What is the difference between rapid and standard solution?

One of the most common questions I get asked being a spray tan artist is, “What is the difference between rapid and standard solution?”. First of all, you may have heard rapid or express, they are the same thing. I just prefer to call it rapid, but you will see it called express by other spray tanners or other self tanners as well. There is a huge difference between rapid and standard solution, understanding that difference is going to give you the best fake tan possible.

Rapid/Express Solution

  1. You are in control of how dark your tan gets, it goes by how long you keep the product on your body - 2 hours is light, 3 hours is medium and 4 hours is dark.
  2. You never keep on a rapid solution for longer than 4 hours, if you do you risk your sunless tan turning “orange”.
  3. It has a higher DHA level (DHA is what makes you tan) than any other fake tan product.
  4. At your first shower, you are only rinsing off the bronzer (what you see makes you tan right away), the fake tan still takes 24 hours to fully develop. It is normal to not feel very tan at your first shower, you will keep getting darker.
  5. This solution is perfect if you are fake tanning during the day or early evening, as you must shower at the four hour mark no matter what.

Standard Solution

  1. A standard solution will come in different shades - light, medium and dark. If you aren’t sure what shade to go with, always choose medium. A medium self tanner is the perfect shade to start at for any skin tone, you can also add another coat on top of your first layer the next day if you want to be darker. 
  2. With every standard solution you rinse off in a minimum of 8 hours (you can keep it on longer than 8 hours). The fake tan will still take 24 hours to be fully developed. 
  3. This solution is best if you are fake tanning at night, you just sleep in it and shower in the morning. You do not need to worry about it getting on your sheets if you are using the Sunless Rae Self Tan Mousse or going to a spray tan artist that uses drying powder/finishing powder. A drying powder/finishing powder gets rid of the sticky feeling you have after a spray tan and stops the transfer onto your clothes and sheets.

The biggest thing to think about when picking which solution you want to use is what are you doing today? How long can I keep this solution on without needing to sweat or do anything with water? While your fake tan is “marinating” (marinating means how long the tan has to stay on before your first shower) you cannot do anything that will make you sweat, wear tight clothes, or do anything with water. Not being able to do anything with water means - no dishes, laundry, washing hands (use hand sanitizer), giving your kids a bath, etc. So, think about what you are going to be doing in a 4 hour span and an 8 hour span when deciding if you want to use a rapid self tan/spray tan or a standard self tan/spray tan. 

I always recommend the standard solution when applying self tan mousse or getting a spray tan because it is the easiest. You just go to sleep and don’t have to worry about a specific time when you need to shower and you know you aren’t going to sweat or do anything with water. 
I hope this helps your self tan and spray tan game! I know it can be confusing, but after reading this you should feel comfortable with what option you should choose.


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