How long after tanning can you shower?

How long after tanning can you shower

How long should you wait before getting your first shower after a tanning session remains a highly debatable topic? Most people are doubtful whether to wait for a day or just 8 hours or rain right after. If you are confused too, this article will clear all your doubts on showering after a tanning session.

How long after tanning can you shower?

The answer to this question lies in the tanning session you have gone through.  A plain tanning session using only a tanning bed means no need for waiting any longer, and you can jump into the shower right after. If bronzers are applied, it increases the wait time to at least 2 hours. Whereas, if a spray tanning treatment is used, you need to wait for at least 4 hours before showering. If this is combined with a bronzer, the wait time increases further to at least 8 hours. Here are some of the doubts that people have about showering after tanning and their clarifications:

after tanning

Will showering right after the tanning session remove the tan?

The effect of a tanning session is based upon the activation of your natural pigment cells called melanocytes. Their impact on hyperpigmentation shows up as darker skin color. Tanning is a natural process that is resistant to water, and a tanning session activates this process. This goes true for most tanning sessions except for using a bronzer. A bronzer artificially adds a specific effect to the skin color and needs to start showing its result. The bronzer action is not water-resistant and will thus be less prominent if you take a shower right after using a bronzer.

after tanning
Image Source: Healthline

Will showering right after the tanning session fade away the tan?

This is possible for all tanning methods and is often noticed, mainly when a bronzer is used. Although tanning works by activating the natural hyperpigmentation process by activating the melanocytes, the effect is still artificial and is confined to only the superficial layers of the skin. Hence, taking a shower immediately after tanning takes away the color to a certain extent and lightens the tanning effect. All the sessions provide a guide on how long after tanning you can shower. It is essential to maintain this gap time strictly to ensure you get full results.

spray tanning

Is a shower necessary after tanning?

Yes, absolutely! Contrary to popular beliefs, a shower session is critical after a tanning session, whether you get sunbathed or opt for an artificial tanning session. This is because a beneficial pampering shower helps retrieve your skin back to normal. Any tanning session produces harmful effects on the skin through stress, heat, and scorching applied to the skin layers. Moreover, many individuals go for various tanning lotions throughout the process, which is also foreign chemicals posing a significant threat to your delicate skin layers—the combined effect of sweating.

In contrast, tanning and the application of such creams may clog pores. The result might show up as acne, scars, rashes, etc. Hence, a shower is essential after maintaining a proper gap time.


While showering is an essential step for your skin if you get a tanning session, it can also create unwanted effects if done prematurely. From uneven streaks on the skin to damaging your skin layer, a premature shower can do a lot of harm too. It is best to leave a certain period before your first shower after a tanning session. Most sessions will have a clear-cut mention of the gap time you should ideally follow. Maintaining the after-tanning care regimen can give a boost to your skin health, tanning effect, and longevity.

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