Spray tans! If you like ‘em, you love them. If you dislike them, you hate them. They’re a way you can get a tan in a fraction of the time. But if you’re getting a spray tan, you want to make sure that there’s nothing blocking the tan. We remove our clothes, obviously, but can or beards interfere?
Or, worse yet, can they catch on fire?
You can get a spray tan with a beard. It won’t light on fire or have any real repercussions. There are a few extra steps that you need to take during the application process, such as being mindful to work the tanning solution throughout the beard and onto the skin underneath it. A hasty application will result in patches of lighter skin where no tanning solution has reached.
To learn more about getting a spray tan with a beard, how to work the tanning solution through the beard properly, and what you need to know about shaving with a spray tan, stick around. We’ll cover this and more so you can feel secure when you tan.
Spray Tan With a Beard? No Problem!
Many people don’t want to tan in the sun. It takes hours and it’s known to cause cancer if you’re out for too long. Tanning beds are nice if you have enough time to lay around, but some of us are busy people. Spray tanning is a rather recent invention, but one that has saved a lot of time and made a lot of people happy.
A spray tan never quite looks like a natural sun tan. There is a bit more of a bronze effect with a spray tan, but the look has gotten popular as of late and there are plenty of models who have rocked spray tans.
If you’ve got a big beard, you might think that spray tanning wouldn’t work—and you’re actually kind of right. A spray tan isn’t the best option if you have a beard, but not for the reason you think.
Considering that half of the name of the technique is made up of “spray”, it might come as a surprise to learn that you don’t actually need to spray on a spray tan. You certainly can if that’s what you’d like to do, but it isn’t the best option.
We’ll get to that option in just a moment; but first, let’s take a look at what happens when you get a spray tan. Your skin gets darker, sure, but it’s not like you just spray painted bronze. There is actually a chemical reaction happening that is causing the outer layer of your skin to change color.
Why Does It Work?
Spray tans work because of a chemical called dihydroxyacetone. We’ll talk about the health risks of DHA later on, but what this chemical does is make contact with the amino acids inside of the dead skin cells on your arm (or leg, face, wherever). Upon making contact, DHA graphs itself to the acids in the dead cell and changes their color.
The color itself that comes out of this process is called a melanoidin. This isn’t a normal pigment that we’d see in our skin such as the different skin colors we have across our many races. However, it is very close to what happens when our pigments are cooked in the sun for a little while. So, while it isn’t the same kind of tan you get in the sun, it is very close.
There’s two things that we can take away from this right away. The first is that there is no harm if you accidentally tan your beard. The hair follicles that make up your beard aren’t dead skin cells, so there is no way for melanoidin to be created. Second, if we want to spray tan, we need to make sure that the spray reaches our skin.
If you have a stubble beard, then enough of your skin should already be clear and easy to reach. But those with larger beards are going to have a problem with this. First off, you don’t want to spray anything toward your face. There are health risks, both with the spray and simply with spraying literally any kind of chemical into your eyes. You wouldn’t put beard oil in your eyes, so don’t go risking something much worse.
The real problem is that the spray often isn’t strong enough to push the tanning solution through the hairs and onto the skin. If you try using a spray tan, you’re going to need to use your hands to work the solution through your beard and onto the skin below. You’ll also want to make sure that you use enough of it, which can be hard to judge.
It’s time for that secret that I alluded to earlier:
While it is called spray tan, you can actually get body mousse with dihydroxyacetone in it. This is much easier to work with your hands, and the added weight of the solution makes it easier to get onto the skin because it has no issues moving hair out of its way.
So, if you’re going to get a spray tan, skip the spray and grab the mousse. It’ll feel like a beard butter tan.
I Was Planning on Shaving Soon. Should I Get a Spray Tan Before or After?
You should definitely get the spray tan after you shave and not before. Working the spray tan solution through a beard isn’t a perfect solution. Sometimes it can create patches of skin that are left untanned. A careful application often fixes this problem.
Often, it isn’t really a problem. The reason the skin didn’t tan was because of your beard and your beard is still on your face, see? So those patches can’t be seen through the beard.
If you go and shave off the beard after you spray tan, not only do all these possible patches stand out but there are also lots of tiny specks where the beard hairs were connected to your face. If you are going to shave, shave beforehand so you get an even tan.
I Got a Spray Tan With a Beard a While Back But I Want to Shave Now. Is There Anything I Need to Know?
Yup. Listen, if you know anything about taking care of a beard, it’s that you should apply moisturizer after you shave. You should apply moisturizer through beard oil applications. Keeping the skin in this part properly moisturized is pretty much Beard 101.
But you really, really need to make sure that you keep it moisturized when you’re shaving post-spray tan. The problem isn’t that it is going to hurt or be dangerous to your health. Rather, the shaving process creates friction and this can actually make the tan fade quicker. Shaving products with lots of oils can also make a tan fade.
Moisturizing afterwards helps to repair the damage from the shaving process. If you spray and shave, keep it moist or you’ll start to lighten up.
Are There Health Risks to Getting a Spray Tan?
There are two reasons that people get spray tans. One is that they don’t have the time necessary to get a tan the old fashioned way. The other reason is they don’t want to get skin cancer from the sun. Tanning beds were a way to get around this, but they have been proven to be dangerous. But is a spray tan really any safer?
Unfortunately, that isn’t an easy question to answer. Spray tans primarily work through a chemical called dihydroxyacetone. There has not been a lot of research done on this chemical yet. There has been a study which stated that it causes DNA damage, which can lead to cancer over time. There is also risk about it being inhaled, ingested, or entering the body through the ears or eyes. However, despite these early findings and concerns, there still need to be many more tests until anything can be said for certain.
The dumb fact of tanning is that it is kind of dangerous. The sun hurts us, tanning beds hurt us, and spray tans probably hurt us. If you’re going to use spray tan, try using it in moderation if at all possible.
I’ve Read Everything and I Still Want to Spray Tan at Home. What’s a Brand I Can Trust?
When choosing a spray tan, you should be prepared to shop around a little bit. You should first look for a highly-rated one. The more people that are satisfied with the product, the better it likely is. As far as ratings go, you can’t beat Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse.
If you find you want a spray tan that is less of a mousse and more of a spray, then try Australian Gold. It’ll give you a tan as if you’ve been out hiking through the Australian Outback for the last two weeks. Combine the dark stranger look with a well-trimmed stubble beard, and you’ve got yourself one fine look.
So, there you go, you can absolutely spray tan if you have a beard. However, you are much better off skipping the spray. Since the active chemical that causes the tan, dihydroxyacetone, can be used in mousses, it’ll make it much easier.
Before you get a spray tan, make sure that you realize that the color is not the same as a normal tan. If you are after a spray tan color, then that’s no problem and you already know what you want. But if you are looking for a natural tan, the only way to get the color right is to do it yourself. That means more time in the sun. Make sure you treat that bread right and wear plenty of sunscreens.