Green, yellow and violet based tans? What are they and what’s the difference?

Spray and at home fake tanning has been around for years and years, and in the beginning it was not as popular as it is today. Most likely because the common colour tone was more a yellowish, jaundice-orangey glow rather than a realistic one. Back then there was only one brand I trusted and it was St. Tropez. It was the first brand to add a green base into the tan to give a more realistic glow. Most other tans on the market had little to no base and that’s why there were so many Oompa Loompa’s running around.

Understanding tans.
Some people who know their tans very well might think an ingredient (often shown in percentages %8/10/14) is what gives you that gorgeous colour. Well it’s not. Colour bases are put in to give the natural glow and sensational colour. That ingredient seen as a percentage is known as DHA!


What is DHA? 

DHA or dihydroxyacetone is what converts you from pasty princess into bronzed bombshell. It’s activated by the natural amino acids in the stratum corneum (top layer of skin). The higher the percentage of DHA the darker you’ll go. So to counteract this natural chemical change of orange/yellow to the skin coloured bases are added.

Why green and violet? 
These bases are seen as the instant bronze effect you get prior to the tan developing.  Green bases were added to make the tan come out a more natural and muddy look prior to showering. So if you ever go to the toilet after your spray tan and notice a green ring on the seat you can be sure it’s a green base. However, for some who need it darker than others because they naturally have a more olive complexion, may need a violet base. Violet tans give a more blue-purple colour on your toilet seat. What they actually do is counteract the different natural chemical change the DHA gives to those with darker skin tones.
Tan companies saw that if you were blessed with naturally dark gorgeous skin and you overdid it on the DHA% that you almost had a greenish tinge to your glow. But, in my experience this is only before you shower. So companies invented the violet base.

How do you pick what’s right for you? 

Tan strength or DHA% and now base colour should be decided on your undertone. So if your pasty white and have a pink tone to your skin your cool! If your a little darker and have a yellow undertone your warm babe!


Little tip: you should use this to find your right foundation and concealer colour. Not everyone can pull off the banana yellow concealer Kim K does! 

In my experience of being a spray tan consumer since Y2K and my experience as a spray tan professional; I don’t really see the need for violet based spray tans. Its a genius way for companies to make more money. Word on the beauty street is that beauty therapists are still opting for the green base as the largest stock in their tan room as it suits everybody where as violet suits very few. This is because most people who would actually require a violet base are naturally dark and don’t really come in for spray tans. In my professional opinion green base looks great on everybody. But, I’m saying this as I’m still a massive fan on St. Tropez. It works great on all skin tones and doesn’t leave your toilet seat with a green ring. The colour is the best and it hasn’t been beaten yet. It is also the most expensive tanning solution to buy because it’s the worlds No.1.

If your looking for a cheaper alternative and a close 2nd then try Melbourne made Summer Tan. It’s almost as good as St. Tropez except it has added bronzer which can be a little too much for newbies to handle. This bronzer washes away when you shower and your left a goddess. I think the developed colour is just as gorgeous as St. Tropez.

I always say don’t knock it till you try it and I think if you haven’t given violet a go, you should try it out for yourself. Always remember sun baking is risky to your health so opt for fake whenever possible!

Until next time stay bronzed and beautiful



First image- unknown. Second image- my own. Taken right after a st. Tropez spray. Third image Fourth image- Mancine (makers of summer tan).


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