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How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning?

How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning?

So, how long should you wait to shower after tanning? This isn’t a one-size-fits-all question, but it does rely on a lot of things, such as the type of tan you intend to have.

Showering after tanning sessions can be a bit of a minefield. However, it is critical that you get it properly because the schedule you follow after tanning can have a significant impact on the end result you will be ultimately left with.

In this article, we’ll go through each variety and how long you should wait before having a shower. We’ll also dispel a few tanning and showering myths. Let’s get started!

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Can I Shower After Tanning?

Before we get into the various shower times, let’s first address the subject of whether or not you need to shower after sunbathing.

Thankfully, this one is self-evident.  You should always try to shower immediately after tanning to remove moisture and toxins that may block your pores and cause inflammation.

Tanning exposes your body to a high level of stress, and you will sweat profusely. When you sweat profusely from the inside of a tanning bed, for example, your body will be all reddish and plump from the tanning lotion.

When you start sweating, fluid accumulates in your pores, ultimately obstructing them. When it comes to skin hygiene, toxins are a huge red flag, resulting in the emergence of pimples as well as other skin diseases.

But wait – it doesn’t end there; sunless tanning necessitates the use of numerous aerosols and creams containing a slew of ingredients such as skincare products, bronzers, and synthetic tints.

These chemicals combine to give you a tan, but they can also be toxic if left on your skin for an extended period of time.

Showering after tanning removes extra sweat and chemicals from your pores, leaving your skin fresh and safe from future concerns.

How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning?

The very first shower following tanning can improve or ruin the whole experience. If you shower too early, everything from wiping off the tanner to getting a cakey tan might go amiss with your tan.

The amount of time you should wait before jumping in the shower is determined by various things, including your tanning process, the chemicals you’re using, and the condition of your skin.

The three basic methods of tanning are described below, along with the required shower timing later.

UV Tanning Beds

When discussing sunbeds, a common misconception is that bathing after treatment will remove your tan. This is incorrect advice because the UV tanning process just does not enable it.

Whenever you enter a sunbed, UV rays permeate your body and trigger the skin cells to develop melanin as a form of UV light defense.

Melanin is a natural darker pigment produced by our bodies that result in browned skin. This indicates that water will not be able to remove such a hue.

As a result, if you wash after using a sunbed, your tan will not fade. In fact, you might not see a noticeable change in your skin for up to 48 hours after your session.

Tanning creams are often packed full of ingredients that stimulate melanin formation, resulting in greater outcomes. If you wash shortly after sunbathing, you will wash away the moisturizer before it has an opportunity to have any impact.

As a result, you must wait at least 2 to 3 hours before washing to allow the treatment to take effect.

Self Tanning / Spray Tans

Spray tanner, as opposed to UV rays, which function on a molecular level, behaves similarly to bronzers that stain your skin a darker color.

Self-tanners do not trigger your body to generate melanin; instead, they offer your body a golden glow for a tanned appearance.

The majority of tanning creams contain bronzers, which are generally composed of DHA (dihydroxyacetone). DHA adheres to your top layer of the skin and oxidizes when exposed to air.

This oxidation is responsible for your skin’s momentary dark tint. As a result, showering immediately after using self-tanners will sweep away the tan from your skin, thereby defeating the goal of the practice.


Taking a shower after traditional tanning, often referred to as sunbathing, is dependent on whether or not you use a tanner, enhancer, or tanning cream.

If you are not using any items, you must wait 20 minutes before washing or coming into contact with water.  

However, if you use a self-tanner, and you are wondering how long you should wait to shower after tanning, the answer is at least 2 to 3 hours to avoid inconsistent outcomes.

What’s The Best Way To Wash After Tanning?

Avoid taking a post-tanning shower in hot water. Your body has already been subjected to the complexity of tanning, including UV ray absorption, warmth and scorching, spray tan therapy, toxins, and more.

There are numerous elements that your body must go through in order to change color. And soaking it in hot water isn’t helping it get any better.

Hot water is your body’s worst enemy when it is at its most sensitive. It will irritate your cells and put undue strain on your skin. So, if you wish to wash after tanning, use lukewarm water.

After sunbathing, you should probably take a shower. Reduce your exposure to water while your skin is still vulnerable.  Showers are used to remove oils, pollutants, and perspiration.

That’s all there is to it. In contrast to bathtubs, where you sit still in standing water. As a result, you’re still absorbing chemicals you don’t need in your body.

You should also restrict your time spent in the shower as much as possible. Stand beneath clean water if required to wash off what needs to be removed from your skin.