Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning Training Library

Top 10 Things to Look for in a Spray Tan Solution

—Celcius Tanning Centre, Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning Distributor

1. Find a spray tan solution that DOES NOT contain Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera and tanning solutions don't mix. Most spray tan solutions contain Aloe Vera, but don't be fooled into thinking it is good for sunless tanners. Solutions containing Aloe Vera are thick and sticky and increase drying time. Clients do not want to wait around standing in front of a fan before they can get dressed to leave. Your business is dependent on the speed at which you can service your clients. Aloe Vera in your spray tan solution can clog pores, cause acne breakouts and leaves a sticky residue on walls and floors. It can also clog spray guns and increase the chance of a solution staining your client's bed linen and clothing.

2. Remember: The fewer the number of ingredients the better.

Many sunless tanning manufacturers add lots of extra ingredients that don't contribute to the performance of the tan. Experts agree that every additional ingredient increases the chance of an allergic reaction. You can't afford to risk your clients' health or your salon's reputation. Aviva Labs sunless solutions contain only 13 ingredients. We have counted as many as 33 ingredients in competitors' solutions. How many ingredients does your current solution have?

3. Make sure you know what's in your spray tan solution.

Have you read the ingredients in your current sunless solution? We suggest that you never use products that do not have clear indications of the ingredients they use.

4. Buy spray tan solution only from a reputable source to insure its consistency.

Would you be surprised to hear that just a few companies manufacture the majority of sunless tanning solution? Most brands are actually just resellers who privately label under their own name. If they find a cheaper manufacturer, they often switch suppliers. This means a brand can vary wildly in quality, consistency, color and performance. One month you might have a solution that works relatively well, but the next batch has a color guide that looks completely different.

Aviva Labs is the manufacturer. We own and operate our own Research & Development lab and manufacturing facility under strict quality control standards, meaning consistent and reliable products every time.

5. Avoid spray tan solutions containing alcohol.

Spray tan manufacturers who use Aloe Vera know they have a problem with slow drying times. In order to speed it up they usually turn to alcohol. Unfortunately alcohol causes dry, itchy skin. This is not only very uncomfortable for your clients but it can affect the resulting tan as well.

6. Don't use just one DHA concentration in a spray tan solution on all your customers.

Many sunless tanning brands offer only one DHA concentration. Whether your clients are very pale or naturally dark-skinned, you have no choice but to spray them all with the same solution. Your lighter clients may turn orange, your darker clients may not get enough color and you lose both types of clients. For example, if your spray tan solution only comes in a 10% DHA concentration, your very fair-skinned clients may turn orange.

7. Keep in mind that a quality bronzer is crucial to the resulting DHA tan.

The bronzer (or color guide) included in a spray tan solution allows you to see where you have sprayed your client while also giving them an instant tan. Most importantly, it determines how the resulting DHA tan will look. The bronzer shows when the client looks dark so that you stop spraying them. At this point they will have enough DHA on their skin that when they wash the bronzer off in 6-8 hours (or 30 to 90 minutes with a rapid tan solution) they will have a long lasting DHA tan. Make sure your clients don't experience the “Post-Shower Letdown” disappointment. They think their instant tan looks nice but the resulting DHA tan after they shower doesn't look good. It's either too light or too orange. This is because the manufacturer made the bronzer either too dark or too light. There must be a careful balance between the bronzer concentration and the DHA concentration.

8. Find a spray tanning manufacturer that is known for healthy, skin-friendly products.

Again, the fewer the number of ingredients in your spray tan solution the better. Also, do they offer natural spray tanning or organic sunless tanners? The more you know about the spray tan solution you put on your clients' bodies, the better. Find a company that is completely comfortable with giving you this information.

9. Beware of a spray tan solution containing Erythulose which is not FDA approved.

Many brands of sunless tanning solution contain erythrulose, an additive claimed to increase the duration of the tan. However, the only FDA-approved ingredient for sunless tanning is DHA. Our in-house comparative tests repeatedly demonstrated that erythrulose provides no significant difference in the tan's application or performance.

10. Offering clients' a choice of shades and premium spray tan solutions increases client retention.

It is a common mistake to believe that all tanning solutions have the same developing time. For those that don't have time to wait the normal 6-8 hours to shower offer may be happier with a rapid spray tan solution that allows them to shower off in an little as 30 minutes. Does your spray tan solution come in shades for cool skin tones and warm skin tones? Offering your clients a choice shows your interest in their happiness of their resulting tan.

5 Steps To Increase Spray Tanning Revenues

—Mitch Bloom, CEO, Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning

Are you looking to increase sunless revenues? Try these simple steps:

1:Banish the thought of orange. Scientific advancements in sunless tanning formulations have eliminated the "orange" look in favor of a more natural glow. Make sure your clients are aware that better formulations coupled with the proper concentration of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), can deliver a tan so natural, only the client and technician will know otherwise.

