Rapid Tan is a specialized sunless blend of the “Fast Acting” or “Fast developing” variety.

These are called, “Quick Tans’ “Fast Tans” Rapid Tans” or “1 hour Tans” depending on each company’s marketing style.

This is a self-tanning solution allowing the client to shower the product off of the skin early (in some cases as short at 1-2 hours after spraying for the fairest skin types) yet still receive the same color depth as a standard 8-10 hour wash off solution. (medium range tan depth)

The comments below apply specifically to Tampa Bay Tans Rapid Tan product.

The most common questions we hear are below:


Does it really work?

This product type uses specialized ingredients that enhance the way the DHA absorbs into the skin, penetrates and develops. It also utilized an enhanced DHA form, created to work with this type of early shower off option.

This allows the client to receive the same DHA penetration depth, as a standard long wear solution, but with an abbreviated shower off time.

These product work very well for many clients, and are very popular; but because of client’s individual skin chemistry, some clients may find that they obtain better results with a longer wearing blend.


But what DHA level is it?

The DHA level specifics are proprietary to each manufacturers blend.  However, they are not relevant in this type of blend, as this product is not used based on the formula DHA level. The ingredients within the blend change the way the solution penetrates and develops, compared to a normal long wear blend.

So rather than DHA level being the indicator of color depth, the client adjusts their shower off time to obtain the correct tan color for their skin needs. They can control the color depth to a lighter or darker depth, based on when they shower the color from the skin surface.


Will the tan fade faster?

No, assuming you are using the correct time-frame for your client. However, if you client is leaving the product on longer then recommended for their skin type, they can become over dark, which can cause the tan to fade faster or more unevenly, much as occurs when using too high a DHA level for your client’s skin type.  It is important that the suggested time-frame wear range be used, and adjusted for your client’s specific needs.

If clients skin is not well prepped, and has anything on the surface preventing easy solution penetration, or is very oily or “dirty” they may also find the tan develops lighter than expected, or fades at a different rate.


Will it be as dark as a regular 8 hour wash off product?

This product is formulated to produce a medium level tan depth. So assuming you are using the appropriate DHA level to obtain a medium level tan for your client in a long wearing blend – then using Rapid with the correct timing range for their skin type, you should generally get the same color depth range.

This of course assumes akin is well prepped, etc. As this solution depends on its ability to penetrate well, to function as expected. Image below is using TBT Rapid, and the lovely results speak for themselves.



Then the client showers when they see that the tan is as dark as they want – right?

No, this is not the correct way to use this product.

The client showers it off based on the correct time-frame for their skin type.

The tanning chemical reaction will continue after the solution has been washed from the skin surface due to the penetration enhancers in the product. The tan (at shower off) will be lighter than the final development color, and will continue to darken for 12-24 hours.

It will not be at full darkness at the shower off point in most clients. At 24 hours after application, client will see the final depth. If the developed tan is to light, or too dark, client can use this information to adjust their shower off time of future applications to obtain preferred result.


Why not just use this on every client, its seems like everyone would love this…right?

This is only appropriate for clients that are able to shower off at the suggested time-frame.

If your client is at work, running errands or busy at the recommended time-frame, they will be unable to shower off the product, and may leave it on too long. This can cause off color, or fast or poor fade.

Some clients don’t do well with “directions” and may have difficulty remembering them, following them, or tend to “ignore” them.

This would not be the best product for these types of client.

If your client prefers to be sprayed in the evening and shower off after wearing a product overnight (or all day) then this would not be the best product for their needs.

Some salons and spas do use this product as their only solution option, and have great results, with consistent repeat clients. But it will depend on your environment, clientele, etc.


What if my client was to leave it on overnight?

This would not normally be the best product for their needs. They normally should use a longer wearing blend.

A few exceptions are recognized, please see below:

Clients who are darker skinned (dark skin type 3 or 4 and above), and whom never turn orange or brassy, and like a very dark tan, can often leave the Rapid tan product on overnight and obtain a very dark deep tan.

