Spray tan: how it works, pros and cons


There tanned skin unquestionably has its charm and, although for some years we have been talking about the damage of UVA rays and tanning lamps, having a golden skin twelve months a year is the more or less hidden dream of many people.

But if the methods we mentioned earlier are now considered harmful, or in any case to be taken with due precautions, how can we have an enviable tan even in the middle of winter? We could use, for example, theTanning Spray, very common in the USA, for example (have you ever seen Jersey Shore, where the protagonists were really sick of this tanning method?).

The active ingredient found in most auto tanning products is DHA, or dihydroxyacetone, a molecule which, reacting with the proteins present on the most superficial layer of the skin, stimulates a kind of pigmentation, in contact with the air, which darkens the skin by one or two tones.

What is spray tan and how does it work

Without exposing itself to ultraviolet rays, DHA, a natural extract based on sugar cane, can indeed darken the keratin present on the skin; attention, spray tan is not a melanin stimulant, it does not protect from the sun’s rays and, for this reason, it cannot be considered as protective creams against UVA and UVB rays.

Therefore, the precautions to be taken when exposing yourself to the sun or making lamps remain valid. The auto tanning acts rather as a kind of make-up product, which gives us, by spraying it on the skin with the application of a nebulizer, a golden complexion.

How long does the effect last?

The color left by the spray tan lasts an average of four or five days, before fading due to the continuous replacement of the surface layer of the skin. However, it must be said that, not penetrating deeply, DHA is well tolerated by the skin, even those that have problems with psoriasis or vitiligo, therefore the treatment can be repeated at least a couple of times a week.

The important thing, however, is to rely on safe and accredited centers, which do not use poor products and ensure that you do not end up with unsightly orange or yellowish spots!

Contraindications and side effects

Tanning Spray

Does the spray tan have any particular disadvantages or side effects? According to experts this treatment can actually be performed in safety, because, as mentioned, dihydrosiacetone colors the most superficial layer of the skin, due to its ability to react with keratin. Not stimulating the melanin and not penetrating deeply, therefore, this cosmetic method is also suitable for the most sensitive skin, avoiding the danger of allergic or, in any case, abnormal reactions.

There’s more: the product used in beauty centers can actually be rich in moisturizing and antioxidant active ingredients, and therefore even make benefits. In short, spray tanning seems to be an absolutely safe method, with no contraindications and which can be used in any area of ​​the body without particular problems.

Ultimately, it could be considered the modern version of self-tanning creams, even if it does not have the defects of the latter and may have a duration it’s a’effectiveness major.

The costs of spray tanning

Money chapter: how much do we spend on a spray tan session? By contacting beauty centers, the costs of auto tanning can generally vary between 10 and 50 euros, depending on the type of service that the solarium or the center offer us.

However, there is also the possibility of using the spray tan at home, without necessarily having to ask for help from expert professionals in the aesthetic sector. For sale on the Internet there are several products with which we can achieve a good result even at home.

The alternatives: the self-tanning spray for DIY

If you lack the desire or the time to always resort to a beauty center for your tan, there are also some home remedies: we recommend three really excellent products to have an enviable golden skin in just a few hours.

That'So Sun Makeup On The Go Self Tanning Spray

That’So Sun Makeup On The Go Self Tanning Spray

Gradual tanning and anti-aging action for That’so Sun Makeup spray.

24 € on Amazon

25 € you save 1 €


  • With DHA extracted from sugar cane and Aloe vera
  • Enriched with Matrixyl, an anti-aging oligopeptide


  • Visible results after 3 or 4 hours, not immediate

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Garnier Ambre Solaire Spray Natural Bronzer

Garnier Ambre Solaire Spray Natural Bronzer

Enriched with apricot oil, it gives a natural tan in an hour.

€ 9 on Amazon


  • Gives a natural complexion
  • Cheap


  • Some find gifts too artificial an effect

This is not a spray, but a self-tanning agent milk that gives the same natural tan.

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Milk

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Milk

It gives a luminous complexion and a natural tan thanks to the action of the milk with a tanning agent.

Buy on Amazon


  • Formula with milk and self-tanning agent
  • Natural tan in just two hours


  • Insufficient value for money

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