Types of Spray Tans & Machines: Everything You Need to Know

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Many people are looking for a way to get tan without having to spend hours in the sun.

Spray tans offer an easy, safe and convenient solution that can give you the look of summer vacation without ever leaving your home or office!

There are many different types of spray tans and machines on the market today, so how do you know which is best for you? 

Well, we’ll help you understand every type of spray tans and machines that are currently available so that you can choose the best as per your need.

Although all of these types are quite different from each other,  most of them have one thing in common – DHA (dihydroxyacetone) molecule. All of these spray tanning methods make use of the DHA (dihydroxyacetone) molecule.

We know that you might not know what DHA is, so, it’s important to get a sound idea of that before we proceed further. So, let’s go ahead and know more about DHA, read on!

Types of Spray Tans and Machines

What is DHA?

Dihydroxyacetone, better known as DHA is the active solution in spray tanning solutions. The solution coats your skin with a layer of color that gives you an instant golden glow. [1]

The DHA works by binding with amino acids on top of the skin’s surface to make it appear darker. Not only does this make it easier to find your clothing but also provides protection for your skin with the sun’s UV rays.

Types of Spray Tans

There are three main types of spray tans: booth spray, airbrush spray, HVLP/LVLP Spray Tanning machines.

Each type has different pros and cons making it difficult to decide which option would be best for you.

Let’s discuss them in more detail so we can help you make the right decision.

1. Airbrush Spray Tanning or Liquid Spray

Airbrush spray tanning is done in a booth and the machine sprays the solution on all over your body.

This type of tans is well-known for its natural look, but it will also cost more than other types like booths or beds due to its meticulous work.

You’ll need to wear clothes that will shield your skin from getting stained, and afterward, you can take a shower just like normal people do after they exercise.

2. Booth Spray Tan

Booth Spray Tan uses an airbrush within a closed room with atmospheric pressure that protects you from outside pollutants while spraying DHA onto your skin cells evenly.

The result of this process is usually darker than Airbrushing because there’s no way to control how much solution gets sprayed out of the gun nozzle.

Plus, not everyone has access to these booths yet as they’re only available at luxury hotels and spas where prices can run up to $150 for the experience.

3. Tanning Machines

Tanning machines are also called spray tans, and these units use UV bulbs to stimulate your skin cells into producing melanin (or dark pigment) which is what gives you that sun-kissed look.

These types of tans tend to be more affordable than a bed or booth because they don’t require an additional person like a technician who charges both hourly rates and per-session pricing fees on top of the machine price tag.

But beware: some tanning beds with fake airbrushes can leave streaky lines across your body, so make sure you do your research before joining in!

HVLP Spray Tanning Machines / LVLP Spray Tanning Machines

HVLP stands for high volume low pressure while LVLP stands for medium-high volume low pressure.

Both types of spray tanners can come attached with some form of hose which will be connected from either an air compressor or water source respectively.

These two types of spray tanning machines are used for applying lotion sprays and they’re both considered to be the most inexpensive type of spray tanners.


The most common type of spray tanning is done with an airbrush machine. Airbrush machines are usually the cheapest and best way to go if you’re looking for a professional, salon-style result without shelling out too much cash up front!

If you don’t want to pay as much upfront but still want a decent option that provides good coverage while also being budget-friendly then booth or bed spray tans may be your best bet because they’re cheaper than other types of sprays.

Keep in mind though that this means there will be someone else involved who will charge both hourly rates and per session for your spray tan.

Tanning machines are the most popular and economical way to get a “spray-on” look in one’s home or office setting.

The downside is that they’re not as accurate at applying color, but this doesn’t usually matter if you don’t have any tattoos or other skin markings that may show through under the tinted solution.

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