Spray Tans. Yay or Nay?

I have been getting spray tans for a while. The fact that I got sun poisoning and first degree burns all over my body one summer in Miami only supported my love for spray tans as an alternative to straight up sun exposure. Not to mention that the wrinkles and sun spots (and increased risk for cancer) is enough motivation for me to slap on 100 SPF whenever I’m heading outside.

I used to get spray tans mainly for performances, shoots, special events etc. Last week I up and decided to get one because I was just feeling “off.” I walked out of the place feeling like a golden powerful goddess. Mission accomplished. Now, I thought that I would share my experience with you because this is actually the first time that I got a spray tan by an actual person versus the spray booth. Let me tell you, it’s a game changer.

The booth:

So I’ve only used the VersaSpa spray tanning at Boca Tanning in Miami and it was okay. You have to make sure that you coat your palms and bottoms of your feet with a barrier cream if not you get really crazy looking orange palms and even stranger orange soles. The machine speaks to you and asks you to get into 4 or 5 positions as it sprays and dries you. This spray is more vulnerable to streaking, is not organic and has a very strong smell. I only realized the smell part after getting sprayed by a human being by organic solution and being like “ohhhhhh I don’t smell like anything look at me.” The color also has a more orange tone and you only get 3 colors to choose from. The solution takes 6-10 hours to develop depending on how dark you want to be and the technicians at the front don’t really know what to tell you in terms of shower time to look like the color that you want so you have to be careful with who guides you. The Oompa Loompa look is not cute. Oh, and also, this sprays an even amount throughout your whole body, face neck, hands, everything.

The airbrush:

You stand butt naked in front of someone you just met as they tan your whole body in once again, weird Egyptian like positions. The airbrush spray tan is done by a licensed professional who chooses the color and solution based on what your skin tone is and the desired result that you want. They use different airbrush techniques to create a more natural, sun-kissed look and apply more solution in areas needed. For example, my technician Francesca only did two circular sprays on my face to create a natural look. She told me sometimes she avoids the face all together, dependent on client preference. That is really a plus because you can customize your tan. She also used angular motions while spraying me which I appreciated cause … you gotta highlight that “V” cut guuuurl. She is in Los Angeles Tans in Culver City, California. It’s actually an adorable boutique studio, which I highly recommend. They also do lash extensions there. I’m kinda scared to try those again… but that’s another story.

So, are spray tans really better for you?

According to this article from ABC News, the chemical DHA that turns your skin into a darker color is bad for you when ingested. I won’t lie and tell you that I didn’t ingest some spray as she was getting it all over my body – next time I will definitely ask for something to put over my nose and mouth and potentially opt out of spraying my face. But if you are conscious and have someone using an organic solution that should drastically reduce your exposure to DHA. Organic tan solutions have DHA that is derived from natural sources so in reality it should not be as bad. Not to mention that DHA is only bad for you when it is ingested through your mucous membranes … interpret that as you will.

What will I resort to?

After doing some research on spray tans as a whole, I will only be visiting places that offer organic spray tan solutions – like Los Angeles Tans, when necessary to reduce my exposure to unnecessary DHA or DHA-like substances. When I go, I will protect my eyes, mouth and nose. These “spray” visits will be reduced and I will probably opt in for an at-home rub-in organic option like Eco-Tan and Lavera Range. I also know Andrea loves Laboom Life!

For more be sure to follow me on IG at @Milamarianaa

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