Pro Sunless Advice

How to spray tan different body types

As a professional Spray Tan Technician, you are already aware bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. Some bigger, some smaller, some more wrinkly, some not. No matter the size or body type  you have in front of you, it is important to understand how to maintain your professionalism while making your clients feel comfortable when they are most vulnerable. But how do you achieve this?

There isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all resolution to each client you have; there will be clients with bigger breasts, which you may need to adjust your technique for and no modifications otherwise. There will be clients who have extra skin in their stomach area and none anywhere else. You, being the professional Spray Tan Technician, need to take into consideration your client’s feelings and vulnerability. To start, try to focus on starting a conversation that is fun. Ask your client why they are getting a spray tan! Perhaps for an event or a vacation? Walk them through their positions and make them feel confident!

The very first section of the body you should start with, of course, after spraying the client with pH balancer, is to spray under the breasts. To achieve the best results, you will ask your client to lift their breast (it is best the client cup under breast with their hand just below the areola and lift). You will then spray a horizontal or side to side pass, lightly misting the under-breast area. The intention is to blend the area with the rest of the tan, not saturate. Immediately after, while they are still holding the breast up, continue to dry with the air already coming out of the applicator (4-5 air passes). Put your applicator down, turn off the machine, and apply finishing powder. It is important to do this step for the fact that we do not want this area to sweat while developing. Next, have your client drop their breast then apply barrier cream to hands and feet. Continue with a full body spray as you normally would.

When you move on to the side of the body, position your client as you normally would. Raise the clients arm up and bend at the elbow, so the arm is extended over the head to tighten the area. Encourage your client to rest their arm on the top of their head if they are feeling any discomfort. If your client has excess skin or skin folds, you can encourage your client to lean towards the back of the tent, so the skin is more taught. This is also a great time to ensure that your clients under breast area are tanned, and dried completely as well. You may be required to re-position yourself or the client slightly for a better angle to ensure the entire side of the body has had solution applied, and this is okay. Be sure to dry very well before moving forward to your next section of the body.

For clients who have larger thighs and legs, it is important to make sure they are at a stance where their legs are not touching. Remember—friction is not your friend! Dry the area focusing on the inner thighs before applying the solution. If you have a client that needs further assistance with propping their leg, use a step stool or chair for them to rest their leg on. Apply the solution and complete your drying passes. Make sure your client is completely dry before they return their leg in the normal position. Also, stress to your client the reasoning behind your dry passes and the effects of skin to skin contact.

When it comes to the backside of the client, you will want to make sure you are taking your time and drying as you go! When spraying the back, have your client slightly hunch their back to smooth out the skin. You will want to make sure you are drying the area before having your client stand up straight again. Having the client hunch forward with a slight bend to the left or right side will also help to ensure the skin is taught with each side of the back you spray.

When spraying their buttocks, you will want to have your client slightly bend their knees and slightly bend over at the hips, in a squat like position. This will help avoid smile lines and ensure that all the skin is being covered! Again, you will want to make sure that you are drying that area well before moving onto the next section.


Increase Solution

A great rule of thumb is to add an extra 1oz. of solution to what you normally use for larger clients. By doing this, you are less likely to run out of the solution in your appointment. Running out of solution mid spray could be embarrassing to both you and your client. If you are required to use additional solution, we never recommend up charging your customer for this extra product. Always stick to your standard pricing and never charge based on size or client body type.  Once you have completed your client’s spray tan for the first time, you will have a better understanding of how much solutions the client’s body needs, and you can adjust accordingly for future appointments.

Ask for Permission

When repositioning your client or fixing undergarmets, do not assume your client is okay with you touching them. Always ask your client beforehand if you can touch or help them in any way during the appointment.

Dry, and Dry Again

There will be more of a chance your client will experience sweat pockets if they have excess skin, are nervous & uncomfortable, or tend to run warm. For best results, make sure you are drying your client before you spray, during the spray, and after! We cannot stress this tip enough.

Direct with Confidence

When it comes to spraying plus-sized clients, or even an uncomforable client, the most important thing to remember is to take control and do not be afraid to position them where you want. This will be a better experience and hands down a better tan! When asking clients to position themselves (lift breasts, lean-to stretch out creases, lift knee to avoid white line creases) say it without hesitation. This will give them the confidence that you know what you are doing. If you are wishy-washy or sound too apologetic, the client might pick up on and start to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.

By taking these extra steps, you are building trust with your client. It can be tricky to get the hang of how to handle these delicate situations but have confidence in your technique; you’ve got this! If you have additional questions regarding technique, please feel free to reach out to us at 888-495-6064 or