Be your own
kind of beautiful

You Asked, We Answered: A Tanning Expert Answers All Your Questions on Sunless Tanning


It has been a long, cold, sunless season, and as the warm weather comes out, so does our swimwear and warm-weather wardrobe. So we’re gearing up to achieve a sun-kissed glow before the sun comes out. Whether you’re opting for at-home treatments or indulging in a professional spray tan, there are so many options to attain that desired bronzed look. It can be overwhelming and hard to achieve the perfect sunless tan, so we spoke to Molly’s tanning guru, Alexandra DiMarchi, to get all the deets. The proof is in the pictures, ladies…

From application techniques to product recommendations and maintenance tips, our expert is here to provide comprehensive guidance to ensure your faux tan experience is nothing short of flawless. Say hello to a radiant, sun-kissed complexion.

Q: What are some benefits of sunless tanning?

“Sunless tanning includes spray tans and at-home tanning. These methods have great health and skincare benefits. The chances of getting skin cancer are high, with suntanning and tanning beds also causing a lot of premature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines, so it’s not good for your skin. Sunless tanning is such a better alternative because you’re protecting your skin from harm, while also being able to use products that have ingredients that help with things such as anti-aging and hydration. You’re also able to fully customize your color. You can go for a slight glow in the Winter that just makes you feel a little bit better, or when it’s summertime, you can go for a tan look that looks like you’ve been on vacation. Sunless tanning is so convenient! Who even has the time to go outside and tan for 4-5 hours?”

Q: Should people with sensitive skin avoid using sunless tanning products?

“Not necessarily. I think if someone has super sensitive skin, they should test it out first- the same way they would with any type of skin care product. So maybe put a little bit like on your neck or your leg and see how your skin reacts to it. If someone is sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients, I always recommend that they check out the ingredients and make sure it’s fine for their skin. Sometimes I’ll send clients the ingredient list and ask if they’re aware of any of the ingredients causing irritation. They’re normally able to pinpoint what bothers their skin. Checking ingredients applies to literally everything you put on your body from makeup and skin products to even hair products.”

Q: What should you do before getting a spray tan or self-tanning?

“Shower to get any of the possible products or residue off your body. Don’t apply any products to your skin after your shower. Exfoliate (to remove dead skin) and shave prior to a spray tan, so you have a smooth canvas before you apply the self-tanner. This will make your tan last longer. Rinse with cool water to close pores. Make sure your self-tanning application or your spray tan is the last beauty service that you do. Get your massage, hair, facial, makeup, nails, etc… done beforehand. That way, nothing interferes with the development of your tan.”

Q: What should you do after getting a spray tan or self tanning?

“After your tan, wear loose clothing until after you rinse. If tanning at night use dark sheets or a towel to prevent transfer. Rinse off 6-8 hours later with slightly warm water, no soap – do not wash face, hair or body. Pat with a towel and do not apply lotion for at least 5 hours. Avoid super hot showers. Avoid saunas, hot yoga, pilates, and excessive sweating because that’ll make your tan fade faster. If you’re getting your tan for a special occasion, just wait until after. Hydrate your skin as much as possible. The more hydrated your skin is, the more evenly your tan is going to fade.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone trying to self tan for the first time?

“Common mistakes people make include choosing the wrong color, rushing the process, over-applying, wearing deodorant, showering too soon, and having wet hair. Avoid these by allowing ample time, applying one light layer, and ensuring a dry, residue-free surface. For someone who is trying a self tanner for the first time, less is more. I consistently suggest that beginners start their tanning journey with a gradual self-tanning lotion due to its ease of application, allowing them to progressively achieve their desired tan. Once they learn what formulations and techniques work best for them, then they can play around with darker shades. One shade does not fit all when it comes to self-tanning, so try to choose a shade within your natural tone. Try to watch a lot of application videos to learn. With self tanning, if you mess it up, you cant’t instantly fix it, it takes time to fade.”

Q. What do you love most about your work?

“I love making people feel the way they do after tanning. Spray tanning gives you such a nice glow.  The confidence that a spray tan gives is incomparable to any other beauty services. Like, you know, when you get your hair and makeup done, it looks good for a couple hours. But after you get a tan, you get to reap the benefits of that confidence for like seven days. I also love when people reach out to me and tell me how much better they felt in their outfit because of their tan, or how their tan completed their look. I love how clients enjoy it.”

“Whether a client needs a darker, more noticeable look, or a glow treatment to enhance their natural complexion, an Airbrush by Alexandra is the final step in achieving a tan which is noticed by all, but suspected by none.”

Alexandra DiMarchi got her start working in beauty working at a Salon & Spa and then as a makeup artist. She pursued her passion at FIDM, expanding on her knowledge of everything beauty. She launched Airbrush by Alexandra and is now known to be one of the industry’s top tanning artists. Her work has graced the pages of Vogue, Allure, Rolling Stone, and Playboy, as well as adorned celebrities at prestigious events like the Oscars, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and BET Awards. 

**To inquire about bookings and rates, please reach out via email with the date and time request to


Alexandra’s Go-To Self Tanning Products:

Other Bronzing Products We Love:



Sign up for my newsletter and get tips on makeup, skincare, motherhood, and the secret to a perfect Paloma. xx molly