1. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is the active ingredient in all sunless tanning products. It is derived from a sugar beet and is the only ingredient that will react with amino acids rather than dye the skin.
2. A faux tan, once developed, is hard to remove. Most home remedies do not work. What does work is a cuticle remover and scrubs with diatomaceous earth particles. A long soak in a chlorinated hot tub, followed by an oil or sugar scrub, can also help to remove the tan.
3. Less is always more. Most sunless tanners are not labeled with the level of active ingredients they contain, so clients should always do a test patch. As a general rule, "build a tan" or "tan extending" lotions usually have a DHA level of one to three percent while "full strength" sunless tanners usually are around five to seven percent.
4. A good faux tan boils down to 90 percent application and 10 percent product. Always use a sunless tanner sparingly and, regardless of whether it is a lotion or spray application, apply the product in a circular pattern.
5. Rapid developing products generally contain high levels of DHA, higher than what is recommended by the World Health Organization. Clients should stick to products, especially for spray tans, with a DHA level below 10 percent.
6. Because sunless tanners and other related products are not regulated in the United States, clients should research companies to ensure that they are getting a product that is made by a reputable brand; be sure to check all of the ingredients as well.
7.Exfoliation is the most important part of any sunless tanning application, but be sure to have clients use a water-based scrub or loofah and not an oil-based product before application.
8. Clients should always wash their hands after application. If they did not wear gloves to apply the sunless tanner, it is a good idea to wash the palms of the hands when finished.
9. If clients do use a full-strength sunless tanning product, it is a good idea for them to cut it with lotion before applying it to their hands, face, and feet. These areas of the body are always the driest and tend to soak in the product.
10. Development stops when the client washes the active ingredients off with soap and water.
Kelly Richardson is the CEO and founder of B.Bronz Sunless, a professional line of sunless tanning products sold in resort spas throughout the United States and Canada. She is also the owner of a chain of sunless tanning salons, Sonoma Tanning. Her companies have been partners with several professionals sports franchises (the NFL and the NBA) to provide products and services to their dance teams. Richardson is also an educator, speaker, and writer who focuses on business development and sunless tanning for many major industry trade magazines.