Q: no matter what i do, i still get patchy day 3 or 4. Any remedies or suggestions? The patchiness doesn't go away when i apply another layer of lotion, spray or combination
Ok let's break down this question from a customer
First we need to understand out skin
Then we need to understand the chemical reaction on the skin (which will explain why we get patchy)
Then we need to know how to fix it, control or minimise it.
Your skin is made up of many layers of skin called the dermis. The top two layers of your skin area already dead and and will naturally flake off your body at a pace of approx 4-10 days for a full cycle and new skin will start under each flaked piece that's come off. Now this can start at day 4 and continue to day 10 until that whole top two layers are gone and new skin emerges, If you are a women and menstruating you may find this process happens A LOT faster and hence why sometimes you tan and then your period arrives and your tan lasts about 2 or 3 days.
Also if you are a women tanning and you regularly tan you may find that some tans are better than others even when using the same solutions on your body and that is because of our hormones. Straight after your period if you tan yourself you will find you get an amazing colour and lasting tan then some people find around ovulation the skin can grab and not be as great. We are complex creatures but beautiful ones.
DHA or dihydroxyacetone the stuff that makes you go brown has a chemical reaction when mixed with erythrose on the skin to turn the top two layers of skin brown. DHA is a colorless chemical that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change. Since these dead skin cells are constantly being shed, the color change produced by DHA usually lasts about five to seven days. DHA is not absorbed through the skin into the body and it has no known toxicity. DHA was first discovered Eva Whittington in the late 1920's when DHA was spilled on the skin she found it produced a brown color. DHA has been listed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1973, and has been used in cosmetic preparations for almost 30 years.
Ok so back to the skin coming off our bodies, Now understanding that the skin doesn't peel off like a snake in one go (this would be amazing for tanning) but it comes off in little bits so if you are tanning on top of tanning then some little pieces of skin are falling off and some are staying new and brown hence the patchy. If you are just getting patchy you may like to try doing the things in the next paragraph.
Now another reason for patchy is people who shave and shower just before a tan (so many do and some it never affects), again im just stating what I have found to be true after 16 years of tanning people and asking them but when you have just done this (shave wash or wax) you have stripped all the natural oils and PH levels off the skin on your body, I know you feel all clean and stuff but this isn't great for tanning. DHA (the stuff that makes you brown) likes a nice natural PH on the skin to work with (some salons offer a PH spray before they actually tan their customers) and also if you have just exfoliated, shaved or had a wax the chances of your pores being open are high and this creates holes (you can see this under a microscope but not always with the eye) and the tan will go a little deeper and when your skin returns to its natural state (the next morning when you wake up) and the little holes close over you can be left with spotty legs arms etc over the next few days. Another reason for patchy tans can be TOO much tan, just piling too much on for your skin tone. You will only be able to reach a natural colour for your skin tone and after that you can look patchy fake and orange.
Annnnnd here is something that most tan technicians will tell you NOT TO DO but im going to tell you to do it because if you have to wash, exfoliated, shave or wax before tanning then apply a light moisturiser to your body before tanning, like an hour before and this will help plump up the skin, return it to its natural PH and your tan will fade more evenly.
I can always tell if someone has just shaved, exfoliated or waxed before coming even when the customer says "no i haven't " and I can tell because when I apply the tan it repels a little because the skin has no PH on it or it will look spotty or if you have used a lady shaver with the gel cleaner on it, it leaves a little residue on the skin and the tan will repel from that as well.
SO the best way to keep your tan from getting patchy and you want to be tanned all year round then tan yourself every four days and try not to get carried away with too much solution, apply a moisturiser daily to help plump up the skin and when it comes to exfoliating there should be no need to scrub till you are raw.
I hope this has helped you to understand tanning a little better and if you have any questions please fire them at me and remember no question is a silly question. :o)
Owner of BROWNALLYEAR