2: Practice. There is no license required to be a spray technician—a steady arm and patience are all that is needed to be up and running in no time at all. It's easy to learn, set up and operate, technicians just need to master the formulation and application.

3: Choose the right solution. A sunless tanning solution should leave results that can be seen and felt. A good solution should be natural-looking, oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and formulated to promote healthy skin. Solutions should also dry in seconds (not minutes), and should not leave a sticky/greasy feeling or stain clothing.

4: Customize solutions for clients' skin type. Assess each client's skin type and have a consultation on expectations before formulating solution.

5: Calculate the right pricing. Know your market—local market conditions, competition and demographics will influence pricing. For a full-body application, typical prices range from $35-$55 for a 15-minute treatment with a price break for multiple applications. Face, neck, shoulders and arms applications range from $20-$30 for a 6 to 12-minute treatment, and face and neck applications range from $10-$15 for a five-minute treatment.

5 Tips for the Best Looking Spray Tan

—Shannon Moynihan of Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning

An important fact to remember when spray tanning is that the life of a sunless tan is dictated by the speed with which you shed dead skin cells. This cycle can be anything from 5 to 10 days. The longer your client's spray tan lasts, the happier they will be and more likely to return. However, it is important to educate your clients when it comes to guaranteeing them a fabulous tan without the sun. Follow these steps for the longest lasting, most natural looking spray tan.

1) Tell clients to exfoliate before their spray tan. Exfoliation prior to having a spray tan is vital, as it means you are removing all the loose dead skin cells so the DHA will adhere to your skin better and the tan will then also last longer. This also reduces the likelihood of a tan becoming patchy as it fades due to the fact you are starting with an even surface. Unfortunately, many exfoliators contain moisturizers or oils that act as a barrier and prevent the DHA from adhering to your skin. It is important that you use an exfoliator that has been specifically designed for use in the sunless tanning process.

2) Determine the right amount of DHA to spray on each client. You should choose a solution with the right amount of DHA for each client's skin type. If you use the same solution on everyone and just spray more or less of that liquid depending on their skin color, their resulting tan may be too light or may cause your client to turn orange. For example, if your customer has fair skin and is sprayed with a 12% DHA solution and should only be tanned with an 8% DHA solution, you risk them turning orange. The flip side is also true—if your client has olive skin and tans easily in the sun and is sprayed with an 8% DHA solution, the resulting tan may be too light for them and less noticeable.

3) Inform your clients to wait the appropriate time before showering or working out. Tell your customers that the spray tan needs time on the skin to develop and recommended they wait 8 hours before showering, working out or doing any activity that would cause them to sweat. If they want to shower earlier, you may want to offer an "express" spray tan service like Aviva Labs City Tan™ Collection that allows clients to shower in as little as 30 minutes after their service. I recommend charging $10-$15 more for an express spray tan.

4) Tell clients to shower with only water for the first shower after a spray tan. This may sound "yucky" to you but it will prevent them from removing any of their spray tan prematurely. They can use a washcloth daily but using a loofah will scrub off the tan.

5) Encourage clients to moisturize daily after a spray tan. Moisturizing the skin extends the tan up to 3 days because it slows down the skin's shedding process. Advise them to use a moisturizer specifically designed for spray tanning. Regular moisturizers may not protect their tan because their ingredients can actually degrade the color and cause it to fade faster.

Top 10 Improvements Spray Tanning Businesses Make to Earn More Money-You can do it too!

—Mitch Bloom, CEO, Aviva Labs

90% of spray tanning consultants told us the issues they were having prior to switching to Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning and how they fixed those issues and grew their spray tanning business by leaps and bounds!


The Problem: My technique is not good. I focus on speed spraying one very heavy coat. I have random spray patterns, combination of up & down, side-to-side, and curly Q's.

The Fix: I now use two light coats on my clients so they don't get too wet and I can go over any spots I may have missed on the first coat. I now spray each body from side to side consistently.


The Problem: I spray too much solution on each client, often 4-8 oz. of solution per full body.

The Fix: I use only 2 oz. of spray tan solution per tan now so I make more profit since I use so much less solution per spray tan.


The Problem: I have a mess on the floor, the walls, and the ceiling. Spray tan solution even sometimes drips from places. It looks awful to my clients.

The Fix: I only spray two ounces of solution per client and since virtually all the solution goes straight to the body, the overspray in the air which used to get on the floor, walls and ceiling is eliminated. My clients and I now enjoy a professional clean spray tanning area.


The Problem: I think my spray gun is broken. Some days it sprays way too much liquid and other times it won't even spray at all. Do I need to buy a new one or not?

