Mastering a flawless tan – customising your glow for your skin type

Woman with a tan

For both clients and beauticians – the holy grail of every spray tan appointment is a flawless application. A smooth, successful application is the key to a longer-lasting, luscious looking glow. And while we’ve spoken before about the important preparation tips every beauty queen needs to know, what we haven’t discussed is considering skin type. 

Whether you are an avid tanner, are looking to start your spray tan training, or already run a spray tan business – we’re here to give you the lowdown on this nuanced approach to application.

Choosing the right formula, shading and application techniques by skin type is a total game-changer for you and your clients. Offering a super durable, natural & individualised finish you and your clients will adore. 

So let’s dive in by discussing the 5 different skin types.

Mastering your tan – skin types explained 

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin, sometimes known as irritated skin, is highly reactive to products, treatments and other applications. Usually caused by a weak barrier or lack of protective functioning in the skin, meaning microorganisms and irritants can enter more easily. Therefore those with sensitive skin have to be careful about the ingredient list of their beauty products to avoid irritating and painful side effects – such as heat, tightness, infection, redness or itching. So it goes without saying that care must be taken to work only with ingredients that work for the particular client’s skin in this case.

Dry skin

Dry skin is often noticed by a feeling of tightness and roughness, which is the skin’s way of expressing a thirst for moisture. Sometimes our skin can become dry in certain seasons, or through certain factors such as low air humidity, exposure to hot water, making it a temporary phase of a client’s skin cycle. However, for many of us, dry skin is a permanent state – living with itching, redness and, in extreme cases, cracked skin. 

Oily skin 

Oily skin has a bright appearance, with very open pores and a feeling of excessive moisture. Caused by excessive fat production by our ‘sebaceous glands’, it’s usually genetically inherited and exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations. Sometimes seen in occurrence with hormonal acne, oily skin can be tackled with a targeted skincare regime to balance out the moisture levels in the skin. 

Combination skin

Combination skin refers to anyone who has a mixture of textures present. For example, a client could have both dry and oily skin, experiencing dryness on their knees and elbows, whilst their T-Zone may be much more oily. Or a client could have sensitive skin around their face and neck, while the rest of their body is relatively ‘normal’.

Normal skin 

While the word ‘normal’ can be confusing, in skin assessment terms normal simply means the skin is generally balanced. It is neither too dry nor too oily, has a regular texture and an absence of sensitivities or irritations. This usually means that this skin type takes well to most products and beauty treatments, so won’t require any special adjustments.  

Spray tan training

Spray tan application tips by skin type 

Sensitive skin – asses & nourish 

  • Perform a thorough consultation to assess which products could work, and which will irritate the skin. 
  • Do a patch test to be 100% sure no irritation will take place before the actual tanning appointment.
  • Advise the client to exfoliate 24 hours before with a trusted, gentle product, to remove the bulk of any dead skin that is keeping the tanning solution from applying fully. A simple sugar scrub might be the easiest, least irritating exfoliator for some!
  • To be prepared for sensitive clients, seek out a tanning solution packed with naturally-derived and skin-enriching ingredients like argan oil, coconut water and aloe vera. 
  • Be sure to find solutions that don’t contain alcohol or parabens – you can check out our guide to chemical-free beauty brands for some suggestions. 
  • Consider a green base colour, as it’s ‘pink-correcting’ so it can balance out any red patches. 

Dry skin – heal & hydrate 

  • Assess the client’s skin thoroughly before application – chapped, cracked or broken skin needs to heal before tanning.
  • Advise a longer prep, perhaps including a bath soak, gentle exfoliation and intense moisturisation 24 hours before the appointment. This will improve the application. 
  • Opt for a moisturising solution with ingredients like coconut water and argan oil-infused tan, both of which are very hydrating. 
  • Again, a green colour base could be useful here to offset any redness. 

Oily skin – balance & harmonise

  • Steer clear of oil-based solutions here, and look for those containing Jojoba Oil, aloe vera or vitamin E – which have cleansing properties and have a lighter consistency. 
  • Opt for chemical-free solutions, as these can irritate the skin and cause even more oil production as the skin barrier tries to fight back. 
  • A blue and green pigment base can help even out complexions that might be damaged due to oil-based acne.

Combination skin might require mixing and matching the above tips to find the perfect blend of approaches to suit your client’s needs. 

And don’t forget that a proper preparation and aftercare routine is the ultimate secret weapon for any tan’s longevity & glow! So share these details with your clients to help them get the best out of their treatment.

Want to turn your love for tanning into a gorgeous beauty business? Then why not check out our spray tan course! One of our most popular short beauty courses, you’ll learn the secrets of applying flawlessly streak-free spray tan and offering bespoke consultations to your clients.  

Through text-based study, guided video tutorials and practical assignments, you’ll begin your spray tan training wherever it suits you. So you can learn around your other commitments and start that dream side hustle. Plus, included in your affordable monthly payments are the entire spray tan course and kit – a customised, professional spray tan kit delivered directly to your door. So your business is ready to get off the ground. 

Whether you’re completely new to spray tanning and looking to begin your own business or you’d love to refine your abilities and wow your clients, our Spray Tan Certificate is accessible, flexible and packed full of the key training you need to succeed. Join us today!

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