My first spray tan experience

Tanning has been something on my to-do list for a while, but I have always been afraid of tanning beds. I have pale skin, but when it is spring time, I always got envious when I saw well-tanned people. Well, there is a spring wedding I had to attend, and I wanted to get tanned so I decided to visit a professional in Washington DC and this was my experience.

I made an appointment at a tanning salon in Washington DC after doing lots of research and getting several referrals.  I first asked what their tanning options were. They told me about their tanning options, and I wanted to run until they mentioned the sunless spray tan. They told me what it entailed, and I decided to give it a shot.

The night before my first spray tan, I went through my usual night ritual of showering, shaving and exfoliating but did not moisturize as I was instructed.

The next day, I went to the salon and was taken to a small room. The tanning booth was in the room, and the attendant explained the pre-tanning process that involved me moving in different positions for them to ensure that all parts are covered. I was extremely nervous at this point, but the attendant gave me a cheat sheet showing me how I was supposed to stand and the process lasted less than 5 minutes.

I asked about the spray, and the attendant told me that it was not toxic. Then we talked about my skin tone and how tanned I wanted it to be. I chose medium since light would still make me appear pale and I did not want to be too dark. Afterwards, he left me to prepare.

I removed all my clothes and put on the hairnet provided by the salon. Then I removed my makeup and put a protective barrier cream on my soles, palms and anywhere the product might cling since I did not want to walk around Washington DC with orange palms and heels.

I got into the booth that was the size of a small shower and positioned myself on the line. The booth had a heat lamp, so I did not feel cold. I kept changing positions throughout the process. After my entire body was sprayed, I was told to alternate between my front and back while the blowers dried me. After I was dry, there was a moisturizing spray applied, and I got dried the second time. After that, I left the booth.

When I looked at myself, nothing had changed. I was told the tanning results appear within 8 hours. I removed the barrier cream using wet wipes as instructed. I was told that my clothes would not get stained when they saw I was reluctant to get dressed.  Using local services, boutiques,  and salons is a great way to ensure customized care and support local businesses.  See for more details.

An hour after I left, I noticed a distinct tanning smell on my skin that made me self-conscious walking around Washington DC. The color also started developing after a few hours, and I looked like I spent the weekend in the Caribbean islands the following morning. My sheets were stained, but the color washed off easily. I went for the wedding, and the color lasted for a week. As much as I was scared, my first spray tanning experience in Washington DC was great, and I will do it again.