Investing in a Sunless Spray Tanning Booth

Sunless Spray Tanning

Sunless tanning has come a long way from the orange-palm, color-streaking, smelly lotions associated with the 1980s. With quality innovations in the indoor tanning industry, as well as developments in lotions, solutions and delivery systems including automatic sunless units, airbrush units and turbine HVLP units, it makes sense to add this option to your service menu.

Industry statistics reveal that approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 30 million people, currently tan indoors. Sunless provides an additional service to existing clients looking to enhance their traditional tanning sessions and may be the catalyst that will attract more non-tanners to the indoor tanning ranks.

The sunless segment of the indoor tanning industry has been a leader in add-on services for the past ten years. The sunless boom began in 1999 and exploded in 2000 as a way for salon operators to reach new generations of tanners and increase profits. While sunless provides a service to existing clients looking to enhance their traditional tanning sessions, it also has the potential to expand a salon’s client base to customers who either cannot or choose not to tan.

Results from salon surveys reveal that 40 percent of U.S. tanning salons has at least one sunless stand-up booth, and 22 percent offer sunless airbrush or turbine tanning. More and more salons are including sunless services as a tanning staple because they realize the importance of the service. Why should a customer leave a tanning salon to get a sunless tan at a spa? Salons that realize this added revenue stream will keep current customers happy and bring in new ones as well.

Additionally, salons that have added sunless services report an increase in traditional UV-tanning sessions by as much as 30 percent after they introduced sunless services.

Like any service in any industry, sunless is enjoying the fruits of improved technology and healthy competition. The benefits are clear to salon operators as well as consumers if marketed correctly.

For Best Results

Most spray tanning booths will require one or more of the following steps to get good results:

  • Exfoliate your skin a day prior to your sunless tanning session.
  • Avoid using oil based lotions, moisturizers and soaps prior to tanning.
  • Once in the tanning room, remove your clothing, jewelry, and makeup.
  • Apply a sunless friendly moisturizer to your entire body or opt for the pre-tan moisturizer treatment.
  • Place a shower cap over your head to prevent coloring the hair.
  • Apply a neutralizing lotion to hands and toes to prevent darkening the palms, fingernails and cuticles.
  • Activate the spray tanning booth. The solution contains organic, perishable components and should not be heated so expect it to be a little cold during your session.
  • When the session is complete, you may be moist and cold from the sunless solution. Exit the booth and lightly towel-dry any excess solution taking precautions not to cause streaking.
  • Place clothes and jewelry back on and take care not to get any solution on your clothing.
  • Total time: 5-7 minutes.


Sunless tanning is almost a must-have for any salon wishing to maximize profits. With 40% or more of the salons in America today offering a sun-free booth, you are almost forced into one as well. This is not bad news, it is compelling news. Why open your salon being 2nd best the day you open? To command a dominate position in your market, care, attention, and the necessary investment must be given to offer better-than-market services in all respects and sunless tanning is no exception.