Will a Spray Tan Even Out My Skin Tone?

A spray tan evens your skin tone -- no sun required.

Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Glowing skin and looking 5 pounds lighter are just two of the many benefits of a spray tan. Here’s another: a spray tan can make your skin tone appear more even, so long as you exfoliate your skin before you head to the tanning studio to remove dead skin cells that can make for an uneven application. So beware, bruises, and watch out, freckles -- your spray tan can cover them as long as your tan stays on.

How Spray Tans Work

Think of spray tanning as similar to how you dye your hair -- except that the tan doesn't last quite as long. Most spray-tan solutions contain docosahexaenoic acid, a solution that makes your skin bronzed and beautiful. When DHA is sprayed onto your skin, the acid and other ingredients react with your skin much like hair dye does, turning it a brown color. The tanning solution essentially dyes the top of your skin cells, which is why your spray tan rubs off in about a week, because the skin cells flake off.

Even Effects

When your spray tan is complete, it's almost like someone applied body makeup all over your skin. The spray tan can conceal most skin imperfections you may have, including freckles, varicose veins, that scar you got when you fell of your bike or even a light birthmark. The degree to which your spray tan evens your skin tone can depend upon how dark a solution is applied to your skin. You want to strike just the right balance between a dark-enough color to conceal imperfections without having one that is so dark you look unnatural.

Layer It

One of the ways you can ensure that your skin tone is as even as possible is to have your spray tanner apply your tan in layers. This means that if your tanner applies a first layer and you don’t have that even skin tone you were hoping for, you can have your tanner apply an additional layer to darken the tan -- and even your skin tone more.

When it’s Not Even

As long as your spray tan is applied correctly -- and you allow the tanning solution plenty of time to dry -- you should have a spray tan that evens out your skin tone. But since everyone has her own spray-tan woes every once in a while, there are some instances when your spray tan may appear uneven. You can rub a lemon slice over any areas of dark streaking if you do experience some dark spots.

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