.

Will the spray tan mess up my nails?

No. The spray tan will wipe off your nails like a dry erase board if you have nail polish, gel, dip or acrylic on your nails. If your nails are bare and/or not manicured, the spray tan can react with your cuticles and nail beds and turn yellow or orange in color. You can put lotion on them prior to spray tan for protection, or rinse with water following the spray tan.

Will the spray tan look orange in color?

When used as recommended, Tan Wolf’s spray tan applications are formulated to give a natural, off the beach color, starting with our perfectly blended instant cosmetic bronzers that allow you to gently transition into your DHA tan over 24 hours after application.High pH levels in the skin can sometimes give individuals an undesirable, ‘fake’ non-natural looking sunless color. Sunless application on skin that is out of balance due to high pH levels sometimes results in what many people refer to as an ‘orange’ coloring.To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do:Do not use bar soaps before your sunless session. A properly pH balanced skin cleanser will not elevate pH levels on the skin, and result in more ‘golden brown’ sunless tanning results.Tan Wolf recommends using a pH balancing tanning mitt before spray tan application (available for purchase in-studio / complimentary with our membership packages). This product is formulated to lower the pH levels of the skin giving a more golden brown color, and maximizing your sunless results.

What is DHA?

DHA is an acronym for Dihydroxyacetone.DHA is the active ingredient found in all sunless tanning products. It is a simple carbohydrate that is derived from sugar beets. DHA does not make your skin cells darker in pigmentation, but rather reacts with the proteins and amino acids found in the top layer of your skin to create a darkening effect or ‘sunless tan’.

Is there an odor associated with spray tanning?

Tan Wolf’s spray tan solutions use advanced DHA odor encapsulation, the newest technology in odor inhibitors, to ‘trap’ odor causing molecules commonly associated with DHA products and virtually eliminate sunless odor

How should I prepare for my spray tan?

Preparation and maintenance of your sunless tan is the KEY to sunless success. Make sure to read our online sunless preparation and maintenance guide prior to your sunless application.
Follow these important steps to ensure maximum sunless results:
1. GENTLY exfoliate your skin prior to your sunless spray session. A gentle, sulfate-free skin polish, such as Norvell Renewing Sunless Exfoliator, can be used prior to your sunless session. (48 hours before for best results).

2. Any waxing or shaving should be performed 24 hours in advance of applying sunless products.

3. Remove any ‘barriers’ that may prevent the sunless product from absorbing into the skin evenly. These include, but are not limited to: make-up, deodorant, perfume, oils, moisturizers, residue from hair conditioners.

4. Optimize your skin surface pH levels prior to application. Do not use bar soaps prior to your sunless tan, and apply Tan Wolf’s pH balancing prep mitt.

Our Prep Mitt works on the skin surface 3 ways:

1. Boosts amino acid levels, which work directly with DHA, to maximize sunless color results.
2. Balances the pH on skin to reduce any ‘orange’ coloring and produce golden brown results.
3. Hydrates skin for even and maximum absorption of sunless solution.

How can I prevent my spray tan from becoming patchy and avoid uneven wear-off?

Many individual factors can contribute to patch or uneven wear-off, as each person’s skin is different.Be sure to gently polish the skin before each sunless session using a gentle skin exfoliator.Keep skin hydrated on the inside and out. Drink plenty of water & use skin-safe moisturizers. It is also recommended that individuals not tan more than 3 times in a 2 week period, to avoid build-up of tanning solution that will contribute to uneven wear-off.

Can I spray tan with a sun burn?

It isn’t ideal to spray tan with a sunburn. If your skin ends up peeling, it will take the spray tan along with it, creating a highly contrasting wear-off in pigmentation. If you must spray tan with a sunburn, it is recommended you stay hydrated, moisturized and opt for the CBD add-on to help aid in skin reparation.

Will the spray tan fix my tan lines?

The spray tan can help fill in unwanted tan lines ! We can’t guarantee 100% but it definitely will help even them out. We highly recommend for big life events and brides especially, to wear sunscreen and avoid getting tan lines from sun exposure as we can’t cover them up completely.

The bottoms of my feet are dark!

The spray rooms are usually entirely saturated with at least a light coating of spray tan solution from each spray tan, including the floor. We provide feet protectors and highly advise not walking barefoot around the room. Stepping out of shoes onto the floor or off the stick on feet can result in unwanted darkness on bottoms of feet.

TO FIX THIS PROBLEM: We have found that using a foot file works best in exfoliating off this dark tan on the bottoms of feet. General friction should also wear the spray tan off after a couple of days.