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Can You Shower After Using A Tanning Bed?

Tanning beds may seem like an ideal way to get a sun-kissed glow, but is it safe to shower right after? Can you shower after using a tanning bed?

Can a shower affect the results of your tanning bed session? Keep on reading to find out the dos and don’ts when showering after using a tanning bed…

Can You Shower After Using A Tanning Bed?

Can You Shower After Using A Tanning Bed?

When using a tanning bed, your skin is exposed to UV rays which trigger melanin production. This is the process that gives your skin a tanned appearance. 

Immediate Showering? 

Generally, since a tanning bed’s UV rays stimulate melanin production inside your skin cells, immediate showering won’t wash away your tan.

You can typically take a shower fairly soon after your tanning bed session without negatively affecting your tan.

Ideal Waiting Time 

However, it’s prudent to wait a bit before hopping into the shower. Some experts recommend waiting about 2-3 hours, especially if you’ve applied tanning oils or lotions.

The waiting period allows these products to fully absorb and work effectively.

  • Lukewarm Water: When showering after a tanning bed session, it’s a good idea to use lukewarm water. Hot showers can dehydrate your skin, possibly causing your tan to fade prematurely.
  • Gentle Drying: Instead of vigorously rubbing with a towel, gently pat your skin dry. This method is less abrasive and helps maintain the quality of your tan.
  • Moisturization: After pat drying, remember to moisturize. Hydrated skin retains a tan better and also gives off a healthy glow.

These guidelines may vary depending on the products you use and your specific skin type, so always consider any specific instructions provided with tanning lotions or oils.

Your skincare routine post-tanning bed does make a difference in the longevity and quality of your tan!

Is It Best To Shower Before Or After Tanning?

When it comes to tanning, whether in the sun or a tanning bed, paying attention to your shower routine is key for both skin hygiene and maintaining your tan.

Before Tanning:

  • Showering Pre-Tan: Taking a shower before your tanning session helps remove oils, sweat, and cosmetics from your skin, allowing for an even tan.
  • Moisturize: After showering, apply a moisturizer to prevent your skin from dehydrating. Opt for a formula rich in hyaluronic acid or aloe vera to enhance skin hydration.
Shower Time Benefit
Immediately Before Tanning Clean skin for even tanning.
1-2 Hours Before Tanning Allows moisture and products to absorb into your skin.

After Tanning:

  • Timing: It’s usually advised to wait a bit before showering to let your tan develop fully, especially if you’ve applied tanning lotions.
  • Sensitive Skin: For those with sensitive skin, a lukewarm shower and patting your skin dry helps to avoid irritation.
  • Hydrate and Moisturize: Post-tanning, your skin needs to replenish its moisture. Use a gentle moisturizer containing antioxidants and ingredients like aloe vera to soothe and hydrate your skin.

Remember, whether you choose to shower before or after your tanning session, gentleness is paramount.

Avoid hot water and harsh soaps that can dry your skin out and reduce the longevity of your tan.

Keep your post-tanning shower lukewarm, brief, and finish by applying a moisturizer to lock in hydration.

How To Dry Your Skin When Taking A Shower After Tanning

How To Dry Your Skin When Taking A Shower After Tanning

After indulging in a session at the tanning bed, it’s important to know how to properly dry your skin following a shower.

Showering can be a refreshing step after tanning, but the way you dry off can affect your tan and skin hydration.

When you step out of the shower, avoid rubbing your skin with a towel, which can be too abrasive and might diminish the quality of your tan.

Instead, opt to pat dry gently. Use a soft, clean towel and lightly dab your skin to soak up the excess moisture.

Here’s a quick checklist for patting your skin dry:

  • Ensure your towel is soft.
  • Gently press the towel against your skin and pat.
  • Rotate to dry areas of the towel as needed.
  • Be extra careful with areas where your skin folds or creases.

Maintaining the moisture balance in your skin is key after tanning.

While pat drying helps in not stripping away your tan, applying a moisturizer post-shower can aid in locking in hydration.

