As someone who loves having beautifully bronzed skin but wants to achieve it safely, I rely on spray tanning to get my glow. I know many others do too. But there’s a question many of us spray tan lovers have – Can I Go Swimming With Spray Tan?
I used to avoid swimming after getting a spray tan, worried it would completely wash away in the chlorine. But now I know a few tricks that allow me to keep my gorgeous glow, even after taking a dip.
Here’s what I’ve learned about making spray tans last in the pool so you can swim without worry:
How Quickly Does Spray Tan Come Off In The Pool?
The first question to address – does chlorine immediately ruin a spray tan? The short answer is no. A quality spray tan solution won’t instantly disappear when it touches pool water.
However, chlorine can cause spray tans to fade faster than normal. Here’s why:
- Chlorine strips moisture – Pool chemicals dry out your skin, causing quicker fading and patchiness.
- Frequent swimming lifts dead skin – The more time you spend in the water, the more your tan exfoliates off.
- No barrier from sun – Without proper protection, sun exposure causes tans to lighten rapidly.
While your spray tan won’t vanish after one dip, long or frequent swims can shorten its lifespan. But with the right prep and care, you can make it last!
How Long Should I Wait Before Swimming After A Spray Tan?
For optimal results, wait at least 8 to 12 hours before taking a plunge post-tanning. This gives the DHA bronzer time to fully develop and absorb into your skin, so it will be less prone to fading in the water.
I try to schedule my spray tanning appointments at least a day before I plan on swimming. That way, I never have to choose between my tan and taking a refreshing dip!
If waiting a full day isn’t possible, at minimum wait until bedtime to swim after an AM tanning session. Those 8 hours make a difference.
Can I Go Swimming The Same Day As My Spray Tan?
While it’s best to wait until the next day, I know people sometimes need to swim right after tanning. If you must take a dip the same day, wait at least 6 to 8 hours if possible. Any less and you risk major fading issues.
Before swimming, apply a waterproof sunscreen to protect your fresh tan from chlorine and UV rays. Choose an oil-free formula so it doesn’t disrupt the bronzer. Reapply after 40 minutes in the water.
Also, keep showers brief and use tepid water. Hot showers can lighten spray tans prematurely.
After swimming, gently pat skin dry and apply moisturizer to counteract drying effects of chlorine. Avoid exfoliating or shaving for 24 hours.
With the right precautions, it is possible to swim and keep your just-sprayed glow. But less time in the water means better tan retention.
Tips For Making Your Spray Tan Last In The Pool
To help a spray tan survive splashing around with minimal fading, here are my top swim-proofing tips:
1. Exfoliate Before Tanning
Gently exfoliating removes dead skin that would otherwise slough off in the pool, taking your tan with it.
I exfoliate before my spray tan appointment – Never after! Focus on drier areas like elbows, knees and heels.
2. Use a Waterproof, Oil-Free Sunscreen
Waterproof sunscreen creates a barrier to protect your skin from chlorine and sun damage as you swim.
Oil-free formulas won’t cause bronzer disruption. Reapply every 40-80 minutes for ongoing protection.
3. Rinse Skin After Swimming
As soon as I exit the pool, I rinse off under a shower to remove any chlorine residue that could dry out my skin and fade my glow.
Avoid hot water, which can prematurely oxidize DHA. Lukewarm water works well.
4. Moisturize Post-Swim
Chlorine is drying, so moisturize after swimming to counteract this effect. Look for creams with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.
I smooth on moisturizer within 5-10 minutes of toweling off for maximum hydration.
5. Limit Swim Time
Try to keep pool time under 30-40 minutes per session. The longer you soak, the more your tan will fade.
I know it’s tempting to spend all day doing laps and perfecting your cannonball! But moderation preserves your gorgeous glow.
Which Type Of Spray Tan Lasts Longest In The Pool?
With the right formulas and techniques, any high-quality spray solution can yield a long-lasting poolside tan. But some options hold up better than others.
