Washing Off Spray Tan Too Early – What Could Be Done To Fix?

An evenly bronzed skin is the dream of all girls, but what happens when

washing off spray tan too early? Here is the answer and how to correct the mistake!

After each spray tan applying session, we are all advised to keep the layer for a couple of hours. During this time, you should not take a bath, for the tan can develop its shade on your skin.

However, is it possible to wash off the tan earlier and does this cause any problem? How long should you leave the tan on before washing? Follow us to get the answers!

Spray tan
Spray tan

How Long After Getting A Spray Tan Can You Shower?

It would be best to avoid bathing time 6 hours after receiving a spray tan. Avoiding showering leads to more expected results. The longer you leave the tan on, the darker tanned skin color you will get.

If you are in a rush, waiting at least 4 hours is a must for a desired tan. During this period, your skin can have enough time to absorb the product and develop an even shade. So you don’t have to wait 12 hours or even 24 hours to shower after spray tanning.

If you accidentally swim in a swimming pool or take a shower earlier than the recommended time, you will make the DHA come off before it completely becomes tanned.

How Early Is Too Early To Remove A Spray Tan? 

The tan outcome depends on the amount of time you leave it on. The reaction between DHA and our skin calls for at least 2 hours. Before this threshold, you may not notice any tan development and changes in your skin tone, meaning that you are washing off spray tan too early.

After two hours of applying, you will still get a light layer if you take a shower. Yet, this will eventually destroy any chance of your skin developing a darker shade. The consequences might hit the same when you wash your tan after 3 or 4 hours – a light bronzed tone.

Try to stay away from all moisture to support the tanning process. Sweating, working out, putting on liquid foundation, and moisturizing your skin are some activities to name.

Overall, tan results vary depending on the skin types, weather conditions, medications, hormones, and especially the formula of each brand. So, it’s best to check the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturer before applying.

Your chosen product can start a chemical reaction between your skin and tanning ingredients. This way, you should consult the spa or experts to know the most suitable waiting time to get the best results.

What Happens If You Wash Off A Spray Tan Too Soon?

A spray tan, as its name suggests, is a DHA-based fine mist, sprayed onto your skin to develop a fake tan. 

The active ingredient DHA makes the tan stay longer. Therefore, if you wash the tan off before it is ready, those components get no time to develop their color. The results are flat and streaky tan.

Some products come with bronzer to offer an instant tanning effect on your skin, which will

wash off straight away during a shower.

What Should You Do If You Wash Off A Spray Tan Too Early?

If you accidentally wash off the tan before the color can properly develop, here are some methods to fix this problem:

Use Self-Tanning Products

You can contact a professional to get the methods dealing with the tanning layer. Still, should you have no time left to do this or visit the tanning salon, you can also use some self-tanning products at home.

A self-tanning lotion or a tinted moisturizer is well recommended as they can deliver a smooth tan look. In such products, there is also DHA content. It needs time to bind with the skin, so don’t wash it too early.

If you want a tan overnight, the ones with a natural blend of ingredients will be a great choice. These organic products take around 4 – 8 hours to develop, so you will have a subtle and natural glow when you wake up. Otherwise, traditional types might require from 8 – 12 hours to completely do the magic.

They are easy to use, so all you need to do is follow the instructions.

Self-tanning products are quite easy and convenient to use
Self-tanning products are quite easy and convenient to use

Get A Touch-Up

Without a shade of a doubt, the most effective fix for washing off the solution too early is to touch up your tan. Your salon will surely get everything fixed properly. 

The technicians will likely apply a new layer to uplift and fix any issue with your existent tan. Make sure you follow all the rules and instructions of the salons so the result is as desired. You don’t want to pay more money and undo the work due to carelessness. 

Renew The Tan

Provided that you opt to apply a new layer over the previous one that was wiped off too early, remove it completely first. The best way is to shower various times and use an exfoliator to get rid of it. 

Leave some baby oil on for a few minutes and wash it. You can erase the old layer and have an even and smooth new one. 

This time, don’t forget to leave the new tan on your skin for the needed time.