  • Clients who are DHA Resistive (find they are unable to get as dark as they should with the normally recommended DHA ranges for their skin type, and also never turn orange) may find that use of a Rapid Developing product worn 8 plus hours, or even overnight, will provide the color depth they desire.

Use caution when adjusting shower off times. Start with the longest range suggested for their skin type.  If this is not dark enough, adjust to a longer “wait to shower time” at 1-3 hours’ intervals, on subsequent spray sessions until desired results are achieved.  It may take a few spray sessions to find the best routine for your client.

  • Clients who do not care if tan may develop a bit off color, orangey or brassy. Nor concerned about fade off.  Rather they want to be as dark as possible.  Clients in competitive or Body Building events may be in this category. They should leave the bronzer color on the skin for the event, or apply a bronzer product, or body makeup at the event for addition depth.

Keep in mind, as with any DHA product, darkness depth is limited by the client’s skin chemistry and skin pigmentation.  Clients that expect to be “super dark” with a self-tanner only, may not be able to achieve their desired color depth without use of additional body bronzers or body makeup, or supplemental UV tanning.


Which clients would this be best for?

  • Technicians should use the product, and become familiar with it, before using the first time on a paying client, so expected results can be obtained.
  • This product type is a good option for clients who want to be sprayed, and shower within a few hours before attending an event, swimming, sweating or running errands.  Clients should have clean dry well exfoliated skin, and have an understanding of appropriate shower off time-frame for their skin type.
  • Best for clients whose skin you have applied a skin tanning finish to in the past, so you have an understanding of their skins unique needs, and a history to work with.
  • Good option for clients who have difficulty obtaining expected color depth with higher level solutions (11%-12% ranges), even though skin prep, and tan care are correct.
  • Clients who hate the feel or scent of solution on the skin, and want to wear the least amount of time before they can shower.


Which clients may not prefer this product?

  • Clients with very oily skin, or skin coated with thicker lotions, body butter, or thick exfoliate moisturizer products, or moisturizing shower cleansers. These can all hamper the development of this product, as the skin penetration can be hampered.  A skin prep product, such as our CYA Preparation spray can assist with lotion residue removal – but if coating is heavy, this may not be sufficient to remove all residue.
  • Clients who do not understand the importance of the shower off timing, or may not be able to shower in the suggested time-frame
  • New clients, whom you have never worked with before.


Why do some clients find it does not develop as dark on them?

In some cases, it’s as simple as this product does not work well for that specific client. Skin chemistry is unique to each client, and some solution blends will be a better “fit”

  • Skin porosity, oiliness, and unique chemistry all factor in to how the tan can penetrate and develop.
  • Clients who regularly use thick heavy body butters /cream moisturizer or heavier weight oils on a daily based and do not exfoliate these products off well, may find tanning solution will not absorb well.

Many exfoliate scrubs (even oil free ones) can contain a number of other lubrication and slip agents that may also coat the skin surface. Leaving a smooth soft finish, that can hamper tan development or penetration. Just because a product is labeled “oil free” does not guarantee it is appropriate for pretan use. Advise clients to cleanse skin with an exfoliating pad or glove, and a translucent/transparent (non milky) shower gel before their spray session.

Bar soaps or heavily moisturizing gel soaps can all coat the skin, and should be cleansed from the skin surface before applying tanning solution. More specifics on this are located in the FAQ questions on this website

  • Clients with very dry, very porous skin may find that the solution absorbs to heavily creating an over dark, or poor, or faster fading tan. They should use caution to adjust the shower off time to a shorter range as needed.
  • Client with skin heavily UV Damaged, or aged that discolors easily from standard wear length solutions will find that this can also occur with Rapid, but may have a darker discoloration appearance. They may require an earlier shower off time, or switching to an alternate solution blend.  Blends in clear or with a light depth bronzer may develop better.

Rapid tan is a great blend and very popular, but as any blend, best results are obtained when an experienced technician matches the product to the client.

— Vicki