Clients should exfoliate before spray tanning. Recommend shaving their legs before they arrive as this can help to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating allows the solution to dye the layer of skin that is likely to last the longest.
Do not underestimate the importance of exfoliating your skin before a spray tan. By doing this you remove the dead skin cells as well as any excess body oils that could inhibit the absorption of the applied solution.
Clients should also remove makeup / deodorant prior to a treatment as this can lead to discolouration. A further tanning tip is to use only a mild soap as the pH of your skin can have an affect on the active ingredient (DHA) in most solutions.
If they usually moisturise after exfoliation you must inform clients to do it well before the treatment or their pores will be clogged and it will minimise the penetration of the tanning solution. The exception to this rule is hands, feet, knees, and elbows. You may wish to apply a little moisturiser to these areas prior to your spray tan as they have a tendency to absorb more of the tanning solution.
Pin up hair, this will allow for a more even application. Those with blonde/gray/bleached hair might do well to use a little Vaseline just above and around their hairline to prevent staining. A bit of chapstick smeared over lighter coloured eyebrows will protect them from staining.
Apply Vaseline to finger nails, palms and toe nails to prevent discolouration
Adjust your HVLP or airbrush so that it produces a fine mist, you may wish to spray a test area on a towel to ensure the setting is correct. A spray booth is recommended to contain overspray.
Step 1: Front
Client should be upright, legs apart. Balanced equally on both feet with arms relaxed. They should be faced towards you for the first part of the application.
Ask the client to turn their head slowly from side to side with eyes closed and breath held. Holding airbrush about 12 inches away, start spraying a light mist. Talk to the client as you go, telling them what you are doing. Spray with brush slightly downward (so you don’t spray into nose). Be sure to tell them when they can breathe again once your done!!
When doing the face, have a prearranged signal with the client, telling you if they need you to stop for any reason. A raised hand works well.
Working the way down the body, spray the chest and stomach making sure you spray the underside of the breasts.
Work down the legs one at a time. When you reach knees, have client bend them slightly, this pulls skin taught, allowing solution to get into creases. Only spray knees lightly. Have client relax and stand comfortably, and spray the rest of leg. Hold brush farther away from feet then spray feet lightly but evenly. If you make a mistake and get a run or blotch, pat area gently with a paper towel or sponge. Do not try to rub the area. You can come back later and re-spray to blend the spot if needed.
Step 2 : Left Side
Ask client to turn 45º clockwise so that they are side on to you. They should have one leg in front of the other and the arm nearest to you should be raised. You can then spray using the same technique as before, starting at the underarm and moving steadily down the body and spraying the side of the leg nearest to you until you reach the ankle (only spray lightly at the ankle).
Make sure you spray the inside of leg furthest away from you too.