Give Clients Bronzed, Glowing Faces—Just in Time for Summer!

By Anita Lumpkin, Director of Education

Give clients bronzed skin

Summer is just around the corner, and clients are looking to you for smooth, flawless, vacation-ready skin. We all know that the sun is a huge factor in aging, but the beautiful glow of sun-kissed skin is more desirable than ever. Educating clients to protect their skin is still key, but don't miss the opportunity to offer a sunless glow in your spa or salon and then educate them on the use of a sunless tanner for face or bronzer to maintain that summer glow.

It's never been easier with the natural looking sunless tan formulas of today. Your clients really can have it all when you follow these tips:

1. Always use a professional grade product.

There are many sunless facial tanners available online and through big box retailers, but most of those products contain ingredients that can clog pores and leave a "muddy" appearance on the face. Use professional facial tanners in your services and have them available in smaller sizes to retail to your clients.

2. Cleanse and exfoliate before tanning.

After cleansing thoroughly to remove dirt and oils, a gentle exfoliator, like this cucumber bead cleanser, will lift dead skin cells and prepare the skin to absorb sunless tanner evenly.

3. Consider your options.

Consider your options. Consult with your clients to determine their goals, and then choose a product that best meets their needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Mature Skin: Fake Bake® The Face Self Tanning Lotion – This anti-aging self-tanner contains a combination of high quality ingredients to tan the face while providing a premium level of peptides that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Sensitive Skin: Fake Bake Platinum Face – Gentle, unique formula contains premium self-tanners plus the latest anti-aging ingredient—PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica—stem cells extracted from the rare Swiss apple Uttwiler Spätlauber.
  • Instant Color: Norvell® Bronzing 4-Faces with Instant Bronzers – This easy-to-apply, super fine self-tanning spray provides an immediate golden glow through instant cosmetic bronzers while developing a long-lasting golden tan beneath.
  • Organic Instant Color: Norvell Venetian 4-Faces with Instant Bronzers – An easy to apply, super-fine organic self-tanning spray formulated with Norvell's unique violet hue bronzers to provide the appearance of a deep, natural, sun-kissed radiance.
  • Acne Prone Skin: Norvell Clean Complexion Gradual Facial Tanner & Moisturizer – This daily sunless facial tanner gradually builds a healthy, natural glow while it nurtures delicate facial tissues, helps clear blemishes, and smooths skin.

4. Application is everything.

The key to a flawless sunless tan is in the application. Even the best products, if applied incorrectly, can end up looking like a disaster. When applying sunless tanner to the face, the correct procedure is to apply a small amount of product to your fingertip and apply in a circular motion, avoiding the eye area and areas around nose and mouth. Apply sunless tanner to the apples of the cheeks, along the jawline, and just slightly on the forehead, to achieve a natural, sun-kissed effect.

5. Protect clients and yourself.

Shield clients' hair from sunless tanner with either a facial cap or a headband. Wear gloves when applying sunless tanner or wash your hands immediately after to avoid staining. Use soap, scrubbing the fingertips and palms to remove all sunless tanning product.

6. Maintenance matters.

Just as with sunless tanner on the body, proper skin care and reapplication of the product will keep your client bronzed and beautiful all season. If possible, have your clients rebook at regular intervals and recommend retail products to maintain their tan between appointments. (All of the products mentioned above are appropriate for the treatment room and home.) Also, educate your clients, telling them to avoid facial cleansing towelettes, which can cause streaking.


Anita Lumpkin is the director of education for Universal Companies. She works at the Wellness & Beauty Learning Center in Torrance, California, where she offers fun, unique classes that cover a wide range of topics, including business and professional skills; advanced technique training for estheticians, massage therapists, and nail technicians; and protocol-centered workshops for on-trend services. Anita enjoys developing spa treatment protocols and helping spas create their service menus. She’s passionate about teaching and helping spa professionals boost their businesses.  

Universal Companies is proud to offer professional training and advanced education at our Wellness & Beauty Learning Center. Our customers can also take a class or read our articles online, where they can also shop the broadest selection of spa products and supplies. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we’re grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional’s Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Yearfor 12 consecutive years. (Thank you!)

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