Customer Question:

So I have some clear solution and was curious if it would still be good if it’s been over six months of usage. Obviously it won’t be green on the client because it’s clear, so does that mean that product that turns green is still good, just the bronzer is now green?


If a Spray Tan Solution product has started to turn green (inside the bottle) it means it is starting to break down and degrade, ether from age or heat or air exposure. The bronzer colorants (Red, Blue and Yellow) have begun to degrade and breakdown. Red breaks down first, this is why your product looks green. (Blue and yellow mixed together makes green)

Once the bronzer has started to break down, any or all individual components of the product will start to breakdown as well, including the DHA self-tanning ingredients. They may or may not breakdown all at the same time, as it would depend on what caused the breakdown to start. These would be things like, fragrance scent, pH balancing agents, thickeners, preservation systems, anti-oxidant rich plant extracts, moisturizing enhancers etc.

It “may” still work correctly, or it may not. Its hard to know, without skin testing.  For this question, we are discussing product that looks green in the bottle or in a cup. Not green on the skin, which is a different matter, and not indicative of damaged product.

See this article on Green Solution for more understanding on the differences in Green solution on the skin, or green solution only in the bottle.

If the solution product does not have a brown tint, and is a Clear or an Untinted product, then there will be no visual indicator that the item may have been damaged. The green color will only appear if the product has a visible brown tint. Clear products have no added tint colorants, so will not appear green.

Not all damaged products appear green when they breakdown. They may be damaged, without appearing green.

As a solution ages, or degrades, it stops tanning as darkly as it should. It gets lighter and lighter, and eventually produces no color at all after development. This can happen even if the brown tint still looks brown. Because the DHA portion of the product was damaged, which is what causes the tan coloration on the skin.

Alternatively, a product may have started to turn green, or even be very green, and yet still product some tan coloration on the skin.

In all cases, when ever you suspect a product may be aged or not working as expected, do both a Visual and a “Sniff” test, and a Skin/Patch test.

Visual Test:

Pour the solution into a clear glass and visually inspect it. As a solution ages, it may thin or thicken some with time, or with temperature (cold refrigeration or a warm room) this is normal, and this does not indicate product is damaged or defective. Just adjust your guns air flow adjustments, to account for the change in viscosity, and it should spray correctly.

But if solution looks “clumpy” or separated, and can not be remixed with light shaking, this is usually an indication the product is damaged, and should not be used. Please dispose of this product.

Product Bronzer color or tone can vary some from batch to batch, due to differences in the plant extracts, and pigments from one plant batch to the next. This is normal, and does not indicate a damaged product.  But if a product is distinctly green compared to normal, this is normally indicative of a product that is starting to break down. Please note, some products such as Veneto have a normal violet, blue grey, ash, greenish tone naturally. And depending on your lighting, skin tone and eye – may appear ashy, grayish, greenish, blueish – this is normal for this product, as it will appear a bit different in color from non violet toned bronzers. (see image)

But if your new fresh product is normally a warm rich brown, and now looks like a very cool, army green brown, this usually indicates a damaged product.

If your solution is clear, with no added brown tint, this color tint indicator will not apply.

Product with green bronzer tones, can be sprayed on the skin. it is not harmful. However it may not perform as expected. It may be lighter then normal, fade faster or more unevenly then fresh product. This is because other ingredients in the mixture may also have started to break down.

If your solution has black chunks of debris or mold within the product, this should be immediately disposed of. Do not use this on anyone’s skin, this can be very harmful. It can cause irritation, itchiness and rashes or infection.

Smell Test:

As product ages, it may have a distinct DHA development odor in the bottle. This can vary based on your nose , and how you perceive scents. But most commonly would be very yeasty smelling, or may smell like “Wet Dog” or “Dirty Gym Socks”.

Note:  this smell on a clients skin after spraying and developing, or after client sweats, is not indicative of a bad product, but rather is a chemical react on that clients skin. This varys from Client to Client. For tips on how to manage this please review this Article “Spray Tan Stink

Please make sure solution does not smell strongly “off”, as in moldy, or sour, compared to the products normal scent when freshly opened. This is often indicative of aged product, that may no longer work as expected.

To Skin Patch Test a Solution:

Just apply some solution liberally to an untanned skin area, using a cotton ball, or make up sponge. Apply heavily, as the pad will soak up some product.

Simply wipe or pat heavily onto skin, using liberal coats of two or three applications.

Rinse at 8 hours, and check for correct color development.

If color is lighter then normal, or product produces no color, this product is no longer working as it should. It has started to break down. You can still use this, but try to use this quickly, as it may completely break down fast.  It is not harmful to use, but fading, wear , and color will not perform as it should. Normally the green tinge will wash off the skin, unless client has very dry or very porous skin.




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