How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning?

How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning

Tanning is a skin-rejuvenating process that makes your outer layer glowing with golden-brown shade. To have its result flawless and long-lasting, the proper understanding of the after-tan showering procedure is important. So, how long should you wait to shower after tanning?

As a general rule, you should wait atleast 3-8 hours to shower after tanning. However, the waiting hours depend on the type of tanning session you used.

Type Of Tanning SessionBronzer IncludedWaiting Hours Before Showering
SunbathingNoNo waiting Time
SunbathingYes2-3 Hours
Tanning BedNo20 Minutes
Tanning BedYes2-3 Hours
Spray tanningMay/May Not4-8 Hours

The after-tan showering interval varies based on your skin’s response to the tan-stimulators. In this article, you will understand how different tanning sessions stimulate darker skin shade and their impact on after-tan showering. It also discusses the benefits and the appropriate method of showering after a tanning session!

How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Tanning?

By tanning, your skin gets exposed to creams, moisturizers, sunscreen lotion, sweat, etc. So, jumping into the shower after the tanning session leads to quick refreshment. It is the point where you face yourself with the question of “Can you shower after tanning?”. The simple answer is “Yes”, but not before certain waiting hours.

A detailed explanation of the recommended waiting hours for different types of tanning sessions is discussed below.

1. Tanning Using Sunbath Method

You can take a shower immediately after your tanning session if you’re using the traditional sunbathing method. 

While sunbathing, the UV radiance triggers the melanocytes in your skin. This triggering process promotes melanin production that darkens the skin and leads to a sun-kissed appearance within 24-48 hours. In this method, the tanned result is not just exterior and the showering process can no way affect the tan radiance.

But, if you are using the bronzers or tan accelerators during your sunbathing session, then allow 2-3 hours before showering. This waiting period leads to the deeper penetration of the lotion and streak-less tanning results.

If you are the one with a sensitive skin type, your outer layer would have highly affected by the sunbath. In this case, taking an immediate shower after the tanning session would lead to serious skin issues. Provide a sufficient relaxing time for your skin to cool down and then proceed with the showering.

2. Using A Tanning Bed

This method is an alternative to the sunbathing process. In this method, your body gets a caramel glow by getting exposed to the UV radiance of the tanning bed. This method also improves melanin production and makes the skin tanned from the inner skin surface.

So, in this process, you can enjoy your shower once your body gets cooled. For this type, the recommended time space between the tanning session and showering is 20 minutes for tanning using the tanning bed method.

But, if you have used tan accelerators or bronzers in your tanning bed sessions, the waiting time to shower extends up to 2-3 hours. This waiting hour allows the lotion to penetrate the skin deeply and provide flawless, darker tan results.

3. Spray Tanning

Spray tanning is the false or fake self-tanning method. This method involves the spraying of tanning lotion over the skin that may or may not have bronzers. These tanning chemicals darken skin superficially and do not affect the melanin level.

Generally, you should wait atleast 4 hours to shower if you’re spray tanning. The gap between the session and showering would lead to an attractive, flawless result. Certain self-tanning lotions with bronzers would require 8 hours of penetration time for better results.

The recommended waiting hours for showering in this method vary based on the tanning lotions. In most cases, the tanning lotion itself would recommend the appropriate waiting hours in its package.

The tanning lotions with bronzers contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that oxides over the skin to provide deeper shade. So, allowing sufficient penetration time is necessary to attain the streak-less result.

What Are The Benefits Of Showering After A Tan?

Sometimes, people feel that avoiding a shower after tanning would lead to darker and better results. But, it is not right always! The after-tan showering would lead to remarkable physical and mental relaxations.

1. A Shower Helps Rinse Away The Chemicals

Both sunbath and sunless tanning use lots of chemicals and lotions to make the skin prepared. On leaving these chemicals unwashed for a longer period, they clog the pores and create serious skin disorders, including acne and breakouts. So, a shower can quickly rinse off the unwanted chemicals and make the skin clean.

While using bronzers, the washing process leads to brown water melting away from the skin. But, it never affects your tan result as it is just the superficial pigment.

2. It Makes You Feel Clean

Your skin gets more stressed out during the tanning session. It becomes uncomfortably sweaty and oily. By showering after the appropriate interval, you get a calm, fresh, and rejuvenated feel.  

How To Shower After A Tan? 

After performing the in-depth analysis, we’ve outlined the showering tips that lead to improved after-tan benefits!

1. Use Lukewarm Water

The main purpose of showering is to relieve the skin from dirt and clogging. The hot showers stay harsher and irritating to the already burnt skin and the cold water becomes ineffective in unclogging the pores. So, the after-tan showering with lukewarm water gently open-up the pores and cleanses the layer deeply against chemicals.

2. Take A Shower, Not A Bath

With a long bath, you soak yourself in stagnant water that leads to the washing away of tanning oils off your skin. This process leads to the streaky or dull tanned result. So, make sure to have a quick and mild showering session that washes away only the chemicals but not the pigmentation.

3. Avoid Using A Soap

Your skin becomes more sensitive after tanning sessions and the use of soap or harsh cleansers can create an irritating sensation. They can also rip out the skin’s natural oils and artificial pigment (bronzers) easily and lead to a dry, patchy appearance. So, always go for mild rinsing after tanning without the usage of soaps.  

4. Pat Yourself Dry 

After showering, allow water to naturally get off your skin. Then, pat yourself dry gently instead of vigorously rubbing the towel all over the skin. It is because, by rubbing the towel, you strip out the skin’s natural moisture and artificial pigmentation that leads to a dry and irritated feel.

5. Apply Moisturizer Immediately

The tanning process will strip out the moisture content and lead to the dull and dry epidermis. So, after you pat dry, cover your skin with deep moisturizing lotions that contain hyaluronic acid. By applying the moisturizer immediately, your skin can easily recover from the tan stresses and stay hydrated.

Related Questions

The following are some of the questions related to the topic in discussion.

1. Can You Shower Before A Tan?

Yes, the showering process cleanses and hydrates your skin. It opens the pores against dirt and makes the epidermis prepared for the tanning session.

2. Why Is The Shower Water Brown After Tanning?

The brown water while showering occurs due to the usage of bronzers. The DHA chemical in the bronzer gets absorbed by the skin during waiting hours and the superficial layer gets rinsed off while showering and creates brown water.

3. How Long Should You Stay Under Shower After Tanning?

A quick 5-10 minute shower that just rinses off the chemicals but not the tan glow. Having long showers could cause dulled-out tan results.

4. Why Does A Tan Show Up Better After Showering?

The tanning process always leads to stressed-out, dead skin cells. A quick shower with lukewarm water washes out the dullness-creating dead cells and leads to a better result.


Tanning is an important skin-beautifying process that involves a bundle of time and effort. Taking an appropriate after-tan shower rejuvenates and relieves the skin against dirt and stress. It also makes the skin hydrated and prevents pore-clogging due to tan lotions.

Now, with all the doubts cleared regarding the after-tan showering process, confidently schedule your tanning session and enjoy the glowing golden skin ever!

Yogeshwari Ramadass

Yogeshwari Ramadass

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