Do you really need an air filtration system for your spray tanning?

Heidi Reid

Posted on November 26 2015

The most non-glamourous side to spray tanning is definitely the over spray.  It gets absolutely everywhere, and the more you spray tan, the more over spray is in the air.

What happens to the air when you spray tan?

When you spray tan, the spray tan turbine pushes the solution out via the gun.  While most of it hits the client's skin, a huge portion of it will be airborne and land within approximately a 4 metre radius.  

This means it will rest on everything in it's path, but will also make it's way into orifices - meaning your nose - and therefore your lungs - AND those of your clients.  

Is spray tan dangerous to inhale?

Fake tanning has been approved by the FDA for EXTERNAL application.  This means it's not covered for ingestion.  There is no proof of any dangers, but the FDA website questions: 

"Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?"

and then further says:

"FDA has received reports from consumers stating that they have experienced adverse events associated with sunless tanning, including rashes and, primarily in the case of spray tanning booths, coughing, dizziness, and fainting.

It is uncertain what, if any, ingredient or combination of ingredients in the sunless tanning products might have caused these adverse events, whether an individual's allergic reaction might have played a part, or whether factors unrelated to the sunless tanning products may have been involved, such as pre-existing medical conditions." (see full article here)

To add to that - our bodies are designed really to only inhale air.  While the risk is far greater reduced for clients, its the spray tan technician doing the constant spray tan applications that I question how healthy their lungs must be.

How can you avoid inhaling spray tan solution?

You can purchase nose filters for spray tanning, and while they are kind of practical - albeit really ugly, it also doesn't help the air environment.  Over spray will still be in the air.  

The best option is to invest in a spray tan extraction filter to actually clean the air.  The extraction system is something I didn't have for 3 years, and having converted a few years ago now would not do a spray tan without it. 

Yes it really does make that much difference.


What do spray tan extraction systems do?

Simply - they clean air.  

While the spray tan unit sprays OUT the spray tan solution, the extraction unit sucks IN the excess spray tan solution.  

Result = cleaner air, meaning it's safer for you and your client.

In addition to the health benefits of using an airbrush extraction system for clean air, it also works to protect your spray tan unit.  

If you have a good look at your spray tan turbine, you'll notice the filter is often found under the spray tan machine and not very large.  So using the extraction system will ensure your machine can perform optimally too.


Who should use an air filtration system?

It's a personal choice, but having sprayed with and without extraction systems, in my opinion, I believe an air filtration system should be part of your spray tan equipment purchase.  Not only does it provide cleaner and clearer air for you, but it also helps your clients.  

After fully researching extraction units, I'd be concerned about spraying asthmatics and pregnant women most without the use of the systems. 

We recently upgraded our tanning room system here at CT Head Office, and one of my clients (a scientist) said to me that they could notice the difference, and how much cleaner the air was.  He also went on to say he definitely felt like we needed the bigger system.  It begs the question as to how much do your clients notice, but not say. 


Which spray tan extraction system should I use?

There are various different spray tan extraction systems which I believe should be scaled depending on the amount of spray tanning you do.  

my recommendation 1-5 - portable or mobile spray tan system over 5 tans really look at a permanent set up. 


Mobile tanners 

My pick for mobile spray tanning is the mobile spray tan air filter.

Mobile spray tan extraction unit

This genius mobile unit is perfect for the mobile spray tan artist conscious of air quality.  Simply plug this in at the back of your tanning tent or nearby to your client and watch it suck in the overspray.

For more information, or to purchase the mobile system, head here


Permanent Set Up - or small volume salon spray tans.

For spray tanners or beauty salons with a permanent spraying space, I recommend the turbo twister extraction unit.  This system fits snugly into the back of spray tanning tents and positioned behind the client works well to draw in excess airborne solution.


portable airbrush extraction unit


For more information, or to purchase the turbo twister system, head here


High volume salons 

Any salons doing over 5-10 tans in a session should really look to invest in a combined spray tanning and air filtration system.  The comparison of air extraction is second to none.


This system is amazing and completely sucks the life out of airborne spraytan.  In fact, you'll notice in the image on the right, we also have our portable system on the right hand side to see the size comparison.

Since I started using this system I have no more brown stained nostrils and I'm no longer coughing and blowing my nose to rid myself of tan I only want on the outside of my body.

The system is super easy to set up and has totally transformed the way I spray - hence why I've felt the need to write about it to tell you all :) 

For more information, or to purchase the air filtration and combined spray system, head here

But what about the filters of the filtration system?  

Good question - we recommend changing your filters every 150 tans!  Filters are disposable, and easy to exchange, we sell them separately and changing them takes just seconds - and we have a video demonstration on how to change them in case you need it :) 

Do you use an air filtration system with your tanning?  What are your thoughts on extraction systems?

Let us know your thoughts. 


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