Tanning is a long process and it requires lots of persistence, time, and patience. Many people wonder how long they should wait to shower after tanning. After all the work involved in tanning, it would be a shame to have it washed away with a single shower. If you want your tan to last, there are a few things you can do. This article will highlight the guidelines to follow after tanning and when to shower.
The ideal amount of time before showering depends on so many things. If you shower immediately after tanning, the bronzers or spray tan may wash off. This could leave you with streaks all over your skin. Showering after tanning usually depends on the situation. The time frame is different for sunbathing, using a tanning bed, using a bronzer to a self-tanning lotion. Each method has a specific time frame to wait before taking a shower.
- How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning with Lotions and Bronzers?
- How Long Should You Wait After Sunbathing?
- How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning With UV Lamps?
- How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Self-Tanners or Sunless Tanning
- Tips for Showering After Tanning
- Do and Don’ts After Tanning
- Final Thoughts
- Related Articles
How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning with Lotions and Bronzers?
If you do not use a bronzer or tan accelerator, you should wait for an hour to ensure that the melanin in the skin has absorbed UV rays to produce a decent tan. The process is different if you use a bronzer or accelerator. The shower time changes in this case. If a tanning lotion is used, it increases the entire process time.
The reason you need to wait is that various chemicals need time to develop fully. Depending on the tanning tool you chose, the waiting time changes. Some bronzers come with a recommended time to shower on their labels. Generally, most tanning lotions continue to darken your skin 2 to 3 hours after the tanning session. In this case, it does not matter if you sunbathe or use a tanning bed, you should wait for up to 3 hours before showering.
After taking a shower or swimming, you may notice a brown color running off your body if you used a bronzer. This should not be a cause for alarm. The bronzer pigment is responsible for it and it usually does not contribute to darkening the tan on the body. This color isn’t the bronzer but natural dyes and oils that are contained in the DHA. When the DHA content in the bronzer touches the skin, it needs a few hours to darken it. The full results can take 24 hours, but in 2 to 3 hours, washing it after won’t affect the bronzer color.
How Long Should You Wait After Sunbathing?
If you prefer to tan the old-fashioned way by bathing in the sun, then it is ideal to do it in the morning. At this time, your body’s circadian rhythms and the UV rays work together. However, the time frame to shower will still depend on whether you used a tanning lotion, bronzer, or accelerator. Whichever you use, it is ideal to wait for 2 to 3 hours before taking a shower to allow the lotion or bronzer to set.
If you did not use any of these products, then you can jump into the shower without experiencing any negative results.
How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning With UV Lamps?
Again, this also depends on whether you used a bronzer or tanning lotion. However, if you do not use any of the products, you can take a shower after about 20 minutes. If you use a tanning lotion or bronzer in the process, then you are required to wait for 2 to 3 hours before going to the shower.
Laying on tanning beds exposes the skin to UV radiation at higher levels. Since you sweat a lot, the machine changes your skin. Most people use tanning lotions and bronzers with tanning beds.
When the chemicals accumulate, they could damage the skin by clogging the pores. So it is ideal to shower after the tanning process finishes. The skin loses moisture during tanning and the sweat can cause cracked and dry skin. Always moisturize to keep the skin soft and smooth.
People with fair skin also need to take special precautions after using tanning beds. It is not ideal to shower after using a tanning bed. UV tanning and sun tanning do not only affect the upper skin, they also get under the skin.
This can be a problem for people with sensitive skin. During the tanning process, the skin suffers a lot of stress and it can lead to skin reddening from blood vessels coming up to the surface of the skin. If you pour water on it immediately after, it could cause a serious skin reaction. This is why you should wait for some time before taking the shower.
How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Self-Tanners or Sunless Tanning
Chemicals in sunless tans stay on the body for a few hours because they are not activated by UV light. They are different from bronzer that changes the skin’s pigment with DHA with some help from oxygen.
Taking a shower so soon after using a fake tan or self-tanner can put you at risk of washing off the solution. The result could be a blotchy and streaky tan. DHA oxidizes immediately when it touches the skin. This is how it produces a beautiful golden glow. The process takes around 4 hours to finish, so it is not ideal to take a shower before this allotted time to let the process finish.
However, instructions for sunless tanners and self-tanners usually do not recommend taking a shower for at least 8 hours before applying the products. It would be wise to follow the directions on the label in such cases.
Tips for Showering After Tanning
When the DHA has worked on the skin, you can now take a shower without worrying about wasting its power or ruining the tan. However, you should exercise caution while taking a bath.
You need to use lukewarm water. The skin goes through a lot of burning during the tanning process, so taking a hot shower may be counterproductive. It is better to cool your body and avoid putting any strain on the skin or the sweat pores. Use lukewarm water to keep the body cool.
A shower is also preferred after tanning as opposed to a bath. This means that you should not spend too much time in the water. The skin needs only a mild cleansing so get out of the water as soon as possible. Also, you should not take a long shower because exposing the skin to water can make it easier for the browning agent to come off.
