How To Address Spray Tan Safety Concerns

Spray tanning has had some bad press recently. From outdated studies coming out of America suggesting a rather tenuous link between fake tan and cancer*, to a recent article in the Daily Mail linking fake tan with fertility problems, it seems as though spray tanning is having its obligatory media thrashing - something which comes, I suppose, from the industry's steady growth and emergence into the main stream.

While such articles are enough to strike fear into the hearts of most spray tan technicians, it's important to make a distinction between the service you offer and those which these articles are really targeting. The most recent Daily Mail article (published 23/07/12), for example, details a rather terrifying-looking cocktail of chemicals found in some solutions. If you already use one of the few brands that focuses upon the most natural products possible, however, then view this as an opportunity to tell people how your business is different.

People are always going to want a tan, and the only real alternative to fake tanning - exposure to UVA/UVB rays - will always pose a cancer risk and prematurely age the skin. Spray tanning will only continue to grow, but consumers - now increasingly armed with information - will be looking for the safest options. It's up to you to explain the benefits of your treatment and your products over the competition. Which positive skin conditioning ingredients do your tanning solutions contain? Is your product paraben-free, vegan-friendly, eco-certified, and so on, and if it is, why is this important to you - and why should it be important to your client?

In addition to stocking a natural product such as Fresh Indulgence, there are a number of steps you can take to further protect yourself and your clients:

  • Always spray in a well-ventilated room. Extractor fans are only necessary if performing several tans all in the same room with no windows (i.e. some salon environments) - in almost every case, an open window is the best ventilation you can get.
  • Stock good quality, ethical brands, and avoid those who do not prioritise high quality, natural and pure ingredients. An easy way to spot a company which puts profits before safety (and, dare I say, their own integrity) is to browse their solution range and look at the DHA levels that they offer. Companies offering tanning solutions in excess of 14% DHA are a no-go; human skin can absorb no more than 12% DHA, and any company attempting to sell you higher is clearly willing to bombard people's skins with unnecessary and ineffective quantities of chemicals in the pursuit of higher profits. This is not only unethical but it's also directly contravening the recommendations of the Scientific Committee on Comsumer Safety (SCCS). Have a look around - you'll be surprised at just how many "good brands" offer these types of solution.
  • Always carry disposable nose filters with you and offer these as an option for concerned clients, and/or for yourself if you are performing several treatments per day. If you or your client are pregnant, make the wearing of nose filters obligatory as a precautionary measure.
  • Stay up to date and informed. Reading articles like this, and engaging in open discussion with your spray tan solution provider, keeps you ahead of the game and able to answer your clients' questions and address their concerns.

If you already use a natural tanning solution and have promoted it to your clients as such, your job will be that much easier. If you haven't mentioned these benefits to your clients already, start now. Word will spread and as more cautious consumers turn away from chemical-filled brands, you may just find them coming to you.


* The claim was that inhaling fake tan in vast quantities (more than any human being ever would or could - essentially, standing in a window-less cell with five spray guns raining solution down upon you, for 10+ hours per day, every day, for about 30 years) could cause cancer. However, the way they tested this theory was on bacteria, which is why I call the link tentative at best.


1 Comments To "How To Address Spray Tan Safety Concerns"
Monika - 29/11/2012

I fully agree with that, organic cosmetics are far better option and more and more people are aware of harmful effects of certain chemicals used in beauty industry. In France for example the organic market is very developped, most of the girls use only organic now.

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