Everyone has heard of tanning salons and the different services available, but when has the history of indoor tanning ever really been discussed?

The beauty routines, products, and standards today are as diverse as ever, but those of the past decades are a different story. During the 1920s, powdery, pale skin was a sign of beauty and glamour. It was pretty evident, based on the films that were produced during those times. A creamy complexion signaled allure and class, while tan skin was associated with poverty. That is, until a certain businesswoman and fashion designer proved everyone wrong. There may be different versions of this anecdote but it all started with Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel. The fashion icon traveled to Cannes by yacht and in her enjoyment, got a little too much sun. She arrived home in high spirits, sporting a sunkissed glow which put to rest the notion that tan skin meant poverty. This prompted the industry and everyone else watching to fall for the fad. After she debuted her tan, major players in the fashion and film industry began working on theirs, traveling to tropical destinations and staying outdoors more. Fast forward to the second world war where women used tea bags to give their skin a natural, bronze glow. This inspired the first fake tan product: a chemical made from sugar cane and dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which could effectively create a browning effect among the amino acids on the skin’s surface.


Indoor tanning is safer, more convenient, and promises better results. The key to a flawless tan is preparing for it and understanding what comprises proper tan maintenance.

  • Exfoliate a day before your tanning session. This will remove all dry skin cells and leave your skin clear, smooth, and fully prepped for the next day.
  • Get all waxing done early. Like exfoliating, this must be done at least three days before your spray tan session. Always wax before you go to a tanning salon to avoid skin mishaps such as irritation or abrasion. Getting this done early allows your body, especially the sensitive parts, to recover.
  • Skip the makeup, moisturizer, deodorant, perfume and other similar products on the day of your appointment. You wouldn’t want any of these products acting as a barrier between your skin and the airbrush tanning solution. Experts at the tanning salon will make sure you are thoroughly briefed on the pre and post tanning procedures, so it’s best to skip using the usual beauty products on the day of your tanning appointment.
  • Know what shade you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and outline your specifications. A spray tan isn’t something you can just wash off the next day. Spray tan professionals should also be informed of any wounds, cuts, or dry patches. Understanding what shade you want, discussing it before your session, and giving important details is the best way to get exactly what you want.
  • Follow post tanning instructions. Tanning professionals will let you know when you can shower after your session. Failure to stick to the recommended waiting time will affect the quality of your spray tan. Professionals may also recommend moisturizers and other tan maintenance products that they feel work best for your tan and skin type. Again, don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding these products.
  • Avoid activities that cause you to perspire. Wait at least 12 hours after your spray tan session before you engage in physical activities that cause perspiration. This will give your tan ample time to fully develop and set.
  • Continue to use sun protection products after your tan. Once your tan has fully developed, you can go back to your skin care routine. Spray tans don’t necessarily have SPF. Enjoy your tan but make sure to keep your skin protected with sunblock.
  • Prolong your tan with gentle products. Avoid using body scrubs and other products with exfoliants for at least 7 to 10 days after your spray tan session. Use recommended tan extenders and avoid face masks and pore strips.

Get the best tan for your skin type by leaving it to the professionals. Tan Etc will make sure you are given the best sunless tanning experience. Achieve your best glow yet.

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