Cleansers and harsh soaps should be avoided at all costs. During your short shower, do not use soap to clean your entire body. You can use it on your armpit and groin. Do not use it on other parts as it could breakdown the body oils as well as the tanning solution oils. In this process, your skin could lose moisture. Also, you need to reduce the usage of heavily scented soaps since they have strong chemicals that interfere with bronzers and self-tanners. Soap can be used when necessary but you may need to rinse it off quickly.
Exfoliation is a healthy skincare routine, but you should avoid it after tanning. It is a bad idea to exfoliate after tanning because the tanner needs time to set. If you must exfoliate, wait for a few days first. The process could remove the tanning solutions and give you an uneven look.
Do not use a towel on your skin after taking a shower. Don’t rub the towel on your body because it could remove the tanning solution and moisture from the skin. This water is essential to retain the moisture of the skin. If you must use a towel, pat your skin dry after taking a bath.
Do and Don’ts After Tanning
There are a lot of things you need to do after tanning to ensure that your skin is not damaged after a tan.
Hydrate your Skin
Tanning can be traumatic to the skin cells. This is why melanin is the body’s defense system against it. Hydrating your skin can help you to protect it. A good moisturizer can help you after the tanning process. However, you should be wary of the type of moisturizer you choose. Some are made specifically for use after tanning. This is because they protect the skin and enhance the new look. Drinking water can also help you to hydrate the skin from inside.
The goal is not to dry out your skin. As stated earlier, hot showers are not ideal after tanning. Whether or not you undergo a tanning session, hot showers can dehydrate the skin even though it feels relaxing. When this happens, the skin may peel quickly and result in a faded tan.
Even after waiting for the required amount of time to take a shower, hot showers are not recommended. Try to stick with lukewarm or cool showers to maintain the glow for a longer period. They do not dry out the skin nor make it peel off.
Using shower oil may also come in handy when you take a shower. The product usually helps moisturize the skin. This keeps the skin hydrated after the tan. It can also help keep the tan on for a longer time. There are a lot of shower oils available on the market. Many of them are built to offer hydration and high doses of moisture to the skin. After tanning, add some shower oil to your routine and it will keep your skin healthy and smooth.
Another way to moisturize your skin would be drinking water as stated above. This is the best way to moisturize your skin from the inside. Drinking water daily can help you to achieve this goal. Note that sugary beverages such as sodas and juices do not count.
Only water can do the trick because it is better for the skin. Hydration from water can even help you to maintain a tan for a longer period. It works from the inside out and extends the life of the skin cells, even the tanned ones. Your skin would be plumper and smoother with the extra moisture and it will thank you.
Whenever you go out, apply sunscreen. Your skin is still at risk of sun damage when you go out. Tanning does not protect you from UV rays. Going out without sunscreen can cause skin damage. Always apply sunscreen before you go out. If possible, try to reapply the cream after every two hours to ensure that it offers maximum protection. your skin will thank you.
Eat Dark Chocolate and Fruits
Fruits help rehydrate the skin and also provide polyphenols that prevent UV damage. There are so many fruits to consider such as cherries, grapes, apples, berries, and pears. Dark chocolate may also help because it contains flavanols. This substance is an antioxidant. This means it protects your skin from UV damage after tanning.
Don’t Tan Again So Soon
Don’t tan too often. Give your skin some time to heal from the trauma before going for another tan. Constant intensive UV sessions can bring about serious health risks. Always ask your doctor or the salon operator how long you should take before going back for another session for safety reasons.
If you have fair skin, you may have to wait for a longer period because the skin type is vulnerable to UV damage. For a start, 2 to 3 times is ideal. However, this may need to reduce to 1 to 2 times per week after the tan sets.
Talk to Your Dermatologist if You Experience Skin Reactions
After tanning, you need to check your skin thoroughly for rashes or other types of reactions. If you notice any, talk to a doctor or dermatologist before going back to tan. Reactions could be caused by UV sensitivity without you even knowing.
Reactions like tanning bed rashes happen sometimes when the body’s flow of sweat is interrupted. The sweat becomes trapped in between the skin layers. This can also cause a rash. Most rashes are allergic reactions. Another common cause of this type of rash is dry skin. Moisturizing your skin before and after can help a great deal to prevent irritation.
If you go for a tan with dry skin, the lamps can extract the moisture from your skin’s top layer. This will result in dry, scaly patches.
So, how long should you wait to shower after tanning? There are many factors that go into answering this question. It depends on the particular tanning product or the type of tan. If you use a tanning lotion or a self-tanner with a bronzer, experts recommend waiting for around 2 to 3 hours before taking a shower.
It gives the self-tanner and bronzer enough time to work so it can sit properly on the skin. However, if you sunbathe or use a UV tanning bed with bronzers and accelerators, you can wait for 20 minutes before taking the showing. This time will allow your skin to cool off after the tanning session.
Since the process is not artificial, you are triggering the production of melanin naturally in the body. A shower at that time will not spoil the tan. However, you should moisturize often after the tan to keep your skin looking smooth and supple. Avoid harsh soaps and do not try to exfoliate after tanning. It could put your skin through more trauma and this is not ideal.
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