If you have had a tan lately you would know there have been huge improvements to the products we have access to in the professional world.

I saw a story a few weeks back on one of those current affairs show where they were talking about at-home tanning products. We have so many choices these days with beauty products and services and I have tried a few of these at-home tanning products myself and I’m not here to bag them out, but I do want to point out the benefits of a quick and easy tan treatment at a professional salon over these so call at home “easy to use” products.

First of all these at-home products can be very expensive and you’re not guaranteed that there will even be enough in a bottle to cover your whole body evenly. Plus, have you ever tried to rub cream on your back and to make sure it’s even and not streaky!? Haha! (I have an image now in my head of someone falling to the floor trying their best to reach that one spot on their back… Haha!)

There is actually a lot to a tan that you might not see on the surface when you book in for a tanning appointment. Have you heard of DHA (dihydroxyacetone)? This is the active ingredient in tanning products. It is actually a clear chemical (derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change to the skin).

When you get a tan and see the brown liquid sprayed on to you, this isn’t the final result of the tan – it is actually a bronzer “makeup” added to the tan so that we can see where we are spraying and to give the client the reassurance that they have product on their skin. This is what you see wash off in the shower. It is just a guide and not a true result of the tan. A lot of people think this is the colour of the tan! As I said before, the DHA is a clear product that develops on your skin over 24 to 48 hours. Which is why you will notice your tan will get darker over the next day or two.

Now knowing about DHA, every brand (including home products) have a different quality of DHA in their solutions – you can get cheap and nasty ones or fabulous grades which are found in professional products. There is also the percentage of the ingredient that you need to take into consideration depending on your skin type and how dark you want to go. 6% to 15% is most commonly found in professional products. We like to carry an 8% through to a 15% range for our clients. Then there is also the choice of which colour base is best suited to your skin type – the options are green, red, blue and violet. This also has an effect on the final look of the tan depending on your natural undertones (see where I’m going here – it can get very complicated!) Having your tan professionally applied is not only an easier option (as we can easily and quickly apply the tan for you can), but it means that you can also discuss with us the type of tan that you would like.

The best thing about having a tan performed in salon is the time frame it is done in and the reassurance that the whole body will be covered evenly – we now have tans that can be washed off with a 2 hour minimum! This is the most popular reason people are loving our tans in salon. Gone are the days you need to sit in an 8 hour tan and smell like a vinegar. Depending on the colour depth you would like you can now wash off the bronzer at the 2 hour mark and go about your day. It is very important to understand you won’t have the final result developed after that 2 hours but you will be able to remove the bronzer and let the tan develop over the next 24 to 48 hours. The benefit of this is that you can go about your day normally and not have to deal with the stickiness and worry you are going to ruin you tan. *happy dance*!

We do have products in salon you can use at home to maintain your tan over the week and even try to extend the tan. These products have the same DHA to the professional products we use in the treatment so you have a better chance to match the colour of your tan.


There are some really simple ways to get the absolute best out of your tan, and these include:

Before the tan

  • Thoroughly exfoliate you skin in the days before your tan, the goal is to remove as much dry dead skin cells as possible so the tan can develop on beautiful plump skin cells
  • Remove any hair the day before, you don’t want to be having to shave after the tan is applied.
  • Moisture your body and dry areas like knees and elbow leading up to the day of the day
  • Shower before you appointment but do not use any soap, if you must use the least amount you can and make sure you rinse really well.
  • Do not wash your hair on the day, it can cause product to be left on your back and the tan will not take or will go green.
  • Do not wear any moisturiser or deodorant to the salon, this is really really important! The amount of times we tell people do not wear deodorant to your appointment and they forget…. It is not good! Your tan will go GREEN in those areas so please don’t forget
  • Wear dark and loose fitting clothing to the salon. If you put jeans or tight fitting clothes back on after a tan it will affect the tan.
  • The easiest way to remember how to prep your skin is to think of the skin as naked, we need the skin to be completely free of products and sweat to get the best results of the tan. Good prep is the only thing we can’t control in salon and it really is the key factor to a good tan.
  • Last thing is we will NOT tan over sunburn. It is really important to not have any sun damage before a tan. It will end badly. In fact I have turned people away who do have sunburnt or I can see sun damage. If the skin is not hot the tan won’t stick if there is peeling the tan will go patchy and look a mess, if you are red and haven’t peeled yet i still don’t recommend having a tan, because you still may peel up to 2 weeks after the burn. The best thing to ALWAYS do is slip slop slap!

After the tan

  • Do not shower or exercise for at least 2 – 6 hours (the time depends on which solution has been used – your therapist will tell you) you don’t want to add water to the tan before it is developed. This will ruin the tan.
  • When you shower ensure you wash thoroughly with lots of water and a gentle wash cloth. You need to wash the bronzer off. If you notice streaks – wash again, it’s probably the bronzer. this is the “makeup” part of the tan washing off. You want to make sure it is fully removed so your tan will develop evenly.
  • Avoid anything that might exfoliate your skin. Tight clothes, shoes, bras.
  • Avoid chlorinated water or long hot baths. This will speed up the removal of your tan due to eating away at the tan and removing the top layer of skincells
  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! You want to hydrate you skin and keep the new skin skins plump and holding on to the tan
  • We have a number of Techno Tan® and Custom tan products available to extend your tan. Use them and look after your skin
  • You still need you use sunscreen and cover up – think beautiful big hat and sunglasses

If you want to book in for a tan at Polished Beauty you can call us on 8332 1521 or book online. You can also check out our packages we have for tans

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