When to Shower After a Spray Tan

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

What you do after your spray tan makes a big difference in the results you get. If you shower prematurely, you risk removing the active ingredient before it works its magic. That will lead to a lighter, less lustrous tan. 

If you shower too late, you may end up darker than you would like. Some may even find their skin in an ugly shade of orange. Prevent all those things by learning when to shower after a spray tan

For today, we will tell you when is the best time to shower after having your spray tan. Plus, we will also answer a few questions about what to do after you have your spray tan.


Knowing When to Shower After a Spray Tan

MaxiMist Spray Tan Machine

Knowing when to shower after a spray tan is perhaps more critical than even showering after a sun tan.

The amount of time you leave the spray tan solution on your body will determine the results that you get out of your spray tan session. 

If you had your spray tan on a tanning salon, they’ll have their own instructions as to when you should shower.

But most salons and home spray tan machine guidelines suggest waiting to take a shower for about 4-8 hours.

By letting that time pass, you let the active ingredient (DHA) react with the target amino acids on your skin to produce that beautiful, glowing tan. 

The 4-8 hours range lets you control how dark you want to become.

You can choose to let the solution stay on your skin for longer. But don’t want to wait more than 24 hours to shower. That could just lead to irritation of your skin, or even potentially an orange spray tan

Aside from letting the solution stay on your skin for a minimum of 4 hours, you should also prevent other sources of moisture from getting on your skin.

That will include the sweat you get from working out, swimming, or applying any moisturizing product to your skin. 

You should also avoid putting anything on your skin, like lotions or even liquid makeup, that could add moisture to it.

Additional moisture will just prevent the spray tan solution from adhering to your skin. That could lead to a patchy tan… and you don’t want that!

How to Shower After a Spray Tan

Knowing when to shower is very important, but it’s not the whole story. You should also know how to properly shower after having your spray tan session.

Long, hot showers can be super relaxing and rejuvenating. But they’re not ideal after a spray tan. 

Lower the temperature and choose warm water instead of the usual hot water. Also, you should avoid oily body washes as well.

Avoid scrubbing your body too much in your shower, and avoid spending too much time in the shower as well.

Exfoliating your skin is good. But it is best to do it before your spray tan.

Remember that the spray tan solution reacts to the outermost skin layer. If you remove that skin layer by exfoliating, your spray tan will fade faster. 

When you shower after a spray tan, be gentle and select oil-free body washes (preferably one that hasn’t expired!). Bar soaps should also be avoided or other soaps that have harsher chemicals. 

Drying Off

The way you dry yourself off also matters. Try to pat yourself dry. No need to do that rub-the-towel-dance. Keep the abrasion low.

After showering and drying yourself, you could also moisturize your skin.

Keeping your skin moisturized after having your spray tan and a shower will help you keep that bronzed glow for longer

Washing Your Hair After A Spray Tan

Aside from taking a shower to wash your body, you also need to wash your hair after a spray tan.

We usually wash our hair while standing up and letting the water and hair products drip all over our body. That may not be the best thing to do after getting a tan. 

Instead, you should try washing your hair upside down. In that way, you’ll lessen exposing your body to whatever products you use for your hair.

We’ve put together an explainer on washing hair after a spray tan to clarify everything for you.


What you do after you have your spray tan can affect the results of your spray tan session. The way you treat your skin will keep your spray tan going longer.

Knowing when to shower is one of the most important pieces of information to know.

You should wait for 4 hours before you shower. Some might ask you to wait longer, that would depend on the tanning salon you go to. 

How you shower is just as important as when you shower. You should only take quick showers that aren’t too hot. Also, make use of milder cleaning solutions and don’t exfoliate. Remember to pat yourself dry and avoid rubbing the towel over yourself. 

See Also

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).