How Long After Tanning Can You Shower? Soaking Up the Sun

Many people go to great lengths to achieve a tanned appearance. However, once you’ve reached your ideal color, the question of when to take the next shower typically arises.Is there a recommended amount of time before getting into the shower?

This post will answer that question, so you can keep your skin healthy while still rocking that summer tan.

How Long After Tanning Can You Shower?

When it comes to tanning, timing is of the utmost importance. The length of time that you should wait after tanning before taking a shower is contingent upon the type of tanning technique that you engaged in.

Tanning Without Products

You’re in luck if you’ve gotten a tan either naturally or through a tanning bed without resorting to artificial means. After sunbathing, you can confidently take a shower 20-30 minutes later without risking your tan. The sun’s rays have penetrated your skin and increased melanin production, the pigment that gives you a tan.

Tanning with Products

It is recommended to wait at least two to three hours after using a tanning accelerator or bronzer before getting into the shower. This is necessary so that the products may penetrate the skin and do their job. You could end up with a less impressive tan if you shower too soon after using the cream.

Why Is Timing Important After Tanning?

To get the most out of your tanning sessions, you need know why timing is so important immediately following tanning. Consider the following as you plan your post-tan shower:

Optimized Melanin Production:

After tanning, your skin needs time to rest and recover so that it can produce the most melanin possible. Melanin is produced in response to UV radiation as a natural defense mechanism for the skin.

To get the most out of your tan, dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel recommends waiting at least three to four hours before showering. During this time, your tan will deepen and solidify as the UV-induced melanin spreads throughout your skin. Don’t rush to the shower, your skin needs time to clean itself.

Product Absorption:

If you use a tanning lotion, cream, or oil, you should wait even longer before getting into the shower. These products typically contain chemicals that improve the skin’s reaction to UV light, resulting in a more rapid and even tanning process.Be patient; it will pay off in the end.

Famous tanning expert James Read says that most products need time to absorb and act properly. These products may be rendered ineffective if you rush to use the shower. To get the most out of your tanning products, he suggests waiting at least 6-8 hours after application before showering.

Skin Hydration:

Did you know that taking a shower soon after tanning might strip your skin of its natural oils? Certified dermatologist and author of “The Skin Type Solution” Dr. Leslie Baumann warns that showering immediately after tanning might remove your skin’s natural oils, resulting in dry, flaky, and possibly prematurely aged skin. To protect the skin’s natural hydration, she says to delay taking a shower for a couple of hours after tanning. Spend some time each day making sure your skin stays supple and radiant.

Additionally, hydrating after a shower is essential to preserving your tan. Locking in the tan with a moisturizing lotion might make it last longer. Think about using a moisturizer with antioxidants and skin-soothing elements like aloe vera.

Best Practices for Showering After Tanning

Follow these guidelines to ensure you get the most out of your tanning session:


Wait the Recommended Time Before Showering

Melanogenesis is activated in response to tanning in both the sun and artificial tanning agents. This is what triggers your skin cells (melanocytes) to make the pigment melanin, which gives you a tan.

For best outcomes, let nature take its course and complete this procedure. Wait at least two to three hours after sunbathing before getting into the shower, as recommended by dermatologists like Dr. Shari Marchbein, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist.

Waiting 6-8 hours or even overnight is normally recommended after using a tanning product, though directions should be followed carefully. Tanning agents will have plenty of time to penetrate your skin and show their full effect.

Use Lukewarm Water

When taking a shower after tanning, the water temperature makes a big difference in how long your tan lasts. Aesthetician and skincare expert Renee Rouleau warns that using hot water might cause the skin to lose its natural oils, resulting to dryness and a quicker tan fade.

To keep the skin’s natural oils intact and promote a healthier environment for the tan to flourish, lukewarm water is recommended. In addition, use only showers rather than baths. If you soak in the tub for an extended period of time, the top layer of your skin—where the tan is most concentrated—may be exfoliated away.

Moisturize After Showering

To keep your tan looking fresh for as long as possible, it’s important to keep your skin well hydrated. Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist, advises using a high-quality moisturizer after a shower to preserve a tan and promote healthy skin.

Because alcohol can cause skin dryness, it’s important that the moisturizer doesn’t include any. Moisturizers with added advantages, such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, or natural oils (like coconut or jojoba), can aid in keeping the skin at its ideal moisture level. This not only helps your tan last longer, but it also leaves your skin feeling silky and radiant.


Can I shower immediately after a tanning session?

It’s recommended to wait 20-30 minutes if you didn’t use any tanning products. If you did, wait two to three hours.

Does showering fade a tan?

Not if you wait the recommended time before showering. Additionally, moisturize your skin after showering to prolong your tan.

Should I moisturize after tanning?

Yes, moisturizing after tanning and showering can help prolong your tan and keep your skin healthy.

Does water affect a tan?

Water doesn’t affect your tan unless you used a tanning product and showered too soon.

Can hot showers ruin a tan?

Hot water can dry out your skin, potentially causing your tan to fade quicker. It’s best to use lukewarm water.

Key Takeaways

  1. If you tanned without any additional products, you could shower 20-30 minutes post-session.
  2. If you used tanning products, you should wait at least two to three hours before showering.
  3. Waiting before showering helps optimize melanin production, ensures product absorption, and keeps your skin hydrated.

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