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Spray Tanning 101

Will I turn orange?

When used as recommended, Norvell’s professional and retail sunless tanning products are formulated to give a natural, just 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.

  • Norvell recommends spraying the body with Pre Sunless xLaTan pH Balancing Spray 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 concentration of DHA (sunless product) you can apply to the skin and still maintain ‘natural’ color. Generally, those will fair/light skin tones should apply less DHA (sunless product) to the skin to ensure natural looking results. Be sure to not only evaluate how much product you apply to the skin, but what the concentration level of DHA in each product is. Sunless products that are designed to give a darker color may not be desirable for fair skin.

What is Norvell Sunless Tanning solution?

Norvell Sunless Tanning Solution is a formulated solution, that when sprayed on a tanner’s skin, gives the tanner a Just off the Beach golden glow.

Norvell also offers a full range of sunless tanning retail products, which incorporates our professional formulations into easy-to-use self-tanning products for home use. These products are found at fine salons, spas, and beauty stores world-wide.

Norvell offers sunless solutions that can be used in airbrush units, HVLP tanning units, or sunless spray booths.

The following Professional solution shades are available:

  • Clear: No cosmetic bronzers, perfect for light to medium skin tones.

  • Original and Organic Original: Light cosmetic bronzers, perfect for light to medium skin tones.

  • Cocoa: Light to medium cosmetic bronzers, perfect for light to medium skin.

  • Dark and Organic Dark: Medium cosmetic bronzers, perfect for any skin tone light to dark.

  • Venetian™: Dark Violet bronzers, perfect for anyone that wants that Mediterranean look.

  • Double Dark: Dark cosmetic bronzers, perfect or medium to dark skin tones.

The following specialty formulas are also available by Norvell®:

  • ONE™ One-Hour Rapid Formula: Rapid development formula with Medium to Dark cosmetic bronzers, for use on light to dark skin tones. Lightest skin tones warm water rinse within 1 hour, Medium skin tones warm water rinse within 2 hours, and Darkest skin tones warm water rinse within 3 hours.

  • Black Out™ Competition Formula: Dark cosmetic bronzers, developed for the darkest of skin tones and for stage use.

If you are interested in trying any of the above formulas we recommend contacting your local salon to confirm shade availability as these vary from location to location.

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’.

Read The DHA Story for more information about the science behind DHA and how it is used in sunless tanning products.

What about the after-odor often associated with sunless tanning?

Norvell professional sunless solutions and Norvell retail 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.

How should I prepare for a sunless 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.

  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 Norvell Pre-Sunless xLaTan Ph Balancing Spray.

xLaTan works on the skin surface 3 ways:

  • Boosts amino acid levels, which work directly with DHA, to maximize sunless color results.

  • Balances the pH on skin to reduce any ‘orange’ coloring and produce golden brown results.

  • Hydrates skin for even and maximum absorption of sunless solution.

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 during the first after session shower.

For those with lighter hair we recommended spraying onto a cosmetic sponge for facial application, and blending into the hairline carefully.

A hair cap may also be worn during application.

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 hard line around the forehead and temples.

How can I prevent uneven or patchy wear-off?

Many individual factors can contribute to patch or uneven wear-off, as each person’s skin is different. It is best to follow our Norvell Preparation and Maintenance Guide for maximum sunless results.

  • Be sure to gently polish the skin before each sunless session using Norvell Renewing Sunless Exfoliator™.

  • Keep skin hydrated on the inside and out. Using a product such as Norvell Daily Replenishing 24hr Moisturizer™ or a daily application of Norvell Color Extender Pro-Long™ Moisturizer will extend the look of your tan. This bronzing booster will also reduce the appearance of uneven wear and patchiness.

  • 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 Norvell® Intensive Detoxifying Salt Scrub 1 to 2 times per month, to remove sunless tanning build-up. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours after Salt Scrub application before applying any sunless product, and do not shave immediately prior to using Salt Scrub. For more in-depth tips about how to best exfoliate to maximize your sunless results, check out our insider tips.

Should I allow the skin to rest between spray 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 tanning should I wait to enjoy a pool/spa/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 does a spray tan take to dry?

Norvell® Solution should dry enough to re-dress in 8-12 minutes. Your spray technician can reduce this time by removing the spray gun from the quick disconnect air hose and “blow drying” the skin.

How dark will my tan appear after one session?

Results will vary based on the individual’s skin type and pH balance. Norvell® solutions have been formulated to provide a color that will be appealing to the majority of sunless tanners, and a variety of shades will allow you to find the perfect solution for your individual needs.

Your sunless technician should have all the tools needed to achieve the custom color you so desire.

Will a sunless tan protect me from exposure of UV sun 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.  Norvell® solutions do NOT contain any SPF.

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