The different types of tans available

woman being sprayed with spray tan

Tanning has become a symbol of health and vitality; many of us want to give the illusion of having just stepped off the beach after a day of surfing or sun-lounging, feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and full of vitamin D. 

While good sun and surf isn’t hard to come by in New Zealand, that big old ball of heat in the sky can sometimes do more harm than good, and you may be left wanting to achieve that golden glow whilst reducing the risks of dermatological damage.

Why does skin tan?

The UVA radiation from the sun targets the melanocyte cells in the lower epidermis levels of the skin and stimulates them to start producing Melanin. Melanin then darkens the skin pigment, forming what we refer to as a ‘tan’. Melanin is actually what protects our skin from burning, our own natural form of sun-block, if you will.

While getting some sun is important to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D – which helps support proper tooth, bone and muscle health – it is important to be aware of the dangers radiation can pose to our skin, not just burning but the more sinister risk of skin cancer. New Zealand can have extremely high levels of UV radiation, so correct sun protection is a must – factor 50 or above sunscreen, staying in the shade when possible and wearing a hat will all help aid in protection against UV radiation. 

Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand gives more information about how to spend your time in the sun wisely and how to protect yourself from high levels of UV radiation.

Skin types and tone

Choosing the right shade and solution of tan for your skin is vital. Everyone’s skin is beautiful and unique to them, so it is important to treat it with the proper care and attention it deserves. 

Whether you are choosing self-application at home or going to a salon, here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction when it comes to tanning:

  • Get to know your foundation – ensuring that you know your skin inside out before choosing a tan is of utmost importance. What is your natural skin shade? Do you have dry skin? Oily skin? Is it sensitive? These are all factors to consider when choosing the right tanning solution for you. It is also vital to prep your skin correctly before a tan, ensuring that it is clean and free from perfumes and products that may interfere with tan application. It is also advisable to patch test your chosen tan before committing to full coverage, just to ensure you are not allergic to the solution.
  • Choosing a base colour – while all bases can be used on any skin tone, it is helpful to get to know your natural skin tone to find the best base for you and achieve your desired look. Green base products work well with fairer skin tones by cancelling out redness, caramel bases are good for pretty much any skin type and are popular for achieving a sun-kissed look, violet bases lend themselves well to olive skin tones and those who tan easily, and dark ash bases are a good choice for those wanting to achieve a deeper tan.
  • Start lighter and then build up – it is always best to start light and then build up your tan if you want to go darker. You can always add on, but it’s quite tricky to take off!

Interested in a career as a spray tanning artist? Amongst our selection of short beauty courses, we offer spray tan training in the form of our Certificate in Spray Tanning. This advanced spray tanning course equips you with the vital knowledge needed to deliver an excellent tanning service. You will learn about everything from equipment use and maintenance, to solution selection and application skills.

And better yet – it’s a spray tan course and kit! We will deliver your very own kit to you with all the tools you will need to start you off on the right foot.

Enrol in our spray tan course today and bring some sunshine to those around you!

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