Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (2023)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

Can you shower after tanning?

How long should you wait to shower after using a tanning bed?

For the majority of tanners, this is a grey area. A lot of them are not sure about showering after tanning.

So in this post, let’s discuss the answers to these questions and more. We will also look into the dos and don’ts on getting a shower after tanning.

Do you have to wait to shower after tanning?

To be honest, getting a shower after tanning is OK. Some people like to do it; others, not so much.

But how long should you wait before you can shower after tanning?

The answer to that question depends on the tanning session.

If you’re using a tanning bed but without applying bronzers, you don’t need to wait before you can shower. You can hop right into it and enjoy the drizzle.

On the other hand, if you had bronzers while you’re on the tanning bed, the waiting time is at least two hours before you can hit the showers.

If you used a spray tanning treatment to get your tan, that’s four hours before the first shower.

As for a spray tanning treatment with bronzers, the waiting time is at least eight hours.

Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (1)

What are the myths on showering after tanning?

Some people feel dirty, so they get a shower right after a tan. The rest, on the other hand, opt to wait as long as possible.

Showering after tanning has been a highly discussed topic. As a result, there’s a lot of overthinking. It produced a lot of misconceptions and myths as well.

So let’s clear some of the misunderstandings surrounding the whole relationship between tanning and showering.

Myth No.1: Taking a shower will wash away the tan.

No, it won’t. The tan you get from your tanning session will not wash away.

Why is that?

The golden bronze shade on your skin results from the naturally produced pigment called melanin.

When your skin gets UV exposure, it activates the melanocytes, which produce melanin.

You may not notice the darkening of your skin immediately. It generally takes around 24 to 48 hours to see the difference in your skin color.

Nevertheless, the natural process of hyperpigmentation is resistant to water, and a simple shower will not wash it off.

Did you know some salons have showers with embedded tanning lights?

This goes to show that getting caught in a drizzle won’t reverse the effects of tanning.

However, there may be a couple of exceptions to the rule that permits an immediate shower after tanning.

If you used a bronzer when you had your tanning bed session, you’ll have to wait for at least two to three hours before getting a shower. This period allows the product to work throughout and give you a fantastic tan.

Myth No. 2: Taking a shower immediately can fade your spray tanning.

Yes, it can wash away the tan.

This time, the tanning effect is through artificial means.

Assuming you didn’t expose yourself to UV rays or sunlight, relying only on spray tanning methods. So your skin will not produce the natural pigmentation.

Bronzers and similar tanning treatments only lie on the surface of the skin, unlike the naturally produced melanin.

While bronzers can do the job of producing a sun-kissed, golden bronze glow on your skin, it is merely superficial. It’s temporary and easily removed.

So taking a shower shortly after applying a bronzer or any spray tanning treatment will fade the artificial tan away.

In fact, immediate showering after tanning may result in poor results and uneven streaking.

To ensure that you get the ideal results from your spray tanning treatment, wait for at least three to four hours before hopping into the shower.

But if you had bronzers with your spray tanning treatment, give it at least eight hours of waiting time.

How important is your first shower after tanning?

Your first shower after tanning plays a crucial role to achieve the perfect golden tanned skin.

Whether you’re out in the sun, on a sunbed, or used an indoor tanning lotion, showering after tanning will define the shade and tone of your tan.

Now, that being said, some people oppose the idea. Especially after using bronzers, lotions, and spray tanning treatments.

Here are the reasons why it’s a good idea to take a shower after tanning (taking into account the ideal waiting time to do so).

1. The cooling effect of a shower soothes the stress.

Let’s face it. To some degree, tanning creates a damaging effect on your skin.

During this process, your skin will undergo stress. It will experience heat and scorching on its top-most layer.

At the same time, your body will sweat profusely during the tanning process.

A cool shower can soothe away the stress that your skin just experienced.

2. Taking a shower can rinse away the chemicals on your skin.

Let’s not forget the variety of tanning lotions and other substances that you apply to your skin before you hop on to the tanning bed.

These chemicals alone can potentially cause redness and blotches on your skin.

By the time you start to sweat, these chemicals may clog your pores. And we all know what happens from having blocked pores. It may result in getting acne, skin irritations, and other disorders.

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

3. Give yourself a clean feeling.

Sweat mixed with your lotions and stuff can create grime on your skin, which can feel pretty icky.

