Shower After Tanning: Do You Have to Wait?

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Are you taking a shower after tanning? Can you take one, and how long should you wait to shower after using a tanning bed?

This is somewhat unclear for most tanners. Many are unsure about showering after tanning. Therefore, in this article, we will talk about the answers to these questions and more. We will also discuss the pros and cons of showering after tanning.

Shower After Tanning

Showering after tanning is fine. But how long do you have to wait to shower after tanning? The answer to this question depends on the tanning method:

  • If you are using a tanning bed and not applying tanning lotion, you don’t need to wait before you can shower. You can start right away and enjoy the water.
  • On the other hand, if you apply tanning lotions in a tanning bed, you need to wait at least two hours before you can shower. If you had a spray tanning treatment to get a tan, you need to wait 4 to 5 hours before you can take a shower.
  • If you had a spray tan treatment with suntan lotion, the waiting time is at least eight hours.

You might be also interested to learn whether a self-tanner comes off when you swim.

Does Showering Removes Your Tan?

No, it doesn’t. The skin tan you obtain from your tanning session does not fade. The golden skin tone is the result of the natural pigment melanin.

Melanocytes are activated when your skin is exposed to UV rays, producing melanin. You may not see the darkening of your skin immediately. It usually takes 24 hours to see a difference in your skin color.

However, the natural process of hyperpigmentation is waterproof, and a simple shower will not remove it.

There are some exceptions to the rule that allow you to take a shower immediately after tanning.

If you used a tanning lotion after your session in the tanning bed, you must wait at least two to three hours before showering. During this time, the product can work all the time and give you a fantastic tan.

Can Showering Fade Your Spray Tanning?

Yes, it can make your tan fade. This time, the tanning effect is artificial.

If you have not exposed yourself to UV rays or sunlight, only resort to spray tanning methods, your skin will not produce any natural pigmentation.

Bronzers and similar tanning products only work on the surface of the skin, as opposed to the naturally produced melanin.

Tanning lotions can produce a golden tan on the skin, but it is only superficial. It is temporary and washes off easily.

So if you shower shortly after applying a tanning lotion or spray tan treatment, the artificial tan will fade.

Showering immediately after tanning can lead to poor results and uneven streaks.

To get the best results from your spray tan, you should wait at least three to four hours before getting in the shower.

However, you should wait at least eight hours if you use tanning lotions along with your spray tan treatment.

Why Take a Shower After Tanning 

The first shower after tanning plays a crucial role in achieving perfect golden skin.

Here are the reasons why it might be a good idea to take a shower after tanning: 

1. Cleansing

Sweat mixed with lotions and other substances can cause dirt on your skin, which can feel pretty gross.

So you should wash it all off and save yourself the trouble.

2. Cooling

Let’s face it. To some extent, tanning has a detrimental effect on your skin.

During this process, your skin will be stressed. You will feel heat and burning on the upper layer.

At the same time, your body sweats a lot during the tanning process.

A cool shower can relieve the stress your skin has just experienced.

3. Remove Chemicals From Your Skin

Before you go to the tanning bed, don’t forget the various tanning lotions and other substances applied to the skin.

These chemicals alone can cause redness and blotchy skin.

When you start to sweat, these chemicals can clog your pores. And we all know what happens with clogged pores. It can lead to acne, skin irritation, and other disorders.

Clean your pores and rinse out lotions and substances with a quick shower.

Cons of Taking a Shower Right After a Spray Tanning

If you want to get the most out of your spray tan, it’s best to let it sit for a few hours before getting in the shower.

Showering early can also have its drawbacks. If you have used a tanning lotion, the shower water will wash it off. The effect is like rinsing sweat from your skin.

Even worse, you can get uneven streaks if you shower right away.

If the bronzer, spray tan or lotion hasn’t been properly absorbed and set, some of it will come off. However, this will leave visible, uneven tan lines.

Tips to Shower After Tanning

If you want to shower after tanning, we have some tips for doing it correctly.

1. Take a Short Shower

Baths are great. There’s no doubt about that. They help soothe tired and strained muscles.

But that’s not the case if you’ve just come from a tanning session.

Ideally, you should shower after tanning. Limit contact with water while your skin is pregnant.

You want to remove oils, chemicals, and sweat when you shower. And that’s about it, unlike baths, where you stand in standing water.

As a result, you’re always soaking up the substances you want to remove from your skin.

However, you should also limit your shower time.

Stay under running water as it may be necessary to rinse off what should be from your skin.

2. Use Warm Water

Never use hot water to shower after tanning. Your skin has been through enough: UV exposure, heat and burns, tanning sprays, chemicals, and more.

There are many factors that skin must go through to change color. And exposing it to hot water won’t make it any better.

In its delicate state, hot water is your skin’s enemy. It disturbs the pores and puts unnecessary pressure on the skin. So stick to lukewarm water if you want to shower after tanning.

3. Choose a Mild Soap

Harsh chemicals in your soap may irritate sensitive skin.

It can break down the oil that your body naturally produces. And once the oil is gone, your skin becomes dry and prone to irritation. So try not to use it all over your body.

However, you can use soap in places like the armpits or groin area. But other than that, you should not use soap. If you must use soap, opt for a mildly scented variety.

4. Pat Dry your Skin with a Towel

Friction causes rubbing and rubbing causes abrasion.

Rubbing your skin with a towel strips it of its natural moisture.

To dry yourself after showering, you should gently pat your skin.

5. Moisturize

After tanning and showering, your skin needs as much moisture as possible. This is a must as it reduces the risk of skin dryness or irritation.

Choose a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid. Spray tanning is the smartest way to have a golden skin tone. But to get the best results, you need to moisturize your skin.

Bottom Line: Shower After Tanning

So can you take a shower after tanning? Yes, you can shower immediately after tanning in a tanning bed if you have not used a tanning lotion or spray tan. 

If you used a tanning lotion or a spay tan treatment, you might need to wait 4 hours or more before taking a shower.