How long should you wait to shower after tanning?

Tanning session

There is a common misconception about tanning that it can be washed off after you tan. Of course, we all know that is not true and with the good and nasty of tanning.

Because it becomes a long process to remove the nice bronze color we got from tanning.

So, if we understand that it's impossible to wash away a tan, why do people think they should wait? There is a myth and misconception about tanning and its uses. That's why you need to know all about tanning.

So, we'll discuss the tanning period, timing, and how long it takes to shower after good tanning in this post. First, let's get this article started.

Table of Contents

Why is showering done in terms of the tanning process?

When showering, you are removing the protective layer of dead skin cells, which allows your moisturizers to penetrate your skin deeply.

Without the protective layer of dead skin cells, moisture is not locked in, and your Tan will fade away much faster.

You have to avoid showering for at least a few hours after a tanning session because this allows time for your Moisturizer to soak into your skin before being rubbed off by water.

The shower also prevents natural causes such as sweating. WE recommend you to take a quick rinse with just water before applying Moisturizer if needed.

It is also not advised to shave immediately after undergoing a bed tanning session since shaving removes many hairs from the skin's surface, which also removes the dead cells.

What's the optimum time to shower after the tanning session?

That depends on your skin type. If it is sensitive, try waiting for an hour or 2 before taking a nice warm bath.

If you are not used to using moisturizers, we suggest that you apply one directly after your bath or shower.  And then let it dry into your skin while you do something else. 

If you are not fussy about smelling good during these days, go ahead and take a bath/shower. So that while you sleep, all the Moisturizer will penetrate deep within your skin.

And by morning time, when you wash your face or take a quick rinse with water, there won't be any moisturizer left on your skin to remove.

If you are the kind who needs the smell of cosmetics, then we suggest that you take shower. You can do it just before going out with friends or for an outing. 

That way, when you come back home, what's left is only a little portion of sweat, which you can still smell but not suffocate yourself. 

How long should you wait to shower after a tanning session?

tanning bed

We would not recommend taking a shower until at least 2-4 hours after tanning. It is best if you do a Shower after maintaining good guidelines. But where do you get the procedure?

Let's take a look here:

Tanning Bed:

If you have done your tanning in a tanning bed, then it's recommended not to wait for showering any moment.

Because as soon as you come out from the UV tanning bed session, your skin is already dry. If you take a shower right away with running water, you can easily remove the moisturizers from your skin, which will cause you to see your Tan fading faster. So what's recommended is that you take a shower 0.5 to 2 hours later after tanning. Then your skin will absorb all the moisturizers easily.

Spray Tan:

If you have undergone spray tan, then the process is that Moisturizer is applied after each session. In most cases, people tend to shower immediately after spray tanning.

If you are one of them, we recommend you to wait for 4 to 5 hours before taking a shower.

Because the Moisturizer is still on your skin surface, you must wait for it to penetrate.

Tanning Bed With Bronzers:

If you have made a tanning bed session with bronzers, then it's recommended not to shower for at least 2-4 hours after tanning. This is because Bronzers are made up of chemicals that dissolve in water very easily. 

If you take a shower right after tanning, the bronzers will be washed away, and your skin will not look even. So it would be best if you waited for this time.

Spray Tanning with Bronzers:

Among all these four types of tanning, spray tanning with bronzers take more time than the shower. Usually, it takes 8 hours or more to take a shower after a spray tanning with bronzers.

Yet bronzer is dissolved in water, and they lose color if you wash your skin with water. 

And that is the reason why we always recommend not to take a shower immediately after spray Tanning.

Is it true that a shower can remove the Tan?

No, a shower won't affect tanning because the shower lasts a short time. It can remove dead skin cells when you wash your body with soap. But it cannot remove tanning.

It would be best to keep in mind that a Shower won't help you remove tanning or body tanning. But you can practice taking baths with herbs, neem leaves, etc., to remove Tan.

The real fact of tanning and working formula

The longer you wait to take a shower, your Tan will appear darker and more even in tone. Avoid shower immediately for a spray tan or spray tan with bronzer since the pores are still open.

When you take an actual bath or shower, use lukewarm, not hot water, because it can be very drying to your skin.

Doing this every day can cause premature aging to the skin along with dryness, wrinkles, freckles, dark spots, stretch marks, etc.

You have to wait until the next day for another 'shower.' This is because not all of your natural body oils have been secreted, and your Tan will not be removed.

By this time, you can take a bath and scrub yourself with a loofah and/or washcloth using unscented soap. By doing this, you should experience no problems.

