We’ve all seen those Instagram models lounging on a beach or posing in front of the camera with that perfect and glowing sun-kissed skin. We’ve all dreamed to achieve that perfect tan— the kind that makes you glow like a sun god or goddess. It takes a lot to achieve that when we’re busy with work or school. It’s a good thing spray tans are our new best friend.
But, did you know it wasn’t always the trend back then? For a long time, pale porcelain skin was the sign of beauty, glamour, and luxury while a tan skin was a sign of poverty. It was all changed by the iconic female fashion designer Coco Chanel. After a trip to Cannes in 1923, she went back to the spotlight with this beautiful sun-kissed look that changed the game and launched a fad. Soon, everyone from models to housewives wanted the same bronzed glowy look.
Today we see a lot of influencers, models, and celebrities post on their Instagram accounts wearing summer outfits or laying on the sand with their perfect sun-kissed skin. Since not all can afford to come to the beach or allot time on their schedules for these trips, tanning products entered the market. Eventually, spray tans and tanning products were produced for the increasing demand.
Myths on Showering After Getting a Spray Tan
The bronze and golden look is a fad that everyone wants to try. But, too much exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. Dermatologists and public health officials found an increase in skin cancer in the late ‘90s.
After careful research, it was found to be due to the increase of sun exposure on the skin. Due to this, tanning beds and spray tans stepped in to reduce the increasing amount of skin cancer, and help health-conscious individuals achieve their desired bronze and tanned look.
Aside from avoiding skin cancer, these products let you keep your tan all year. It’s a lot better than exposing yourself to the harmful rays of the sun, right?
Newbies often ask the importance of showering after tanning. Below are common myths as to showering after getting a tan.
Myth #1: Taking a shower after a tanning session removes the tan
No, it won’t remove your tan but it would make it fade away.
During your spray tan session, the bronzers in the solution give your skin the sun-kissed, tan look. It is unlike the UV tanning machines that activate the melanocytes in your skin to produce melanin, resulting to the natural bronze pigment of your skin.
So, it is best to shower after a few hours to avoid removing and leaving uneven streaks in your skin.
Myth #2: You shouldn’t take a shower after getting a spray tan
Yes, you should. But you have to take it after a few hours.
It is unhygienic not to take a shower after getting a spray tan. The sweat on your skin from your tanning session or the weather outside would be removed once you take a shower. It also helps remove the residue from your tanning session.
Importance of Shower after Getting a Spray Tan
If you’re new to spray tanning, these are important information why showering after getting a tan is important:
Showering Cleanses the Skin
When you go to your tanning session, you may either sweat on the way to the spa or during your session. It would then clog your pores, and may result to acne.
Also, your skin is under extreme stress due to the tanning lotions applied on your skin. By taking a shower, it helps cleanse you off from dirt and sweat, and relieves it from the stress it had undergone.
Showering Washes Off Chemicals from your Spray Tan
During your spray tan session, your body is slathered with a lot of chemicals, such as bronzers, toners, and lotions. These chemicals help you achieve that sun-kissed skin, but they are harmful to your body if it is left for a long period of time. Showering after six to eight hours will help you remove these chemicals.
Skin Prepping: Getting a Spray Tan
Now that we have discussed the importance of taking a shower, let us dive in preparing your skin for your first ever tanning session. When preparing for your spray tan, here are the important points to prep your skin.
Exfoliate your Body
Exfoliating your body before getting a tan not only removes dead and dry cells, but it would also make your tan glide smoothly on your skin. It would also allow a more even and longer-lasting tan. Try to use a light exfoliating body scrub instead of soaps.
Remove Unwanted Hair
Shave or wax your body hair to smoothen your skin. Getting tanned is a bit expensive, and shaving after tanning would result to the color flaking off from your skin. So, better shave or wax hair before going to your appointment.
Don’t Use Lotions and Moisturizers Before Getting a Tan
Skip the lotions and moisturizers before going to your appointment because it will block the spray tan from sticking to your skin. Use them after getting tanned, as it would aid in making your bronzy color last a bit longer.