Here are the spray tan types I’ve found last longest against chlorine:
- Salon airbrush tanning – Professionally applied solution penetrates deepest for most fade-resistant results.
- Self-tanning mousses – Thicker formulas like St. Tropez Classic Infuse absorb well and resist water.
- Tingling bronzers – Tanning products with DHA and tyrosine withstand chlorine better.
- Anti-fade formulas – Some solutions like MineTan Pool Proof are designed to resist fading in water.
With the variety of products available, test different spray tans to discover which stands up best on your unique skin tone and texture.
Why Does Chlorine Cause Spray Tans To Fade Faster?
We’ve established pool chemicals can shorten a spray tan’s lifespan – but why? Chlorine causes rapid fading through these key mechanisms:
- Stripping moisture – Chlorine removes natural oils that help DHA color adhere and develop fully.
- Exfoliation – Prolonged water exposure gently sloughs off tanned skin cells.
- Oxidation – Chlorine interacts with DHA pigments, causing them to lighten more quickly.
- Sun damage – Chlorine washes off sun protection, allowing UV rays to degrade bronzers.
While you can’t change the chemistry behind chlorine-induced fading, the tips I shared above help protect your tan from these damaging effects.
Will Spray Tan Completely Wash Off In The Pool?
For a quality DHA-based spray tan, it’s very unlikely it will completely wash off in one swim session. The color is designed to penetrate deeper than that.
However, lower quality mists that only coat the surface of your skin are prone to completely dissolving with enough exposure to chlorinated water and friction.
To reduce chances of total washout, stick to reputable self-tanning brands and professional solutions. And of course, wait the full 8-12 hours before swimming!
Can You Go In A Hot Tub After Spray Tanning?
Hot tubs can spell disaster for fresh spray tans! The combination of hot water, vigorous bubbles and concentrated chlorine will rapidly strip color.
I try to avoid hot tub soaks for 3-4 days after tanning. If I decide to indulge anyway, I limit time to 10-15 minutes max.
Before and after, I apply a rich moisturizer to combat the drying effects. And I touch up any faded areas with bronzing body makeup afterwards.
While an occasional brief dip may be okay, frequent hot tubbing will shorten your tan’s lifespan. For best results, wait several days before marinating.
How Soon After Spray Tanning Can You Swim In The Ocean?
Like pools, the ocean poses fading risks for new spray tans with its combination of sun, salt and water. I try to wait 24 hours at minimum before taking a dip.
Before swimming, coat skin with a water-resistant sunscreen. After getting out of the water, rinse off with fresh water to remove salt and rehydrate with moisturizer.
Limit ocean swim time to 30 minutes or less during the first few days. Avoid laying out on the beach during peak sun – keep skin covered!
With some care, you can safely enjoy the ocean without completely sacrificing your spray tan. But longer you can wait before that first swim, the better!
Can I Get My Hair Wet When Swimming With Spray Tan?
Getting your hair wet while swimming with a fresh spray tan is totally fine! Just avoid submerging your entire head.
The chemicals in pool water can cause bronzer to transfer onto wet hair and potentially stain lighter shades. To prevent a tinted mane:
- Wear a swim cap to keep hair dry and prevent transfer
- Shower immediately after swimming and rinse out hair thoroughly
- Use a clarifying shampoo to remove traces of bronzer
By keeping your hair out of the pool water as much as possible, you can prevent staining and maintain your gorgeous color.
How Often Should I Reapply Spray Tan If Swimming Regularly?
For those who swim multiple times a week, more frequent spray tanning is needed to maintain your sun-kissed look. Here are my reapplication guidelines:
- Swimming 2-3 times per week: Re-spray every 4-5 days
- Swimming 4-5 times per week: Re-spray every 2-3 days
- Swimming daily: Re-spray every other day
To make your color last longer:
- Use a tanning extender daily like Tan Luxe The Gradual
- Exfoliate gently before each re-spray session
- Apply waterproof SPF and moisturize daily
With diligent upkeep between appointments, you can keep your tan glowing poolside!