The Fix: I realized how to properly set my gun now with Aviva Lab's advice. I actually never had even adjusted my gun before. I saved money since I realized that I didn't need a new spray gun.


The Problem: I do have my customers exfoliate before the spray tan but honestly, it doesn't seem to help extend their tan. I thought I would sell a lot of exfoliant but my retail sales are stagnant.

The Fix: I still always have my clients exfoliate but now I provide an exfoliant that is specifically designed for spray tanning. It doesn't leave behind any extra oils on the skin that other exfoliants do. I now use a Deep Clean exfoliant that is made just for spray tanning and my client's spray tans last an extra 1 to 3 days. They are quite pleased. Because of this, my retail skin care sales have gone up since I sell many bottles of exfoliant.


The Problem: My machines “spittles.” It doesn't spray evenly onto my client, even gives a spotty tan. I use an airbrush compressor coupled with an HVLP spray gun.

The Fix: The airbrush compressor coupled with an HVLP spray gun while quieter than an HVLP machine alone was producing the spotty results. My machine only put out a fraction of the air of an HVLP turbine. The sunless solution wasn't getting properly atomized into a very fine mist, so the result was not as good. I now use the T100X HVLP machine alone and the high pressure low volume design insures the spray comes out in a very fine mist and gets on my client's body evenly without any spittle.

7. ORANGE SPRAY TANS This problem is so common you wouldn't believe it!

The Problem: I spray all my clients with the same solution so if they have light skin I use a little and if they have dark skin I spray a lot of the solution on them. Sometimes the lighter skinned clients come out orange and I don't know why. The dark skinned clients also sometimes complain that after they shower they don't see any tan at all.

The Fix: I now use different solutions with the right amount of DHA for each client's skin type. Different skin types react differently to the amount of DHA in a spray tan solution so I can't use just one DHA concentration to satisfy everyone. For example, when my customer has fair skin and I used to spray them with a 12% DHA solution they would turn orange. I now use an 8% DHA solution on that customer. The flip side is also true—if my client has dark olive skin and tans easily in the sun and I used to spray them with the 10% solution, the resulting tan was sometimes too light for them and less noticeable. I now spray a 12% DHA solution on that client. My clients are so much happier now with their resulting tan and my business keeps on growing!


The Problem: I am stuck doing 5 to 10 spray tans a week and I haven't even made my money back on the initial equipment I bought never mind any profit! My equipment costs thousands of dollars and I thought I would make the money back quickly like the salesperson told me I would.

The Fix: I recommend that my colleagues who are contemplating starting a spray tanning business at their salon just purchase the basics: a great solution, retail products and an inexpensive HVLP spray tan machine and backdrop. My fancy expensive booth or spray tan machine didn't turn out to make me the money I thought it would.

Unfortunately, I suffered from that error but by learning new marketing ideas and following the tips above; I am spraying 3 to 5 times as many spray tans a week now and will soon be turning profits.


The Problem: My client is happy after I sprayed them and when they left the salon. The next day they don't like their tan complaining it is too light or they can't even see it at all. I also wonder when I don't hear back from a client or they don't return to me whether or not that was their complaint as well. I worry those unhappy clients are telling others about their negative experience. If a client complains about their tan and I have to re-spray them, it cuts into my profits considerably. And they may even be dissatisfied after that second spray tan as well!

The Fix: The spray tan solution I use now has DHA in it that is balanced properly with the intensity of the bronzer. Before when I sprayed a client, the bronzer we initially saw looked fantastic—but once the client showered they lost 20-50% of the tan. The old bronzer was much heavier than the resulting DHA tan. Some clients would call to tell me but I think that many others didn't and just stopped coming to me. With Aviva Labs Natural Spray Tanning, what you see is exactly what you get. By using the proper solution for each client's skin type, their DHA tan matches the initial spray tan color EXACTLY. My repeat business has grown and those happy clients have also told my friends to come to me so they can get a great tan too.


The Problem: I am not making that much money on spray tanning as it is so I am not going to bother to spend a lot of money advertising my service. I thought that if I started spray tanning services and put up a sign in my salon that my clients would buy spray tans but it hasn't worked out.

The Fix: I now know that there are many free or inexpensive ways to market my business and it has grown considerably. I now offer a discount to any client that brings in a new client to be spray tanned. Sometimes I will have a hostess party and the hostess is spray tanned free when she has so many friends come to the party and they pay to be spray tanned. I even now market to my local gym for free. I tan the owner free and I am allowed to post flyers around the gym advertising my spray tan services and a discount for first time spray tan clients to encourage them to try my business. My facebook page is free and so easy to update. When I post a great offer or picture of someone I tanned, my clients often share that offer or photo with their facebook friends which sometimes leads to a new client.

