You can enjoy a golden bronze any time of year with a spray tan.
But there are many spray tanning brands. How do you know which one is the best?
This question is crucial if you’re thinking about starting your own spray tan business or purchasing equipment to fake tan at home.
Today, we’ll review the best airbrush tanning brands and some of their featured products.
- Spray tan versus self-tanning mousse, lotion, and wipes
- The risk involved with spray tanning
- Top Spray Tan Brands
- Tampa Bay Tan
Spray tan versus self-tanning mousse, lotion, and wipes
In case you’re still hanging out on the fence, unsure if you should invest in a spray tan setup, let’s talk about why spray tanning is superior.
For one, an airbrush tan lasts a week or more. That’s partly due to the high amount of DHA in the formula compared to drugstore products.
Then, the premium spray tan brands offer quality tanning solutions with a variety of advantages (1).
You’ll be able to customize your color and include additives like shimmer or protection for mature skin.
Meanwhile, a fake tan applied at home only lasts three to five days before you need a touch-up.
It’s basic, with little control over the final color you achieve.
Next, a spray tan, when properly applied, assures even coverage and saturation. It’s fast and unlikely to streak.
There’s no need for applicator mitts.
Also, you won’t need a separate solution for your face like you might if you purchased self-tanning products.
The risk involved with spray tanning
There’s only one risk to getting a spray tan. You really shouldn’t breathe in the mist.
DHA, the active ingredient in most fake tan products, should never get into your lungs, nose, or throat (2).
Other than that, it’s considered safe for the skin, even for most pregnant women.
For safety, hold your breath or use respiratory protection while you receive or apply a spray tan.
Top Spray Tan Brands
Now that you’ve had a little background information, let’s review the top spray tan brands and some of their most popular products.
Norvell was rated number one among professional tanning artists.
One of the reasons for this success is that their tanning solution provides a natural-looking tan. It counteracts orange shades with brown and violet tones.
Moreover, spray tan professionals say that they would choose Norvell for their personal use.
One of the most significant selling points is the wide variety of colors and options.
First, there’s a clear solution without cosmetic bronzer for light skin tones.
Then, there’s Double Dark for deep skin tones.
But of course, there are several other shades in between these extremes. All are compatible with HVLP sprayers, spray booths, and airbrush units.
Additionally, they have specialties like the One-Hour Rapid Formula and the Black Out Competition Formula.
Norvell also sells additional products to prepare for and prolong a spray tan. These adjust the pH of the skin to prepare it for a more vibrant color, or prevent the tan from fading.
Both the professional spray solutions and retail self-tanning products have odor inhibitors. They do not smell like the typical sunless tanning product with DHA.
Norvell’s headquarters are in Ohio. They are part of the Sunless, Inc. group.
Norvell Sunless Kit
If you’re serious about spray tanning, check out this kit with the Norvell spray tan machine.
It includes the Norvell Training Program and a bottle of Ultra Vivid Cosmo Light Venetian solution.
The M1000 mobile turbine with HVLP gun is their best-selling machine designed especially for applying their products. It has an adjustable pattern and a shoulder strap for transport.
Norvell Premium Sunless Tanning Solution
It’s hard to choose just one of the Norvell’s solutions to highlight. All of them are compatible with all models of airbrush and HVLP systems from a manufacturer.
Each formula is free of harsh chemicals and allergens. They do not contain parabens, gluten, phthalates, artificial fragrances, or petrochemicals.
There are several different colors available for every skin tone and undertone. No matter how dark you want to go, there is an option for you.
All the solutions are vegan.
They are formulated with DHA and natural enzymes to repair and moisturize the skin. And each one has a pleasant scent that prevents the typical self-tanning odor. That’s right, it traps the odor molecules instead of just masking them a perfume.
To get the best results possible, you’ll need to avoid sweating, swimming, and bathing for a few hours after application.
The first time you shower, the cosmetic bronzer will wash off. But the color will continue to deepen during the following day. Overall, the typical Norvell spray tan will last about a week.
Keep in mind that Norvell’s solutions have a 7-month shelf life.
Norvell Sunless Self Tanner Mousse with Bronzer
You won’t need an HVLP spray tan machine to apply Norvell’s self-tanning mousse. But you will want to use an applicator mitt.
If you’re hesitant to invest in a spray tan machine right now, you can still experience Norvell’s tanning products.
The lightweight mousse deepens your color over 24 hours without giving your skin and unpleasant odor. Wait at least 8 hours before you bathe after applying it.
It contains ingredients like aloe, tomato seed extract, and vitamins to keep your skin young and healthy.
Norvell Sunless Applicator Tan Mitt
Norvell recommends their own washable mitt applicator for applying the sunless tanning mousse above. It prevents streaking and blotching, plus it keeps your hand from becoming discolored.
Norvell Prolong Sunless Tanning Color Extender Moisturizing Lotion
In between spray tans, make your color last longer with this tan extender lotion. It has a mild amount of DHA to continue the self-tanning process.
Plus, moisturizing is the number one way to maintain your bronze regardless of where you got it.
The lotion is rich in humectants and emollients and has a delicious pomegranate fragrance. Furthermore, it’s free of gluten and parabens, and it won’t clog pores.
SJOLIE Sunless is an American company based in California. Although they are competing with Norvell, they admit the other brand’s large following and unique products.
