What To Look For When Buying A Spray Tan Machine

Woman body paint instant tan spray skintone with airbrush in professional beauty salon on black background.

4 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Spray Tan Machine

Tanning features all sorts of benefits for your skin, from improving your mood to preventing you from burning up during the peak of summer. However, many still hesitate to get tanned because in contrast to these benefits are numerous health risks, mainly skin cancer and eye damage. Although there’s a high possibility these could only happen to improper tanning, it doesn’t remove the risk completely even when done in the right conditions.

Fortunately, those interested in tanning can still reap its benefits by trying out spray tans. Instead of exposing yourself to ultraviolet (UV) light for periods of time, all you’re supposed to do to get a spray tan is to let a professional spray a tan color solution on your skin, and that’s it. Because it’s risk-free, more people prefer this over UV or sun tanning. Hence, salons and tanning experts are looking for the proper equipment to satisfy their customers’ tanning needs.

Since you’re offering a spray tan service, the spray tan machine will be the heart of your operation. However, if this is your first time looking into spray tan machines, there are multiple factors you must consider before getting the first one you see. After all, your customers deserve the best tanning experience. And that can only happen once you have the right machine for the job.

  • Compressor

If the spray tan machine is the heart of your tanning services, its compressor is the heart of the machine. After all, the compressor is responsible for pushing the solution through the hose and spray gun. Therefore, it determines how the solution will be sprayed on the customer’s skin. For those who don’t know, there are three options when choosing a compressor: LVLP, HVLP, and airbrush.

From the get-go, low-volume, low-pressure (LVLP) compressors only use low pressure to push out the solution. Because of this, all it needs is a low volume of air, making it ideal for those whose skin types are sensitive or delicate with its gentle mist. Although, this is only recommended for personal use, given how slow its spraying is. On the other hand, high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) compressors feature settings that can change speed while maintaining a gentle mist.

Meanwhile, an airbrush is best for detail work since it’s small and only runs with an air pump compressor. Although you can take it anywhere for mobile tanning, it’s much more demanding skill-wise, considering you must master it before you can do proper detailing. 

  • Volume

Besides convenience, consider how many people will be tanned daily. After all, whether big or small, spray tan machines are still pieces of technology that are susceptible to wear if used too much. If you’re planning to include a spray tan machine in your salon, choose one that’s powerful enough to handle large volumes of usage, but it will most likely be a bigger piece of equipment, making it difficult to move around. 

If it’s for personal use—or you want to run a mobile tanning business—use a spray tan machine that’s lightweight and portable. Naturally, some limitations would be set in place, like slow spraying time. But considering there’s no line waiting, you don’t have to worry about the speed that much.

  • Preferences

On the surface, tanning seems like the expert is only coating their client with a solution, and that’s it. What others don’t know is there’s a variety of options available for the client to choose from. They don’t have to stick to only one, considering everyone has different skin types. Some prefer a thick application, so having a spray nozzle that you can adjust will help meet every single one of your client’s preferences. 

As for solutions, clients also have a variety of solutions they can choose from, ranging from thin to heavy solutions. Thin solutions are much more appropriate for personal use or mobile tanning services since they’re not too demanding on the compressor. On the flip side, you’ll need a strong, heavy-duty compressor to push out thick solutions and tan clients without losing momentum.

  • Decibels

Considering its inner workings, spray tan machines—especially ones with HVLP compressors—often get noisy as they work. Naturally, this might not look like an issue compared to other factors. However, the machine’s noise could affect the client-professional relationship you want to build. Can you communicate with the client without raising your voice? Do you get headaches easily from loud noises? Fortunately, spray tan machines have a decibel rating you can check.



Starting a spray tanning business is an excellent strategy, considering its growing popularity among the tanning community. But be that as it may, this can only be successful as long as the right equipment is used. Therefore, you must consider these factors when choosing your main equipment, the spray tan machine.


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