How To Wash Off Spray Tan

Don’t jump to the conclusion that simply taking a shower can fully wash off the tanning layer. If you are into long, sudsy, and hot showers, we have some bad news for it. Follow these tips for an effective shower after a spray tan. 

Showering incorrectly could lead to a bad spray tan.
Showering incorrectly could lead to a bad spray tan.
  • Avoid hot water as it can create adverse chemical reactions between your skin and DHA, which could lead to a patchy tan. 
  • A quick shower with warm water and an oil-free body wash is ideal. Harsh chemicals like foams, soap, and body washes should be avoided.
  • If you want to use products, there are various types of spray-tan-friendly body wash available on the market. Mild and natural soap or body wash bar is also advisable if you don’t have those products. 
  • Avoid scrubbing your body too harshly or exfoliating. Using your hand back gently with an oil-free product is vital to rinse the solution off. 
  • Let your body dry completely before getting out of the shower. Now that you are clean and fresh, let’s moisturize and lock in the tan. Doing this twice a day will give you a bronzed glow.

How To Prolong A Spray Tan 

Before tanning 

  • Finish other beauty procedures like waxing, massaging, or manicuring
  • If you want to wax your skin, try to do it 24 hours beforehand
  • Shave and exfoliate your body 4 hours before tanning (at least). Then, apply moisturizers.

After tanning:

  • Wear paper panties to minimize tan stains and lines. Also, avoid tight clothes if you don’t want to streak the skin.
  • Use baby powder in the sweat-prone zones, such as knee pits, and armpits to prevent sweats that leave awkward spots and streaks on the tan.
  • After 6 hours of waiting, you can quickly shower with lukewarm water. But stay away from any scrubs and keep shampoo/conditioner out of the tanned skin.
  • No lotion and make-up in the waiting time (for the tan to fully develop)
  • Use tan extender from the third day

Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Spray Tan Come Off If I Wash My Face?

If you wash your face too early, your tan will be washed away with the water.

Some people apply spray tan on their facial skin to have an evenly bronzed body. Yet, as this area is more sensitive than others on the body, they easily wash away this tanning layer.

Sweating, rubbing the face, or daily skincare are a few examples. Therefore, be careful enough to keep the solution on for at least four hours on your face.

When washing, try to rub gently and use some cleansers for sensitive skin. This way, you will ensure the final result and protect your bronzed skin.

Can The Tan Still Develop After Washing It Off?

After applying the solution, it is easy to notice that the color gets darker as time goes by. So the answer is Yes. This is still the case when you get it washed off in the shower.

However, the tan can still develop after a shower. DHA still keeps reacting on your skin and gives an even tan. This color will be maintained for 15 to 20 hours after washing off. 

After the shower, you can feel a significantly darker look. Yet, it might not be as expected because you have rubbed off the excess to get a smoother result.

Will My Spray Tan Get Darker Overnight?

It’s, again, a 100% yes!

As mentioned above, the intensity of the darkness will depend on various factors, including the shades you select before tanning and the time you leave it on.

The longer you keep the tan, the darker you will get. Thus, your skin will surely get darker overnight. It is worth noting that the final result is dependent on the time you tan and the formulation of the product.

What If I Leave Spray Tan On Too Long?

The DHA included in the product is used to bind to the dying or dead skin cells. For this reason, when you let the tan stay for too long, the substance will not affect your skin negatively.

After this long period, your fake tan will be easily rubbed off on your bed sheets and clothes. You need to gently take the layer off by hand and wash the skin clearly with warm water.  

Don’t forget to remove the spray tan when the time is up.
Don’t forget to remove the spray tan when the time is up.


Using a spray tan is one of the quickest and most common methods to feel more beautiful and confident. However, it is not always a smooth process for all users, especially beginners. 

However, we bet that our article has offered you the best ways to remedy this issue. So let’s enjoy your tan and watch your skin develop a sun-kissed and bronzed tone!


Think of Well-Kept Beauty as your personal beauty professional – advising you on whether to switch up your beauty routine, re-up on a must-have product you are running low on, and even pinging you the best deals on the market. Now, let's take your beauty routine to the next level and keep your products doing what they promised!

Recent Posts