How to Avoid Patchy Fading Sunless Tans

If you are new to spray tanning or even a seasoned sunless tanner you may from time to time see that your tan fades in a patchy manner. People refer to it as “Alligator Skin”. Skin preparation and application technique will determine the end result. To help prevent patchy fading do the following:

  1. Properly prepare for your spray tan treatment. The purpose of exfoliating prior to a sunless session is to remove the loose dead skin cells that naturally shed from the body. If solution is applied over these loose cells, the sunless tan will shed off pre-maturely in those areas leaving a patchy result. 

How to properly exfoliate: Keep it simple. We recommend using a regular-ole washcloth and bar soap to exfoliate the skin. The fibers found in most washcloths are perfect to loosen and gently remove tired, dry skin. Choose a soap that does not leave a residue (we recommend Dove).

A note about scrubs & poufs: Scrubs generally contain moisturizers that leave a film residue. This may prevent the solution from penetrating. In addition, the granules found in many scrubs can damage healthy skin. Shower poufs, while they seem like they are exfoliating the skin are not. They are made with plastic webbing that whiles it feel like it is exfoliating the skin, is not doing it evenly.

  1. Keep your skin well hydrated. A lack of moisture in the skin due to skin conditions or dry air (generally found in the winter months) can cause uneven shedding of the skin. To minimize this natural occurrence, moisturize the skin with the recommended moisturizer. Your favorite lotion may not be the remedy. Just because a lotion is free from mineral or petroleum oil based ingredients doesn’t mean that it’s the right moisturizing system to maintain a sunless tan. Make sure to use a moisturizer that’s purpose is to be used with sunless tans.
  2. Don’t spray tan over an old spray tan. You should never get a spray tan to cover over an existing sunless tan. The skin must be clean
    and free from previous sunless residue. Leftover airbrush from previous sessions will have noticeably darker patches, resulting in uneven fading.
  3. Don’t choose a color too dark for your natural skin tone. Skin cells shed at different times. If the color is too dark for your natural skin tone the fading will be more prominent. The fading will appear patchy. Always choose a color that compliments your skin tone.

Some other notable reasons for patchy fading can be; the use of deodorant, makeup, perfume, lotions and powders prior to or a sunless application will prevent the solution from absorbing evenly. Exfoliating, sweating, rubbing or excessive exposure to liquids (i.e. swimming, exercising, etc.) may also result in patchy fading.

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