Airbrush Tanning FAQ

As a licensed esthetician, I could spend all day telling you about the risks and harmful effects to your skin of UV tanning, both out in the sun or in tanning beds. Can you say leathery skin and skin cancer? Fortunately for you, I offer customized, organic Airbrush Tanning! Check out the FAQs below for more insight into this gorgeous sunless tanning option.

What is your process? What kind of product do you use?

At BLT Beauty, I use Australian brand SunFX’s airbrush tanning solutions. SunFX has been a global leader in spray tanning products since 1999, and innovators in developing organic, natural, and hypoallergenic solutions. Completely paraben and chemical free, the SunFX solution comes in various different shades to ensure we are able to achieve a perfectly natural look for your specific skin tone. I’m also excited to offer both the Classic Tan, which develops in the standard 8-10 hours, and the game-changing Rapid Tan, which can be rinsed off in as little as 2-5 hours. I use top of the line HVLP professional airbrush tanning equipment, which gives flawless application to make sure you always end up with a streak-free, orange-free, healthy tan.

How should I prep for my airbrush tanning appointment?

To help make sure your tan is going to turn out as amazing as possible, there are a few things you’ll want to do beforehand:

  • Shave and/or wax 24-48 hours prior to your tan.
  • Exfoliate your entire body (using a scrub, loofah, dry brush, etc) the evening before.
  • Shower 2-3 hrs before the tan. Apply NO moisturizer, makeup or deodorant after your shower. I do have cleansing wipes at my studio that you can use if you’re coming to the appointment straight from work or running errands.
  • Bring dark, loose-fitting clothing & sandals to wear after the tan. Nothing with fitted or with tight waistbands or straps.
What do I wear during the airbrush tanning appointment?

For the actual airbrush tanning process, whatever you’re comfortable with! For some people this means a bikini, panties, or just your birthday suit. If you do choose to wear something for your tanning session, darker colors are advised. The cosmetic bronzer in the airbrush tanning solution will wash out of most fabrics, but no need to risk it with your favorite white bikini. You will want to wear something loose-fitting after your airbrush tan to ensure that you don’t rub the solution off during the processing time. The best bet is a flowy dark dress or loose sweats, and ideally something where you won’t need to put a bra on right after the tan. The main things to avoid are skinny jeans, fitted leggings/workout pants, tight fitting bras or tops, and anything with a tight waistband.

What do I need to do after my airbrush tan?

The number one rule after your airbrush tan is applied is to NOT get your skin wet until it’s time to rinse off your solution. This means no showering, swimming, sweating, doing the dishes, etc. This is why a lot of people choose to book a Classic Tan in the evening so that they can just hop into bed and sleep while the solution processes. If you want to book your tan during the day, the Rapid Tan might be a better option for you. Once your processing time is up, you will want to rinse off in the shower with water only. At this point, you’ll just be rinsing off the solution and your tan will still be developing within your skin. The tan’s full potential is reached at 24 hours after application. In the first 24 hours, avoid using body wash (especially any containing sulfates), avoid chlorine, and no massages or facials. After 24 hours you’re free to do whatever you want! This is when you’ll start moisturizing every day, twice a day to prolong the airbrush tan and ensure an even fading process.

How long does airbrush tanning last?

Both the Classic Tan and Rapid tan will last for an average of 7-10 days. You will be provided with a list of things to do and not to do to prolong your airbrush tan upon request or after booking your appointment. Some basics are to make sure you exfoliate within 24 hours before your session, apply moisturizer to your entire body at least twice daily after your airbrush tan is applied, and keep in mind that swimming, sweating, and other activities that will get your skin wet can speed up the fading process.
Pro Tip: if you’re getting a mani/pedi to accompany your gorgeous airbrush tan, make sure you schedule those BEFORE the tan.

When should I schedule my airbrush tan?

There are a few things to consider when working out the timing of your tan, particularly if it’s for a specific event or special occasion. Keep in mind that while you’ll start to see results within 12 hours, the sunless tanning solution takes 24 hours to fully develop. To make sure you’ve reached the full potential of your tan, schedule it 1-2 days before your event. If your airbrush tan is one of many appointments you’re making to primp and prep, make sure any waxing or sugaring appointments are booked 24-48 hours prior to the tan, and any manicures, pedicures, body wraps, body scrubs, massages, facials, and anything else where you’re getting products rubbed all over you are performed BEFORE your tan as well. If you’re getting your airbrush tan for a really special event, like your wedding or before a photo shoot, I definitely suggest booking a trial run about 2 weeks before the big day. This way we can make sure we figure out the perfect tone for your skin and avoid the risk of any unforeseen reactions happening right before a heavily photographed occasion.

How long does the airbrush tanning process take?

The application of the tan takes roughly 15 minutes from start to finish. With the Classic Tan, you will need to leave the airbrush tanning solution on for 8-10 hours before rinsing off. For the Rapid Tan, you can rinse off the solution in as little as 2-5 hours. We will discuss what color you are hoping to achieve, and based on the solution we use and your skin tone, I’ll recommend how long to wait before rinsing.

Can you come to me?

Yes ma’am! Mobile airbrush tanning services available for clients within San Diego County from Chula Vista to Encinitas, and as far east as Pine Valley for a small fee (See pricing menu). With a pop-up tanning tent that can fit just about anywhere, there is no muss and definitely no fuss since you don’t even have to leave the house. Please reach out via text or email to request times and let me know your location. A minimum of 24-hour notice is generally required for mobile tanning house calls. Please be advised that house calls have limited availability upon request. If you have a very specific time frame you’re hoping to get a house call, the further in advance you request the appointment the more likely I will be able to accommodate.
Special group rates are available for mobile tanning! Groups of 2-3 get a discounted rate, and parties of 4 or more get an even better deal, plus some celebratory champagne to make it a little extra fun. Grab your girls (and boys, no discrimination here) for a Sunday Funday or to get ready for a wedding, concert or vacation! If you’d like to set up a tanning party or ask about group rates, send me an email or text and we can work out the deets.


Since the tanning solution develops based on your natural skin tone, the consultation process is a breeze on this. The main factors that will be taken into consideration are how dramatic of a tan are you wanting to achieve and how long are you hoping to let your tan process before rinsing off. Both Rapid Tan and Classic Tan come with different levels of DHA (the natural ingredient that reacts with your skin to cause the tan to develop) so we can pick which one will work best for your goals and time frame.

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