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  • Writer's pictureKim Van Tussenbroek


Updated: Jan 28, 2019

One of the best pieces of advice I can give when running a spray tanning business is to not oversell a product or a service.

The best approach is to

"always seek to undersell and over-deliver"

By this I mean be realistic with the promoting of your business. Show true results so you get true expectations. Don't over-exaggerate the results that you get from your spray tan results. Don't use tan-line images in the promoting of your business.

The biggest and most common mistake that spray tanning businesses make is advertising and promoting their business with tan line images… especially images of the spray tan bronzer straight after being sprayed on the skin.

There are several things wrong with this…


you are setting yourself up for a fall… Clients, especially new clients (both new to you and new to spray tanning) are going to expect to be that colour after rinse-off and after development, because that is what you are advertising your tanning to be, and they are going to be more disappointed if they don’t “see what they get”.

Even if they understand that it’s just the bronzer they can still be disappointed as they see their tan “washing away” with their initial wash-off, because the colour difference between bronzer and spray tan result can be significant.. especially with those Brands that formulate with heavier bronzers in their solutions.

Realistically, there are different ways spray tan solutions are formulated… some are formulated with heavier bronzers, some with light bronzers and others with no bronzers. The bronzers are not a representation of what the spray tan result will turn out like, especially with those solutions that have been formulated with heavier bronzers… you have a more realistic outlook of the final result with those spray tan solutions that have been formulated with lighter bronzers..


Clients are being taught the wrong way about spray tanning… they are looking at spray tan lines thinking that they are the actual results. We should be promoting our FINALISED results… the more realistic approach, and the true results from a spray tan.

So I think its time to “ban the tan lines”

The key to business success is educating your clients. The more you understand about spray tanning the more you can advise your clients of the correct procedures and protocols to ensuring a perfect spray tan result. The more you understand about spray tanning, the easier it will be to guiding and educating your clients. The more your clients are educated, the more trusting they will be of you, and the more trusting they are of you the quicker they become a regular client of yours.

A win-win situation.

I base my business around education… both at a client level and also to those spray tanners who are stockists of my Brand.

Education is the key...

When it comes to spray tanning the most important thing that you should advise your client is to make sure that they are not judging the colour of the spray tan result by the bronzer colour. This works both ways… either with dark bronzers – thinking that they are going to turn into a Bohemian Princess with a depth of colour that is unrealistic to their natural skin tone just because the bronzers are dark… or with lighter bronzers where they see themselves lighter than expected as they are used to seeing themselves sprayed with a heavier bronzer and think that they won't go dark.

The bronzer is no indication to the outcome of the spray tan result… especially with heavier bronzered solutions.

I always tell my clients that spray tanning is not like spray painting a car. We are not spraying on a colour on them.. so it’s not like spray painting a car red for example.

As spray tanners, we are spraying on a solution that enables the skin to colour, so it’s up to the clients skin to do the work... to get the depth of tan that is expected from the solution that we have sprayed on their skin. Our job is to select the correct solution to suit their undertone, skin tone and desired depth of colour, and to correctly spray the solution on to the skin. The clients job is to make sure that their skin is in prime condition for their spray tan appointment.

Skin health (including skin pH), skin prep and absorption rate of the skin play a huge role in the outcome of the spray tan result. If a client hasn’t prepped properly they can’t expect a great spray tan result. We can do our work perfectly every time, but if the client is lazy with their prep they won't get the results they are expecting from the appointment.

It is our job as spray tanners to educate our clients the best way possible and the correct way.

We need to educate our clients that they should be selecting our business because of the spray tan results that they can get… not because of how dark we can get them at the initial appointment with the bronzer.

We need to educate our clients on true spray tan results… and stop using images of tan lines with the bronzer still on their skin, or using stock images that aren't our spray tan results. Stock images would more than likely have been altered to get the best colour for the photo. They may not be true results, and they are not the results of your spray tanning technique or from your business.

