Right before I moved, Sun Tan City reached out to me to see if I'd like to try their services. As an Arizona girl, I'm extra-aware of the dangers associated with tanning and always, always wear sunscreen, in case you couldn't have guessed by my shocking paleness. I asked if they had any UV-free tanning options I could try out, and fortunately, they do!
The type of tan I tried out was a booth spray tan called Versaspa. Before trying Versaspa, I had tried airbrush tans where a tech sprays you, which I found incredibly awkward. I had plenty of friends that had try Mystic booth spray tans, and their results made me steer clear of that, for fear of looking like an Oompa Loompa. The rep for Sun Tan City assured me that Versaspa was nothing like the Mystic tans, so I decided to give it a shot.
When I arrived at the Charlottesville Sun Tan City, the receptionist greeted me and encouraged me to purchase a lotion that would extend the life of my tan and diminish the post-tan smell, and I have to say, the lotion was well worth it, and I didn't smell like the typical spray tan by the time I was done.
The receptionist brought me back to the booth and gave me a quick rundown on the machine and what I was supposed to do, including the poses to hold during the spray tan and the drying cycle that followed. She gave me a DHA blocking lotion to apply to the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet, which helps ensure that you don't get tanning solution in areas that shouldn't be tan.
A little more about Versaspa: Versaspa is different from Mystic tanning booths in that the solution is made of beet juice and walnut extract, instead of carrot juice, which results in a more natural looking tan. The receptionist asked me what level of tan I wanted to be, and I selected the lightest option, which I'd definitely recommend, especially if you're fair-skinned like me! Additionally, you can select to have an instant bronzer applied so you see color immediately, or you can go with the "clear" option, so the color develops over 6-8 hours. I went with the clear option because the bronzer can rub off on clothes and furniture. You're also not supposed to sweat, go to the gym, or shower for 8 hours after the tan.
So, how did it go? The color on my upper body and face was near perfect, and if you didn't know me and how pale I usually am, looked like a natural glow. I had a few errands to run after I went, and since it was a super hot day, I did sweat some, and I think that's what caused some streaks on my legs to appear. Additionally, I wish I would have used the DHA blocking lotion on my knees, elbows, and ankles, because the skin in those areas is drier and took the solution a lot darker, which resulted in a less natural look. The tan lasted around a week, which is what Sun Tan City promises.
I'd definitely try the Versaspa treatment again, but I'd try to schedule it at a time when I could be inside in air-conditioning afterwards, and, again, apply that DHA blocking lotion on the trouble spots, but I think if I did those two things, it's a great, skin-safe way to get a natural looking tan!