So you might want to wash it all away and save yourself from that predicament.

Here’s a quick tip when you’re experiencing reddened skin.

If you have sensitive skin, chances are high that you’ll be experiencing redness and irritation.

So during or after your exposure to the UV rays, it’s highly likely you’ll get reddened skin.

It’s not a good idea to hop into the shower right after that.

The reddening of your skin may likely be caused by the blood vessels coming up and through the skin layers, not by hyperpigmentation.

If you pour water on your reddened sensitive skin, it’s like pouring water over a heated pan. Imagine the sizzling effect.

Here are the reasons why not to shower immediately after a spray tanning treatment.

If you want to get the most out of your spray tanning treatment, it’s best to leave it on for a couple of hours before hitting the showers.

Showering prematurely can have its downsides. Here are some of them.

If you used a bronzer, the drizzling water will wash it off. The effect would be like rinsing away the sweat on your skin.

Worse, showering right away can cause uneven streaking.

Can you imagine having lines on your skin and looking like a tiger or zebra but only tanned?

When the bronzer, spray tanning, or lotion has not yet absorbed and settled in correctly, some of it will wash off. But in the process, it will leave visible uneven tan lines.

How do you shower after tanning?

Not all showers are created equal.

And this is especially true with regards to showering after tanning.

If you want to get a shower after tanning, there are proper ways to do that.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Lukewarm water is the way to go.

Never use hot water for your post-tanning shower.

Your skin has gone through enough of the complexities of tanning; the exposure to UV rays, the heat and burning, the spray tan treatment, chemicals, and more.

These are a lot of factors that your skin has to go through to change its color. And exposing it to hot water isn’t making it better.

At its vulnerable state, hot water is your skin’s enemy. It will disturb your pores and put your skin under unnecessary duress.

So stick to lukewarm water when you choose to shower after tanning.

2. Shower, not a bath.

What type of person are you: the bath kind or the shower kind?

Baths are great, no doubt about it. They help soothe tired and stressed muscles.

But that isn’t the case when you’ve just gone out of a tanning session.

Ideally, you stick to showers after tanning. Always limit your exposure to water during your skin’s pregnable state.

With showers, you want to wash away the oils, chemicals, and sweat. And that’s it. As opposed to baths where you remain steady on stagnant water.

As a result, you’re soaking still on substances you want off your skin.

That being said, you want to limit your shower time too.

Stand under the running water as it may be necessary to rinse away what needs to be off your skin.
Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (2)

3. Avoid soap or any harsh chemicals or substances.

Soap contains chemicals that can irritate your already vulnerable skin.

It breaks down the oil that your body naturally produces. And once it strips down the oil, your skin tends to become dry and susceptible to irritation.

So avoid using it all over your body.

You may, however, use soap in places like the armpits or groin area. But other than that, avoid using soap. If you must use soap, stick to the gentle fragrant variety.

4. Never rub your skin with a towel.

Rubbing causes friction, and friction causes abrasion.

Not only that, rubbing your skin with a towel will strip off your skin’s natural moisture.

So to dry yourself after your shower, gently pat on your skin.

5. Moisturize soon after showering.

Your skin will need all the moisturizing it can get after your tanning session and shower.

It’s mandatory as it reduces the risk of skin dryness or irritation.

Pick a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid.

Best lotions to use after your spray tanning treatment.

Spray tanning is the smartest way to get that golden bronze skin tone.

But to achieve the best results, you need to moisturize.

Make your tanning efforts fruitful and your tan lasts longer with these moisturizers.

1. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (3)

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream | Body and Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin | Body Cream with Hyaluronic Acid...

  • [ HYALURONIC ACID MOISTURIZER ] With hyaluronic acid, ceramides and MVE technology for 24 hour hydration. Rich, velvety texture that leaves skin feeling smooth, it is...
  • [ ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Ceramides are found naturally in the skin and make up 50% of the lipids in the skin barrier. All CeraVe products are formulated with three...
  • [ DRY SKIN RELIEF ] A deficiency of ceramides in skin can often be associated with dry skin, which can feel itchy and look flaky. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream was shown to...

Are you looking for a premium moisturizing cream that can give your skin a healthy-looking glow?

