Here’s why it happened and what to do now.
We’ve all heard of that friend of a friend whose tan turned her Shrek-like the night before prom. Either that or you have experienced green underarms or random spots of green straight after a spray tan, so let us explain why your spray tan turned green.
Any spray tan solution can turn green, and the reason it does so is that it has oxidized.
“Oxidation occurs due to heat or air exposure.”
For instance, not placing the lid on the bottle correctly, or perhaps you have left your tan in a warm room or next to the radiator.
So, will your green spray tan or self-applied fake tan turn brown? Read on for more information on why this has happened.
In a Nutshell: How to prevent your spray tan from going green
It’s infrequent for a spray tan to turn green, and the problem usually lies with just how green you look. If your body is entirely green or green-tinged, the problem lies in the tanning salons’ fake tan.
However, if you only have specific areas that are green such as your armpits, your face or small patches, it is because you have not appropriately prepped for your spray tan.
Spray tan solution needs to be kept in a cool dark place and must be used within six months of purchase; otherwise, it will go off.
Spray tan goes out of date due to ‘oxidization’. Oxidization is the gain of oxygen to a substance, resulting in a greenish spray tan that won’t make you as brown.
An interesting fact about fake tans is that they all have different base color ingredients such as blue, red, violet, caramel or green based tones.
Most tans are red and green-based. Red is the first color to degrade, and when the red goes, green is the only color leftover, and hey Presto, or should I say ‘pesto’, that’s why you look like a sci-fi character!
Some tans do have a slight olive tinge when the initial spray tanning begins, but by the time the body is complete, our client looks brown.
Our advice if this happens to you
Just leave it to develop. Green fake tan usually washes off in the morning to a brown color; however, it’s a bit worrying and embarrassing.
In a busy beauty salon or spray tan studio, it will be unlikely that they will have out of date solution, but a quieter salon that doesn’t perform many spray tans may have had their tan spray stock for a good while, which means it could be past its shelf date.
Green in Certain Areas After Tanning
If your underarms have turned green, it’s because your deodorant or antiperspirant hasn’t been washed off properly.
Products like deodorants, moisturizers, perfumes and make-up cause a reaction with spray tans, and instantly it turns green.
Fortunately, this will wash off the next day, and it won’t affect the final color of your spray tan.
Before a spray tan, it’s best not to moisturize at all, as you could risk going green. Moisturizer will also create a barrier on your skin, which means the spray tan might not take very well, making your final color lighter than expected.
Make sure you go to a good spray tanning salon or beauty salon that will apply the appropriate amount of barrier cream to your dry areas, such as your knees and elbows.
Sometimes after a shower, especially if you have dry patches on your skin, shower gel might not budge. This will result in a green reaction in the area where the shower gel or soap hasn’t washed off. To prevent this from happening, make sure you rinse your body thoroughly before your spray tanning session.
Does green fake tan wash off?
In most cases, yes, the green fake tan will wash off, especially if it is just green because you had deodorant or moisturizer on (see above).
If the false tan is off, however, and you are entirely green, once you’ve washed it off, the green sci-fi look usually goes down the drain, and you will be left with a brown tan.
Thankfully you have got rid of your Gamora green, and you’ve been left with a brown tan. The reason fake tan goes green is that it’s gone past it’s sell-date, and also, for this reason, that means the DHA ingredient has lost some strength. DHA is the simple carbohydrate inside fake tan bottles that turns you brown. So if your sunless tanner has gone green, this may mean you might not get just as brown as you usually get.
How to fix a green spray tan
If you read the above, you will know which problem you have. For example, if your tan has green patches where you have put moisturizer, deodorant, sweat or perfumes on, leave your spray tan on your skin. If the spray tan has gone off and you are entirely green, it is unlikely that you won’t be left brown when you wash it off.
Can I wear a fake tan that’s gone green?
There’s the tiniest risk of it turning brown/olive toned in the morning, but in my experience, it usually goes brown. However, if you feel extra cautious, test a bit out on your back and see if it washes off to brown in the morning!
If you’re wondering how long fake tan bottles last once opened, the answer is usually six months to 1 year. The best way to make your false tan bottle last is to store them in the fridge or a dark and cool cupboard.