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Written By Chloe Taylor

After How Many Hours of Tanning You Should Take a Shower

How long should you wait before you take a shower after spray tanning

People often wonder how long they should wait to shower after tanning. A lot of patience and time is needed to get that perfect golden brown tan. So, you would not want to let it wash away faster.

Spending time sunbathing with tanning lotions, moisturizer, and sunscreen can make you sweat and you might want to take a shower.

But your spray tan and bronzer may wash off too quickly if you take a shower before your tan has fully developed. A quick shower will also leave ugly streaks all over your body.

Tanning Session-TypesTime You Need to Wait Before Shower
Spray Tanning3 to 4 hours
Tanning BedNo need to wait to take a Shower
Spray Tanning with Bronzer8 to 9 hours
Tanning Bed using Bronzer2to 3 hours

To get that perfect bronze look you need to maximize the impact of the tanning session.

In this article, we will share with you how long should you wait to shower after tanning.

If you want to get a quick answer then, the table below can help you to maintain the proper time between your tanning session and your first shower after tanning.

How Long Should You Wait Before You Take a Shower After Tanning

After tanning how long should you wait to take a shower depends on a lot of variables. It mostly depends on the type of tanning session you had.

Sunless Tanning Using Self-tanner

You may run the risk of washing off the tanning solution if you take a shower soon after using a fake tan or a self-tanner.

This can lead to a blotched and streaky tan. The self-tanning process takes a minimum of 4 hours to be fully completed.

Some self-tanners might take 7 to 8 hours to complete the process. So, avoid a quick shower too soon after applying a self-tanner to get the desired tanned look.


Sunbathing is best in the morning. But how long you should wait to take a shower after sunbathing depends on whether you are using tanning lotion, bronzer, or accelerator.

If you are using any of these products while sunbath then, it is best to wait for 2 to 3 hours before taking a shower.

Two Women Sunbathing on the beach in the morning

This will make the tanning lotion or bronzer set full and give you a perfect tanned look.

But if you are sunbathing without a bronzer or accelerator then, you can take a shower after 20 minutes as you are only triggering the natural production of melanin and there is no artificial process involved.

Sunless Tanning Lotion and Bronzer

If you are going for a sunbath without using a tanning lotion or bronzer then you can take a shower after an hour as soon as the UV rays are absorbed by your skin.

But if you are using a bronzer or an accelerator then, the time of your shower changes as these products need time to develop.

If you are using tanning lotion or bronzer while sunbathing or in a tanning bed then, you need to wait for at least 2 to 3 hours before taking a shower to make the tan last longer.

After Uv Tanning Session

You can take a shower 20 to 25 minutes after a UV tanning session unless you are using a bronzer or tanning lotion.

But it is necessary to wait for 2 to 3 hours before taking a shower if you are using tanning lotion or bronzer while sunbathing.

Using these products with tanning beds for a very long period can harm your skin by causing acne and clogging your pores.

how long does a spray tan take to develop

Your skin may lose moisture and appear to be cracked and dry. So, do not wait for more than the time mentioned above, and do not forget to moisturize your skin after a shower.

As UV tanning gets underneath your skin so, it is best to take a shower immediately after the UV tanning session if you have fair and sensitive skin. Wait until your skin cools off before taking the shower.

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How to Take a Shower After Tanning?

There are some advantages and disadvantages. Let us find out.

Avoid Soap

Using soap can break down your natural body oil and the oil you get from your tanning lotion.

So, avoid using soap on your skin where the tan will show. You can use soap in the armpits and groins.

Lukewarm Water

Avoid taking a hot shower after tanning as it can put your skin in distress and irritate your skin. Instead, use lukewarm water to shower.


Your skin will lose moisture after using UV tanning beds. So, it is very important to apply a moisturizer to prevent your skin from dehydration immediately after the shower.

Say No to Bath

To make your tan last longer it is recommended to avoid a long bath after the tanning session.

shower room

You need to limit your shower time so, that the tanning lotion does not get washed away quickly.

Do Not Rub Your Skin

Rubbing your skin with a towel just after the tanning session removes both moisture and the tanning lotion from your skin.

So, after showering pat dry, your skin, and do not rub the towel all over your skin.

These are some tips regarding how long you should wait to take a shower after tanning. If you are using an accelerator or bronzer then the waiting time before showering should be at least 2 to 3 hours unless the self-tanner gets fully set on the skin.

But just for a UV sunbath, you need to wait for only 20 to 25 minutes before taking a shower. So, enjoy your tanning session and get that desired tanned look easily.

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Chloe Taylor

Hey there, I am Chloe Taylor, your trusted tanning expert. Dive into expert tips, product reviews, and skincare advice to unlock the secrets of a radiant tan. Also, join me in achieving that sun-kissed glow while safeguarding your skin, which can leave you feeling your best.

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