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Frequently Asked  Questions

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Dihydroxyacetone (or DHA for short) is the tanning ingredient in all self-tanning formulas. DHA creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin thus creating a tanned appearance. DHA is a colorless 3-carbon sugar that when applied to the skin causes a chemical reaction with amino acids in the surface cells of the skin producing a darkening effect. DHA does not damage skin as it only affects the outermost cells of the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. The development of color takes anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each person's skin type. The tan typically lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of skin cells naturally sheds.

How does a spray tan work?


The tan typically lasts 5 to 7 days (or up to 10 days when using Aviva Labs Tan-Extending Skincare products). The faster your skin cells turn over and shed from your body, the faster the sunless tan fades. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to shed. To get the longest life from a spray tan, it is crucial to exfoliate prior to the spray tan application and to moisturize daily after the application.

How long will a spray tan last?


No. Our cosmetic bronzer is perfectly blended to give clients that “just off the beach” look and our spray tan solution features a “what you see is what you get” effect meaning that the bronzer color you'll see initially exactly matches your resulting DHA spray tan.

Will clients turn "orange"?


Absolutely! A spray tan does not protect the skin from UV rays from the sun. 

Do clients still need to wear sunscreen when going out in the sun?


The sunless tanner dihydroxyacetone is currently the most popular way of gaining a tan-like appearance without sun exposure as it carries less health risks than any of the other available methods. To date, it is the only active ingredient approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for sunless tanning. The FDA has tested and approved DHA for use on the skin.

Is DHA safe?


Spray tanning has not been tested on pregnant woman. Because of this we recommend your pregnant clients consult with and receive permission from their physician before receiving a DHA spray tan.

Is it okay to spray tan pregnant clients?


Dermatologists universally agree that the fewer the number of ingredients, the less likely the chance of an allergic reaction. Particularly in a spray on product, where inevitably the client will breathe some in, this is critical. Most competitors' solutions contain 25-32 ingredients, but we have counted some as high as 40 ingredients. Aviva Labs' formula contains just 13 ingredients. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a 100% allergy-proof product. However, we have dozens of salons & spas per week switch from competitors' formulas to Aviva Labs specifically because the allergic reactions they were experiencing with the other solution goes away when they switch to Aviva Labs.

Is sunless tanning allergy-proof?


Most DHA sunless solutions take about 8 hours to completely develop and therefore, clients should not shower until after 8 hours from the time they are sprayed. Use Express Solutions to shower faster. When using Express City Tan Collection, clients may shower after 30 minutes for a light tan, 60 minutes for a medium tan or 90 minutes for a dark tan. Because a DHA tan takes 8 hours to completely develop, clients need to know that no matter how quickly they shower, they should expect to see their full tan after 8 hours.

When should my client shower after getting their spray tan?


It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will shed faster and the tan will fade sooner. To slow down the body's natural exfoliation process, it is essential to moisturize daily. Aviva Inspires Velvet Soft Moisturizing Crème is specifically designed for sunless tanning and extends the life of the tan from 1 to 3 days. Aviva Inspires Skin Glow Moisturizer also extends the life of the tan by 1 to 3 days and also includes a light DHA concentration to help the spray tan fade evenly. 

Why is it important for my clients to moisturize after their spray tan?


We recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session to minimize the chance of the bronzer transferring to clothing. When using a spray solution with bronzer, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. However, this is very rare when using Aviva Labs spray tanning solution. Vogue Magazine even nicknamed Aviva Labs as “The Bedsheet Saver.”


The Bedsheet Saver “Perfect for faketan-phobics, Aviva Labs Airbrush Sunless Tanning Solution is a clever water-based formula that's non-sticky and quick-drying,it's like it never happened - exceptthat the natural-looking color starts to develop instantly… and it won't rub off on clothes or Egyptian cotton sheets.” -Vogue Australia, June 2010

Will the spray from a spray tanning application come off on my clothes?


No, as Aviva Labs sunless solution (unlike most competitors' solutions) is fragrance-free.

Will there be an odor which is often associated with sunless tanning?


No. Most people will not see any effect on the color of their hair. Customers with light blonde or gray hair may see some initial discoloration from the bronzer but this color will wash out after their first shower.

Will the spray tan solution stain my client's hair?


The Aviva Labs solution dries the fastest in the industry because it is oil-free. Our spray tan dries in seconds.

How long does a spray tan take to dry?

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