Norvell Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q. How do self tanners work?

A. The principle tanning agent used in all self-tanning formulas is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This ingredient does not produce a "real tan" by increasing the skin's melanin levels, rather it creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin.

The action of DHA is limited to the upper layer of the skin and involves a reaction between DHA and skin proteins and oxygen that produces brown compounds. This process is similar to what occurs when you slice open an apple and the surface of the apple browns when it's exposed to the oxygen in the air.

The development of color takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each tanner's individual skin characteristics. The color developed by the DHA usually lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of the skin naturally exfoliates.

2. Q. How many days will a sunless tan last?

A. The longevity of a sunless tan depends on the type of self tanning application, the skin's natural exfoliation process, and on the skincare regimen followed before and after application.

On average, self tanners last 4-7 days. A professional application, for instance, a sunless tan received at Hair Lounge & Spa at Cedros, will last longer than an at-home application as there is usually a greater percentage of DHA used. At-home application (lotions, sprays, mousse, etc.) = 3 to 5 days where as a professional application (stand-up spray units, airbrush, Custom Bronzing) = 5 to 7 days. 

The "life span" of a sunless tan also depends on your skin's natural exfoliation. The faster your skin turns over, the faster the sunless tan will fade. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to exfoliate.

Following a good skin care regimen before and after sunless tanning will help a sunless tan last longer. Exfoliating prior to a sunless tanning application and keeping skin moisturized afterwards are essential. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Norvell® Prolong™ tan extending lotion, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer.

3. Q. How long should I wait after using a self tanner before I shower?

A. It takes about 16-hours to fully develop and will receive the best results if you can avoid bathing until the day after your sunless session. If you must bathe, you should wait a minimum of 6-hours after the application.

If showering prior to the 16-hour post application recommendation, a simple rinse with water only, is best. Soap destroys DHA. Delayed bathing allows the DHA bronzer sufficient time to complete its reaction with the amino acids (proteins) within the skin.

4. Q. Why is keeping skin moisturized essential to maintain great sunless results?

A. It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will exfoliate off faster and color will fade sooner. You basically want to slow down your body's natural exfoliation process.

Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Norvell® Amber Sun™ Prolong™, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer by providing subtle bronzers.

5. Q. Will the spray from a spray tanning application come off on my clothes?

A. If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic bronzer, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. This is most likely to happen when you get dressed immediately after tanning.

To minimize the chance of the tint transferring to clothing, we recommend that you wear loosefitting, darker clothes after your spray session. Try to refrain from physical exertion that could result in you sweating until you shower and wash off the cosmetic bronzer.

The cosmetic tint is water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash.

6. Q. What is Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution?

A. Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution is a formulated solution, that when sprayed on a tanner's skin, can give the tanner a "just off the beach" look. Norvell® offers sunless solutions that can be used in an airbrush, HVLP tanning unit or a sunless spray booth.

7. Q. What type of bronzers are used in Norvell® Sunless Tanning Solution?

A. Three different types of bronzers are used in Norvell® Sunless Solutions. First, there is the instantly visible cosmetic bronzer. Cosmetic bronzer gives the "just off the beach" look, but will wash away. (For best results, cosmetic bronzers should remain on the skin at least 8 hours). Norvell® clear formulations do NOT contain cosmetic bronzers. Bronzer type two is DHA. The DHA bronzer initially has no visible effect, but begins to react with the skin in 2-4 hours and eventually replaces the cosmetic bronzer as it washes away with bathing. Finally, Eyrthulose is used as a slow-reacting bronzer, very similar to DHA. Eyrthulose enhances the clients color and extends the life of the spray tan.

8. Q. What is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone)?

A. DHA is an acronym for Dihydroxyacetone. DHA is an ingredient derived from sugar cane and beets, which reacts with the amino acids in the skin to create the darkening reaction or tan.

9. Q. What about the after-odor often associated with sunless tanning?

A. Norvell® uses the newest technology in odor inhibitors to encapsulate the odor causing agents commonly associated with DHA products. We then blend the fragrance with DHA in a manor which allows the pleasant fragrance of raspberry and almonds to come through, eliminating the dreaded "sunless smell".

10. Q. What is a cosmetic bronzer?

A. The component of a sunless product that gives a a tanner immediate color for that "just off the beach" look. Ingredients used in sunless cosmetic bronzers are similar to those used in cosmetic foundations or bronzing powders.

11. Q. When should I exfoliate?

A. You should exfoliate before every sunless session. Using a mild shower gel/exfoliant, such as Amber Sun™ Body Scrub, can be done one day prior to the session. Allow at least 8 hours between body scrub use and the sunless session. If you have extremely dry skin, or problem areas we recommend using Sea Coral Salt Scrub. If using salt scrub, this must be done 24-48 hours prior to the session, otherwise the oils within the salt scrub will effect the sunless results.

12. Q. Will solution stain my hair?

A. No. Most people will not see any affect on the color of their hair. If you have light blonde, gray or platinum hair may see some discoloration from the cosmetic bronzers initially, however, this color will wash out with the first shower after the session.

13. Q. How can I prevent patchy or uneven wear-off?

A. Daily application of Norvell® Pro-Long™ color extending moisturizer will extend the look of the tan. This bronzing booster will also reduce the appearance of uneven wear and patchiness. Pro-Long™ is a nutrient rich moisturizer that contains low levels of DHA bronzer to extend the look of any sunless tan. This exclusive formula not only extends the tan it also incorporates the latest skin care with skin-firming technology. Delivering "dynamic copper" to the skin

14. Q. Should I allow the skin to rest between spray sessions?

A. We recommend that after every 5 weeks of spray tanning, allow your skin to rest for 10 days. This allows you to completely loose your tan periodically which eliminates patchiness or uneven areas of wear. These areas are caused by normal contact with clothing and other surfaces which cause additional exfoliation.

15. Q. Will I turn "orange"?

A. No. We have perfectly blended our cosmetic bronzer to give your customers that "just off the beach" look and transition smoothly into their DHA color that will later develop.

16. Q. How long after tanning should I wait to enjoy a pool/spa/ocean?

A. We recommend avoiding these situations for the first 48 hours following your spray tan. Chlorinated pools & spas can increase the rate in which the skin exfoliates causing the tan to wear and fade.

17. Q. Can pregnant women be safely sprayed?

A. As you would before using any product if you are pregnant, its recommend that you consult with your personal physician before tanning. However, Norvell® solution is a non-toxic, food grade product that is not known to have any detrimental effects on an expectant mother.

18. Q. Is a DHA spray tan safe for a diabetic person?

A. We have received no feedback from any medical authority that would indicate a risk to a diabetic person, however, if you are diabetic its best before using any product that we recommend you to consult your physician before receiving a DHA spray tan application.

19. Q. Will I be sticky after being sprayed?

A. Norvell solutions is formulated to be the fastest drying formula available. You should feel completely dry and non-tacky within 8-12 minutes following the application.

20. Q. How dark will you appear after one application?

A. Results will vary based on the individual skin type and pH balance. Norvell® solutions have been formulated to provide a color that will be appealing and a variety of shades will allow you to find the perfect color.

21. Q. Will a sunless tan protect from UV sun rays?

A. No The skin is not protected and you need to apply SPF lotions or sprays when in the sun. Norvell® solutions do NOT contain any SPF.