“I stink!” - this has to be one of those sentences that sunless tanning salon owners don’t want to hear and what customers obviously don’t want to say. Ever. It’s just one of those things that can really make or break a deal with a new customer or something that can get in the way and cause a lot of discomfort for regulars as well.
"My client has a bad case of the spray tan stinks" Sounds familiar? Never had the problem? Lucky you!
However, the spray tan smell IS a thing. DHA or Dihydroxyacetone, the main ingredient responsible for skin coloration has a distinctive yeasty smell while the tan itself develops. There is just no way around it.
Artesian Tan is here to help!
As stated above, DHA does smell while it develops. It may be inoffensive, like the yeasty smell of biscuits or dinner rolls. Although, in worse cases, it can remind you of the odor of old gym socks or smelly cats and dogs.
The problem is that the smell will vary from person to person, meaning not all of your clients will experience this, while others will make you cringe and remind you about Phoebe's song “Smelly Cat” from Friends (if this happens, don’t laugh under any circumstance!).
Specific products can also play a role in odor development, but it’s the customers’ individual body chemistry which will determine the outcome.
What about masking fragrances?
Some companies ad various fragrances to their products in order to hide the “fake tan smell”. The problem with this is, that initially, the solution might smell pleasant and will change the product scent in the container, but will probably fade before the DHA starts to work and tan development occurs.
Some fragrances have a stronger blend, meaning they will last longer. The problem with this is that some clients don’t really like to smell “perfumy” all day long and others might be sensitive to strong fragrances.
Odor neutralizers and other hacks
Companies will often add odor neutralizing ingredients or use encapsulation technology to eliminate the odor. This will be helpful for some clients but will be literally useless for others. Another problem is, that the neutralizing effect is also temporary and may fade away before the tan development process starts.
Also, there are a lot of ingredient combinations within products from the same manufacturers. One product may work better for certain individuals than for others. Feel free to switch things up a bit. It might just be what you need to get rid of the smell.
DHA levels and the smell
Using a lower DHA level product might help since the odor is directly linked to its reaction to your body chemistry. So, using a lower level product might be the solution.
When to hit the shower?
Some clients report that when they shower sooner (about 4 hours after their session, instead of 6 or 8), the smell is less noticeable or literally non-existent. As you know, this might fight the odor but will make the tan lighter or fade faster. Please, tell this to your clients if you find yourselves in this “smelly situation.”
Is it just the client?
The truth is, most of the time, it’s just the client, meaning they are the only one who can tell that something’s smelling funny. Sometimes they are the only one who can tell the difference. A lot of things can cause this. Maybe they are just new to spray tanning. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, and similar hormonal changes can also alter their sense of smell, making it more sensitive.
We honestly hope this helped. Battling the well-known fake tan smell can be difficult, but with these tips, your clients will be tan, happy, and won’t be smell like gym socks left in the locker room.
For other tips and products, feel free to browse our website! You know, when it comes to sunless tanning, no one can beat Artesian Tan!