The Man Tan Done Right
In the age when male models and metrosexuals are setting the bar for the rest of the male population, many cosmetic treatments that have traditionally been seen as exclusively for women have become more popular with the men, too. Spray tanning in professional tanning salons is one of these treatments, and we’re seeing an increase in men getting them, too, at Hollywood Tans.
Many men love spray tanning because it makes them look healthier, more toned, and more attractive without being exposed to the harmful effects of natural tanning (i.e., sunlight exposure for hours on end). Plus, spray tanning is affordable, easy and convenient, and gives even tan across all areas of the body, among other benefits.
But there are also many things that can go wrong with a man tan! There’s the risk of uneven tanning, of splotches and patches, and of looking like burnt toast or like Carrot Top’s hair. These aren’t exactly what you want when you get out of a tanning booth.
Fortunately, there are ways to get the man tan right! You must start with the preparation and end with the next spray tanning session – and the cycle begins again. But it’s the kind of cycle that you will look forward to.
Prepare Your Skin
You should book your spray tanning appointment at least 24 hours before you intend to have it – the longer, the better although 48 hours should be sufficient. The 24-hour leeway is needed since you have to properly prepare your skin so that it absorbs the spray tanning solution well.
- Shave your face 24 hours before your appointment. If you don’t shave your face beforehand and you do it afterwards, your face won’t look as tanned as the rest of your body. Shaving effectively removes the solution by acting as an exfoliator.
- Scrub your face and body starting using an exfoliator, such as a loofah or a body scrub salt; borrow your wife’s or girlfriend’s bath supply, if you have to. Do this step 24 hours before your appointment, too.
- Exfoliating your skin makes it smoother – less bumps from the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and grime – so the spray tanning solution sticks to it better. You likely won’t get visible – and ugly, for that matter – patches and splotches on your tanned skin.
- Apply a light moisturizer on your skin 24 hours before your appointment. Be sure to apply more moisturizer on your face and hands since these are more prone to dryness.
But before you get into the tanning booth, you have to rinse away and wash off every trace of moisturizer, lotion and deodorant from your skin. In fact, you have to be completely dry for the spray tanning mist to stick well to your skin.
Of course, you should take a bath before your appointment! You will not be able to take a bath until the next day – at least, in most cases – since the water can lighten the tan. You don’t want to go around looking tanned but smelling like rotten eggs.
Choose the Right Color
There’s no one-color-fits-all in spray tanning! Your skin color and undertone as well as the season of the year are factors that should be considered when choosing the color of the spray tanning solution. You and your tanning technician should have a thorough discussion about the best one for your needs.
In terms of natural skin tone, these general guidelines apply.
- For very fair to fair – Choose a spray one shade lighter at first so you can see whether it looks good on you. Select a soft golden-based spray for a darker look or go for either a red- 0r violet-based spray for a dark brown tan.
- For medium skin – Go for a sun-kissed look or the bronzed look since the spray tan should only enhance the natural skin tone. Great choices include caramel, classic, and sunset tans, even the color-less tans if you want the no-tan tanned look.
- For dark skin – Enhance your natural skin color by choosing a natural classic shade that will give your skin a golden glow or a chocolate shade.
In many tanning salons, you can customize your tanning spray color. For example, mixing either a dark ash or a blue-black shade will result in a tanned Mediterranean look sans the burnt toast undertone.
Bronze colorants may also be mixed with the tanning solutions so that the tanning undertones change. You can ask the technician to mix a bronze colorant, such as a red- or a green-based colorant, so your undertone becomes more neutral. Your complexion seems to change, say, from cool to neutral.
After your appointment, you should wear loose, dark clothes, preferably the ones that you can chuck into the trash bin. You don’t want the spray tan rubbing off on your white or light-colored clothes and ruining both your tan and your clothes. You should also avoid becoming wet in the shower, chlorinated swimming pools, and in the gym (i.e., sweat) for the next 24 hours.
And that, gentlemen, is how you do the man tan right!