Patchy tan help!



I did a spray tan on a friend last night and she's messaged me this morning saying that her tan is patchy. She's described it as - lines on her arms and legs where there's no tan and her chest being lighter than anywhere else.

I'm Level 3 Sienna X trained and fairly experienced and I've never done a patchy tan or had a complaint. I've checked my machine and it's working fine and I checked my work after doing the tan and saw no problems. She said she followed all prep and aftercare advice. I've asked for pictures which she will send me on lunch break.

I understand that her chest might be lighter due to her own skin so I'm not too worried about that but the lines on her arms and legs are really stressing me out. I was never taught how to rectify a problem with a tan (tbh I didn't really rate Sienna X training after level 1) so I have no idea what to do in this situation. I also don't have any 8% Sienna X solution left to respray and I have my 1 year old and no car today and my nearest supplier is 25 miles away so I can't go get some. I was testing Nouvatan so I only have that brand atm.

Please someone help me! I'm a very upset, pregnant lady who is freaking out!


Thanks for replying! The lighting wasn’t amazing but nothing worse than I’ve worked in before - just general small room lighting.

She’s on medication for acne but it’s topical and she only applys it to her face.

Thanks a lot

The pictures she sends might help but there are only two posibilites, either it did not go on right or it did not stay on right.

If it did not go on right then hopefully you would have picked up on that from the guide colour but Terrinew is absolutly right in that it is very easy to go onto autopilot and miss bits or not notice a run, particularly if the lighting is not good and you have other things on your mind. If that is the case then a second application would do far more good than harm as the bits of the skin that have already reacted with the DHA will not do so again and any bits that were missed will. In practice the bits that were tanned anyway will (should) get a little darker and the bits that were not will go more so and the whole thing will even out.

If you are adament that the tan went on right in the first place then it must have not stayed on right. We have all been told not to spray someone who is on HRT or is in the first trimester of pregnency so I dont know what would happen if she was pregnant and didnt realise...

More likely though, sometimes clients do not want to own up to somthing, be it a medical issue or something like forgetting not to use cosmetics before going for a tan. Clearly it would be wrong to say 'because I dont know why it happened it must be all your fault'. If it was that they had left some moisturiser on then respraying them when they have got rid of it would again help but if it is due to changes in the skin (i am presuming if she has acne then menopause is unlikely)... you know even then I would re-spray her because althgouh there is a slim chance it might make it a little worse the tan will be almost gone in a week so it is not as though you are risking perminany disfigurement.

Amazon have some tanning solutions (not necerrarily the brand you want) that you can get next day delivery on.


Thanks for your reply. She said she’s too busy at work to send pictures though she’s texting me every 30 mins at the minute so I’m not really sure what up there. Anyway. She’s coming to mine tonight and I’m going to use my ring light I have for makeup to make sure I can see every speck of tan!

I have nouvatan 8% I just don’t have sienna X which is what I used on her so I’ll just have to use that.

She’s now saying that she’s probably making a big deal out of it and I won’t think it’s too bad so I’m thinking it won’t be as bad as I initially pictured and will fix with a quick spray over the whiter areas whatever they will be.

Thanks for your replies guys, very helpful!

I forgot to mention that it is more than possible that she got changed before the tan was dry and it rubbed off on her clothes


Just to update - she came to mine tonight to be respirated. There were about 4/5 line on her knee which weren’t spray streaks but marks from bad prep or aftercare (or possibly just bad luck and skin type). Her arms were slightly paler underneath near her underarms which could have been for a number or reasons but it wasn’t bad at all.

Anyway, re-sprayed for free to make sure I had a happy customer and explained it could make it worse etc beforehand but it’s winter anyway so she won’t be having her legs out so she didn’t mind.

Thanks for your help guys!


Re sprayed *

so all's well that ends well.

I presume all is well? We never really did get to the bottom of it, do you know if the second tan worked ok?


Second tan worked perfectly and covered all areas she was concerned about. After talking to her again she suddenly remembered that her dog jumped up her leg after her first tan *massive eye roll*. Anyway, a happy customer is really all I’m concerned about.

Could she havs showered with a purfumed shower gel or moisturiser that day?
Hormones also can effect tans massively espesh round time of month and in pregnancy ive sprayed a few ladies who didnt know they were preganant and didnt know why the tan wasnt taking

I also didint change colour in my preganancy!

Did u spray over an existing tan ? As this will cause stripping especially around the chest area