The Ultimate Guide to Airbrush Tanning

If you’re looking for a flawless, sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays, airbrush tanning is the perfect solution. This technique offers a quick and convenient way to achieve a natural-looking tan that can last for days. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about airbrush tanning, from how it works to tips for maintaining your tan. Additionally, we'll explore how you can achieve professional results at home with self airbrush tanning using Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs.

What is Airbrush Tanning?

Airbrush tanning is a method of applying self-tanning solution to the body using an airbrush or spray gun. This technique allows for precise and even application, resulting in a natural-looking tan. The solution typically contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless chemical that reacts with the amino acids in the skin's outer layer to produce a tan.

Benefits of Airbrush Tanning

1. Customizable Color

One of the biggest advantages of airbrush tanning is the ability to customize the color. A professional technician can adjust the shade to match your skin tone and desired level of tan, ensuring a perfect match every time.

2. Even Application

Unlike traditional self-tanning methods, airbrush tanning provides an even application without streaks or patches. The fine mist covers the skin uniformly, resulting in a smooth and consistent tan.

3. Quick and Convenient

Airbrush tanning sessions are quick, often taking only 15-30 minutes. This makes it a convenient option for those with busy schedules who still want to enjoy a beautiful tan.

4. Safe Alternative to Sunbathing

Airbrush tanning provides a safe alternative to sunbathing or tanning beds, which expose the skin to harmful UV rays. With airbrush tanning, you can achieve a gorgeous tan without risking skin damage or increasing your risk of skin cancer.

How to Prepare for an Airbrush Tan

Proper preparation is key to achieving the best results from your airbrush tanning session. Follow these steps to ensure your skin is ready:

1. Exfoliate

Exfoliate your skin 24 hours before your appointment to remove dead skin cells. This helps the tanning solution adhere better and last longer. Pay special attention to rough areas like elbows, knees, and ankles.

2. Shave or Wax

Shave or wax at least 24 hours before your session. This allows your skin time to heal and ensures a smoother application.

3. Avoid Moisturizers and Makeup

On the day of your appointment, avoid applying moisturizers, makeup, deodorant, or perfumes. These products can create a barrier on the skin, affecting the absorption of the tanning solution.

4. Wear Loose, Dark Clothing

Wear loose, dark clothing to your appointment to avoid rubbing off the tanning solution. Tight clothing can cause streaks or lines on your freshly tanned skin.

What to Expect During Your Airbrush Tanning Session

During your airbrush tanning session, a professional technician will use an airbrush or spray gun to apply the tanning solution evenly over your body. You’ll likely be asked to wear minimal clothing or a disposable bikini to ensure even coverage. The technician will guide you through different poses to ensure all areas of your body are evenly tanned.

Self Airbrush Tanning at Home

For those who prefer the convenience and privacy of tanning at home, self airbrush tanning is an excellent option. With the right products, you can achieve professional-quality results on your own. One of the best brands for self airbrush tanning is Sally Hansen, particularly their Airbrush Legs line.

Why Choose Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs?

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs offers an easy and effective way to get a beautiful tan at home. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Natural-Looking Color: Provides an instant, natural-looking tan that enhances your skin tone.
  • Even Application: The airbrush spray delivers a smooth, even finish without streaks.
  • Long-Lasting: Offers full matte coverage that lasts up to 10 hours.
  • Water and Transfer Resistant: Ensures the tan stays put, even with exposure to water and clothing.
  • Easy to Remove: Washes off easily with soap and water.

Available Shades

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs comes in four shades to match different skin tones:

  1. Light Glow: For fair skin tones or a subtle tan.
  2. Medium Glow: For light to medium skin tones seeking a natural look.
  3. Tan Glow: For medium to tan skin tones wanting a deeper tan.
  4. Deep Glow: For dark skin tones or a rich, luxurious tan.

How to Apply Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

  1. Prep Your Skin: Exfoliate and shave your legs before application. Make sure your skin is clean and dry.
  2. Shake Well: Shake the can thoroughly to ensure the product is mixed evenly.
  3. Apply Evenly: Hold the can about 6 inches from your legs and spray in a continuous motion. Use your hands or a tanning mitt to blend the product for a smooth finish.
  4. Let It Dry: Allow the product to dry completely before dressing. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Aftercare Tips for a Long-Lasting Tan

To make your airbrush tan last as long as possible, follow these aftercare tips:

1. Avoid Water for 6-8 Hours

Avoid showering, swimming, or sweating for at least 6-8 hours after your session to allow the tanning solution to fully develop.

2. Moisturize Regularly

Keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing daily. This helps maintain the tan and prevents it from fading unevenly.

3. Use Gentle Products

Use gentle, sulfate-free cleansers and avoid exfoliating products, as they can strip away the tan.

4. Pat Dry

After showering, gently pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing. This helps preserve the tan.

5. Avoid Long Baths and Chlorine

Avoid long baths, hot tubs, and chlorinated pools, as these can cause the tan to fade more quickly.


Airbrush tanning is an excellent way to achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan without the risks associated with sun exposure. Whether you opt for a professional session or choose to self-tan at home with Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, you can enjoy a flawless tan that enhances your natural beauty. By following the preparation and aftercare tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure your tan looks its best and lasts as long as possible. Embrace the confidence of sun-kissed skin with airbrush tanning.

Where To Buy Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs?

Kennedy's Pharmacy are happy to announce that we are official stockists for Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in the UK and Ireland! Use the button below to shop our full range