Choosing the right spray tanning solution

People are looking to start a new sunless spray tanning business, add a new service, or even switch to a new product.  So how do you choose which spray tanning solution is right for you?  Well, lets look at what I consider the important aspects when choosing a solution:

  1. Color/reviews?
  2. What type of ingredients does the solution contain?
  3. Are there any ingredients that may not be safe, or aren’t FDA approved?
  4. What is the base of the solution (alcohol, aloe or water)?
  5. Where is the solution made?
  6. Are you purchasing from a reputable company?
  7. How many different colors/DHA levels are offered?

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The color of the solution can be a difficult issue to get an exact answer.  The way the solution looks on some people, may not look the same on others.  Some solutions will contain a red or orange undertone, while others will have a green undertone.  Ideally you want a solution that offers a range of options when it comes to colors and DHA levels.  It is important to read reviews on the manufacturers website, forums and any other place where you can find information.  People tend to be pretty straightforward with their opinion of the product that they have tested.  Make sure to read a mix of reviews from a variety of sources, just to be sure to avoid that one review that was only critical and had nothing good to say.

What type of ingredients does the solution contain?

You want to be sure that the solution does not contain too many ingredients, filler ingredients or anything that could be harsh or harmful to the skin.  Remember, this is being applied to your clients skin.  Nowadays with the internet you can research each specific ingredient if you chose to.  You can also contact the manufacturer and ask any questions about the ingredients that you are not sure of.  This takes us right into the next topic – does the solution contain any ingredients that are not FDA approved?  The FDA will test and regulate ingredients, and based upon their findings they will either approve or disapprove of an ingredient.  You want to be sure that the solution you choose contains only ingredients that have been FDA approved.

What is the “base” of the solution?

Most sunless tanning solutions use to be alcohol based, and the reason was that they would feel “dry” on the skin quicker than any other ingredient.  The reason being was because alcohol actually dries out the skin, which is not good for a spray tan.  The condition of your clients skin has a huge effect on the outcome of the tan.  Dry skin is not good.  A couple of manufacturers will offer their solution in a water-based form, but there hasn’t been too much information about the benefits with a water-based solution.  So this leaves us with, what we feel, is the most beneficial ingredient to use – aloe vera.  Aloe vera has a an array of benefits for the skin, but most importantly is that it helps to moisturize and hydrate the skin.  As we mentioned earlier, this is a major factor in the overall outcome of a sunless tan.

Where was the solution made?

Do you even know where the solution is made?  Was it made in the US?  Try to find out exactly where to solution was made and the type of facility that it was made in.  Ideally, you would want a manufacturing plant that was FDA approved and had some other types of manufacturing certifications.  This would mean that they are kept to a certain standard.  Remember, this solution is being applied on the skin.  You want the safest and most consistent product that you can find.

Are you purchasing from a reputable company?

How long has the company been around?  Do they have a lot of reviews?  Are a lot of people “liking” and “following” them on Facebook?  While this information may be difficult to find out, it is important to do some research on the company and see what you can find out.  You may be able to get some kind of idea from the amount of information available online, and on social media outlets such as Facebook.  If you see a lot of posts and customer interaction, this is usually a good sign that the company has some loyal customers.

How many different levels/DHA percentages are offered?

There is no “one size fits all” solution color…how could there be?  Everyone’s skin is a little different, even if, on the surface, you seem to be the same “color” as someone else.  You could not tan a person with a very light complexion with the same solution used on someone that has a very dark skinned complexion.  It just wouldn’t look right!  Make sure that the manufacturer has a variety of “colors” for you to use, and a way to even customize the color if you need to.  Most solutions are safe to mix together (if from the same manufacturer), or they will offer some type of DHA booster product.


While the information listed above is not the ONLY information that you should consider before ordering, these are some major points/issues that should be addressed before making your decision.  If you are still unsure, call the manufacturer and speak with them, see what kind of feel you get from speaking with their representatives.