Kicking off my first monthly wellness spotlight with Danielle Faretra of Aglow! If you’re local to the Merrimack Valley, perhaps you’ve heard of this new airbrush tanning studio and have already fallen in love with its wellness mission, clean products and chic branding. Maybe you’ve come across news of this beauty hot spot or have followed its savvy business owner, Danielle, on social media channels like Instagram. However your awareness, now is the time to head over to see what the buzz is all about!
Opened in August 2019 in North Andover, Danielle has since experienced an amazing welcome from both local area clients and businesses. Not only does her studio offer a warm and inviting space for women to explore their self confidence but it also prioritizes the utmost levels of comfort for her clients. From personal airbrush rooms, to a private consultation area and Danielle’s own kind and supportive nature, Aglow North Andover has become a destination for female driven empowerment and community.
Ribbon cutting ceremony, Aglow North Andover.
A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
For decades, it’s been widely recognized that tanning beds and booths generate ultraviolet (UV) damage to our skin. Some damage is so severe that it leads to the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, which is one of the most common types of cancer among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Between sun exposure, insufficient sunscreen usage and artificial UV tanning, the damaging and sometimes deadly results have created a major public health problem. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 90% of melanomas are caused by UV exposure and cases of this deadly cancer have been forecasted to continue their rise.
While knowledge of the dangers of indoor tanning have been public for many years, there still remain pockets of our community – most notably teens and those in their 20s – who still rely on tanning beds and booths to meet their tanning goals. And because of this persistent lack of awareness it’s been reported that there are more worldwide cases of skin cancer due to tanning beds than lung cancer due to smoking. So, what can we do about this public health issue and how can we educate our youth on the serious dangers of indoor tanning?
A BETTER OPTION FOR A HEALTHY GLOW
This is where the benefits of sunless tanners can make a big impact on public health. And, no, this isn’t the fake sun kissed effect we all remember from the 90s. We know that the love of a beautiful glow won’t go away any time soon so, in the interest of wellness, it makes sense to explore the next best thing: airbrush tanning. There have been many advancements in the sunless tanning industry including formula adjustments to avoid that tell tale orange hue and enhanced airbrush techniques to ensure a more even application.
But how do they work and are they safe? The most common ingredient in sunless tanners is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which is a carbohydrate extracted from the sugars found in beets, rapeseed or sugar cane. As DHA interacts with the amino acids in skin, it triggers a darkening effect resulting in a tanned appearance. This effect, known as the result of a Maillard reaction, can produce different tones of coloration from yellow to brown.
So, in the context of conventional UV tanning beds and booths, an airbrushed tan is a smart option for that sun kissed glow. Not only will you salvage your skin and protect it from aging while lowering skin cancer risk but the main ingredient, DHA, is FDA approved. Important to note, however, that it’s only approved for topical use on non mucous membranes so be sure to protect your eyes, lips and nose. Some studios may offer such protection but it’s always a smart decision to prepare ahead of time and bring your own.
HOW AGLOW SETS ITSELF APART
Aglow is a franchised airbrush studio with a boutique feel and modern values. The founder and its owners focus on providing a comfortable space and clean products for their clients. Kara Erb, who opened the first location, had her own skin related health crisis which led her to develop the model for Aglow and its related products and services.
Because Aglow was founded on the principles of wellness and empowerment, these airbrush studios emphasize clean ingredients alongside a supportive female community. Some of the notable characteristics of Aglow’s airbrush solution include its gluten, paraben and fragrance free ingredients.
Aglow’s proprietary airbrush solution also contains a berry called erythrulose. This berry derived sugar extract adds a reddish hue to the skin using a similar chemical reaction as DHA. In additon, when DHA and eurythrolose are combined they synergistically yield a beautiful, long lasting violet hued tan. Eurythrolose develops at a slower rate than DHA, resulting in deeper hydration compared to a pure DHA solution. This combination results in a longer lasting tan that fades more evenly.
For all of these reasons, Danielle felt compelled to open her own studio this past summer. As a former part time technician, she saw others “light up and feel confident” each time she helped a client. It was this connection and result that resonated so powerfully that she completely shifted her own full time career from product development to entrepreneur.
In addition, Danielle also embraces a vegan lifestyle and garners a significant following in her Director level Beautycounter business. She truly is a picture of good health, and it’s clear that her focus on women’s empowerment and wellness extends beyond her own goals to impact many others around her.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT AIRBRUSHING
Now that you’re ready to hit the airbrush studio, let’s take a closer look a what it takes to achieve a gorgeous airbrushed tan. According to Danielle, it’s a good idea to exfoliate 1-2 days prior to application. You can use a dry brush, an exfoliating cream or shop Aglow to pick up an exfoliating mit. For day of preparation, be sure to avoid all oils, moisturizers, makeup and deodorant (the aluminum in mainstream deodorant products will turn your underarms green). These are both important steps to ensure the solution activates appropriately with your skin, delivering best results of evenness and length of tan.
Wear flip flops and loose, dark clothing but don’t worry, if you find solution on your clothes it will eventually wash away. It’s worth it to mention again that proper eye, nose and lip protection is smart to consider. In addition, avoid inhaling the misted solution as this can cause irritation or dizziness.
After your airbrushed tan has completely dried, be sure to apply generous amounts of sunscreen especially if you plan to be outdoors. Research has shown that the combination of DHA and UV light can increase free radical activity. You will also want to moisturize everyday to ensure a long lasting, even tan. Aglow offers a beautifully packaged, high quality buttercream, self tanner and application mit to support your glow long after you leave the studio.
Aglow was founded in 2011 by business woman Kara Erb. What began as a single studio in Bedford, MA over the years has expanded into 5 self owned and 6 franchised locations around Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. With more than 30,000 clients, Aglow has delivered on its mission to build confidence and beauty without harsh chemicals or UV damage. To read more about Aglow, its services, its products or to book an appointment near you, visit Aglow online today.