According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, each year in the U.S., more than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.What’s more, it also reports that a 2012 study revealed an alarming rise in melanoma among people ages 18 to 39, and over the past 40 years, rates of this skin cancer grew by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.
As rates of melanoma continue to rise, so does the growth of sunless-tanning products and services. It seems that people are becoming more aware of the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and are embracing today’s sunless-tanning formulas, which have come a long way since the ‘80s, when sunless tanning resulted in an unrealistic “tan” (or better yet, a shade of orange) accompanied by a foul odor. Improvements in the quality of products and the wide range of options available have positioned the sunless-tanning category as one of the fastest-growing segments in the beauty industry and deserving of attention in your spa. “Sunless tanning is a multimillion-dollar industry for good reason,” says Veronique Munro, founder and CEO of Infinity Sun. “People are concerned about the aging effects of the sun and risks of skin cancer, yet they prefer themselves with a healthy and radiant glow. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to look healthy, toned, and the most attractive version of themselves possible? For that reason, people are not only receptive to but also looking for safer age-defying alternatives to the sun. With advancements in technologies and high-quality solutions, results look more natural, last longer, and fade more evenly than before. Undesirable experiences of ‘yesterspray’ are now replaced with quick-drying, odorless, skin-enriched formulas with organic, natural, and nourishing ingredients.”
Available in spray-booth form, airbrush formulas, and hand-applied lotions, sunless tanners contain the ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with dead skin cells on the surface of the body, causing them to darken. However, today’s savvy consumers don’t just look for results, they want results in the healthiest fashion, according to Brandon Cardinal, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Norvell. Therefore, many of today’s formulas boast additional skincare benefits, as well. From anti-aging benefits like reducing fine lines and wrinkles, plumping skin, and fighting free-radical damage, to sun protection, today’s formulas reflect the trend toward multipurpose products. “Consumers are becoming savvier and are looking for multiple benefits from a single product,” says Julie Nostrand, owner of South Seas Skin Care. She adds that they want firming, moisturizing, and anti-aging benefits so they can look younger without the unnecessary sun damage.
Antioxidants, plant extracts, and humectants add an extra layer of hydration and nourishment to the skin, which removes dryness created by DHA, according to Munro, while almond, coconut, and tea tree oils help to hydrate the skin. Vita Liberata products, for example, contain ultra-hydrating extracts like glycerin, shea butter, and tocopheryl acetate, as well as anti-aging ingredients like marula, matrixyl, and oligopeptides. “Getting the balance and combination of these extracts right is really important, as in addition to being amazing stand-alone ingredients, they also interact to form the most intense skin treatment,” says Alyson Hogg, founder and CEO at Vita Liberata. The company also recently launched the Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50 to satisfy requests from consumers for a sunless tanner with sun protection. “It’s a game-changer for sunless tanning as consumers grow increasingly sun-conscious, and this Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50 will give them full sunblock, a natural-looking tan, and a skincare treatment in one,” she says.
VersaSpa, a newly launched sunless-tanning line, aims to treat the skin in multiple ways—by firming, oxygenating, detoxifying, and hydrating it. “When a person reaches their 20s, cells produce fewer proteins so there is a decrease in thickness, firmness, and elasticity of skin and that all promotes wrinkles and uneven tone,” says Alyssa Hilliard, director of marketing at Sunless Inc., makers of VersaSpa. VersaSpa’s formulas contain natural ingredients like brown algae, crambe oil, eco-certified DHA, eco-certified erythrulose, glycerin, grapeseed oil, green algae, squalane, and sorbitol. “Skin that is firm, oxygenated, and hydrated is the foundation for more youthful-acting skin,” says Hilliard. “These ingredients improve skin firmness, provide structure and support, oxygenate and detoxify for cellular rejuvenation, and restructure the skin barrier function for maximum hydration.”
Scents of Smell
Even though many spa-goers are becoming more aware of the benefits of sunless tanners, a main area of concern is still the smell. While natural ingredients can help mask the scent of DHA before the solution is applied, once DHA is absorbed, it is the amino acids in the skin that bring out the foul odors when they interact with the DHA, says Lindsay Turmelle, founder of Tan in the Raw. To address this issue, Tan in the Raw developed an odor-neutralizing post-tan powder to eliminate much of the dreaded smell. Getting rid of the harsh odor was an important issue for Vita Liberata, as well, so the company developed an Odour Remove technology that is found in its sunless products. “Other brands choose to mask the self-tan smell with fragrances, but I choose not to use fragrances or perfumes in our products, as they are very drying to the skin and can create irritation,” says Hogg. “I believe your tan shouldn’t smell good or bad, it should smell of nothing at all.”
