Time to Tan


The majority of us long for that natural, sun-kissed look in the summer months. Fake tan in its varying forms has been incredibly popular for many years, but is the obsession starting to fade? Or are salon treatments becoming more popular than DIY home kits? Experts from The Beauty Academy share their thoughts.

Colourful History

Up until the 1920s, the pale complexion was thought to be the epitome of beauty. Powder was used in excess to create a porcelain appearance and the look of a face which rarely ever saw the sun.

Then Coco Chanel changed everything.

The fashion icon caught a little too much sun on one of her yachting holidays in Cannes and when she returned to the UK, her sun-kissed look started a fad and eventually, an entire industry which revolved around achieving the perfect tan.

In no time at all, celebrities were flocking to warm destinations in the winter months to get a tan. ‘Laying out in the sun’ became the most popular way to transform their once pale skin.

Tanning products

The tan trend soon became popular with men and women from all socioeconomic levels.

The very first tanning product was called ‘Man Tan’ – which used a chemical derived from sugar cane called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), to cause a browning effect among the amino acids on the skin’s surface. The ingredient was approved by the FDA for fake tanners in the 1970s and is still used in most self-tanning products today.

Over the years, self-tanners started to get a bad reputation for ‘orange’ streaks, patches and un-natural colour.Luckily, fake tan products and treatments have come a long way since their early days on the market.

Fading fad

Recently, there have been reports that the sales of self-tanning products have fallen. This comes as the once hugely popular celebrity ‘tanned’ trend is also starting to fade, paler looks are becoming more fashionable, as is the ‘natural’ sun-kissed glow.

Is it the case that we’re fed up of the poor results achieved by self-tanner? Fake tan applied incorrectly is renowned for its streaks, patches and hand marks. Do more of us now prefer to go to a professional for our tan treatments, who can ensure a smooth and natural look?

Gina Yates is a beauty therapist who trained with the Beauty academy and now runs her own mobile beauty business.

Gina feels that it is now the spray tan tech which is growing massively within the industry. Gina said, “I think it’s evident in the fact we see less tanning ‘disasters’ on girls recently, less caked up hands and feet which used to be the trademark “she’s used too much tan”.’

Gina said, “With spray tanning you put your trust in a professional, someone who only wants to provide you with the best tan you can get and who can advise you of the best solution to suit your skin type.

A good spray tan results in a natural looking tan for that ‘just been on holiday’ glow and if topped up regularly can be a year round look – one which more and more girls are leaning towards.”


A spray tan or airbrushed tan can also have many benefits, over and above the other methods of tanning.

There is no risk of UVA damage during a spray tan – if you lay out in the sun for long periods or go on a sun bed, you are then at risk of far more damage.

In terms of appearance, a spray can help you to feel more confident in your skin, accentuate your features and even make you look slimmer. It can also even out the appearance of stretch marks and varicose veins.

No more streaks! A spray tan done by a professional will leave you with a much more natural, sun-kissed glow – minus the hand marks and patches that come with a spray tan.

It’s quick and convenient – it takes just ten minutes per person for a spray tan.

How to prepare

Before your spray tan, it’s advised to either wax or shave several days before you go in for your treatment. This will allow the pores to close and prevent any dotting.

Exfoliate and moisturise the day before your spray tan, paying particular attention to the knees, elbows, ankles and any problem areas that you may have.

Paint your nails and toenails before your spray tan too – that way, you won’t have to use nail varnish remover after the tan and risk rubbing it off.

The treatment

Remove all your make up so that there is nothing blocking the tan when it goes on. Remove any deodorant and perfume too as these can also affect the application of fake tan.

You should wear whatever you feel comfortable in, most women go topless and wear a dark thong (paper knickers are usually available). However it is entirely up to you, many ladies feel more comfortable wearing a bikini.

It is recommended that any clothing worn during the misting process should be dark, although the tanning solution will wash out it is more likely to stain lighter clothing.

The application should last no more than ten minutes, your therapist will tell you when to move and where.


Don’t shower immediately after your spray tan as the tan can take up to 6 hours to develop.

Moisturise daily, especially after bathing or showering, to help maintain the colour.

The Beauty Academy offer the 1-day Tanning training course:

For obvious reasons, Tanning is a thriving business in the UK and with the use of an airbrush, a perfect, flawless tan can be achieved.

Airbrush tanning is extremely popular the whole year through due to its ability to adorn clients with an all-over tan within 30 minutes and without the fear of skin damage due to UV rays.

The Tanning Training Course will cover:

The operation of an airbrush and compressor

Applying an airbrush tan

Body exfoliation and self-tanning using St Tropez products

For more information visit http://www.thebeautyacademy.org/tanning-training-course/



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