Why do I have streaks in my Express or Rapid tan?

Express tans make up at least 60% of the tans we do, and they are a personal favorite of many of us. No one wants to sleep in their spray tans, do they? You’re probably here because you fucked up your Express tan, or you don’t want to fuck it up. Welcome, let me help with that.

What is an Express or Rapid tan you ask? It’s like any other spray tan, but instead of waiting 8-24 hours to rinse, you can shower in as little as an hour! What kind of magic am I referring to and how is this witchcraft possible? Its pretty simple really. Spray Tans develop based on how much DHA ( the active ingredient) it’s formulated with. The higher the DHA, the faster and darker it develops. So if you get an express tan, you can rinse it off much sooner, which SLOWS down the development. You will likely seem a little light after your first rinse (depending on how dark the bronzer was) and then begin to darken over the next several hours (like a non-express tan does.)

So how could this go wrong, and why would anyone ever get anything else? The express tan has very specific instructions, different from a full development tan. Because you are trying to slow down the development, it is IMPERATIVE that you rinse quickly, and thoroughly. The only way to do that is to jump in your lukewarm shower, rinse all sides of your body, taking great care to run your hands down all parts of your face and body to make absolutely, positively sure that water has touched every single part of you.

Did you leave the salon looking perfectly bronzed? Thank your stellar spray tan artist. Did the streaks happen after you got out of the shower? Curse yourself and jump back in the shower asap, this time paying much more attention to how you’re rinsing. If you’re having difficulty evening it out your best bet may be to use some soap (natural gel soap is always best) and rinse your body with that. Typically after you’ve done that you will be free of streaks (though your tan may be lighter than you originally wanted ) Obviously the best way to avoid all of this is to rinse properly the first time and enjoy your new gorgeous tan.

Now lets look at this glorious gallery of all the Express tan streaks your little heart can handle. All of which could have been quite easily avoided with a proper rinse.

Here’s a classic example of when you prefer to stand face forward in the shower and let the water dribble down your backside. Mmm best not to..

Here’s a classic example of when you prefer to stand face forward in the shower and let the water dribble down your backside. Mmm best not to..

Here’s an impressive side leg streak, easily avoided by running your hands down all parts of your body.

Here’s an impressive side leg streak, easily avoided by running your hands down all parts of your body.

Sometimes I’m convinced people are just showering under a garden hose. How do you even miss your arm?? Alas the proof is in those perfectly shaped water marks.

Sometimes I’m convinced people are just showering under a garden hose. How do you even miss your arm?? Alas the proof is in those perfectly shaped water marks.

I have found that most people tend to stand forward or back to the shower water, leaving the sides of their legs to be most easily missed by the shower head.

I have found that most people tend to stand forward or back to the shower water, leaving the sides of their legs to be most easily missed by the shower head.


So in closing, let me be clear that a Rapid or Express tan is a fantastic choice for anyone who is willing to follow the after care instructions. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation follow our simple steps and you should be able to right your wrongs. Otherwise if all else fails and perhaps you waited too long to take that second shower you may need to call your spray tan salon and find out what their respray policy is. Be advised though, salons are not going to provide you with a refund for a tan that looked perfect when you left the studio, but they likely will be generous and give you a quick respray to fix the areas you missed!