Clients come in all shapes and sizes.

Obese or large sized clients, or those with extra skin folds, may require some technique adjustments, but the skin finish results, though not always completely perfect, can still be beautiful.

First, as with any new client, establish a positive connection, and try to make your client feels at ease. Address any concerns they may have, before the spray session.

They may be a bit uncomfortable, and may feel awkward. But they know they are plus sized, so they will likely expect that some accommodations may need to be made to provide the best spray result for them personally. Real life presents daily challenges, which they navigate through on a regular basis.

They will not judge you for doing things “differently” as they have nothing to compare to. This would be “normal” for their body type, to obtain the best results. If they have been sprayed in the past, they have likely has similar techniques used.

Ultimately, if the results are great, they will be pleased.

Keep in mind, skin may be thinner in some areas, or over stretched. This can cause solution to have difficulty absorbing. Try spraying thin light solution coats. Letting product dry between coats, rather then one thick coat.

Skin may be very oily on some areas, or client may sweat continually. If this is the case, apply product as you would for oily skinned clients. Using a Pre Tan prep spray such as CYA Prep, can be helpful.

Make Everyone Comfortable:

Be professional, polite, warm, and sensitive to their discomfort. Adding in a bit of light hearted humor will help dispel any unease.  Let them know no one, and no body is “perfect”, all body types are acceptable from XX small to XXXX Large – and you are perfectly comfortable spraying them in a judgment free manner.

Talk to them while you work, let them know exactly what you need them to do, or how you need them to stand. If you need them to move skin, or excess tissue, stretch in a certain manner, or turn a certain way, just let them know. Demonstrate what you need them to do if necessary, to prevent confusion.

Be clear, and specific while directing.

“……I want to prevent a white spot in this area, can you please twist to the side here, so I can spray over here?…”

“…..please lift you skin up here for me, and hold it for a moment, I am going to spray it, then blow dry it with my blow dryer, it will feel a bit warm….”

“….. I am dusting on some powder, now it may tickle a little….”

They may prefer to be sprayed partially dressed, or fully unclothed. Ether option works well.

Suggested Tools (Optional but helpful) :

Please have the following tools on hand for assistance. (if needed)

An easily cleaned chair with a back, or tall stool, for use helping client maintain their balance as needed.

A stool to sit on if needed, if client becomes fatigued. Some clients may have difficulty standing for periods of time. Make sure they do not “lock their knees” while standing which can cause faintness. (knees should stay slightly bent or a little flexed to prevent compression of blood flow in the legs, which can lead to dizziness)

A step stool (optional) – helpful for allowing a foot to be stepped-up, for easier spray application on inner legs, and knees

Extra hair caps (or a plastic sandwich bag) which client may temporarily place over their hands, or folded onto palms, to protect them from excess spray while manipulating body parts (more on this below) You may also use a wash cloth or soft paper towel wrapped around the hand, or folded onto the palm.

Large cosmetic make-up /Powder brushes, that can be cleansed with a brush sanitizer and reused.

Soft cosmetic sponge for blending. (dampen with water and wring out to soften before use)

A hand held blow dryer for spot drying, as you do detail work

Take home sunless product for client to touch up any missed or uneven areas

Special Technique Tips:

One technique that will help you is: Spray/Blend/Dry/Spray/Blend/Dry/Powder – you will use this all over the body, in areas you must do detail work.

As you work, skin will need to be moved, and pulled tight and away from surrounding skin. Spray under overlapping folds, blending spray area edges into surround “tanned” edges, with a soft cosmetic sponge or makeup brush.  (you may also just brush/apply solution under folds with the cosmetic brush, instead of your spray gun).  Blow dry the area with a small hand held blow dryer on warm heat, or your spray units out going air.

Mist area again with a second solution coat, Blend, and dry.

Dust area lightly with a powder dipped cosmetic brush (where the skin folds will touch- skin to skin). You may use baby powder, or body powder, or even loose facial cosmetic powder. I like to “tint” baby powder, with some Loose Bronzer makeup powder to take off the white edge.

Release skin folds, and continue spraying the rest of the body.

Powder Recipe: pour some white powder into a zip seal bag. Pour loose powdered bronzer or brown tinted facial powder, or mineral makeup foundation powder in the darkest brown shade available, into the bag. Shake well to blend. Apply lightly to skin, after it is dry to touch. Use a large fluffy makeup brush, apply a light dusting of powder to minimize skin or clothing rubbing, and tan rub off.  Client may also dust skin at home with powder if needed for comfort.

Manipulating Skin folds, and body areas.

Skin will need to be manipulated here and there, and pulled up, or down, or to ether side, while spraying. to allow coverage of all body areas. You may not be able to reach all areas. Thats fine, do what you can.

Provide a hand coverage item to the client to protect hand backs and palms for solution transfer. They can use an extra paper hair cap, or plastic sandwich bags.  You can also wrap the hand in a wash cloth, paper towel of other item. Just remember to blend any “lines” created when you do the final “Walk About, and Check for Perfection” inspection.

Politely ask the client to move the skin themselves, rather then touching them. In some states, you are not legally allowed to “touch” a client without a specialized licensing.  It is also intrusive to many people to be “touched” or “handled” even when done professionally.

