I got a spray tan on Thursday night. My first in four years.
Why had it been so long? Oh, because last time the spray tan technician commented “oh, you’ve just had lunch” as I stood in nothing but a paper g-string and shower cap under down lights in the spray booth.
I had not just eaten lunch. (Plus this is probably a conversation for my therapist and not this article, so I’ll get back on track.)
With and without spray tan. All fake tan fans will understand.
When I go for any sort of professional treatment I always quiz the person on what they are doing at every step of the way. Basically like a two year old I ask “why?” pretty much constantly so I can learn.
So last night as the helpful lady was finishing off my spray tan she ran me through the aftercare steps. When we got to the hydration bit I said “yes yes, I know, no body oils because oil can lift off the tan. Regular oil-free body lotion only.”
“Actually no, not any regular body lotion,” she said.
Oh. But why?
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She went on to explain that many body lotions contain alcohol, and that ingredient can also strip away the tan. (Look for words like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, arachidyl alcohol and myristyl alcohol.)
It’s in the formula to help make the consistency lighter and to help the other ingredients penetrate the skin. Alcohol gets a bad rap, and while ethanol can be drying and irritating, most other forms are fine and are in there to perform an important function. It’s also in almost all creams and lotions.