Bronzer Guides

We know that the % of DHA determines the outcome color of our tan, so why are there so many different color bronzer guides out there? Green based, violet based…. even “clear” solutions have dyes in them.

For the answer to this, I looked at two things- why different bases- green, red, brown, violet-  produce different looking tans despite all being the same DHA.

Here’s the deal.

You have to choose both a great bronzer guide AND the correct DHA.

Think about dyeing Easter eggs( sorry non Christian spray tanners out there-I don’t mean to discriminate) I use this as an example because many of the bronzer guides have literally the same dyes in them as Easter egg dye, and it’s easy to think of the skin as a shell, right?

How cool are these!




The more concentrated the dye, the more effect it will have on the “shell”.

And when you mix all those dyes together, they turn….yep, brown, like a tan.

And we know that the brown east egg can vary based on how much of each dye we used, so it can be a yellow brown, a violet brown, or a green brown color. I know. Mind blown.

Apply that to the cosmetic color wheel- in VERY simple terms, green will blur red tones in the skin, for example, and you have the reason bronzer guides are different.

Want to get deep in this?

A great article on this : COLOR WHEEL FACTS

And a beautiful image and article via TOMMY BEAUTY PRO


You may wash the bronzer off, but like Easter egg dye, they leave a more temporary color on the skin along with the DHA. Makes sense, right?

This is another reason for the long set times in some solutions. Yes, it takes the DHA an average of 8 hours to develop, but it also means that bronzer guide has 8 hours to sit on your skin, much like soaking an Easter egg for a brighter hue. This is also accomplished by using greater concentrations of the colors.

Custom mixes are combining DHA%’s, sure, but they are also combining bronzer dye, which is really cool and can have beautiful results when the mix meets the skin tone it’s meant for.

We have also all made that sad, ugly looking Easter egg when we went too far with color application. It happens.

Hopefully this analogy was helpful, and you are getting a better sense of why bases are different and why that actually does matter so much in outcome.

Personally, I am a green base and violet base devotee, but I know that the overall solution has to be made well so my client or myself doesn’t look like a cheetoo or, if we summon my last horrible tanning solution test out- jaundice,  after day 3- you get how that happens now, right?!!

You have to choose both a great bronzer guide AND the correct DHA.Why don’t they just say that when we buy the solution.

I’m saying it now.

How about you? What’s your favorite mix and why and on who? -M

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