Friday, November 19, 2010


I have fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes.  When I was younger I tried my darndest to tan, to no avail.  Eventually I gave up trying.  Several months ago I purchased a Groupon for UV-free tan sessions.  The price was right, and I've always wanted to try spray-on tanning.

I kept looking for "just the right time" to use it; summer turned into fall and the weather got cold.  Even though my body's covered in clothes now, today I went and used the first of the two sessions I purchased.  This morning I showered, exfoliated, pumiced, and lotioned my body.  I picked out old clothes (some athletic pants and a polo shirt) so I didn't have to worry if chemicals got on them.

Although it seems like there's a tanning salon in every strip mall, I've never been in one before. The front desk was staffed by a bronzed 20-something, who was quite helpful.  Before I could indulge myself, I had to fill our a bit of paperwork, then go on a quick tour of the facility.  As part of the tour we stopped in the sunless tanning room, where I got a quick lesson in using the booth.  It seemed pretty easy, but there was also an instruction poster on the wall in case I forgot any of the steps.  We went back to the desk so I could sign the required waiver, then I was free to do my fake tanning.

The instruction poster showed a smiling model in a bikini. I decided to be daring and go for a full-body tan. (Not that anyone would see it.)  I took off my clothes and laid them on a chair, put a disposable cover on my hair, and applied lotion to my feet, elbows, and hands--places where the tanner was likely to accumulate.  I read the instructions on the wall one more time, took off my glasses, and entered the shower-like booth.

There was a green button on the far side of the enclosure that started the spray.  I pushed it, and after a few seconds a very fine mist of sunless tanning solution (mixed with a bit of bronzer for immediate color) started coming out of a row of nozzles on the wall. My eyes were closed, but I could feel the moisture moving from my face down to my legs.  It took about 20 seconds. The mist stopped, and I turned around so I could do the other side of my body.

When the mist stopped, I waited in the booth for a few minutes to let my body air dry, then stepped out and patted off the rest of the moisture with a towel.  Although I was dry, my body felt sticky, like I had a heavy layer of sunscreen on.  I dressed, left the salon, and drove home. Every time I came to a stop light, I pulled down the rear view mirror and took a look at my face, which was substantially darker than I'm used to.

The instructions said not to shower for at least 4 hours, because it takes that long for the solution to be fully absorbed by the skin.  Three hours after I got home, I checked the progress of my tan. It looked pretty good, except for my palms, which were brown (with white lines). I guess I didn't use enough lotion on them.  However, after dinner I noticed that my palms were even darker, and so were the bottoms of my feet.  My knees were overly dark, except for a weird light-colored spot on my left knee that somehow hadn't been sprayed.

However, after a shower I looked better.  Much of the splotchiness had disappeared. I suspect it was from the bronzer, which came off with soap and water. This is the best tan I've ever had. My body has a nice light brown tone, and although my knees are still a bit darker than the rest of my legs I'm not too concerned.  They'll be covered up and no one will see them!


  1. Gosh... I don't know, Kathy. This has me a little worried. Can this be good for you?

  2. Well, how very fun! Now you know how it works and this summer you'll be a 'tanned' beauty in your tanks and shorts! ;)

  3. How about some before and after photos? Surely you have some!

    Wow, good for you! You are brave! I don't know if I could do this. I saw a movie where a guy kept getting sprayed over and over again and he looked like an Oompa Loompa when done. LOL! Thank gosh that wasn't your case! Probably trying it out in the winter is better in case it does look weird or blotchey.

    Have a great Thanksgiving! Will you match the pumpkin pie? Hahah, just kidding!