Why does my tan fake wash off in the shower?

Heidi Reid

Posted on October 24 2014

Client Question:  I have a client that I think is DHA resistant because they gets dark after I spray them but after 5 hrs they has a quick rinse & most of the tan like 80% is off. Is there anything you recommend that I can do to advise that the tan DHA will develop deeper for them. I was thinking maybe they needs to be sprayed with the pH first? Can you help me out & how do you work with the pH spray?  


Custom Tan Answer: 

Good question.  The way the skin goes from white to brown is a chemical reaction called the Maillard Reaction.  It's the browning process which occurs when the outer layer of the skin reacts with the tanning ingredient, DHA.  It's the same chemical reaction as when you cut a piece of fruit and leave it on the counter, and the same way bread gets a crust.  The longer you leave the fruit on the bench, the darker it goes.



Essentially if you want a darker colour, you need to leave the tan on longer, but you'll need to be careful if you have lighter coloured skin if you plan to leave on a high percentage dha.  

There is a small percentage of people who fake tans don't work for.  So a patch test can be a great idea. It is important to be aware that the tan is NOT the colour of the bronzer.  The bronzer is the cosmetic that is applied, and the than is the result of the Maillard reaction on the wearers skin.   The full 'browning' process takes up to 8 hours and the full effect of the colour can be seen up to 24 hours later.    Because 40-60% of colour happens in the first two hours, that's what enables tanning brands to market their products as 'express tan' or 'rapid tans'. 

Want to see how to best apply sunless tanner?  Click here   To take part in our November sunless tanning campaign The Great Fake









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