Spray tanning has really become incredibly popular in the UK largely due to the negative and fear publicity created by the more dramatic daily publications and certain concerns with their own agenda regarding the theoretical dangers of sunbeds and the sun.
Tanning became popular during the 1950’s and with the advent of foreign holidays, became a reality in the 1960’s. However, it was not until the mid-1970’s that the sunbed was available and suddenly everyone (who tanned) could boast a Mediterranean tan.
During the late 1970’s, throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s the use of sunbeds grew dramatically until the drip effect of certain scare stories began to take effect and gradually the general public began to believe that using a sunbed would cause skin cancer.
The whole aspect of sunbathing in the UK is now in a state of confusion as the sun and sunbeds stand accused of being the harbinger of ill health. The truth is that it (i.e. sunshine – UVA/UVB, therefore, sunbeds) is one of the four essentials of life, without ultra violet we would die. It has taken mankind millions of years to evolve in a radiation filled world and this radiation is vital to all life as we know it on our planet.
Most of the major suppliers of sun tanning equipment (sunbeds and stand ups) have been devastated in many ways by the trend away from natural tanning to the increased use of spray tanning, which really started in the mid 1990’s with the success of the American product, St. Tropez marketed in this country by Judy Naake who was an agent for one of the main sunbed companies on the cosmetic side from 1990 to 1994!
The runaway success of this alternative to sunbeds has created a huge number of other company’s trying their hand at self-tanning creams. In the salon, spray tanning both with a manual spray and with an automatic booth has now become an important alternative. However, what is worthy of note is that this is the only country in the world that has vilified sunbeds (and to a lesser extent – the sun) and has created such a following with a chemical application of fluid which turns the skin brown!
One major new player in the spray tan market is Quadra Medical of Italy and has for the last eighteen months been relatively successful in the UK in providing, probably, the best of the spray tan products available with the “That’So” range which not only incorporates the fluid, but also a very classy manual spray system and a very compact, futuristic looking and highly effective automatic spray cabin.
As with so many crazies few, if any, of the original companies from ten years ago who were supplying equipment and spray tanning fluids survive today and it is down to the more established sunbed companies, to continue with this diversification of the market into the salon.
The most important aspect of spray tanning is to say that it is a very effective cosmetic with no health benefits whatsoever but it is a highly suitable product for those who wish for a tan, who do not normally tan or for those who wish for a quick fix!
Spray tanning certainly has a place in the ‘instant’ market or indeed with people who do not easily tan but it cannot take the place of the commercial sunbed in the long run. Nor can it offer the health benefits of Ultraviolet and the creation of Vitamin D3 which is so essential in our lives in keeping us healthy and is a major factor in keeping cancer at bay.