Nourish and moisturize it with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. It hydrates your skin and helps keep your golden bronze tan intact.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is fragrance-free and long-lasting. It contains hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin nourished and hydrated for 24 hours.

Give your skin a natural protective barrier that prevents moisture loss.

Get CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.

2. All Good Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food


Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (4)

All Good Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food (Coconut)

  • DEEP MOISTURE - Your skin will love the deep moisturizing power of coconut oil. Simple and luxurious indulgence for the skin leaves it moisturized and glowing. After a...
  • ALL ORGANIC - Made with organic cold pressed, unrefined virgin coconut oil. Free of worrisome chemicals and full of beneficial oil. Lemongrass & Lavender scents come from...
  • SAFE FOR BABIES & SENSITIVE SKIN - Simple, pure ingredients that are gentle enough for children and sensitive skin.

Want a natural way to keep your skin nourished and your tan protected?

Get All Good Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food.

It doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and won’t clog your pores. Plus, it has an anti-aging component, keeping your skin younger-looking and beautiful.

For results that will amaze you, try All Good Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food.

3. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (5)

Jergens Natural Glow Sunless Tanning Lotion, Self Tanner for Fair to Medium Skin Tone, Body Lotion...

  • FLAWLESS SELF TANNER - Create a flawless tan for gradual, natural-looking color before, or after, the beach
  • SUNLESS LOTION TANNER - Our Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer will gradually enhance and deepen your natural skin tone to provide hassle-free, streak-free color
  • ACHIEVE HEALTHY-LOOKING SKIN - With antioxidants and Vitamin E, Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer features a blend of nutrients to boost moisturization for tan,...

For a streak-free moisturizer that absorbs quickly, check out Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer.

It’s a tinted moisturizer and gives you even coverage. In fact, it’s a great extender for your spray tan treatment.

Nourish your skin with Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. This amazing product can give it a flawless, gorgeous glow.

4. St. Ives Facial Moisturizer

Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (6)

St. Ives Renewing Collagen & Elastin Moisturizer, 10 oz (Pack of 2)

  • Item Package Length: 8.128cm
  • Item Package Width: 9.398cm
  • Item Package Height: 18.542cm

Getting youthful, healthy-looking skin is within your reach.

With St. Ives Facial Moisturizer, you get smooth, gorgeous skin that won’t leave you greased up.

What I love about St. Ives Facial Moisturizer is its anti-aging component. It helps erase wrinkles and fine lines, leaving you with soft, smooth skin.

St. Ives Facial Moisturizer is paraben-free and dermatologist-tested. So you know it’s safe. It’s a great addition to your skincare regimen.

5. TruSkin Vitamin C Moisturizer

Shower After Tanning: Here's What You Need to Know (7)

TruSkin Vitamin C Face Moisturizer, a Brightening Anti Aging Wrinkle Cream for Face, Formulated with...

  • VITAMIN C CREAM WITH ANTIOXIDANTS - Daily facial lotion with ingredients designed to promote your skin's natural health. Ultra-effective and lightweight in order to be...
  • CREAMY MOISTURIZER is lightweight and contains essential ingredients to help create hydrated & radiant looking skin
  • PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS like Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, and Green Tea to diminish the signs of sun damage like dark spots as it refines skin texture and fades the look of...

Eliminate the visible signs of aging and restore the natural glow of your skin with TruSkin Vitamin C Moisturizer.

In as little as two weeks, you can see amazing results.

TruSkin Vitamin C Moisturizer doesn’t contain parabens. It’s cruelty-free too.

What I love about this great product is that it’s quick absorbing and has a soothing scent. It fits all skin types, giving it deep hydration and nourishing effect.

If you’re looking for a moisturizer with powerful restorative properties, check out TruSkin Vitamin C Moisturizer.

Showering after tanning: Can you shower after you tan?

If you plan to get a tan, this may be one of the most important questions to tackle.

Can you shower after you tan?

How long do you wait to shower after tanning?

I hope this article answered your questions regarding the tanning-showering relationship.

Just remember these quick pointers:

You can immediately shower after sunbed tanning if you didn’t use any bronzer or spray tanning treatment.

Have you used a bronzer?

Wait for two hours before showering.

Did you use a spray tanning treatment?

Wait for four hours.

Spray tanning treatment with bronzer?

Wait for eight hours.

What is your method for showering after tanning?

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated: 12/06/2022

Views: 5327

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.