Instead of going head-to-head with them, SJOLIE has taken an alternative path.
They’ve created all-natural tanning solutions that are very easy to use. To illustrate, you only need one light coat of their product.
The DHA they use comes from natural sources. The same goes for the cosmetic bronzers.
They don’t include erythrulose, urea, animal byproducts, or gluten.
If you have little time to tan, SJOLIE offers two rapid formulas that are alcohol-based. They dry very quickly so that the user can dress right away. The difference between them depends on the natural undertone of the skin–whether it’s cool or warm.
It’s also interesting are the additives that SJOLIE has created. The basic solution is fragrance-free. That leaves the door open for all sorts of extras like shimmer drops and customized scents.
Furthermore, there are additives that firm the skin and reduce wrinkles.
If you like the additives, you can buy them separately and add them to a body lotion.
Sjolie Organic Spray Tanning Solution
Not only is it organic, but this tanning solution is also vegan. It has no erythrulose, parabens, or artificial fragrances.
SJOLIE promises it will never turn you orange. Instead, the rich brown color will last up to 12 days.
Of course, you’ll need to take good care of your skin to get maximum performance. For your first shower after spray tanning, don’t use soap. Then, be sure to moisturize every day.
What’s more, SJOLIE solution is economical as you only need two and a half ounces for each treatment.
Golden Shimmer Drops – Sunless Glitter Additive
The Golden Shimmer drops are one of the most popular additives. They add a subtle healthy glow to your skin.
The only con is that the sheen washes off when you shower.
The formula is based on aloe, glycerin, and mica. If you love the effect, add it to your regular moisturizer as well.
SJOLIE Self Tan Bronzing Mousse + Tanning Mitt Combo Pack
What is the best sunless tanning product? I’d say that it’s whichever one you enjoy using the most.
You might fall in love with the SJOLIE bronzing mousse. It’s the simplest way to experience the company’s products.
It also comes with a washable applicator mitt.
The mousse has 10% DHA to achieve a medium-dark tone. There are natural bronzers to serve as a color guide. They will rinse off when you shower.
Tampa Bay Tan
Tampa Bay Tan has been manufacturing sunless tanning solutions and skincare products for more than two decades.
They pay special attention to a major downside of airbrush tanning– the “lizard skin-like side effect.”
In other words, spray tanning can dry out your skin. But their formulas are packed with moisturizers to avoid this problem.
Each batch of product is handmade fresh weekly. They use high-quality DHA from pure sources, and they never include parabens.
Every solution is transparent and neutral brown, but they come with different DHA percentages or depths. The depth of the color depends on the percentage.
See the next product below for details.
Rapid Tan Bronze Sunless Airbrush Spray Tanning Solution
How dark you go with the Rapid Tan formula depends on how long you leave it on the skin.
After two or three hours, light-skinned people will have a golden bronze. But those with medium skin tones should wait four to six hours.
For very dark skin, keep the solution on overnight before rinsing.
But that’s not all there is to know about this unique tanning solution. Besides spraying it on, you can apply it with an applicator mitt.
Indeed, you’ll get better results with professional spray equipment, but it’s nice to have options.
It features a cantaloupe fragrance, and it’s infused with aloe vera gel and vitamins.
MaxiMist Lite Plus Sunless Spray Tanning KIT
MaxiMist includes Tampa Bay Tan spray tanning solution in this kit alongside their own HVLP sprayer. It’s ideal for your own spray tan booth at home.
The machine was engineered for mobile or light salon use. This includes ten uses per day.
It’s not difficult for beginners to pick up the technique with this sprayer. It weighs only 5 pounds and carries all the relevant safety certifications.
MineTan is part of MarqGroup. Their airbrush tanning solutions are vegan and free of parabens.
One of the most popular products is the 1 Hour Express Tan. It allows you to shower when you’ve reached your ideal bronze. (They call this a “custom color depth.”)
They promise that you’ll never have to deal with orange tones, long dry times, or that fake tan smell.
Each formula has amino acids and botanical fruit extracts plus antioxidants to pamper the skin.
Another intriguing offering is the Fitness Tan series with guarana and caffeine. Who knew that spraying caffeine on the skin might lead to firming and slimming?
Then, there’s the Coconut Water Tan or the Lux Oil Treatment to treat dry skin.
MineTan Spray Tan Solution
If you choose the violet base, the MineTan solution creates a Mediterranean bronze for you. It’s warm and dark brown.
The Quad Bronzing Technology speeds up the self-tanning process while nutrients in the formula help the color last as long as possible.
MineTan Caramel Self Tan Foam
Once again, you can give MineTan products a trial run without investing in a spray machine, etc.
This self-tanning foam won’t turn you orange or leave you with that fake tan odor. No, you’ll be sporting the iconic bronze color seen on Australian beaches.
Within only an hour, you’ll develop a base tan because it works that fast.
What’s more, it’s kind to your skin as it contains antioxidants and moisturizing oils.
If you’re new to spray tanning, I recommend that you experiment with all the top sunless tanning brands. Having a first-hand experience is much better than reading reviews.
Once you find your new favorite spray tan solution, come back and tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/news/a14938/pale-girls-guide-to-spray-tan/ by Megan Cahn, published June 5, 2014, accessed May 29, 2020
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydroxyacetone accessed May 29, 2020