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Why Get a Spray Tan?

Let’s face it - most people look better with a tan. I know I do. You know how dark clothes make you look thinner? Well, dark skin has the same effect.

I miss those days of not caring about my skin and just laying out for hours in the sun. But now I’m a fanatic about covering my face. My daily moisturiser has a 50SPF and when I sit by the pool or on the beach I wear a hat, sunglasses and usually sit under an umbrella. I try to remember to reapply lotion every few hours.

According to dermatologists world over, they all say sun exposure, the predominant source of ultraviolet radiation, is never healthy. Based on recent reports, the International Agency for Cancer Research has elevated both ultraviolet radiation and tanning beds, which emit ultraviolet rays, to the highest level of cancer-causing agents.

While some people think of the sun as a good source of Vitamin D production, it’s much safer to take supplements. And when it comes to over the counter tanning products or spray tans -- they pose no threats, unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients, Or an aversion to the smell.

All sunless tanning products are made with DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which temporarily stains the skin surface and fades like a suntan does as skin cells are shed naturally. So, if you want to look like a bronze goddess (without wrinkles, brown spots or carcinogens) Professional Spray Tans is the way to go.

8 Hour Tans vs 2 Hour Tans

So what do I look for in a spray tan, and what does it need to do to make my top spray tan list?

  • Colour - it has to look natural
  • How it fades - there is nothing worse than patchy skin, I look for a tan that fades as close to a natural tan as possible
  • The smell
  • Lasting power of tan
  • Free from skin irritants & chemical absorbers

Whilst we lead busy lives the "quick fix" appeal of 2 hour Rapid Tans are quite enticing. However whilst its still a farely new concept and is being requested more than ever, even I as a spray technician have some reservations with anything that offers quick processing. Why? These products use Chemical Absorbers to accelerate the tanning process. There is no other way that you can get sufficient absorption of the DHA and Eurythulose in under 6 hrs other than by accelerating it's absorption rate. Whatever achieves this outcome, will also be absorbing all the other ingredients and the problem increases as the skin's own waste products are also picked up, to a level that may break the blood barrier and be metabolised in ways that a topically applied ingredient was never meant to.

Let’s look at the basics of sunless tanning with DHA:

The DHA can only effect (colour) the amino acid that is produced by the dead skin cells, so the reason you let it absorb for 6-8 hrs is that this amino acid is only produced in patchy concentrations at various levels on the skin. After the 6-8 development time the fake tan has been exposed to an even layer of these amino acids & neutralizes - which results in an all over even tan.

I am not ringing alarm bells, I would rather my clients make an informed decision, that is all. I for one use the 2 hour tan quite a bit but as we are yet to know the damage these rapid tans are really doing to our systems, I recommend we all stick to the 8 hour tans and only request the 2 hour tans sparingly.

Skin Cancer & Melanomas - Are you being responsible?

Sunburn results from overexposure to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, or ultraviolet radiation (UVD) caused for example by solariums & tanning beds. Whilst the symptoms appear temporary – i.e. red skin that can be sore and itchy and often peels – the skin damage can be permanent!

Here are some good reasons to protect yourself from UV and UVD rays.

In Australia:

  • Skin cancers amount to 81% of all new cancers diagnosed each year
  • Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world – four times that of the US the UK and Canada
  • Two out every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer in the 15 – 40 age group
  • More than 10,000 people are treated for melanoma each year of whom 1500 + people die
  • More than 400,000 people are treated for non-melanoma skin cancer each year of whom 1200 + people die
  • More than 95 % of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV and UVD rays

You should also know that:

  • Whilst fair skinned people are most at risk to skin cancer, everyone risks skin damage and its more serious consequences
  • Premature ageing of skin - wrinkles, loss of elasticity, etc – are generally (90% of the time) due to over exposure to the sun
  • Skin damage from UV and UVD rays is cumulative over time and cannot be reversed. Parents should be aware that damage begins in our teen and preteen years

Faux Tan Without the Faux Pas

With the Aussie Summer fast approaching and the gorgeous beaches calling our names…we thought it was the right time to chat about fake tanning. My theory is that you always look slimmer tanned and after the regular winter blowouts that a lot of us have, the safest and most effective way to achieve that more ‘streamlined’ look is via a spray tan.

A lot of my friends and clients will prep really well for a spray tan. The better you prep, the better the results…so here’s an easy, step-by-step guide for you:

The Day Before You Become a Bronzed Goddess:

Step 1: Shave/Wax/Epilate/Depilatory Cream away those unwanted hairs. By doing this the day before you’re giving your pores a chance to settle and close before applying your tan. You risk the chance of spotting if you do this step on the day of a tan…and who wants to look like a cheetah?