On the Menu
Because today’s sunless tanners feature more natural ingredients, provide additional skincare benefits, and leave skin with a more natural glow, spas are using this opportunity to add sunless-tanning services to their menus as add-ons and stand-alone treatments. “Sunless tanning with additional skincare benefits is made for the spa environment,” says Hogg. “A spray tan can be offered in addition to other treatments like following a manicure or pedicure or a hot stone massage, or manual tanning can make an amazing stand-alone treatment, as you can massage the lotion into the skin. Either way, the customer leaves the spa with a tan on their skin that works to hydrate, condition, and fight signs of aging over the next eight hours.” Turmelle recommends promoting dual services. “Exfoliation is an absolute must-do prior to applying sunless tanner, so create a package that includes an exfoliation treatment followed by a sunless tan,” she says.
By Way of Introduction
Sunless tanning is growing in popularity, but there are still many people who have misconceptions and are hesitant to try the service. Therefore, it’s important to educate spa staff on the products and their ingredients, and have your staff experience the service. “Spa staff should personally use all of the at-home and in-spa sunless products,” says Hilliard. “Seeing is truly believing, and when your spa staff can personally recommend a product with their own testimonial, it’s easier to market and sell all of the products.”
Another way to promote sunless-tanning services and products is to offer clients a complimentary face spray to see the results for themselves. Munro also recommends keeping a menu of services at the reception area; displaying rack cards to help educate clients on what to expect; and placing before-and-after photos throughout the spa. “Most spray-tanning companies offer images that can be used on your website, social media, and email blasts to promote their brand,” says Munro. “By utilizing fresh content from your sunless company and daily updates on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, you can attract new business with very little cost and effort just by sharing their messages.”
With the increase in skin cancer rates among people of all ages, it’s more important than ever for your spa to get the word out about the dangers of UV rays. And because many people are still in the dark about the high-quality ingredients and advancements in technology that are available in today’s sunless tanners, now is the time to make them aware of the skincare benefits they offer. “You shouldn’t have to compromise on skincare in order to enjoy a safe, natural-looking tan, and it shouldn’t require any extra effort—it should be easy,” says Hogg. “Incorporating healthy and natural ingredients into our tan solutions means consumers can apply one product and achieve smooth, soft, nourished skin, in addition to a radiant glow.”
Help clients get a natural, luminous glow without sun damage with these skin-nourishing sunless-tanning products.
1. Beautisol Self-Tanning Mousse: Nourish the skin with this lightweight mousse featuring botanically derived DHA, odor-eliminating technology, color-correcting pigments, and anti-aging ingredients. www.beautisol.com
2. Body Drench Quick Tan Gradual Self Tanner Face: Even out skintone with this lightweight formula enriched with amino acids, collagen, DHA, and vitamins. www.bodydrench.com
3. CBI Skincare Sunless Tan For Face and Body: Created with allantoin derived from comfrey root, this face and body formula gradually provides a deep, natural-looking tan while conditioning the skin. www.cbiskincare.com
4. FakeBake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum For Face & Body: Hydrate and refresh the skin with this triple-tan formula that includes DHA and naturally derived bronze-enhancing ingredients for an intense, lasting tan. www.fakebake.com
5. Infinity Sun Glow On the Go: This sunless tanning aerosol is an all-natural formula infused with seven essential oils and vitamins A and E. www.infinitysun.com
6. Jurlique Sun Specialist Sunless Tanner: Designed to provide a natural-looking golden tan, this non-streaky formula contains a superberry complex that protects and conditions the skin from the effects of environmental aggressors. www.jurlique.com
7. Norvell Dancing With the Stars Endurance Color Boosting Skin Perfector: Formulated to replicate the benefits of a CC cream, this lotion moisturizes, brightens, and firms while extending self-tanning color results. www.norvelltanning.com
8. Phytomer Sun Radiance Self-Tanning Cream Face and Body: Specially formulated to provide a natural-looking glow, this long-lasting, lightweight formula absorbs easily into the skin, resulting in a radiant tan. www.lespausa.com
9. Sol Potion Signature Line Solution: Featuring anti-aging properties, plant extracts, and vitamins, this hydrating spray tan solution will leave the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. www.solpotion.com
10. Svelta Tan Skin Perfecting Self-Tanner: Target body imperfections with this vegan self-tanner made with naturally derived DHA, which delivers a bronze tan. www.sveltatan.com
11. TanEm ProBronze Argan Oil Bronzing Mousse: Formulated with enhanced bronzers and argan oil, this formula leaves skin feeling nourished after each application. www.tanemprobronze.com
12. VersaSpa Gradual Tanning Face Moisturizer: Brown and green marine algae rejuvenate skin and blur fine lines while producing a beautiful glow. www.versaspa.com
13. Vita Liberata Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50: East African marula oil and organic botanicals provide instant bronze color, a buildable tan, and broad spectrum sunscreen. https://www.vitaliberata.com/home