Every year right around this time we receive several calls from our technicians asking for assistance on how to answer questions regarding the care of sunless tans during the summer. We thought June would be the perfect time to revisit this subject.
With summer quickly approaching, the sundresses and bathing suits are out and the water related activities are in full swing. This means swimming in chlorinated pools, oceans, lakes and hot tubs. Don’t forget the ever important slathering on of suntan lotion. As a result, your clients will need to be more vigilant on the care of their sunless tans.
Understanding how the tan adheres to the skin is important to understanding how it fades. The primary ingredient in all sunless solutions is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone). DHA is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane. It is a clear liquid that reacts with the amino acids on the outer most layer of the skin. This reaction is what creates the bronze coloring. In other words, DHA adheres to dead skin cells. As the cells begin to shed so does the sunless tan. Whenever a sunless tan is exposed to prolonged periods of moisture there is a big risk of premature fading. This happens because the water helps to lift off dead skin cells, which is the glue for the sunless tan.
As a technician, you should take an extra moment with your clients to inform them about the special care they will need to take of their sunless tans. First explain to your client what happens they expose their sunless tans to prolonged periods of moisture. Then give them these tips to help keep their sunless tan.
HINT: We like aerosol sport spray sunscreens. These generally do not contain petroleum or mineral oils, which prematurely fades sunless tans. They are also waterproof which acts as a barrier between the water and the skin.
Water keeps the skin moisturized from the inside out and helps prevent dehydration while in the hot sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water.
AVOID the hot tub at all costs, unless you want to completely remove the sunless tan. You should also advise your clients to refrain from exfoliation (including shaving and using abrasive scrubs and poufs). Water activities and exfoliation combined will be the “one-two punch” guaranteed to knock out (i.e. remove) a sunless tan. Click to read more FAQ’s on sunless tans.
If your clients do participate in water related activities, they will not get the longevity out of their tan. However, by taking a few precautionary steps they may be able to avoid completely stripping off their tan after the first dive.