If you must touch the client to move skin for any reason, always ask, and obtain positive verbal permission first. Make a point to let them know where you are touching, so they are not startled.

……” I need to pull up your skin on you back on the side, and spray you, to prevent a white spot. It this okay?”

It may be helpful to provide a bar stool as needed, as some clients may have difficulty standing for a prolonged time-frame.

Clients may like some take home tanning product to touch up any areas that rub off, or are missed. We sell both a mousse and aerosol that can be used in this manner, or you may provide client with a small bottle of the solution you used on them, which they can wipe onto skin with a small cosmetic sponge.  They should allow area to dry, and then powder it before allowing skin folds to fall back into normal placement.

The bronzer will look uneven in these are, but if you have good solution coverage, with drying and powdering, before folds touch, the tan will smooth out well. You may still have some rub off, but this can normally be easily correct with an at home product, if the client chooses to do so.

The tan will always fade faster in rub areas, but this can allow them to maintain the tan easier between salon visits.

You may apply in any “path/direction” as per your normal spray technique.

You may detail apply solution to all fold areas first, and then come back and respray the entire body – or just spray folds in sequence with your normal full body spraying, detailing those area as you reach them.  Ether option works, just find the one that is easiest for you and your client.

Use the Spray/Blend/Dry/Powder technique for all detail body fold areas.

I will start from the top to toe, pin pointing special areas of interest. This is just for clarity, not the recommended spray direction. You may use suggested poses, or variants of the ones you normally use on other clients, to create the correct “Spray Tan Dance”


Tip head back (chin pointing up) and toward ether side, as needed, to tighten skin and jowls. (I prefer to do face, neck last, as clients like to watch as you spray them, and always tip head down, causing increased skin folding)


Hold arms up, and out as needed to allow coverage of all areas. The “H” stance or “Football Goal Post” Stance may be helpful. Point arms straight out to the side, then bent up at the elbows (fingers pointing to the ceiling) so the arms are both the horizontal cross pieces – then at the elbow bends, as arms go up, they create the side vertical upright posts – making a capital “H”

Client may also hold and manipulate arm tissue, or underarm skin, as needed to tighten, or move it out of the way. Client can use hand palms, flat against skin to push tissue in and up/out, around arm pits for example. Remember to offer protective items for palms, and hands.


Politely ask clients if they would like the undersides of the breasts sprayed.

Depending on client size, a few techniques will work.

Provide client with a hand cover (this can be a plastic bag they place hands in, or a hair cap to cover hands, or a washcloth on palms)

Ask client to place their fingertips or hand palms on their nipples, push hands in and up – pulling breast up and out of the way, so you may spray underneath.  For larger breasts, client may need to grasp the breast underneath and lift the entire breast up and out of the way.

Client may bend at the waist, allowing breasts to hang down, and free from the body. You may then spray the outsides, tops and undersides of the breasts.

Back flesh folds:

Ask client to stretch arms overhead, like they are touching the ceiling,  to tighten skin. Or shift forward, backward, or bent at the waist to the opposite side, as needed to pull skin tight.

If you must touch the client to move skin for any reason, always ask their permission first, and let them know where you are touching, so they are not shocked.  “… I need to pull up your skin on you back on the left side, and spray you, to prevent a white spot. It this okay?”


Depending on client size a few techniques will work. Be adaptable for what your situation requires.

Client may raise airs straight up overhead, to tighten skin around the lower abdomen and sides, and shift it up.

Client may bend or flex as needed from one side to the other to spray the opposite side (this will tighten and pull skin)

Client may physically hold and lift overlapping skin up, with their hands, allow spraying under the fold. Works well for tummy overlap areas.

Or combinations of the above.


Client should bend forward at the waist, to allow buttock skin to pull tighter, and allow you to spray the undersides of the buttocks to lessen “Smile lines”.  They may need to physically hold some skin up out of the way. Provide a chair back, or taller bar stool for client to place their hand on if needed for balance.


If needed, provide a step stool for client to place their foot upon, turning  knee and leg out to the side,  pivoting away from the body. This allows you to spray inner leg and thigh, and will also tighten skin across knee fold, to lessen wrinkling.  Provide a chair or stool for client to use as a support for balance if needed.  Step up, pivot toe/foot out to side.

Use a sponge to “paint” product into knee wrinkles/creases, to prevent white crease lines.

Final Steps:

When the entire body has been sprayed, step back for a visual inspection. Allow client to inspect as well with a mirror, and touch up any uneven areas. You may choose to do an  entire light coat, final mist, from head to toe – just to even out everything as needed.

Blow dry client, all over, having client lift skin as needed for skin fold areas. Lightly dust body with a light powder coat to lessen discomfort, and allow dressing ease.

Double check palms for discoloration, cleanse with wet wipe as needed.

Advise client, that they may apply additional powder  at home if they feel uncomfortable.

Provide optional at home use products to touch up color, and advise client to call you the next day after showering, to advise you if additional touch up will be needed.

Solution Amounts:

Larger clients may require additional solution, depending on size. But in most cases 4-6 ounces will be sufficient. Make sure gun is correctly adjusted, as this will affect solution amounts used.


— Vicki