How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning?

You’ve just finished a session on the tanning bed and now have a gorgeous bronze tan ready to go for that holiday on a tropical beach. But now that you’ve got your tan, did you know that you have to take extra steps to take care of your skin?

Here, we take a look at what you should do to keep your skin protected after a tanning session.

What is Tanning exactly ? (effects on skin)

Anyone who has ever been to the beach or spent time under the sun will most likely be familiar with what tanning is. In a nutshell, tanning is the process of exposing yourself to sunlight for an extended period of time in order to get a bronzed i.e. tanned complexion.

Besides giving you a lovely tan, UV light also helps your body synthesize Vitamin D which is essential for good health.

Given that Vitamin D is not found in most foods, going out and getting some UV rays is a great way for you to keep yourself healthy and in good shape.

tanning uv rays

When our skin cells are exposed to sunlight, the UV rays contained in sunlight react with them. In turn, this causes your skin cells to produce a skin pigment known as Melanin. Melanin is composed of pheomelanin and eumelanin.

In response to DNA damage caused by tanning, the skin cells produce melanin which in turn gives you that bronzed look that everyone is after. Suntanning can be done by simply sitting on the beach for hours at a time or by visiting a tanning salon.

At the tanning salon, you’ll lie on the tanning bed to expose yourself to UV light. This process is known as sunless tanning.

While getting a natural bronze tan looks great on the beach, care should be taken to not expose yourself to excess amounts of UV light. Overexposure to UV light can cause sunburns which are typified by red, sensitive skin and a burning sensation. Along with this, sunburns can also be very painful and irritating.

Besides sunburns, putting yourself under the sun or the tanning lights can increase the risk of your developing skin cancer. The damage caused by the UV rays can cause aberrant mutations in your skin cells which on the long-term can cause you to develop cancer.

Hence, tanning like everything else in life should be done in moderation. Excessive tanning can cause you to develop dry, leathery skin which is unsightly and bad for your health. Check here on what best temperature should your bath be.

beach tanning woman

How Long Should You Wait to Shower After Tanning?

So, you’ve just finished a good session at your local tanning salon and you’re looking to freshen yourself up. With indoor tanning becoming an increasingly popular option, you might wonder how long you should wait before hitting the shower.

Several different schools of thought exist with regards to the issue of getting wet after tanning yourself.

  1. You don’t wait at all

If you’re tanning the natural way without using any bronzers, there’s no need to delay the time between getting your tan and taking a shower. In fact, you can jump right in after a tanning session and wash your body down.

Some experts have also noted that showering after a sunbathing session can, in fact, do good for your body. From cooling yourself down to reducing the likelihood of sunburns, the benefits of showering after a natural tanning session can do wonders.

Besides this, showering after you tan yourself allows you to moisturize your skin and lock in essential oils. This prevents your skin from drying out and helps your tan last that much longer. By keeping your skin moist, this helps you retain a youthful look and stops your skin from looking like tanned leather.

  1. Wait for an hour

Another school of thought proposed by plenty of experienced tanners is that you should ideally wait an hour to let your tan settle. By giving your skin 45 minutes to an hour to fully absorb the UV rays, your skin will be that much better at absorbing the UV rays hence giving you a much better-looking tan. See our guide and methods on how to wash your back.

bikini beach tanning


Getting a classic golden tan will have you looking absolutely gorgeous. If you’re looking to get the best that you can out of your tan, we do recommend letting your skin rest for an hour before your shower.

If you wear eyelash extensions, read our tips & tricks on how to take a shower with them.