The Best Time to Take a Shower
Now that you know how to prepare for your tanning appointment, it’s time for you to know when to shower after getting a tan.
Yes, we heard you.
You want to know when the best time to take a shower is. But first, you have to take note that showering too early will decrease the longevity of the tan. Hence, shower after eight hours or more. But, this is not always the case because different formulations and products require different shower waiting time.
If the solution is a standard product type, shower off after eight hours. You may also check your development color after 12, 48 and 72 hours. If the product leaves a light color, shower off after 12 hours. If it leaves a dark and orangey color, shower after six hours.
If the solution of the product has an early shower off option, follow the directions on the packaging for the correct shower time. If not, check their website for the instructions. Different brands have different directions, so follow the correct information provided on their packaging or website.
How to Shower After Getting a Spray Tan
After-tanning showers are different from regular showering. When we shower, we often make use of scented soaps, body scrubs, and alcohol-based products. But, showering after a tanning session requires more care, and makes use of warm water and alcohol-free products.
When showering after a tanning session, it’s best to follow the following steps to get the best results.
Use Warm Water to Shower
When showering for the first time after a spray tanning session, only use warm water to rinse the residue. Yes, only water. You cannot use your soap, body wash, or body scrub.
Only use the soap 24 hours after getting a tan. Do not scrub your skin, but gently rub it with your hands to get off the top layer bronzer of your spray tan.
Remember to take a shower, not a bath. Shower for 10 to 15 minutes, because the longer you stand in the water, the faster it is to rinse all the oils away.
Choose Paraben- and Sulfate-Free Body Wash
Using the right products for your skin will help the longevity of your tan. Try using products that are paraben-free and sulfate-free because it is made up of natural oils that would help in retaining your color, and it helps stop the growth of bacteria.
Also, try not to use products with any alcohol to keep your skin from getting dry.
What to Avoid After a Spray Tan
Rubbing your Skin
When drying yourself, use a patting or dabbing motion instead of rubbing or scrubbing your skin. Doing so would result to your skin flaking off and unevening the color of your tan—or worse, removing it.
Aerosol or Oil-Based Sunscreen
When using sunscreens, it is advisable to avoid aerosol or oil-based products because it contains alcohol that would aid in drying out your tan. It’s better to use a waterproof lotion sunscreen.
AHA and BHA Products
AHA and BHA products are types of acid derived from natural sources such as citric acid. These solutions help in peeling the top most layer of your skin. Avoid using these products, as it would peel off your tan.
Body Hair Bleach Products
Bleaching products help in lightening dark areas of your skin. Avoid using bleaching products because it will definitely remove your tan.
When applying peel-off masks on your skin, it settles on the top layer, and traps your skin’s dirt and impurities. Once you peel it off, it removes not only the dirt but your tan, as well, leaving you with flaky and uneven skin.
Taking care of your skin after getting a tan is an important part of your routine. To keep your tan looking good, apply moisturizer everyday. Also use a shower gel when you take a bath.
If you want, you can use a moisturizer with DHA to maintain the color of your tan. It would not only make sure your tan would last longer, but it would also keep your skin hydrated. However, using a moisturizer or lotion is not enough, so drink eight glasses of water in addition to your skin applications.
Lastly, do not schedule manicure, pedicure, or waxing appointments because it will remove the tan on your skin; that’s why we advised you to wax or shave before getting a tan.
Achieving that glowy, bronzy look is truly a beautiful feeling. But, it is important to take into consideration and research first the benefits and effects of spray tanning. The chemicals and ingredients used in the spray tan, as well as the application of the therapist should be evaluated before booking your first appointment.
It would also be better if you read reviews from their past clients. By doing so, you do not only get to know the product and services, but you would also avoid wasting your hard-earned money.
Also, be informed and research on how to take care of your skin after getting a tan. Learn the proper methods of aftercare and showering post-tanning appointment. This way, you do not only increase the longevity of your tan, but also save hundreds of dollars.