Reviewers say Mystic Tan UV-Free Spray-On Tanning, offered at tanning salons nationwide, is a great alternative to professional airbrush tans because it provides even coverage at a more affordable price. The service features an automated booth that sprays tanning solution evenly over the entire body, offering a more private setting than professional airbrushing. The latest models (Mystic Tan HD) offer heated booths, patented technology that attracts tanning solution to every exposed surface of skin and four levels of tanning: Build Glow (hint of color), Build Light, Build Medium and Build Dark. Users at MakeupAlley.com say that tans last for five to seven days -- the downside is that it can cost more to maintain.
Consumers at MakeupAlley.com say Mystic Tan provides a quick, easy and goof-proof tan. The trick is you have to pick the right shade -- don't go too much darker than your natural skin tone -- and you must follow Mystic Tan instructions. As with all sunless tanners, it's important to exfoliate before self tanning for a more even and natural tan that lasts longer. Guidelines for Mystic Tan also recommend using a barrier cream (like Vaseline) on your hands, feet, elbows and knees. Use more of the gooey stuff than you think you need in order to avoid orange palms and uneven coloring on your joints, users say.
After the tanning session, experts say it's important to avoid water and sweat for at least six hours. Doing so will ensure a streak-free tan. Although most reviewers are pleased with the even, natural color produced by Mystic Tan, there are a lot of users who have had bad experiences. For that reason, most reviewers recommend testing Mystic Tan at least two weeks before any important events. Like all sunless-tanning products, results with Mystic Tan may vary from one consumer to the next because of different skin tones and overall skin condition.
Several reviewers comment on how shockingly cold Mystic Tan spray is. Many claim that they were unprepared for the shock of being in an enclosed space with cold tanning solution spraying everywhere around them, including their faces. Fortunately, the latest Mystic Tan model aims to make spray tanning a more comfortable experience. Mystic Tan booths are now equipped with a heater and warm air is continuously blown in order to keep users comfortable and dry. Although the automated booth dries the skin almost completely, some users say that the formula still feels a bit sticky until it is fully absorbed.
Like all sunless tanners, we found several complaints about Mystic Tan's odor. The odor is caused by a chemical reaction between the tanning ingredients and skin. Mystic Tan HD color cartridges can be customized with one of several fragrance options to help mask the smell.
The Mystic Tan experience includes a warm air drying feature after every pass of tanning spray (there are four). The warm air ensures that skin is almost completely dry when the tanning session is over. Manufacturers say you can get dressed immediately, but some reviewers say it takes a couple minutes longer before you are completely dry.
We found several users who claim to rely on Mystic Tan for special events when they need fast, full-body results. Many pay for the service at the beginning of spring or summer and then maintain the color with an at-home self tanner. Others just like the convenience of Mystic Tan and are willing to pay more money for less hassle. Most salons sell packages that include multiple visits for a better value.
Mystic Tan UV-Free Spray-On Tanning isn't reviewed as often as other sunless tanners but it bridges the gap between do-it-yourself formulas and professional airbrush tanning services. Mystic Tan continues to have a strong following of happy users because the results can't easily be replicated by other products. For this reason, we chose it as a Best Reviewed product.
Consumers posting to MakeupAlley.com give Mystic Tan 3.5 out of 5 stars, saying the booth spray-on tan provides good color at a relatively low price. One reviewer, a salon employee, shares helpful tips to get the best results.
Review: Mystic Tan, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
Blogger "Michelle" tries out Mystic Tan when she needs fast results for a wedding. Overall she is pleased with the outcome and recommends the spray tan, especially for special occasions.
Review: My Review of the Mystic Tan Booth, "Michelle", May 29, 2011
About.com's skin care guide, Jen Adkins, is critical of Mystic Tan, saying it doesn't always turn out as expected. Her tan looked fake, and she said that the whole process made her feel claustrophobic. On the plus side, it is very easy to use and it provides streak-free results. Readers also weigh in with their opinions -- the majority of which are much more favorable. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Mystic Tan Review, Jen Adkins
A dermatologist recommends Mystic Tan as a healthier alternative to tanning beds and sun tanning. He says that it is easy to use and provides a natural-looking tan.
Review: Mystic Tan, "BensonDerm", May 24, 2008
After trying a handful of sunless-tanning methods, writer Kim Forrest says Mystic Tan is the easiest. She details the process of getting the salon booth tan and recommends exfoliating before tanning for the best results.
Review: Sunless Tanning, Kim Forrest, July 1, 2006