Showering After a Spray Tan: Tips & Tricks

When it comes to achieving that perfect golden glow without the risk of harmful sun exposure, spray tanning is a popular option. But with a new tan comes the all-important question: how long after a spray tan can you shower? Today, we are going to delve into the details of spray tan aftercare, focusing on the ideal waiting time before you take that first post-tan shower.

The Magic Behind Spray Tans

Before we address the central question of how long after a spray tan you can shower, let’s understand the science behind spray tanning. Spray tans work because of a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA reacts with the amino acids in your skin to create a beautiful, bronzed color. This color starts to appear a few hours after the tanning session and continues to darken for up to 48 hours.

When Can You Shower After a Spray Tan?

The simple answer to the question of when you can shower after a spray tan is: it depends. Most tanning experts suggest waiting at least 8-10 hours after a spray tan before showering for the first time. However, the ideal waiting time can vary based on the specific tanning solution used and your skin type.

Conventional Spray Tans

Conventional spray tans usually take around 8-10 hours to develop fully. If you shower too early, you risk washing off the tanning solution before it has had a chance to fully react with your skin. As a result, your tan may end up being lighter than desired, or it may appear patchy.

Rapid Spray Tans

Rapid spray tans, also known as express tans, are designed to develop faster than traditional spray tans. With these formulas, you can typically shower 2-4 hours after the spray tan application. However, it’s crucial to follow the guidance of your tanning technician, as the recommended wait time can vary based on the specific product used.

Individual Skin Types

Remember, everyone’s skin is different, so the time it takes for a spray tan to develop can vary from person to person. If you have dry skin, the tan may take longer to develop than if you have oily skin.

Your First Shower After a Spray Tan: Things to Keep in Mind

The first shower after a spray tan is crucial, and there are a few important things to keep in mind:

Keep It Quick and Cool

Your first shower after a spray tan should be a quick rinse with lukewarm water—no soap, no scrubbing. Hot water can stop the tanning process, and soaps or body washes can strip the color before it has fully developed.

Avoid Exfoliating

Avoid exfoliating your skin for at least a week after your spray tan. Exfoliating can remove the top layer of skin cells, which are now beautifully bronzed.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

After your first shower, and every shower following, moisturize your skin thoroughly. Moisturizing helps to extend the life of your spray tan by keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.

Maintaining Your Spray Tan

Now that you know how long to wait before taking a shower, let’s look at other ways to maintain your spray tan:

Use Gentle Products

Avoid products that contain harsh ingredients like alcohol or oil, as these can prematurely fade your tan.

Keep Hydrated

Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out will help your tan last longer. Make sure to drink plenty of water.

Avoid Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating from workouts or hot tubs can cause your tan to fade unevenly. Try to avoid these activities in the first 24 hours after your spray tan.


The golden rule when it comes to determining how long after a spray tan you can shower is: patience is key. The longer you can wait before taking your first shower, the better your results will be. Remember, a spray tan is not just an appointment—it’s an investment in your glow.

Spray tanning is a fantastic way to achieve a sun-kissed look year-round. It’s quick, safe, and can be customized to your preferred shade. With the right aftercare, including knowing when to shower, you can extend the life of your spray tan and keep that golden glow for as long as possible.

For more tips on spray tanning, skin care, and maintaining a healthy glow, explore our website for a wealth of resources and advice. We’re here to help you feel confident and beautiful in your skin, every day. So, here’s to achieving your perfect tan and maintaining it with the right care!

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