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  • Writer's pictureKim Van Tussenbroek


Updated: Sep 1, 2019

When you come across a new spray tan solution or retail product do you look at the ingredients list and want to know what is in it prior to purchasing? Or are you somebody that just purchases a product regardless?

As you know I am the owner of the Brand - Colour Me Bronze Professional.. and I am pretty upfront with regards to my ingredients lists for all of my products, including the DHA% in all of my solutions.

Actually I’m pretty upfront with everything, including what I say sometimes.. which can also be my downfall if people take what I have said the wrong way even though 99% of the time it’s not meant to sound the way that it sounds … it’s just that I have a habit of writing things straight to the point without emotion… I am working on this though! :-)


I don’t believe being upfront is a downfall when it comes to revealing what ingredients are in my products. Ingredients lists are available on different sections of my website so that both my spray tanning clients and those businesses who are purchasing my solutions can easily access them if they need to know anything before booking in a spray tan or purchasing a product from my solution/retail range.

I also have an MSDS available for each and every product that I sell, and they are available to be emailed with any request, and are also available to download via the Colour Me Bronze Professional Facebook group.

So why are some Brands so adamant about not releasing their ingredients lists for their products? Why do you have to purchase their products first to see what is actually in the product? Is there something in the ingredients list that they are worried that you don’t like, and therefore won’t purchase the product, or are they just paranoid that somebody else is going to “steal” their formulation?

That brings me to the question…

How easy is it to mimic another Brands solution?

Reverse engineering is the easiest way to “copy” a product, but even then you will never get the exact formulation replicated. You can mimic the features and the quality of the product but you will never get it exactly the same as the original Brand, and there can be significant difference in the results depending on the amounts of each ingredients formulated and the manufacturing process behind the product as well. Reverse engineering is quite expensive as well, so it’s not going to be done by the majority of people wanting to release a Brand for themselves. An ingredients list is NOT the formulation of the product. Even an MSDS will not give the exact formulation away.

Let’s look at this in a different way.

Let’s say I ask you to bake me a cake.

I give you the ingredients to use for the cake mix:

  • Butter

  • ·Sugar

  • Eggs

  • Flour

  • Salt

  • Baking Powder

  • Milk

  • Vanilla

  • Buttercream

  • Constarch

  • Baking Soda

  • Caster Sugar

But I don’t give you the recipe and cooking times and I don’t give you the exact amount of each ingredient to use… that you have to work out for yourself. You can touch the cake, you can taste the cake…

and now you have to make the cake.

Will your cake turn out exactly the same as the original? Will it be just as good? Will it look the same?

There are so many different ways to create the cake from the ingredients list I have given above that it would be extremely hard to get it exactly the same as the original… especially with not knowing the exact amounts of each ingredient to use and with the process behind it being able to be done so differently.

The same works with spray tan solutions and retail products… the manufacturing process behind it can be so different from lab to lab so this would also make a difference to the outcome of the solution and in turn producing different results even though the ingredients are the same/similar in the solutions. Some labs use an older style of formulating… others now use a more advanced way of formulating… the differences are huge.

So this brings me back to the question… Why are some Brands so adamant about not releasing ingredients lists if they can’t be copied easily? What have they got to hide? I mean, you will find out the ingredients when you purchase the products anyway, so why are they making you purchase first, and why are they not releasing the ingredients list to you prior to purchasing? As I mentioned above the ingredients is not the formulation of the product.

The main reason why spray tanners want to know about ingredients lists is that they may have a stance with regards to some types of ingredients, they may be allergic, they may have clients that are allergic to certain ingredients, they may even be allergic to certain ingredients themselves, or they may be smart enough to be able to pick out which are rebrands or private labels. Could this last reason be why some Brands won’t reveal their ingredients lists until after they have made at least one sale from you?

It is extremely important for spray tanners to know what is in the products before they purchase, so they know what they are purchasing. They shouldn’t be classed as “trade secrets”, and honestly you should be wary of people who try to use this claim as a reason as to why they won’t release their ingredients list to anybody that asks prior to purchasing their products… and if they think the only advantage they have in their solutions against other Brands is their DHA% and won’t release that either to anybody as well then they really should look at their product as a whole as they really don’t have much confidence in it. The results come from a lot more than just the DHA% in a solution.

Just because the Brand Owners clients don’t ask them for their ingredients lists (if they are spray tanners themselves), doesn’t mean that it should void other spray tanners knowing the ingredients in the solutions if they ask before using or purchasing the products.

One of the reasons why spray tanners should know the ingredients lists of the products that they are using is if in case of an allergy that a client has… If you are aware of the ingredients in the products that you use, and when you are doing your client consult prior to spray tanning the client and they mention ingredients that they are allergic to, you are going to recall that ingredient very quickly if you are aware of what is in the products that you are using.

If you have a client base already and know of clients with certain allergies, doesn’t a spray tanner have a right to know if that ingredient is in that product prior to purchasing so that they don’t waste their time and money purchasing a product that they can’t use.

What if the spray tanner themselves has an allergy to certain ingredients? Why should they be denied knowing what is in the product prior to purchasing? Are Brand owners really that desperate for sales that they need to make a sale first just in case and would risk the health of the spray tanner and/or the spray tanners clients for their own financial gain?

All I can say is be very wary of those who will not disclose their ingredients lists when you ask, especially as they have to be on their labels anyway, and don’t get caught up in the “hype” of a product either. If a Brand owner cannot answer the questions you ask about a product or ingredients in the product, or they don’t want to or can't answer your questions about their products and tell you to call the “customer service team” instead, then they aren’t in it for you as a spray tanner or the industry… they are in it selfishly for themselves.

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