If you are stuck between a tanning bed and a spray tan and can’t decide which one is best for you, then cocktail tanning might be what you have been looking for!
What is cocktail tanning? Cocktail tanning is a method of tanning that involves both UV tanning and spray tanning, to give you a deep, fast, and beautiful glow. With cocktail tanning, you can achieve a golden glow in just one session, which will be long-lasting too.
If cocktail tanning sounds like something that you might be interested in, keep reading to find out more, and whether it is the right tanning method for you!
All About Cocktail Tanning
Cocktail tanning combines two of the most popular forms of tanning – sunbed and spray tanning. It is done in a two-step process, and this helps to create a deep golden tan that can often last longer than a spray tan on its own.
With cocktail tanning, you first spend some time in a UV ray tanning bed. This session will be shorter than a usual sunbed session. The UV rays help stimulate melanin production in the skin, which will darken the skin. It also helps to open up the pores on your skin.
Once the tanning bed session has finished, you step out of the bed and have a spray tan application done straight away. This needs to be done as soon after the tanning bed session as possible so that the spray tan formula can deeply penetrate the skin and give better results.
As the spray tan formula is applied to open pores, along with the excess melanin from the tanning bed, the resultant tan is deeper and darker. You will get better, darker results from this, and cocktail tans are supposed to last longer than normal spray tans.
How Quickly Do You See Results With Cocktail Tanning?
Cocktail tanning results can be seen almost instantly, but this depends on the spray tan formula used on your skin.
You might notice a slight darkening of your skin after being in the tanning bed, but the spray tan solution should be applied as soon as you get off the bed.
You will see a darker tone on your skin straight after the spray tan if it contains a bronzer, but this is not the actual color to which your skin will develop.
Spray tan formulas contain DHA, which is an active ingredient that reacts with the dead skin cells on your skin to darken your skin tone, but this process takes a few hours to happen.
If the spray tan formula is clear and does not contain any bronzer, then you will not notice much of a difference in the color of your skin for a few hours. A spray tan usually takes between 8-12 hours to develop fully, and you’ll notice your skin darkening in this process.
The Benefits Of Choosing A Cocktail Tan
Cocktail tans are quickly becoming a favorite, and while it is quite a process, with having to tan in a tanning bed and then quickly have a spray tan done, many people think that it is worth it.
The main benefit of having a cocktail tan is that the spray tan formula is able to penetrate deep down, as your pores would be more open from the tanning session. That, along with the melanin production increased from the tanning bed, gives you a longer-lasting, deeper tan.
It will take the same amount of time for a cocktail tan to develop as what a normal spray tan would develop, but the results should be more golden, with a mix of a spray tan and natural tan, so you really get that sun-kissed glow.
Cocktail tanning also allows you to develop your desired tan shade without having to spend multiple sessions in the tanning bed, making it ideal if you have an event on the next day.
It also helps protect your skin from extended periods in a tanning bed, as you only need one short session before having the spray tan done, so you will not have to spend multiple sessions under the UV rays building the tan up.
How Long Does Cocktail Tanning Last?
Cocktail tans are not permanent, and they are a temporary tanning solution, just like spray tans, fake tans, and even tans developed in a tanning bed.
If your skin has been properly prepared and you have followed the right cocktail tanning methods, then the resultant tan should last for up to 2 weeks. Darker spray tans will last for longer, with lighter ones lasting for around a week before fading.
Having some time in the tanning bed before having the spray tan is applied means your pores are open, so the spray tan formula can penetrate deeper down into your skin, meaning that it lasts longer than a normal spray tan might.
How To Prepare Your Skin For A Cocktail Tan
Preparing your skin properly for a spray tan is the best way to ensure that you get optimal results, and it also helps ensure that your tan lasts for longer too.
First, you should shave or wax your legs around 24 hours before the cocktail tanning session. This prevents the hair on your legs from acting as a barrier between the spray tan solution and your skin, so the tan is more even.
The day before, you should exfoliate your skin, using an exfoliating mitt or a gentle body scrub. This removes the excess buildup of dead skin cells, which can cause the spray tan to fade quicker, as the old dead skin cells naturally shed off, and take the tan along with it.
Following this, you should moisturize your skin with an oil-free moisturizer. This helps with both parts of the process. It keeps your skin hydrated and protected from drying out under the UV rays, and it helps the spray tan develop evenly on your skin, not leaving behind dark patches on drier areas.
On the day of your appointment, make sure that you remove any makeup and deodorant, as well as other products, which could land up turning your spray tan green on contact.
Can You Have Different Shades Of Cocktail Tans?
Cocktail tans don’t come in just one shade, and you can match the tan you get to your skin tone, so it looks as natural as possible, just with a more sun-kissed glow!
When you spend a short time in the tanning bed, your skin will begin to produce melanin, and this will look natural with your skin tone. Then, you hop out of the tanning bed and have the spray tan done.
You can have complete control over how dark your skin tans with the spray tan, as you can chat to your spray tan technician about the formula they use. You can choose between extra light, light, medium, medium-dark, dark, and extra dark.
Your spray tan technician will help you work out which spray tan formula would be best for your skin, to look as natural as possible, and to suit your skin tone.
Make sure to have an idea in your mind of the tan you are wanting to achieve before visiting the tanning salon, just to make sure you love the tan you get!
Caring For A Cocktail Tan
Caring for your cocktail tan is fairly easy. You need to continue to moisturize your skin twice daily, to prevent your dead skin cells from shedding too fast, and to keep the radiant glow your tan has.
Try to avoid shaving or waxing for as long as you can, as this can strip some of the color off. Make sure to also apply sunscreen to your skin, as the cocktail tan does not offer any protection from the sun.
When the cocktail tan starts to fade, you can gently exfoliate your skin to help it fade evenly, preparing your skin for your next cocktail tan!
What Is A Cocktail Tan?
A cocktail tan is a type of tanning method where you spend a short amount of time in a UV tanning bed, and as soon as you are done, you have a spray tan applied.
The UV rays help to increase melanin production in your skin to darken your skin naturally and help to open up your pores, so when the spray tan solution is applied, it penetrates deep down, creating a golden tan that lasts for longer than normal!
Should I shower after a cocktail tan?
Just like with a normal spray tan, you should wait the recommended amount of time before showering after a cocktail tan. The longer you wait to shower, the darker your tan will be. For a lighter tan, shower 2-3 hours after, for a medium tan, 4-6 hours, and for a darker tan, wait for 8 hours before showering.
Can you take your phone into a tanning bed?
You can take your phone into a tanning bed when you are having a cocktail tan done, and this can help you pass the time. However, keep in mind that you will need to keep your tanning goggles on.