Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS SPRAY TANNING?
Spray tanning is the spray/mist application of tanning solution to your body. When applied, DHA (the active ingredient in Sunless tanning solution) reacts with the proteins in the skin’s superficial layer to form a golden brown color that leaves your skin looking healthy and refreshed. Your skin begins to darken two to three hours after application and reaches its peak color within 16 hours. The color will gradually fade through natural exfoliation, just like a tan from the sun.
HOW DOES SUNLESS TANNING WORK?
DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is the “Master Ingredient” used in all sunless tanning solutions. 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.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
Slick Rock’s revolutionary Sunless systems provide the most beautiful, even, and long-lasting sunless color available. These “smart” booths feature intelliSpray technology which simulates a handheld session while offering the privacy of an automated booth. Our Sunless systems deliver a personalized sunless experience from start to finish. Voice automated instructions, heated environment, MP3 input, and choice of solution shade put you in control of your tanning regimen. The application takes just under 3 minutes as the booth goes to work to spray the solution onto your body. The in-session voice guide will prompt you on how to position your feet and arms as well as inform you of when you should be changing positions. A quick dry to complete your sunless experience and you're done! For more information and tutorials on Slick Rock’s Sunless systems, click on the videos below, called "What will my session be like?"
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 primarily used as an ingredient in sunless tanning products. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin. 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’.
WILL I TURN ORANGE?
No! Slick Rock's professional and retail sunless tanning products are formulated to provide a natural, bronzed tan. Your Tanning Consultant will help you select the proper level of tanning solution to match your skin tone.
With that said, high pH levels in the skin can sometimes give individuals an undesirable, ‘fake’ or 'unnatural' looking sunless color. To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do:
Do not use bar soaps before your sunless session. Using a pH balancing skin cleanser will result in more ‘golden brown’ sunless tanning results.
We recommend applying pH balancing Sunless Primer prior to any sunless application. This product is formulated to lower the pH levels of the skin giving a more golden brown color, and maximizing your sunless results.
Do not over-apply sunless products. In general, the darker your natural skin tone, the higher the concentration of DHA (sunless product) you can apply to the skin and still maintain ‘natural’ color. Generally, those with fair/light skin tones should apply less DHA (sunless product) to the skin to ensure natural-looking results.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BEFORE SHOWERING?
DHA in the sunless solution will continue to develop for up to 24 hours, so the longer you wait, the darker your tan will develop. We recommend waiting a minimum of 8 hours after a sunless spray tanning session for optimal results. Showering sooner may diminish the intensity of the tan.
Note: Some sunless solutions contain instant cosmetic bronzers which are immediately visible during your sunless session, and will wash off in the shower. Rest assured, the color produced by the DHA will remain.
WILL SWIMMING AFFECT MY SUNLESS TAN?
Swimming in chlorinated water or salt water can increase the rate in which the skin exfoliates causing the tan to wear and fade rapidly, possibly resulting in streaking. Normal activities such as bathing, showering or physical activities will not affect the quality of your sunless tan.
WILL THE SUNLESS SOLUTION STAIN MY CLOTHING?
No. If you are using a sunless solution with a cosmetic bronzer, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets, but the sunless solution is water soluble and will be removed after the next wash in cold water.
In some instances, DHA in the sunless solution may permanently stain undergarments worn during the spray session, so it is recommended to avoid wearing wool, spandex, lycra, silks or other fine fabrics during or immediately following your sunless visit.
To minimize the chance of the bronzers transferring to clothing, we recommend you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your sunless visit. As well, try to refrain from physical exertion that could result in your sweating until you shower and wash off the cosmetic bronzers.
WHAT ABOUT THE AFTER-TAN ODOR OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH SUNLESS TANNING?
Slick Rock's professional sunless solutions, sunless maintenance, and self-tanning products 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 that may be present when the solution interacts with the skin.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Wear dark, loose-fitting clothing and flip-flops or sandals to/from your sunless tanning appointment. During your session, you are welcome to wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Some clients prefer to wear a bathing suit or undergarments and others go nude. The sunless solution is water-soluble and washes out of most materials very easily but can stain wool, silk, and nylon materials.
HOW LONG WILL MY SUNLESS TAN LAST?
