Types of Tans and Tanning Alternatives

Types of Tans and Tanning Alternatives

The tanning world has never been so exciting than it is today. The sunless industry is booming, with new, refined and more sophisticated products hitting the market at a heart-stopping rate. With all these fast changes and top-notch products, pills, sunless solutions, airbrushing, and other tanning alternatives, it’s no wonder some people out there find it hard to make up their minds how to get that first real professional tan.

Well, if you happen to be one of those people, fear do not, because Artesian Tan has the inside scoop for you when it comes to the different types of tans, and if you were planning on getting your first pro glow on, make sure you read this article on the different ways to get tan.


If you get an airbrushed tan, in most cases, you’ll get one by using the services of a spray tanning technician who will use a tanning solution with dihydroxyacetone (DHA for short). DHA is a substance removed from sugarcane and when it comes in contact with your skin, it reacts with the amino acids in the uppermost layer of the skin, darkening it or making it appear tan. When skin cells start to wear away the color will also start to fade.

DHA solutions do not cause cancer and In most cases don’t cause allergic reactions or skin irritations.

If you opt to receive an airbrush tan, for best results, make sure to exfoliate your skin beforehand and avoid wearing makeup, deodorant, lotions or perfumes as these substances tend to create a natural barrier on the skin thus making it harder for the DHA solutions to take effect. This is why exfoliation is so important because it causes the skin to receive the application more effectively.

In most cases, people receive airbrush applications in bikinis, shorts, undergarments, or even nude.

Almost all salons who offer airbrushing services will also explain the procedure in detail, even giving a few pointers for a longer-lasting tan. Most of the time, the tanning process takes between 20 to 30 minutes with the technician applying the solution in the first 10-15 minutes, after that, the product is left to dry properly. If it’s needed, the technician will re-coat the skin or touch up uneven or missed spots. Once the solution has fully dried, you’re ready to get dressed and go about your business. The only thing you should keep in mind is that you should wait at least 8 hours before washing your skin because you must give the tanning solution enough time to darken the skin to its full effect. Airbrush tans typically last for about a week, however, that really depends on the individual.


These products also use DHA as their main tanning agent and you have to apply these solutions directly to the skin in order to make your skin darker. They also darken the upper layer of the skin the same way airbrush tanning solutions would.

Just like with airbrush tanning, prior to your sunless application, you’ll want to exfoliate your skin and ditch perfumes, deodorant, and other lotions beforehand. Simply place the lotion onto your body at the desired location and in the desired amounts. Generally, most lotions will take visible effect after 3 hours. Once again, avoid washing your skin right away to allow the solution to do its thing.


These products are used for an extremely short amount of time. They are typically worn for only about a day, then they are washed off.

Bronzers come in a wide variety of forms such as sprays, sticks, powders, and gels.


They mostly come in bottled packaging and you can spray them onto your skin. They come in a variety of colors which are made to compliment different skin types.


In most cases, they are applied onto the skin with an applicator, coating the skin with an even layer.


These are harder to apply and to make them even because they tend to be thick and gooey. We recommend avoiding gels if you’re a first-timer since proper application requires a little experience.


They look like deodorant products and should be applied the same way in order to darken the skin.

You can use bronzers in combination with other sunless products to achieve better tanning results.


These products are similar to sprays however, they aren’t that thick nor that heavy. They are typically used for touch up applications and not as an “initial tan coat”.


Booths and beds are fairly popular since they allow people to get their glow at any time of the year without having to wait for a sunny day to go outside.

Both beds and tanning booths work with special lamps that produce UV-A and UV=B rays which are responsible for darkening the skin. While these tanning machines may seem convenient to use at first, prolonged exposure and regular use can lead to sunburn, skin damage and can even lead to skin cancer.


These products work by changing the color of the skin from the inside. When you swallow a tanning pill, it dissolves within your layers of body fat near the upper layer of the skin changing its color. These pills contain canthaxanthin, a chemical found in plants and animals.

While pills may also sound like a good alternative and less complicated than sunless tanning, you should avoid these products, since the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of canthaxanthin for tanning purposes.

Even without FDA approval, it’s legal for companies to sell such products for tanning purposes, users must be cautious about this chemical and the amounts they’re taking into their system. Pills usually take up to two weeks to show visible results so it’s best to be under your doctor’s surveillance during this period to ensure you haven’t developed any side effects.

As you can see, there are a lot of different alternatives to traditional tanning, some of them totally safe, while others posing certain harm to your skin and body. While sunless tanning may seem a bit complicated and messy at first, it’s still considered the safest way to get a beautiful glow. Do your health a favor and go sunless. Visit our site and check out the wide variety of different brands and products we have to offer.

Trust us, once you go sunless, you won’t look back! 

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