Look for moisturizers rich in aloe vera or hyaluronic acid, which are known for their hydrating properties.

How To Look After Your Skin After Tanning Bed Sessions

After using a tanning bed, your skin needs special attention to maintain its health and extend the life of your tan. 

Hydrate Immediately: Tanning can dehydrate your skin, so it’s essential to replenish moisture from the inside out. Drink plenty of water right after your session.

Apply Moisturizer: Use a rich moisturizer to soothe your skin. Look for products that contain aloe vera or antioxidants to help calm and repair the skin. Hydration on the surface helps to prevent peeling and prolong the tan.

  • Right Timing: If you shower, wait a bit to ensure you don’t strip away tanning lotions that aid in developing your tan. Gentle, short, lukewarm showers are best.
  • Nourish Your Skin: Regularly moisturizing with products designed for post-tanning can keep your skin supple. Alternating between creams and oils can provide varied benefits.
  • Protect From the Sun: Your skin is more sensitive after tanning. Protect it from sun exposure to avoid burns by using sunscreen when outdoors.

Avoid Alcohol-Based Products: These can dry out your skin. Turn to a hydrating mist or non-alcohol based astringents as part of your skincare routine.

Best Lotion Or Moisturizer To Use When Showering After A Tanning Bed

Best Lotion Or Moisturizer To Use When Showering After A Tanning Bed

After a tanning bed session, your skin needs hydration to maintain that beautiful glow.

The right moisturizer can help extend the life of your tan and keep your skin soft.

When choosing a lotion or moisturizer for post-tanning bed care, consider products with certain nourishing ingredients. Here’s what to look for:

  • Aloe Vera: Renowned for its soothing properties, aloe vera can calm tanned skin.
  • vitamin C: An antioxidant that helps protect skin and boost radiance.
  • Hydrating Oils: Look for ingredients like coconut oil or argan oil to deeply moisturize.

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Gentle Cleansing: After your shower, cleanse your skin gently without using harsh exfoliants or scrubs.
  2. Pat Dry: Pat your skin dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing, which can prematurely fade your tan.
  3. Moisturize Immediately: Apply your chosen lotion right after drying to lock in moisture.

Product Picks

  • For Sensitive Skin: Opt for hypoallergenic formulas that are fragrance-free to avoid irritation.
  • Deep Hydration: A rich lotion with shea butter or cocoa butter can offer long-lasting moisture.

Tip: While using a tanning bed, skip the sunscreen as it blocks UV rays, but make sure to use it before and after to protect from sun exposure.

Can You Shower After A Spray Tan Without Ruining Your Tanning Results?

The answer is yes, it is possible to take a shower after spraying yourself with a self-tanner. It’s important to do so to remove any excess product and ensure an even application. 

When taking a shower after getting sprayed with self-tanner, you should avoid using hot water and keep your shower on the cooler side instead.

This will help prevent the top layer of your skin from drying out too quickly and cause the spray tan color to fade or streak unevenly.

If you plan on shampooing or conditioning your hair during your post spray tan shower, use lukewarm water for those purposes as well. 

It’s also important to avoid long showers or excessively scrubbing your skin when taking one after applying self-tanner; this can lead to premature fading of your newly applied color since vigorous scrubbing strips away some of its molecules and cause it to wear off faster than it normally would.

If you feel like bathing longer than usual due to buildup of any products used during application, just limit yourself from rubbing against stronger parts of your body such as elbows and knees where residual self-tanner can be found more easily due to their natural creases and folds in the skin structure. 

Can You Shower After A Spray Tan Without Ruining Your Tanning Results?


So, can you shower after using a tanning bed? Yes, but it’s important not to shower immediately afterward or use too hot of water.

Wait 2-3 hours before taking a lukewarm shower and pat dry with a clean towel afterward. 

Apply moisturizer to hydrate your skin and help your tan last longer. It is also advised to not use hot water when taking a shower before or after a tanning session to avoid drying out the skin too much.