How do you perform a shower after tanning?

Taking a shower after a tanning session is the worst thing you can do for your Tan. This is because the pores of your skin are still open post-session, and hot water will cause dryness and loss of color.

Soak in cool water if necessary to rehydrate your skin, then wait at least 8 hours or overnight before taking a lukewarm or warm shower.

Again, opt for natural ingredients over scented products that may irritate your skin. For example, try to use an unscented coconut oil soap.

So what to do after tanning?

Let's do these things now:

Cool off

If you want the benefits of showering (especially if it's hot out and you need to cool off,) soak in water for 10-15 minutes. Then pat dry with a towel, mix 1/2 cup milk of magnesia with two cups water and apply all over.

Rinse off with cool water

Wait 5 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. The milk of magnesia will ensure that the dead skin cells don't come off on your towel while helping seal in moisture.


Of course, natural exfoliation is always good for removing dead skin cells. Try to use sugar instead of salt or baking soda for gentle, effective scrubbing.

Also, be sure to moisturize after and between showers and tanning sessions to keep your skin hydrated and fresh-looking.

Why not lather up with a shower right after your spray tan session?

Spray Tanning is for all skin types, but it is important to have somewhat of a base tan because you are going through a bronzing process.

In turn, this means that your pores are open and can cause bacteria to be introduced into your body. The longer you wait before showering, the darker the Tan will become.

This being said, if you have an event or occasion coming up and want immediate color, we would not recommend waiting 24 hours because spray tans only last a little time.

So for best results, give yourself a minimum of 4-6 hours before showering. If you do not have enough time, then consider getting a professional airbrush Tan done at a salon/spa near you.

Tanning bed with the use of bronzers

Generally, it takes less time to tan with bronzers. The average person usually tan for about 30 minutes to get a medium/dark glow, so it should not take long before you can shower.

If a bronzer is used, then you will have to wait up to 8 hours before showering. So if you're going somewhere within that time frame, we would suggest just going with the use of bronzers.

It's a fantastic way to get a deep dark tan in such little time and give you peace of mind knowing that your pores are closed and bacteria won't be introduced into your system until after you shower.

Do freckles go away with time?

As we get older, the overall pigment of our skin darkens and covers up our freckles until they eventually blend in.

The liver produces melanin, the primary pigment that determines how dark or light your skin will be. In addition to genetics, hormones can cause changes to your skin coloration, including an increase or decrease in melanin production.

If you think about getting rid of freckles, then You can't remove them. You can try bleaching creams, but it may only fade them so much until they become unnoticeable.

Should I remove my freckles, or should I embrace them? Many people see Freckles as adorable, so you shouldn't be ashamed if you have some.

However, you can still diminish their appearance by avoiding the sun as much as possible and not tanning/exposing your skin to UV rays.

These brown spots will fade quite a bit with age and should become unnoticeable at some point.

Is there any risk of injury or illness if I don't take a shower after suntanning?

No, there is no risk of injury or illness if you don't take a shower after sunbathing.

You should always stay hydrated and drink plenty of water while being in the sun for an extended period, but a shower isn't required to remove any excess oils from your skin.

All you need to do is apply some baby powder on areas prone to getting oily such as the face and body.

This will ensure that your Tan lasts longer since there won't be any oil interfering. Sunblock can also prevent excessive tanning and decrease the number of freckles too.

But if you can shower after sun tanning, it will be better because it will give you much comfort and feel free from smelly sweat that will come out from your pores.

If you're going somewhere within a few hours, then I would recommend just done your shower. 

Do not forget to moisturize your skin after showering because being in the sun can cause dryness and increase wrinkles.

For best results, use a tanning lotion every day, whether you can use it before or after your shower. So, you can stay bronzed all year long.

Tanning lotions are the key to staying bronzed even when there's no sun. Use it before or after your shower. You have to remember that these are made with natural ingredients not to give you an orange tone!

To avoid stretch marks, always wear sunscreen when using a tanning bed or sunbathing. You can also apply plenty of vitamin e oil, an antioxidant that brightens skin tone and hydrates dehydrated skin cells. 


To sum up, whatever the tanning it is, we recommend you shower after tanning because it has been scientifically proven not to hamper any tan effects.

Now, it's your choice to choose the spray tan or tanning bed to get a tan.

The choice is all up to you and what fits your needs. Just remember that showering before bed is good for the skin regardless of the tanning option you choose.

And Yes, you can efficiently perform your shower after tanning. Just look at the timing we discussed here. 

DISCLAIMER: does not provide medical advice, examination, and diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.