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New First Street Business Tans Clients Without Aging the Skin

Skin care and spray tanning helps clients keep a youthful look.

The first thing you notice when entering  Golden Reef Boutique and Body Spa at 555 First Street in downtown Benicia is the tropical beach atmosphere.

“I had one customer say, ‘I just really feel like I’m on vacation when I’m in here,’” said the spa’s owner, 1996 Benicia High School graduate Natalie Mortensen.  “Everything in here is going to be fruity and tropical and organic as much as possible.”

Golden Reef has two back rooms, the spa room where “we do the body work” and the surfer girl room where the spray tan booth is located.  Men are allowed in the surfer girl room for their spray tans.

“Our signature treatment in the spa room is the aroma therapy steam canopy and body detox treatment,” said Mortensen. 

According to Mortensen, the therapy is designed to rid the body of toxins and has the added benefit of helping women lose water weight and aids in cellulite reduction as well.

Mortensen lights up when she talks about the spray tanning work she does at the spa and, if clients prefer, at private homes.  “You make people feel happy,” she said. 

According to Mortensen, a spray tan isn’t a stain but a derivative of sugar molecules that reacts with amino acids in dead skin cells causing the cells to turn brown.  The tans last five to 10 days depending on how fast a body sheds the skin- a never ending process in humans.

Mortensen, an esthetician by training, works one day a week at a medical office where she does advanced skin care.  Golden Reef is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and by appointment.  Mortensen encourages her clients to book their appointments online.

Mortensen took two years off from her skin care work to learn the art of spray tanning.  She particularly likes working with wedding parties.  “Everybody laughs and has a good time,” said Mortensen.  “When I’m finished everyone looks like they just got back from Tahiti.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

Shannon Washington October 10, 2012 at 05:02 PM
This is a great business! Natalie does a really good job. Sun exposure is not an option for me, so spray tanning is a treat! I can't wait to try the body treatments as well!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" October 10, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I think I will get a tan!!!
Insider October 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Being a new business, better to stick with the positive (deleted my prior comments) and I agree, better than direct sun Shannon.
Kenny October 11, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Since it is a form of paint, it just might work.
Babaloo October 11, 2012 at 03:46 AM
i knew you were faking it,,opportunist........ welcome,,enjoy,,,thanks for coming to town...
Natalie Mortensen October 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Direct Sun is actually good for you in moderation. In fact it can help with acne! We need the sun for our good well balanced health. Its how we absorb Vitamin D which is so important to our bodies. Prolonged exposure without sunscreen is what is bad. In life moderation for all things is always better. What we offer is so much more than just a better option to the sun. Many people can not tan even if they tried or can't seem to get an even tan. Or they just don't have time to even out. We tan people of all backgrounds and colors from milky white to dark toned athletes and performers. Anyone who suffers from a bad farmers tan no matter what color they are, can relate to wanting to be even when they know they are going to be in a bathing suit. I personally love being out doors and in the sun. That's one of the reason I choose to have a tropical beach theme. I want it to feel sunny and welcoming as you walk in. @ Kenny, its not paint at all, but I do use a HVLP paint gun! It's a really neat and quite amazing process to watch. Thank you for all the nice comments everyone. I hope you all stop by and see the new biz! ~Natalie Owner @ Golden Reef

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