UPDATE: I still love spray tanning just as much as I did when I wrote this post in 2010, but my preferences have changed as spray-tan technology has evolved. I now prefer VersaSpa Pro if given the choice between that and Mystic. I still use Mystic, though, and thankfully salons have upgraded to the now-standard four-position booth that provides a more-natural and even application than the old-school two-spray booth. I also now regularly get dark, in particular during the summer. If you have any questions about spray tanning, leave them in the comments—after nearly 15 years, I’m practically a pro!
I breathed a sigh of relief when my unlimited tanning membership ran out a few months ago because I finally had no more excuses to say goodbye to the cancer-causing beds for good.
- Shave your legs and underarms
- Exfoliate your entire body (specifically parts that will be visible) like legs, arms, chest, shoulders, neck, face, torso, boobs… everywhere! This is the most important step.
- Avoid soaping up or using body wash; you don’t want any residue on your skin. Exfoliating is enough to be clean.
It’s preferable to shower right before you Mystic, as close as you can manage.
- Always rub-in a dime-size amount to your knees and elbows.
- Take a very tiny amount and apply a thin layer to your neck (where I tend to get unevenness), your nose, and your eyebrows. The key on your face is just apply a minuscule thin layer so you still get the color, but it’s not over-saturated in these areas.
- Your hands and feet need lots of barrier cream! Take a quarter-size amount and completely cover your nails in cream, the more the better! Spread your fingers and toes and put lots of cream in-between each, then rub in the cream all over your hands and feet. You can’t use too much on your hands and feet; apply generously!
- I usually put the cream on the bottoms of my feet too and my heels.
3. Press the start button and take a big breath. Close your eyes. Hold your breath while the Mystic sprays from head to toe. Don’t move!
4. The spraying will stop and that’s your cue to turn around. Keep the same position you were in before, but this time bend your arms more and position your hands near your tummy, so your palms and the back of your forearms are shielded by your body. Think of a Barbie doll’s arms; that’s how your arms should look.
5. Try to keep holding your breath, or take a small breath if you must. Close your eyes. Now the booth will spray your back, just like your front. When it stops, get out and close the door behind you.
For an idea of what it’s like in the original booth watch this video, but don’t listen to all its tips and instructions. Trust my tried and true procedure for the best results:
4. Throughout the process, hold your breath and close your eyes while the Mystic is spraying. You can breath and open your eyes in between positions.
- Take the provided towel and pat down any excess moisture, working from your legs up.
- The salon should provide baby wipes or paper towels. Use these to wipe off your nails, your hands, and your feet completely.
- Remove the hair net and throw it away.
- Get dressed and be on your way!
Do your Mystic before bed, as late as the salon’s hours allow. Doing Mystic before bed means you won’t be inconvenienced by the 4-hour wait and you won’t be wearing off the Mystic sweating during your daily activities.
For best results, don’t wear the eye gear, nose guard, or feet slippers if they’re provided. Been there, done that, and learned through experience it’s best not to.