Tanning occurs when the skin produces pigment to protect itself from UV rays and permanent skin damage. In airbrush tanning, the tanning solution is applied by a technician using a compressor and airbrush. These tanning solutions contain the active ingredient DHA that reacts with the outer layer of skin to produce a bronzing effect, similar to what a traditional tan does. It must be emphasized that the pigments resulting from an airbrush tan do not provide UV protection. For most solutions, the color of the skin will continue to darken after the initial application, and the maximum color is reached within about a 12 hour period (exactly what to expect from a particular tanning solution will be specified on the website and/or the solution directions). Typical solutions also have a bronzer that provides an immediate tan effect and helps the technician to distinguish areas of the skin that have solution already applied. The majority of this bronzer will be washed off when showering after application.