What is Sunless Tanning?

Sunless tanning is a popular way to enjoy the look of a tan without the need to go in the sun or tanning bed. Many years ago, the first self-tanners introduced to the market contained dyes that left the skin orange and streaked. Today, thanks to modern technology, Self-tanners are the perfect solution for creating an instant, realistic tan without unsightly orange streaking.

How Self-Tanners (DHA) Work?

DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) is used as a self-tanning agent. It does not produce a “real tan” by increasing skin melanin levels, but it can create the tan appearance by way of the development of a brown skin coloring. The action of DHA is limited to the upper layer of the skin and involves a reaction between DHA and skin proteins. DHA reacts with the amino acids and amino groups of the skin’s keratin-forming brown colored compounds. The process takes place in the outer layers of the epidermis.

There is much evidence to suggest that the process is similar to Maillard reaction, also known as “non-enzymatic browning”. In this reaction, reducing sugars combine with amino Acids, proteins and peptides to form various amino carbonyl compounds via a complex chain of reactions, which is not yet completely understood.

According to the Maillard reaction, pyruvic acid and other hydroxycarbonyl compounds are probably formed from dihydroxyacetone, which, after further reaction steps, form brown compounds. The development of color takes anywhere from 2 – 6 hours and the intensity is dependent on the formulation concentration of the DHA in the product.


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Before your Sunless Application

Because sunless tanners only affect the top most layer of the skin, it is best if skin is freshly exfoliated and moisturized prior to applying a sunless tanning product. If skin is dry or flaky, you may experience “spotty” looking results after a day or two.

Exfoliate skin at least 12 hours prior to sunless tanning application to smooth skin for even tanning results. Spend a little extra time on knees, elbows, feet, and hands.

Shave/Wax at least 1 day prior to your sunless tanning session.
Do not moisturize skin at least 2 hours prior to your sunless tanning session. Lotions can create a barrier, preventing the absorption of sunless tanning solution or product.

Remove makeup prior to sunless tanning application for best results.
Wear dark, loose fitting clothes. Sunless solution washes out of most clothing, but a product with immediate bronzer could wipe off on lighter clothing, giving a temporary appearance of discoloration.

Do not wear wool, nylon, or silk during or after your sunless application and for at least 8 hours as DHA may react with these fabrics and cause staining.  Also arrive in dark, loose-fitting clothing. Wear open toe shoes when weather permits. If the weather is inclement, wear long sleeves, pants, socks, shoes and bring an umbrella.

During your Sunless Application

Eyewear, protective lip balm, and nose plugs are strongly recommended. Current FDA guidelines suggest that all be worn during your session. Sunless Booth Solution, although currently viewed as safe, has not been fully tested by the FDA. Until that time, the FDA recommends taking all the precautions suggested.

After Sunless Application

First Shower – Wait 8-12 hours before showering. This time frame is optimal and you should not wait longer than this, as the color can overdevelop. The first shower should be done using a quick rinse with lukewarm water only to remove any excess solution. Avoid exercising or any activity that may cause sweating prior to your first shower.

Second Shower: Shower should be taken on the following day using a sulfate-free product. For best results, we recommend not sleeping in your Sunless Booth solution when possible. Residual sweating may occur, which can fade your sunless unevenly or prematurely.

Drying: After your shower, gently pat dry or air dry. DO NOT exfoliate or rub your skin with a towel.

Moisturize: Moisturizing is a vital step in extending the life of your Sunless Booth Tan. DO not use lotions containing mineral oil or fragrances.

Shaving: Any shaving should be done with at least a three-blade razor is a downward motion. All shaving creams and gels should be replaced with an extremely light and natural non-alcohol based substitute.

Skin Care: No toners, astringents, salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide or sulfate products should be used.

Perfumes: May be applied to either clothing or hair. Do not spray directly on your skin.

Avoid Chlorine: Swimming pools, and hot tubs can remove the color and shorten the life of your Sunless Booth Tan.

Water: Drink lots of water. The more hydrated you are, the longer your tan will last.