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Spray tans are a great alternative to dangerous UV rays and can instantly give a gorgeous bronzed glow to your skin. To achieve the perfect tan takes work. You may be wondering, “how long after my spray tan can I shower” to achieve the best results.

We have an article full of great resources and spray tan aftercare tips to keep your fake tan lasting longer.

How Long after a Spray Tan can I Shower?

Each spray tan is different and has different drying and developing times. 

The average tanning solution can take up to to 8-24 hours to properly settle into your skin. Therefore you may be wondering, “can I shower just 4 hours after my spray tan?” 4 hours is the very minimum recommended time to wait to shower after you spray tan. To avoid desperately wanting to shower after your tan, it’s best to shower before your appointment.

Within these first four hours after your appointment, to protect your tan, it’s best to avoid all moisture. Avoiding moisture is not just avoiding showers. Try to avoid applying makeup to your skin and doing activities that will make you sweat. Makeup and sweating can both prevent the spray tan solution sinking into your pores.

What Happens if you Shower Before 6 Hours After a Spray Tan?

Waiting six hours before showering is recommended by many tanning consultants. It is the usual average time recommended. If your spray tan uses a dark bronzer, waiting longer before showering is best!

What happens after you shower before 6 hours after a spray tan? You may not be as dark a shade as you paid for.

Waiting 5-6 hours after your spray tan before showering may allow you to be out of the danger zone from smudges. But if you’re using a darker, more expensive bronzer, then you may have wasted money. Showering before the advised time will not allow a dark bronzer to develop to its full potential.

It’s best to play the waiting game and get your money’s worth!

Can i Wait 12 Hours to Shower After my Spray Tan?

Lots of people wait at least 12 hours before showering after a spray tan, often sleeping in the spray tan solution before showering. If you decide to sleep in your tan before showering, you may notice that when you wake, your tan will look very dark. This dark shade is not a true representation of what shade your tan will be. One you have taken your first shower after your spray tan, your color will be milder and your tan will be developed.

Sleeping after a spray tan is a great method to allow the tan to fully develop without smudges. When you’re sleeping your body temperature rises, allowing your pores to open and the DHA tanning agent to seep into your skin and develop fully.

Can i Wait 24 Hours to Shower After my Spray Tan?

Waiting 24 hours after a spray tan is long enough to allow your tan to fully develop. Waiting past 24 hours won’t benefit the tan in any way. Your skin may start to get itchy and sweaty if you wait beyond 24 hour to shower, which is what you need to avoid when allowing your tan to develop.

It is advised that it is best to wait at least 24 hours before washing your hair. This is due to a lot of shampoos and conditioners naturally containing oils which may damage your tan.

What Happens if you Shower too soon after a Spray Tan?

If you shower too soon after your spray tan, your tan is likely to have smudges and streaks. Showering too soon after a spray tan also runs the risk of a lot of your desired color washing off! If you shower a spray tan off too quickly it can stop the development of the tans color. The first three-four hours after a spray tan is crucial for the color to develop.

Spray Tan After Care

If you’re a beginner to spray tans you will need to know what to do the following days after your spray tan. To make sure your spray tan sets nicely and lasts longer, here are some great spray tan after care tips to follow:

  • Moisturize! : The following days after your spray tan, moisturizing the body every day will help protect your tan. It’s best to apply a moisturizer on damp skin, straight after your shower to lock the moisture in.
  • Use Jojoba Oil : Fractionated Jojoba oil in moisturizing products can be a great ingredient to use when taking care of your skin and your tan. Jojoba oil can lock in the moisture and stop the tan from turning patchy.
  • Avoid certain ingredients : Be careful with which moisturizing products you are using as you will want to avoid ingredients like coconut oil. Coconut oil contains great benefits for the skin but coconut oil can strip your tan and break down the tanning solution. 
  • Lukewarm showers : To make your tan last longer, taking lukewarm showers is much better than taking hot showers. When drying yourself after your shower pat your skin instead of rubbing. This avoids exfoliating and rubbing your tan off.
  • Hydrate: It’s great to moisturize your skin with body washes and creams. But it’s also great to keep your skin hydrated from within! The healthier your skin is, the longer your tan will last. So drink lots of water!
  • Use tan enhancers : If you’re in the final days of your tan you can start supplementing with a tan enhancer. A tan enhancer has a small amount of DHA tanning agent mixed in and will keep your color topped up. Alternate a tan enhancer with a moisturizer for best results.