We need to educate our clients on the correct pre-tan prep and after care so that they get the best results possible…

We need to undersell and over-deliver our services. That is the way you build your business with “Star Clients” and Star Clients are the ones that are going to grow your business to the next level.

Here are the guidelines that I give my clients and I stipulate to them that if they follow my guidelines they will get the perfect tan result every time. I tell my clients that I am very strict with what I want them to do and if they want the best results possible they need to follow my guidelines exactly. No cutting corners.

Before You Tan:

  • For best results exfoliate for 1-2 days prior to your appointment.

  • Moisturise heavily the evening prior to your appointment to rehydrate your skin. DO NOT use moisturiser on your skin again prior to your spray tan appointment.

  • Wash, shower and lightly exfoliate using water only on morning of appointment. Do not use any soap or body products on the day of your appointment.

  • Do not shower within 3 hours of your spray tan appointment.

  • Do not wear any makeup, moisturiser, deodorant or perfume to your appointment

  • Wear comfortable, loose, dark clothing to your spray tan session.

  • Undertake personal hair removal a minimum of 24 hours prior to your spray tan appointment.

During Your Tan:

  • We will do a full skin analysis and discuss why you are needing a tan prior to spray tanning you. This way we can guarantee the perfect colour for your skin tone.

  • You can wear whatever you feel most comfortable in (ie lingerie, bikini or nothing). We can also provide you with a disposable g-string if need be.

  • The spray tan will take approximately 15 minutes including drying time.

After Your Tan:

  • Wear loose dark clothing after your spray tan, preferably a top where you don't have to put a bra back on. Avoid wearing any tight clothing, including shoes until your tan has developed. Avoid heavy exercising until after your shower.  Do not wear red clothing.  This can potentially turn the bronzer green whilst it is on your skin prior to showering.

  • Do not shower, swim or exercise heavily for 2-8 hours (depending on which solution you have been sprayed with)

  • During your shower you will notice spray tan solution washing away. Don't worry... this is not your tan coming off, it's just the excess colour guide that is still sitting on your skin.

  • After your shower pat yourself dry, do not rub. Make sure you do this after every shower.

  • No products are to be placed on your skin for 24 hours after your spray tan appointment.  This includes body wash, soap, deodorant, moisturisers, and hair products.  If you wish to wash under your arms and your privates this is fine, but keep all products off the rest of your body until the 24 hour period has passed.  This is to ensure that the tan develops as naturally as possible without being inhibited or influenced by products whilst the tan is still in its development stage.

  • Moisturise your skin twice daily to maintain your spray tan as long as possible.  Do not moisturise until 24 hours has passed.  This is to ensure that the tan is fully developed first.

  • Best time to moisturise is straight after a shower.  You have a 4 minute window to take advantage of the moisture that has been absorbed into the skin before oxygen will start to withdraw it.  Pat yourself dry but leave your skin damp/slightly wet.  Moisturise with the water that has been left on the skin.  This will break down the product and will make it easier to apply.  It will also encapsulate the water left on the skin and what has been absorbed by the skin and give you an added moisturising boost making your spray tan last even longer.

  • Avoid prolonged soaking in water as it dries skin and may fade your spray tan.

  • Do not exfoliate your skin until the tan has faded (or just before your next spray tan).

  • Your new tan will not provide protection from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Continue to be sun smart.

  • Please remember DHA can react for up to 24 hours after being spray tanned. This means that you may not have your full colour straight after your shower... Please allow 24 hours to view your potential full colour. Everybody's skin is different... some people will be lucky enough to have their tan develop in minimal time, others may have to wait the full 24 hour period. This means if you are getting your spray tan for a special event it is best to do so 48 hours (2 days) prior to the event.

If your clients follow the above guidelines they will get the best possible result from their spray tan appointment...

...and remember...

you need to sell your services and spray tan results... not give them false hope by promoting your bronzer colour in your promotional material.

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