Step 2: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! A lot of my clients fall into the trap of thinking that this step isn’t needed unless they need to remove old tan…this couldn’t be further from the truth! Your skin will naturally shed itself every 7-10 days (depending on how well you moisturise) and by encouraging this process prior to tanning, you are ensuring that the product you choose is being applied to the freshest skin possible. This will not only allow your tan to last longer but will result in a much more even tan that will fade as naturally as possible.

A question that I’m asked regularly is whether an actual exfoliant is required or if exfoliating gloves or a loofah will suffice. This is up to you, but I would always recommend utilising an exfoliant for the best results. Further to this, please steer clear of any sugar or salt based scrubs as they are not only harsh on the skin but also very drying.

Moments Before You Become a Bronzed Goddess:

Step 1: Apply moisturiser to your hands, inside of your wrists, elbows, knees, feet and any other overly dry areas of skin to protect and prime the area prior to applying tan.

Step 2: Wear loose clothes whilst allowing the tan to develop for the specified amount of time and try to avoid sweating or getting wet.

After Your Post Tan Shower:

Ensure that you lather your body in a decadent moisturiser morning and night (if possible) to ensure your tan lasts as long as possible and fades evenly.

Don’t use a moisturiser that contains AHAs (as it regenerates the skin therefore fading your tan) or one that promotes that it develops a tan (like Johnson & Johnson Holiday Skin). These moisturisers are not only high in alcohol but they also contain DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) which will add more colour to your tan and most likely turn your brown tan orange with the excess DHA on your skin. Another thing to note about the moisturisers on the market that slowly develop a tan is that their main task isn’t moisturising. So, if you go down the route of using these products to create a bronzed glow, my recommendation would be to use a normal body moisturiser as well to ensure that your skin is actually nourished.

Beware of applying too much of these products – I have seen many, many orange clients who have begged me to fix their colour because they’ve used these products as a moisturiser forgetting that they’re actually applying a low dosage of tan every time! If you’re caught in that situation, soak your body in a bath before exfoliating as much off as possible. You may need to do this for several days however as, unfortunately, there’s no quick fix apart from covering up with clothes!

Still searching for the perfect spray tan 50 yrs after the launch of Coppertone

via Lindsay Clydesdale

WHEN Coppertone launched the first tan in a bottle 50 years ago, they couldn't have known the phenomenon they were starting. The pale look had been desirable for centuries until rule-breaking designer Coco Chanel started yet another craze.A holiday on a friend's yacht off the south of France gave her a deep mahogany tan, which she showed off with pleasure in 1923. But it would be many years before women could buy a St Tropez bronzer and fake tan was perfected to resemble a golden glow rather than radioactive orange.

Women - and some men - suffered decades of terrible products that streaked, stained palms, smelled awful and could turn the user everything from red to orange but never golden brown.Now, for many women, fake tan has become as essential as make-up.

And while we think of holidays and health when we see sun-kissed skin, it was a social stigma before Coco's cruise.Before the 20th century, tanned skin was associated with those who worked outside and people hid behind parasols or powdered their face to remain as pale as possible as evidence of their social status.After Coco made tans fashionable, women used everything from gravy powder to brown cream to darken skin.

When bikinis arrived in the '50s, they encouraged the popularity for an all-over tan and rubbing oil over the whole body before sunbathing was not unusual.The only problems then, as now, were Britain's lack of sunshine and many people not being able to afford holidays abroad. Which is where Quick Tan Lotion by Coppertone came in. It gave dubious results and users often suffered from orange palms, streaking and discolouration but, as it was the only product of its kind on the market, those who needed a sun-free tan just had to make do.

By the '80s, there were dozens of options but not many had advanced beyond the Coppertone offering. A decade later, fake tan became the poor relation of sunbeds, which arrived everywhere from beauty salons to health clubs. But the link between sunbathing and skin cancer had been established and it became clear the only safe tan was a fake one. Since then, beauty firms have invested hugely in the holy grail of the perfect tan.

With a market of millions waiting for a product that didn't smell or streak and, most importantly, that looked natural, tanning lotions finally began to improve. The key ingredient dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which causes a reaction between the chemical and the dead layer of surface skin, was blamed for drying out skin. But formulations have changed and, as well as being free of the biscuit smell, they are now often very moisturising.

"A good fake tan can make you feel great, even if you just use it on the face. It can make you look slimmer and toned." But many people still get it wrong. Most often, it's a case of applying too much, too often, that gives a "tangoed" look. Victoria Beckham and Christina Aguilera are among the celebrities addicted to the orange glow.

But it's not just women. One in 10 British men use fake tan, with those under 24 most likely to copy the bronzed look of sport stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gavin Henson, while older men such as singer Tom Jones and actor George Hamilton have also become fans.

"The bronzed look is a key trend this summer. However, our research shows an astonishing 70 per cent of fake tanners get the look wrong, with the top three sins being using the incorrect product for their desired colour, applying too much and topping up too often."

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