How to Add Spray Tanning Profitably to Your Existing Salon

—Lisa Chapman, Managing Director of Aviva Labs UK

My specialty is in coaching salons and spas to double their existing sunless business. I am also passionate about sharing this knowledge with beauty professionals who want to add spray tanning to their services menu.

Sunless tanning is one of the most profitable services for beauty professionals to provide to their clients. Why?

Given worries about skin cancer and tanning beds, the sunless tanning industry is increasing in demand. In fact, according to a recent CNN Money Article citing an IBISWorld report, Self-tanning Product Manufacturing is one of America's 10 fastest growing industries. Makers of bronzing lotions and sprays are expected to see their sales grow 18.1% in 2012 and it is forecasted that fake tanning products will grow to become a billion-dollar industry within the next five years. This is a fabulous time to add spray tanning services to your spa menu and capitalize on this opportunity.

My advice is that If you wish to make the most money from offering spray tanning, it is vital to have knowledge of the sunless tanning process and its' limitations.

The active ingredient in virtually all modern day tanning solutions is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone). DHA was first recognized as a skin coloring agent in the 1920s. It is basically a simple starch and is often derived from sugar beet or cane. DHA is not to be confused with the food dye that is used to produce the 'guide color' in tanning solutions.

DHA is the most expensive ingredient within sunless tanning solutions. Cheap DHA will never deliver consistent quality results for your clients. I recommend using products that are manufactured using the highest quality ECO-Cert DHA.

How does DHA work? DHA is not a dye. It reacts with the Keratin in the dead cell skin layer to create pigments called Melanoidins. The reaction is known as the "Maillard reaction." A spray tan is fully developed after 8 hours (or 4-6 hours with an express solution). Melanoidins are similar to Melanin which is the pigment created in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

An important fact to remember is that the life of a sunless tan is dictated by the speed with which your client sheds dead skin cells. This cycle can be anywhere from 5 to 10 days. This is why exfoliation prior to having a spray tan is important so that all the loose dead skin cells are removed to insure a longer lasting tan. Also, because you are starting with an even surface, you reduce the likelihood of a tan becoming patchy as it fades.

Beware that many exfoliators contain moisturizers or oils that act as a barrier and prevent the DHA from reaching the Keratin in the skin. It is important that your client is provided with an exfoliator that has been specifically designed for use in the sunless tanning process.

Just as important as pre-tan preparation is post-tan maintenance. You should recommend to your clients that they use a quality moisturizer that has been specifically designed for sunless tanning as many moisturizers contain ingredients that accelerate the skin cell shedding process.

Managing your clients' expectations and allowing them to understand how the sunless tanning treatment works will insure that they get the best from the service you are offering and recommend you to their friends.

WYSIWYG 'What You See Is What You Get

This term is usually associated with computers but also has relevance in the sunless tanning business. When a client has a spray tan the results are immediate. If you are using a quality spray tan solution, the client will usually be pleased to see their newly bronzed body.

This immediate result (the guide color) is created with food dyes that are contained within the tanning solution. This is often referred to as bronzer.

Remember, you are not around to see when your client showers at home later and see their actual spray tan results. If they are disappointed with their results, they have what Aviva Labs calls a Post-Shower Letdown.™ This has a bad effect on business because most often clients don't call to tell you how they feel about their resulting spray tan. They just go elsewhere for their next spray tan.

Color balance is key. If the guide color that the client experiences immediately after their tanning treatment is nothing like the color post-shower, that client will be disappointed (or livid in the worst case) and you have lost the edge. That is this client will not be singing your praises to everyone they meet.

It is imperative to use a tanning solution specifically created to deliver a perfect match pre- and post-shower. Thus, the DHA tan will develop to exactly match the original guide color.

“I have lectured to beauty professionals all over the world. I always strongly impress to them that their success doesn't depend on what treatments or products they provide clients if they don't know the basics. You are the professional and your clients expect your knowledge to be greater than their own. I am not suggesting you give all your clients a science lecture, but informing them about the treatment you are providing is important in order for them to benefit fully. This is so true when it comes to sunless tanning,” Lisa advises.

Lisa Chapman is the Managing Director of Aviva Labs UK and has over 20 years' experience in the beauty industry. She has worked in London, Dubai and Paris.

The five steps to mind-blowing spray tanning revenues! Steps 1-3

The five steps to mind-blowing spray tanning revenues! Steps 4-5

How to clean your spray gun properly

Spray Tanning Backdrop Assembly Instructions

How to set up a professional-looking spray tanning service area

Aviva Labs Spray Tanning Equipment Instructions

  Pinterest Facebook YouTube Location LinkedIn Tumblr Twitter
  Pinterest Facebook YouTube Location LinkedIn Tumblr Twitter  

Copyright © 2017 Aviva Labs, Inc.