Spray tanning involves applying an active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, to your skin using a specialist low pressure spraying machine. DHA is a colourless sugar. It interacts with the proteins and amino acids in the outer layer of your skin to produce a golden brown colour.
Most spray tans contain an instant cosmetic bronzer that gives you a colour guide and instant colour when you are first sprayed. These instant cosmetic bronzers will wash away after your first shower and have no impact on the end result for your tan. It’s not the amount of cosmetic bronzers that make the individual solutions darker from one another, it’s the amount of DHA in the solution that creates varying results.
The spray tan will contain various amounts of DHA depending on the solution you choose. The DHA starts to activate immediately, 60% of this process is complete after the first hour yet the actual tan will continue to develop over the next 24 hours. All the cosmetic instant bronzers will wash off when showering. Your therapist will tell you how long to wait until you can bathe or shower depending on your skin colour and how dark you want your tan.