Sunny Days Ahead for the Airbrush Tan Segment
Posted February 26, 2019

Paul Langston

Projections for growth in the self-tanning and professional airbrush tanning sector (also known as faux tanning) are indeed exciting. Over the next 10 years, a 5.3% compound annual global growth rate and a USD$5.5 billion market are forecast. This makes the sector one of the fastest growing segments in the beauty industry. What’s driving this explosive growth?

In Western society, in particular, bronzed skin is associated with holiday travel and higher socioeconomic status. Surveys have also found respondents universally rate tanned people as more attractive. Furthermore, there are studies wherein people have defined sun tanning and faux tanning as mood enhancing. This combination of cultural and societal realities is fostering strong demand for bronzers and faux-tanning products/services.

Health concerns are importantly impacting the adoption and growth of self-tanners and airbrush services. The global incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers has been proven to be directly related to repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays (sun; tanning beds). People are aware of this relationship and are changing their behaviours and attitudes accordingly. But did you know that in the U.S. alone, nearly five million people are treated annually for some type of skin cancer. And in Australia, the capital of sun-worshiping globally, statistics show about two in three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70. Perhaps an even more astonishing statistic, is that there are now more new skin cancer cases each year than breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer combined. Worrisome facts like these are a big reason why people are turning to ultraviolet-free measures to get that “sun-kissed” look.

Convenience and efficacy are also creating momentum in the marketplace for faux tanning. A self-applied tan can be done easily and effectively in the convenience of your home. A professional airbrush tan takes less than 30 minutes, also offers the added advantage of looking great immediately and all without the fear of transfer to clothing. And for those who have ultra-fair skin, a sun-kissed glow is now a possibility. As a result, the demand for high quality self-tanning products and professional services is gaining new advocates.

Another factor that may be contributing to the exciting growth in the faux tan market is climate and hours of sunlight. In Canada the growth in sunless/non-UV tanning is paralleling what is being realized elsewhere around the globe, especially in northerly geographies, such as the UK and Northern Europe where faux tanning is a huge industry. This is likely the result of similarly low hours of sunshine annually which of course impacts a person's ability to reliably realize a natural tan and from a psychological perspective, get that mood boost.

On the Canadian east coast, where the average hours of sunshine per year is around 1600 (interestingly almost identical to the UK statistic), Maritimers are proving to be serious self-tanners and airbrush tan lovers. And in Quebec, where the average heures de soleil is 1800, women and men alike are embracing faux-tanning with vigour. In fact, the Québec market is unique in that the demand for dark or extra dark self-tanners and airbrush mists is much higher, relative to other provinces.

In Ontario, where the average hours of sunshine is around 1900 per year (it ranges from 1700 in Western Ontario to 2,000 in the Ottawa area), salons and mobilers, as well as retailers are realizing fabulous growth in faux tanning product sales and services. The market that is least penetrated in Canada is the prairies, where you guessed it, the average amount of sunshine per year is a “brilliant” 2,300 hours! Regardless of the region, Canadians are self-tanning and procuring professional services at an ever-increasing rate.

Whatever the reason(s) behind the burgeoning demand for self-tan products and professional services, this is an exciting sector and one that should not be ignored. Not only is the market growth rate a compelling reason to get on-board but the economic prospects, particularly as relates to professional services, are indeed bright. Sunny days await those who act. Let us show you how!

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