Should You Shower Before of After a Tanning Bed?

Should You Shower Before of After a Tanning Bed

Have you ever found yourself uncertain about the ideal time to take a shower when planning a tanning bed session? 

The quest for the perfect tanning routine is a common dilemma among tanning enthusiasts. After diving into extensive research and consulting dermatologists, I’ve compiled all the essential insights to help you make an informed decision. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the pros and cons of showering before or after tanning in a tanning bed, ensuring you achieve the best possible tanning results. 

Whether you’re a seasoned tanner or a beginner, this article is here to shed light on this often-debated topic and guide you toward the most effective tanning bed experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Showering before tanning in a tanning bed helps remove dirt, oils, and dead skin cells for an even and effective tan.
  • Showering after tanning helps remove excess tanning lotion, hydrates the skin, and prevents clogged pores or breakouts.
  • Avoid using hot water, harsh soap, and shaving/exfoliating immediately after tanning.

Benefits of Showering Before a Tanning Bed

Benefits of Showering Before a Tanning Bed

Removes Dirt and Sweat

When we go about our daily activities, our skin accumulates impurities and sweat, which can create a barrier between the skin and the tanning lotion. 

Taking a pre-tan shower ensures that this layer of dirt and sweat is washed away, allowing the tanning lotion to be evenly absorbed by the skin. 

This clean canvas allows for a more uniform and radiant tan, as there are no obstructions hindering the tanning process. 

Opens Pores

Showering before a tanning bed enables the skin to breathe, promoting a healthier tanning experience. 

By taking a pre-tan shower, we create an ideal environment for the tanning bed lotion to work its magic, resulting in a beautiful and long-lasting tan that leaves us feeling refreshed and confident.

Exfoliates Skin

By exfoliating in the shower before a tanning bed you can remove of dead skin cells from the surface of your body. 

This not only gives the tanning lotion a clean base to work on, but it ensures that our skin is smooth and well-prepared for the tanning session.

Gets Rid of Toxins

Lastly, getting rid of toxins through a pre-tan shower can lead to longer-lasting results by reducing inflammation and preventing blocked pores which might have a negative impact on your tan’s longevity.

Showering before tanning enhances moisture absorption leading to an effective tan that lasts much longer.

Benefits of Showering After Tanning

Benefits of Showering After Tanning

Removes Tanning Lotion Residue

Tanning lotions often contain oils, bronzers, and other ingredients that can leave a residue on the skin’s surface. 

By taking a post-tanning shower, we effectively cleanse the skin and wash away any leftover product, preventing it from settling into the pores and potentially causing skin irritation.

Rehydrates The Skin

Exposure to UV rays during tanning can leave the skin feeling dry and in need of moisture. Taking a shower after tanning allows us to replenish lost hydration, as warm water can help to open up the pores and facilitate better absorption of moisturizers. 

By using a gentle and nourishing body wash, we can cleanse the skin without stripping away essential oils, leaving it feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Cleanses Away Sweat

Spending time in a tanning bed can cause the body to perspire, especially under the heat of the UV lamps. 

Sweating can lead to the buildup of impurities on the skin’s surface, potentially clogging pores and hindering the tanning process. 

Taking a post-tanning shower allows us to wash away the sweat, removing any dirt and bacteria that may have been trapped on the skin. 

What to Avoid in the Shower After Tanning

What to Avoid in the Shower After Tanning

Hot water

Hot water can have a negative impact on your skin after tanning in a tanning bed. It can strip away moisture and natural oils, leading to dryness and potential inflammation. 

Using cool or lukewarm water instead helps keep the skin hydrated and prevent any further damage.

Harsh soap

Using harsh soap on your skin after tanning in a tanning bed can do more harm than good. Harsh soaps are often too drying and can strip away the natural oils from your skin, leaving it feeling dry, tight, and irritated.

It’s important to choose a gentle, moisturizing soap that will nourish and hydrate your skin instead. Look for soaps that are formulated for sensitive or dry skin types and avoid those with harsh chemicals or fragrances.

Long showers and baths

Taking long showers and baths after tanning can actually be counterproductive to maintaining a healthy tan. When we spend extended periods of time in hot water, it can strip away the moisture from our skin, leaving it dry and dehydrated.

Not only that, but hot water can also open up our pores, which increases the chances of toxins getting into our skin and causing inflammation.

To preserve your tan and keep your skin looking its best, it’s recommended to take shorter showers or baths with lukewarm water instead.

Aggressive towel-drying

After tanning in a tanning bed, it’s important to be gentle when drying off with a towel. Aggressive towel-drying can irritate the skin and cause redness or dryness. Instead, pat your skin dry gently using soft strokes.

This will help preserve moisture and prevent further damage. Remember, being kind to your skin after tanning is essential for maintaining that beautiful glow.

Skipping moisturizer

Moisturizing is an important step in your skincare routine, especially after tanning. Skipping moisturizer can lead to dry and irritated skin, which can affect the longevity of your tan.

Moisturizer helps to replenish lost moisture and nutrients, keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. It also helps to lock in the tan, ensuring a more even and longer-lasting color.

Don’t forget to choose a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type and specifically formulated for post-tanning care.


In conclusion, you should shower both before and after a tanning bed, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be straight away.  

Showering before can help remove any dirt, oils, or lotions from the skin’s surface, allowing for better absorption of tanning lotion and potentially longer-lasting results.

On the other hand, showering after can help rinse off any excess tanning lotion and moisturize the skin to prevent dryness. 


Will showering after tanning affect my tan?

Showering after tanning in a tanning bed will not affect your tan as long as you avoid using harsh soaps or exfoliating products that can strip away the color. 

It is also best to opt for a warm shower, as a hot shower will dry out the skin which you want to avoid after tanning!

How Long After a Sunbed Should I Shower?

After using a sunbed, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 2-3 hours before showering. This allows the tanning process to continue as your skin produces melanin in response to UV exposure.