When To Shower After a Spray Tan

Wondering when to shower after a spray tan? We’ve got you. 

Does your colour guide look too dark, and you’re panicking that you will turn out exactly like that colour?

To answer that question about when you can wash off a spray tan, it depends on the spray tan you applied at the salon.

By what type of spray tan, we mean the brand and whether or not it was a standard ‘9-hour development tan’ or the latest innovation in spray tanning, the ‘express tan‘.

a woman washing off her

Showering after a regular spray tan

This is the classic spray tan that you will be used to receiving at your local spray tan salon. You must wait 9 hours until you can shower after a spray tan.

The salon in which your spray tan is applied will probably tell you how long you are to leave your colour guide on. The colour guide is the brown spray left on your skin after using the tan.

In this development time, you are responsible for ensuring you don’t damage the colour guide until it’s time to shower. That means no washing your hands, spilling drinks or going to the gym.

If you are looking at your spray tan and think – “my word, this is brown”, don’t worry; it’s just a colour guide so your beauty therapist doesn’t miss a bit. You’ll end up just as brown as what you asked for. If you are worried about it developing too dark, wash it off half the time, and you’ll be half as brown!

If you damage the colour guide, you might risk the tan looking uneven. So, for example, if you spill some water on your arm, the colour guide will wash off that area, causing it not to develop as much as the rest of the body.

Once your 9 hours are up, you can wash your colour guide off in the shower.

For your first shower after a spray tan, wash your tan off with pure water in the shower, which means no soap or shampoo.

Showering after Express, 1 Hour or Rapid Spray Tans

When it comes to when you should wash off your express spray tan, things are a little different, and we will explain why. 

The 1 hour or a ‘rapid spray tan’ are all the same. These tans get to work faster, meaning you can shower them off before going out or bed. This is rather convenient when life is busy or you’re asked to come in for a shift at work!

It works like this: 1 hour for light, 2 hours for medium, 3 hours for dark, or it keeps going for even darker.

Once you wash this type of spray tan off, you will be brown, but you’ll be even browner the next day. Even though you can wash it off, it still takes 9 hours to develop into the shade you want.

Don’t damage your tan till you wash it off, and try to wear loose clothing after you’ve washed it off as well. That means no jeans, leggings or tight bras. Avoid perfume on bare skin till the next day.

Do I shower before a spray tan?

Yes, it’s best to shower before tanning, but not just before, in case your pores remain open from the heat.

Showering before a spray tan ensures you are free from oils, moisturisers, deodorants and makeup. Ideally, shower 1-5 hours before a spray tan and no less.

Can I bathe After a Shower?

Yes, you can go for a quick bath after a spray tan, and it won’t affect your colour if you make it a short dip. Instead, try to limit your time in the bath to 5 minutes maximum so it doesn’t affect the colour.

When can I use soap or shower gel after a spray tan?

When a client is spray-tanned, they are covered in a sunless tanning solution and a cosmetic bronzer is added to tan solutions to give the therapist an application guide.

When you wash off the product, use your hands and warm water to rinse. It is best to avoid soap and shower gel, but you can use it on intimate areas and underarms.

Soap residue disrupts the skin’s pH, and theories suggest it can damage its acid mantle. The acid mantle is a layer of oils, fatty acids, and amino acids. Amino acids are what tan clings to turn you brown; therefore, if there is a possibility your amino acids are damaged, then your tan will be too. Soap can worsen skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis and dry the skin.

If your going to wash with a product, it is recommended that you use an oil-free shower gel or cleanser containing natural ingredients.

When can I wash my hair after a spray tan?

You can wash your hair 9 hours after a spray tan, but there are a few tips to achieve this without causing tan streaks.

First, rinse your body with the colour guide until the water turns clear; flip your head over and wash your hair this way, as some shampoos can be chemically harsh, potentially damaging the spray tan.

Will my tan get darker than usual if I wait over the development time?

No, even if you wait 24 hours to shower h your spray tan off, you will not get any darker than usual. Tans stop developing after 9 hours, so waiting longer won’t make a difference. It will not make your tan appear uneven either; you will smell a bit biscuity!

What happens if I wash a spray tan off early?

If you wash off a spray tan too early, you will be lighter than expected. This is because you have not allowed the product to sit on your skin for the full development time, usually 8-9 hours, depending on the brand.

Thankfully, even if you wash a spray tan off early, for example, 1-7 hours before reaching the total development time, the product will still affect your skin and cause it to tan.


Is soap terrible for your skin – https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/is-soap-bad-for-skin#How-to-ditch-your-soap-for-good