I Had My First Spray Tan – Can You Tell?

woman getting spray tanHi, I’m Faith. In recent editions of the XSport Life, you may have read my articles describing the experiences I had as a first-timer in a personal training session, Athletix, Boxing and the XSport Spa.

This time, I’ve done something completely cosmetic, not to mention great for my state of mind! If you’ve ever been curious about spray tanning as a helpful way to get a golden glow, read on.

Goodbye, winter white.

I’ll admit, I’ve always admired a nice tan. However, I rarely have one, due to my genetics (blonde, freckles, fair-to-medium skin tone) and my schedule (I‘m writing indoors all week, and any sun I get tends to be all at once over the weekends working in the yard, at a picnic, etc.).

Now that the weather is breaking, spring fever has me craving short sleeves and definitely no tights with my dresses. And this brings us to the occasion for my first-ever spray tan—my recent getaway to Las Vegas with my husband. When you’re getting ready to take a trip to a sunny, sexy location in mid-April, the sun-deprived winter months can stare back at you in the mirror.

After a little research and a recommendation from a friend, I decided to try an instant solution to get the glow I was craving—a VersaSpa spray tan at the XSport Spa.

Getting Started with VersaSpa

I went for my tanning session during the lunch hour. The room was open and I got right in. Had someone been tanning ahead of me, I might have had to wait a bit, but the process is pretty quick so it wouldn’t have been a long wait.

versa spa tan booth

I was dressed for work, with light make up on, so my first concern was would there be any issues with me putting these clothes back on and meeting with people after the tan? I didn’t want stains, smell, etc. The spa gals assured me there wouldn’t be an issue, and guided me with some instructions that helped make sure that was true:

  • I wiped off my powder and face moisturizer to let the spray have full contact with my skin and not lay on top of makeup. I left on my eye makeup, though, and was able to re-powder after.
  • I chose the clear spray version versus the one with bronzer in it. This allowed my tan to develop gradually over the next day, instead of seeing the application right away on my skin.
  • I also chose an optional pre-treatment, which conditions your skin to help the spray tan take to it even more smoothly. I’m glad I did, because of my naturally uneven skin tone and texture.
  • I learned I’d be in a private room, with a drying phase taking place after the tan was sprayed on, so I could take my time making sure my skin felt dry and ready to put my clothes back on.
  • The scent of the VersaSpa tan is very light, and not the same as what I’d been used to in the past with tanning beds and lotions. I had no issue on my clothes or in the rest of my day after the tan.
  • Overall, I can say no one but me had a clue about my VersaSpa spray tan on the first day. The next day I looked tan, but if you didn’t know me, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t from the sun.

How the VersaSpa Session Works
  1. If you’re a first-timer like I was, you get a tour of the booth, instructions on how it works and a demonstration of what you need to do. It’s nice to feel prepared. In addition, there are voiceover instructions from the machine that literally tell you how to move your body and when. And there are really clear instructions posted on the wall inside the booth too (which I did refer to, just to be extra sure!).
  2. You take off all your clothes, put on a shower cap, and apply a barrier lotion to parts of your body that might absorb more of the tan than you want. I put a healthy dose on my palms and bottoms of my feet, fingernails and toenails. I did some light swabbing between my fingers and toes, and (great tip here) in my cleavage, one of those places sun tends to gather. I also did a light sweep of my knees and elbows because they tend to be a little crackly. It took 5 minutes.
  3. You enter the machine, assume the recommended position with your legs slightly apart and your palm facing away, press a button and it begins. For me, it passed up and down a couple of times for the prep spray. The voice of the booth tells you which direction to face and when to turn. Happily, it wasn’t a big chill, either. Comfortable temperature in there.
  4. As the voice instructs you, you turn front and back, then right and left, moving your arms a bit into a recommended position to help get your sides covered (reminded me of “Walk Like an Egyptian”).
  5. A lot like the end of the upgraded car wash, you stand there for an air dry. Again, it wasn’t too chilly. Then it shuts off and you step out of the booth. The entire VersaSpa tanning process takes just a few minutes.
  6. As I described above, I took a few extra minutes to air dry on my own before putting my clothes back on. One thing I was concerned about was my feet, ankles and calves, since I was wearing boots that day, and they are a kind of tight fit with the side zipper. Though I really didn’t have a problem, perhaps because I drove the next 15 minutes with bare feet in my car, next time I’ll bring sandals, I think.

The Results

A few hours later, I began to look nice and tan! When I woke up the next morning, I thought I had gone a little too dark. There is a choice of light, medium and dark for your VersaSpa, and I went medium. Next time I’m tanning in a “non-tan” season, I’ll choose the light one. The medium would have been a great choice for me in the summer or after I return from a beach vacation.

In Vegas a couple of days later, I felt super confident in my skin, and it shows in the pics we snapped. I realized that having a bit of color really helps me with several things I care about when I want to look my best: I can do less make up, my skin looks healthier, I look like the outdoorsy type I am at heart, and somehow, I look more fit. I swear that a when I’m tan, it looks like it takes off a couple of pounds!

Faith’s Takeaways:

Timing: My tan was at its peak 24 – 48 hours afterward. It faded slowly over the next week. I was able to get a little sun by the pool on days 3 and 4, which gave my color a little more longevity.

Best parts: It’s fast. It’s customizable. It doesn’t cause sunburn. It doesn’t add to my wrinkles.

Watch outs: People are always worried about turning orange with a spray tan. I didn’t get that effect. I did find a few trouble spots between my toes and on the edge of my palms that looked too dark—very bronze. Also the front of my ankles were darker than I wanted because I hadn’t put barrier cream there like I did on my knees.

Recommendations: Take your time with the barrier to achieve the most natural-looking effects. If you do end up with any darker spots, try what I did: bit of sugar scrub in the shower on just those areas. It worked. Also, if you’re a newbie like me, you might want to try a lighter tone the first time to see what you think.

I will definitely be using the VersaSpa again. I’ll be welcoming the summer season with a lovely tan this year!

If you have never had a spray tan at XSport before, your first one is FREE! Click here to request your session.

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