Rapid/Express/Fast/1hour Spray Tans Explained

Does the 1-hour tan work? Yes. Rapid tans do work very well and, depending on the brand, sometimes too well.

The ‘Express’, ‘Rapid’ or the ‘1 Hour’ tan is the latest tanning technology. The following guide will advise you on the following aspects of the ‘Rapid Tan’.

  • What are fast-developing spray tans?
  • In what way will the express tan benefit me?
  • When can I wash off my fast-acting spray tan?
  • What brand of rapid airbrush tan is the best?

Rapid spray tans were introduced for clients who don’t have time to wait for the full 8-hour development of normal spray tans. This could be beneficial for a client who can’t make it into a beauty salon on weekdays due to a full-time job or children to look after.

Spray tan derives from organic plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar canes, and this is what reacts with the amino acids in the skin, turning them brown.

Fast tans work quicker than ordinary tanning products because they have a higher amount of sugars (DHA) inside them, meaning they turn the surface layer of the skin brown in just one hour, getting darker as time goes on.

A rundown of the quick tan

  • Rapid tans do not come in different shades, they are washed off at specific times to achieve the desired colour
  • You can wash this tan off on the same day
  • You will get more tanned as the hours pass and will be developed fully in 9 hours
  • It’s best to get this type of tan as early as possible if you are going out on the same night, if not, you can get it any time
  • This tan is the same brand as our normal one and lasts just as well
  • You may seem lighter when you initially wash your tan off, but you will get darker as the day goes on

This tan is great for:

  • Last-minute nights out by getting a spray tan in the morning and going out later that night.
  • Clients who are going to work or on holiday early morning and want to wash it off on the same day
  • Clients who have plans later in the day and want to wash their tan off before doing them

General wash-off times for express spray tans 

Instructions for washing your quick developing spray tan after:
  • 1-1.5 hours for extra light.
  • 1-2 hours for a light tan.
  • 2-3 hours for a medium tan.
  • 3-4 hours for a medium-dark.
  • 4-5 hours for a dark.
  • 5-9 hours for an extra dark.

The general idea is, that the longer your leave your rapid spray tan on, the darker it will get. It will not, however, get any darker after 8-9 hours.

Are they as good?

Absolutely! Express tans are just as good if not better than normal tanning products.

Fast tans have the potential to be better than long-developing tans because you have them on for less time, therefore there will be less chance of damaging it.

Help, my tans disappeared!

Don’t worry, fast tans can be washed off sooner, but it can take a while to reach your expected result.

It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it? Let’s picture a scenario.

Lauren gets an express spray tan at 9 am and wants to achieve a medium shade. Her therapist advises her to wash it off between 12 pm (3 hours). Lauren washes the tan off at 12, notices a change in skin colour, but hasn’t reached her desired shade. The more then hours go by, the darker she gets. Therefore by around 9 pm or sometimes even the next day depending on the brand, she reaches her desired skin shade.

So what does this all mean?

Well, it means that express tans are more about the convenience of being able to wash your tan off earlier so you aren’t stuck in it all day. It can be useful for those:

  • who have children and may come into messy situations or need to breastfeed
  • who are going to work later in the day
  • who dislike sleeping in tan

So does this mean I would be better getting a fast tan the day before my event? Yes, as with more time, you will reach the shade you originally desired. That doesn’t mean if you didn’t have the chance to tan the night before you won’t get at least a glow from your express tan on the same day.

This is why it’s best to not spray tan nude with rapid tans, so you or your client can see the difference in the tan line from underwear.

Oops, I forgot to shower!

There is not much you can do now I’m afraid, however, most tanning brands don’t go too dark so don’t worry.

Whatever you do, don’t try to scrub it off, you will just leave your tan looking patchy.

Most effective rapid spray tans

Nouvatan’s ‘It’s About Time’ (20% DHA spray tan solution)

but I also love St.Tropez’s fast tan, Vita Liberata and Sienna-X’s ‘Tonight’s The Night’. However, I need to review

I love this 1-hour tan, and I can guarantee it will work really well on any client. If your client likes it dark, get them to wear it for as long as possible, and they will be tanned on the same night.

Even 30 mins with this accelerated spray tan on and you will have a tan line after washing it off. Superb! FYI Nouvatan’s products can only be purchased on their website, but they do great deals on bulk buys. When it comes to retail products, it’s great that your clients can only buy them from you instead of just picking them up at their local drug store.

I also love this tan because Nouvatan gives you the option of a fragrance-free option, this means less alcohol in the product and no overpowering fragrance.

I’ve only tried this spray tan a couple of times, but I was impressed because it worked really well and went really dark. I found it was similar to the darkness level in Nouvatan, but just differed in hue. You can buy this product in-salon services online or in their shop.

St. Tropez Express
This tan has a really fresh citrus smell which makes your client feel fantastic! It works well but takes longer to develop compared to Nouvatan and Sienna-X. It’s a good rapid tan for people who love a natural-looking glow. I would personally wear it for 6 hours minimum if I was going out that night. 

After you wash your rapid spray tan colour guide off after the desired hours, your tan will continue to develop even though it’s been washed off.

What our clients say:

“Always get the rapid rinse spray tan, it works so well, and it’s great that I can run errands after without damaging it”. Sandra T – Mindbody app, United Kingdom

“I tried the 2-hour spray tan this time, and it turns out the exact same shade as my usual shade I pick at the salon. Great even coverage as usual”. Petra L – Mindbody app, United Kingdom

“I recommend all of my friends to Tropicoco – I swear by the 3-hour spray tan as I’ve got kids to tend to! I don’t mind getting either of the tans, to be honest, but bathing the kids and going to the gym is easier when I can wash the tan off first” Angela R – Mindbody app, United Kingdom