Double dipping is a term used in spray tanning for covering a client in two coats of spray tan to make the tan darker. So in this blog I am covering information about spray tan such as the science and whether if it actually works.

After some research on forums and websites, the general consensus is that ‘Double Dipping’ doesn’t work. This is due to the concentration of DHA in spray the solution. DHA is what gives you the final colour once the cosmetic bronzer has washed off. So spraying the client twice only makes the guide colour darker but it is just wasted once the client has a shower.

Worried about missing a bit? If you are worried about how the tan has turned out, check over your client more closely to see if there is anywhere that as been missed, it’s better to spray the client once that waste solution on a tan that really isnt going to make any darker.

Have a think on your technique, Vani-T have a really good technique video which can be found on their YouTube Channel.

I have had numerous phone calls about solution and how much solution should be used per tan. The more solution you use, the more it cuts into your profits. So here are some tips on how to save it and not waste it

– a spray tan should only use 40/50ml of solution out of a one litre bottle that’s 20 tans!
An interesting observation from a therapist from one forum said
‘Spraying once with 40ml to 50ml will give a nice tan with nice fade off.
Spraying once with 100ml will give you a tan that will fade badly and possibly have crocodile/snake skin effect as you have overloaded the skin with DHA (by applying too much solution).’

– If you are using more than 40/50ml, check the settings of your spray machine, if the solution flow is too high, most of your solution is going into thin air rather than the client. Reduce the solution flow of the spray, it means you have to take a little extra time to make sure the client is covered but better to take extra care than waste solution!

– Double Dipping – If your clients want a darker tan, don’t double spray them. Invest in a darker solution (higher percentage DHA) or DHA drops which you can add to the solution you have measured out for the client. This will make the tan a percentage higher (follow the instructions on the DHA drops for what each drop works out at) than what you offer and the client is happy with a darker colour.

– Believe it or not, some tans offer different shades, bit like matching foundation to your skin tone. Customers with a pink undertone to their skin, should use a green based tan to counteract the ‘orange’ look of a tan. Olive skin types should use red based tan and yellow skin types violet based tan and those with no undertone colour can pretty much get away with anything.
Take a closer look at their skin tone and see if they need a different type of tan which which compliment their skin type, this could be the reason as to why a client would like something darker.

DHA interacts with the outermost, surface skin layer, producing a golden brown colour that resembles the coloration of a UV based tan. DHA reacts with the naturally occurring amino acids and keratin proteins, in the skin cells resting on the skin surface. This process is called the “Maillard Reaction”. It is very similar to the reaction that you see when you cut a potato or an apple slice, and leave it exposed to the air. Skin colouration can take anytime from two to six hours and may last anywhere from four to seven days depending on the skin type, DHA concentration in the solution, and the degree of aftercare performed by the client.

The clients skin will also have a big part in how the tan will turn out, if you have dry skin, your dead skin turn over is quite high therefore the tan will fade more quickly.
– Use a SLS Free body wash. SLS is the foaming ingredient in shampoos/body washes/ ect that cause your skin to exfoliate. SLS will not break the surface of the skin and help maintain the tan.
– Use a oil free moisturiser. Most spray tan brands have their own products to help maintain your tan afterwards, such as gradual tanners and body moisturisers specially designed to help keep the clients tan. If not, use an oil free moisturiser, oil brakes down a tan so best avoid.

Believe it or not, factors such as medication and hormones can play a factor to how your body reacts to DHA, so bare in mind if the customer is on any medication which may have strong side affects, this could also affect the outcome of the tan.

I hope this will shed some light on double dipping, if you have any further questions queries, or would like to share some of your own advice or tips, please don’t hesitate to comment or drop me an email –

Dee 🙂