Troubleshooting Uneven Fading After Swimming
No matter how careful you are, spray tans often fade unevenly after frequent water exposure. Here are fixes for some common issues:
Light Spots and Blotchiness
- Apply self-tan bronzing mousse to light patches at night
- Use an exfoliating mitt to gently buff away uneven tone
- Get a color-correcting spray tan to even out skintone
Tan Fading Off Hands and Feet
- Apply self-tanning lotion daily to hands and feet
- Wear waterproof gloves while swimming to protect hands
- Use a higher DHA solution on hands and feet originally
Spray Tan-Friendly Swimsuits For Women and Men
To keep your spray tan flawless even after hours in the pool, choose swimwear with a tight weave and protective lining.
For women, I recommend:
- One-piece suits or swim dresses
- Suits with tummy control lining
- Styles that provide bust support and coverage
For men, look for:
- Jammers over loose trunks
- Lined swim shorts
- Rash guards or swim shirts
Well-made swimsuits prevent friction and preserve your gorgeous glow in the water!
Can You Sweat With A Spray Tan?
Vigorous exercise that works up a sweat can cause a spray tan to fade unevenly or streak. To deal with sweat and workouts:
- Wait 24 hours after tanning before intense sweating
- Wear loose, breathable fabrics to work out
- Pat dry sweat – avoid rubbing vigorously with towel
- Use oil-free body makeup to touch up sweaty areas
Light exercise is fine after tanning. Just avoid heavy cardio that leaves you dripping until the next day.
Is It Safe To Spray Tan While Pregnant?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), spray tanning during pregnancy is considered safe for most women.
However, some doctors recommend waiting until after the first trimester to be extra cautious. Always check with your OB-GYN before spray tanning while pregnant.
When you do spray tan, take these extra precautions:
- Wear nose plugs to avoid inhaling fumes
- Keep spray 6-12 inches from skin to prevent overexposure
- Test a small patch first to check for allergic reaction
With some care, you can safely bronze your bump! Just take it easy when swimming in chlorinated water.
Can Spray Tanning Clog Pores?
One common tanning myth is that spray solutions can clog pores, potentially causing breakouts. However, there’s no evidence that DHA or bronzers directly clog pores themselves.
With that said, there are a few secondary factors that may indirectly contribute to clogged pores:
- Not washing skin properly before tanning
- Using lower quality solutions with additives
- Letting solution get into hair follicles
As long as you exfoliate and cleanse skin thoroughly before your spray tan, use professional-grade solutions, and rinse any excess bronzer off hair follicles, clogging should not occur.
Is It Okay To Use Body Scrubs And Exfoliators After Spray Tanning?
I avoid using scrubs and exfoliators for 2-3 days after a spray tan. They can slough off your new bronze before it has time to fully develop.
After a few days, gentle, manual exfoliation with a washcloth or loofah is fine to remove any lingering bronzers before your next session.
About 2-3 days before re-spraying, I exfoliate with a mitt or glove to ensure flawless, even application. But I stop intensive exfoliating at least 24 hours pre-tan.
The key is finding balance – exfoliate enough for an ideal base color, but avoid over-scrubbing too soon afterwards!
Closing Thoughts On Spray Tanning and Swimming
As a pool, ocean and hot tub lover myself, I know it’s possible to keep your gorgeous, bronzed glow even after frequent swimming.
With smart timing, preparation and upkeep, spray tans can stand up to chlorine beautifully. Now I never have to sacrifice my tan to take a refreshing dip!
By following the tips I shared above for optimizing and protecting your color, you can confidently flaunt your sun-kissed skin from beach to pool – no sitting on the sidelines required.
So slip on your favorite swimsuit, lather on that waterproof SPF, and dive in knowing your spray tan will still be flawless when you resurface!