A Sunless tan can last up to 7 days, depending on the formulation you choose and the condition of your skin.
The “life span” of a sunless tan depends on your skin’s natural rate of exfoliation and how well your care for your tan following your Sunless visit. 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 help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer. Talk to a Tanning Consultant about our full line of Sunless maintenance products.
HOW CAN I PREVENT PATCHY OR UNEVEN WEAR-OFF?
Many individual factors can contribute to patchy or uneven wear-off, as each person’s skin is different. It is best to follow our preparation and maintenance guide for maximum sunless results.
Be sure to gently polish the skin before each sunless session using an oil and sulfate-free exfoliant.
Keep skin hydrated on the inside and out. Use a tan-extending formula desgined to enhance and extend your professional spray tanning results.
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. For frequent sunless tanning clients, we recommend using an Exfo-Mitt or professional salt scrub 1 to 2 times per month to remove sunless tanning build-up.
Talk to a Tanning Consultant about our full line of Sunless maintenance products. We recommend sticking with our professional maintenance products as they are formulated with the same ingredients as our sunless solution and will help maintain consistent, even color. Over-the-counter products are not formulated with the same ingredients and may create uneven or blotchy post-tan fading.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BETWEEN SUNLESS TANNING SESSION?
We recommend that you sunless tan no more than 3 times in a 2 week period, to avoid build-up of DHA (sunless tanning solution) in the skin 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, sunless spray tanning too frequently may 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.
WILL A SUNLESS TAN PROTECT ME FROM A BURN?
No. It is common to get a false sense of security when you have a sunless tan. It is important to note that sunless tanning is cosmetic only and your skin will still burn when overexposed. Please use caution and apply SPF lotions or sprays when in the sun to avoid burning.
WILL SUNLESS SOLUTION STAIN MY HAIR?
Most people will not see any affect to the color of their hair; however, those with light blonde, gray or platinum hair may see some temporary discoloration from the cosmetic bronzers. This discoloration will easily wash out the first time you shower.
For those with lighter hair we recommended wearing a hair cap during your sunless session.
Note: when wearing a hair cap, make sure to pull the cap back to expose the edge of hairline and tuck the cap behind the ears. Otherwise you will create a silly-looking tan line around the forehead and temples.
I AM PREGNANT. IS SUNLESS TANNING SAFE?
Our Sunless solutions are non-toxic and utilize only the best DHA which has been rigorously tested before entering any formulation. All are:
With all of the above being said, Slick Rock does not staff licensed physicians, therefore as you would before using ANY product on an expectant mother, we recommend each guest consult with their physician before receiving a DHA sunless spray tan application.
Propylene Glycol Free
WILL A SUNLESS TAN COVER UP MY TAN LINES?
Sunless color is not a “cover-up”, but rather a blend. It is important to remember that areas of untanned skin will become darker following a Sunless tanning session, but so will already-tanned areas. Therefore, while a Sunless tan will help camoflauge any tan lines by blending the natural skin color and the sunless color, the areas may remain two-toned. Guests 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 products we carry. Please talk to a Tanning Consultant for details.
IF I GET A SUNLESS TAN, CAN I USE A TANNING BED, TOO?
Yes! Since sunless tanning is UV-free, you are welcome to tan either before or following your sunless visit. In fact, we recommend it. At Slick Rock, we call this combination of UV and sunless tanning a "Tanning Cocktail". First, you’ll spend a relaxing session in our Instant bed. The Instant bed uses revolutionary UV tanning technology and is the very best Slick Rock has to offer for those looking to achieve a deep base tan in the fewest number of visits. Once your Instant session is complete, you’ll immediately follow it up with a sunless session. The warmth of your skin will help the sunless solution to be absorbed more effectively, dry faster, and the boost of color you get from the Instant bed will help your sunless tan last longer and look even better! Tanning Cocktails are perfect for achieving flawless, instant color when you need it most, like prepping for a wedding or event, or even helping deliver the immediate results you want while building a base tan.
I HAVE VERY SENSITIVE SKIN. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED WITH A POSSIBLE REACTION TO THE SUNLESS TANNING SOLUTION?
If you are concerned with a possible allergic or skin reaction to the solution we recommend you first patch test a small area of the skin prior to a full-body session. For a full list of ingredients, click here.