How To Spray Tan Hands Like A Pro

Nov 10, 2023

Raise your hand if you've ever struggled with spray tanning hands! If you've heard the term "spray tan hands," you know exactly what we mean when we say this area can be quite tricky to perfect. The reason that hands can be a difficult area to make look natural during the spray tan process is because the skin on the hands is different from the rest of the body, not to mention, our hands are typically more dry. Dry skin mixed with the already drying active ingredient in spray tan solution, DHA, can cause the solution to oversaturate and pull orange, creating an unnatural appearance. Not to mention, we have to pay attention to the creases on the inner wrist and knuckles to ensure that our clients don’t leave with white lines when they bend their fingers. Achieving a natural and flawless look on your client's hands is crucial because unnatural-looking hands are a dead giveaway that their tan might not be real. The goal is to always create a spray tan look as though it came directly from the sun instead of a spray gun. Remember that your clients are essentially walking advertisements for your business, therefore, it’s important you perfect your technique to offer the most flawless results. 

Let's dive into the secrets of mastering the technique of spray tanning hands so that your spray tan application turns out flawless every single time. We'll break down the steps for you, so you can confidently create natural looking results without the risk of sending your clients home with “spray tan hands.”

  1. Apply a Thin Layer of Spray Tan-Safe Moisturizer

Start by applying a thin layer of spray tan-safe moisturizer to the tops of the hands, making sure to cover the knuckles. This thin layer of moisturizer helps to add additional moisture to any dry areas of the hands to create a smooth, hydrated canvas for the spray tan solution to develop on.

  1. Apply Barrier Cream to Key Areas

To avoid oversaturation of color that could appear orange, apply barrier cream to the palms of the hands, inside of the wrists, and even on the fingernails. This step ensures that these areas don't soak up too much solution, which can cause the tan to appear unnatural once it’s fully developed.

  1. Instruct the Client to Make "Bear Claws"

Ask your client to make "bear claws" with their hands before spraying. In this position, their knuckles will be bent, and their fingers will be spread apart. When the hands are in this position, it allows for even spray coverage in between fingers as well as in between the creases of the knuckles, reducing the risk of white crepey lines forming.

  1. Spray in an "X" Formation

When spraying the hands, create an "X" formation over the top of the hands with your spray tan gun. This technique ensures that the sides of the fingers and hands are also adequately covered with the tanning solution for an even application. 

  1. Blend with an X-TAN Blending Brush

After spraying, use the X-TAN blending brush to gently buff the solution into the hands and the inside of the wrists. This step helps achieve a seamless blend for a natural appearance, while removing any excess solution that may be laying on the skin that could cause oversaturation of color.

  1. Remove Excess Barrier Cream

Once you've finished the spray tan application, use a baby wipe to remove any excess barrier cream and spray tan solution that may have been applied to the palms and fingernails during application. This final touch ensures a clean finish and removes the risk of staining to the palms or fingernails. This step also gives the feel of a 5-star service that is detail-oriented and luxurious, especially since most clients will have freshly manicured nails that they do not want to be stained from their spray tan.

FYI: Feathering Technique with "X" Pattern

When spraying the hands, using a feathering technique with an "X" pattern over the tops of the hands allows for less product to be applied to the skin. This technique creates a more natural development of color, ensuring a sun-kissed look. If a client were to get a natural UV tan, their hands will typically be slightly lighter than the rest of their body. We use this feathering technique to replicate what a natural tan would look like, while also ensuring that no area of the hand is darker than any other part.

We hope these tips help you achieve perfect spray tanning results every time! Do you have more questions or concerns about getting the perfect application while tanning your client’s hands? Well, Glow Boss, we have the course for you! Spray Tan Class offers a Master Spray Tan Certification Course that will level up your technique so you can provide your clients with the most premium sunless experience of their lives! To get your journey to mastering the art of spray tanning underway, check out the Master’s Certification Course now!