Competition Tanning: Insider Tips From the Experts


Anyone who has ever attended at physique competition knows that an essential element of the process is getting a spray tan.  In order to perform well, you need to present yourself on stage in the best way possible and one element in doing that is spray tanning prior in order for the judges to easily see your physique.  Competitors often have many questions regarding spray tanning.  In this interview, I sat down with Business Owner Katie Tipton of Aglow Tanning for tips and advice on how to get the best spray tan possible.

How does a competition tan differ from a regular spray tan?
A competition tan is much more complex than a regular spray tan. Though it may be easier (because you can see the color A LOT better), it's crucial that everything is absolutely perfect.  If it’s not perfect it’s noticeable on stage.

What are the common mistakes competitors make when planning for their spray tan?
1. Clients don't prep properly.  Using a loofa to exfoliate is NOT effective.  We always recommend using an exfoliating towel prior to spray tanning as it offers the best results.
2. Many competitors don’t understand the process and attempt to change it.  It’s important to trust the company you hire to do their job.  They are experienced in the industry and understand what works well.
3. Clients don't shave their entire body.  Any area that shows during the competition needs to be free of hair.
4. People tend to ask others who are not experts on competition spray tanning for advice. Competition tanning is unique and best left in the hands of experienced professionals.  Hire a company who has the training and qualifications in the industry and then trust their expertise.
What's the best way to prep for a spray tan?
1. Shave, shower and exfoliate for two days before your first tan.
2. Don't dehydrate your skin.  Hydrated skin tans much better than dry skin.
3. Don't panic about tanning.
How many tans are required pre-competition?
The number of tans doesn't matter.  Some people think they have to have five coats prior to a show, which isn’t necessarily true.  Each company has their own process.  Aglow Tanning offers two sessions (one the day before the show and one immediately before stepping on stage).  Keep in mind that every company has different ways of spraying.  Each "coat" is different at every place you go.  
How can I find the best spray tan provider for my competition tan?
This is REALLY challenging.  People think that competition spray tanning is easy and you just paint the person until they're dark enough.  That’s incorrect.  The process is VERY important.  Hiring the company that will be on site tanning can be very convenient, just make sure to do your homework and ensure they have the proper training and credentials.  
What can I expect to pay for a quality tan?
Depending on the length of the show (1-day or 2-day), expect to pay anywhere from $89-149 for tanning.  With that said, rates can vary greatly depending on the location, number of companies in the area and experience of the staff.
What precautions should a competitor take after tanning to ensure the tan stays on until the show? Wear loose dark clothing.  Do not wear a robe or dress.  Any prolonged skin-on-skin contact will result in sweat marks.  It is best to wear loose pants and a T-shirt.  No elastic.  And of course...don't sweat and be extra careful around liquids!
How long can I expect the tan to stay on after the show?
Expect it to last about a week.  Competition tans don't always fade evenly so be sure to moisturize with a product that does NOT contain alcohol or mineral oil.
What's your best advice for competition tanning?
READ THE DIRECTIONS, follow the company's process, prepare properly, and bring the proper 'after tanning' attire.  Tipping tanning technicians is customary.  Ask any questions you have during the appointment or prior to scheduling.

Katie Tipton is the Owner of Aglow Tanning located in Arizona.  Aglow has served clients all around the country and specializes in competition tanning.  You can view their website at www.AglowTanning.com , find them on facebook at Aglow Tanning or follow them on twitter @aglowtanning.

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