We’ve found a great video by Riannstar explain some more great spray tan after care tips:

How do you Shower First After a Spray Tan?

The first shower after a spray tan can help your tan stay in place. We have some first shower tips that can prevent your tan from fading quickly:

  • Shower, don’t bathe: Soaking in the tub will open your pores up and reduce your tan shade quickly. Baths can half the time your spray tan would typically last, meaning more trips to the salon and more frequently.
  • Keep you shower quick: Keeping your shower quick will help your tan stay in strong form. Water is known for making your tan fade therefore keeping your showers short and sweet will reduce the amount of contact you have with water.
  • Avoid harsh products: Mainly, avoid harsh soap! During the first rinse off, it’s best to keep your products limited. Chemicals and products can sometimes interfere with the development of the tanning solution so it’s best to aim to use just water when possible.
  • Don’t touch an exfoliator: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and the top layer of skin. This will remove the layer of skin the spray tan has settled. To avoid removing your tan, do not actively exfoliate and avoid exfoliating ingredients.
  • Always moisturize: Applying moisture to the skin will keep your skin healthy and keep your tan from fading quickly. Make sure to moisturize every day.
  • Pat yourself down When drying yourself after your shower, make sure to pat your skin rather than rub. Rubbing your skin with your towel can be a form of exfoliation and it’s best to avoid exfoliating when you have a spray tan.

Best Moisturizers for Spray Tan After Care

Looking for a good moisturizer for a spray tan? Here are our favorites:

  • Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer : This tan extender daily moisturizer includes organic aloe vera, argan oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, hyaluronic acid and vitamins B2, B5 and B12. All of these ingredients are beneficial for your skin and will be gently on your tan.
  • Tropic Like It’s Hot Moisturizer (Spray Tan Safe): This moisturizer is perfect for freshly sprayed tanned skin. A couple of pumps of this lotion will give you a natural looking glow without causing your tan to streak or become patchy. This moisturizer is made from a blend of botanicals that are designed to nourish the skin while also being fragrance free and safe for sensitive skin.


How Long do Spray Tans Last?

If you’ve followed the basics to a good spray tan after care routine, then your spray tan can on average last up to twelve days. How long spray tans lasts can really depend on what shade you’re aiming for. If you’re aiming for a light shade spray tan, then your spray tan will last on average five days. If you’re aiming for a medium shade spray tan then your tan can last around eight days.
With any spray tan, no matter the shade, your face and hands will always be the first to wash off as these are the areas that are exposed most commonly to water and soap.

Does a Spray Tan Continue to Develop After you Shower?

The quick answer to this question is yes!
After showering for the first time your tan can sometimes turn a darker shade a few hours later. The DHA solution that has already sank into your pores continues to develop. The spray tan solution will develop naturally hours after your application, meaning this change in shade is not due to the shower.
When you take your first shower after a spray tan you may panic when you see your beautiful bronzed tan turn into brown water and may think, why does my spray tan wash off in the shower?
Don’t be concerned, this is totally normal!
The reason your shower water is turning brown is due to the extra solution front he spray tan washing off your skin. If you’ve waited the appropriate time after a spray tan to shower, your spray tan won’t be affected.

Waiting is Key to Great Spray Tan Results!

The longer you wait before showering, the more chance you give your spray tan to turn out just how you wanted. Your tan will be streak free and the perfect shade!

How long do you wait to shower after a spray tan? Have you found that waiting longer to shower helps your tan? Do you think there’s a magic number of hours to wait after a spray tan, before showering, to get the best result?