does chlorine affect fake tan

Does Chlorine Affect Fake Tan

When fake tan products come into contact with chlorine, which is commonly found in swimming pool water, it can lead to various changes like  Oxidation of Pigments, Chemical Reactions, Color Shifts, Accelerated Exfoliation, Uneven Fading, and reduce longevity. 

The allure of a radiant sun-kissed glow often intertwines with the refreshing embrace of chlorinated waters. And you want to keep your tan while swimming in the pool.

So, relax, we’ve got your back. Below you will learn about the effects of chlorine and TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR TAN WHILE SWIMMING.

How does Chlorine affect fake tan?

Chemical Reactions:  A potent substance frequently utilized in swimming pools to sanitize water is known for its strong oxidative properties. When this material interacts with the ingredients found in imitation tanning products on the outer layer of the skin, it can lead to chemical responses. Also, These reactions are accountable for diverse transformations in the visual aspect of the imitation tan.

 Oxidation of Pigments: Chlorine’s oxidative properties can lead to the breakdown of the pigments present in fake tan products. This breakdown results in the fading of color and can contribute to an uneven or splotchy appearance of the tan. The oxidation process can be more pronounced when the skin is submerged in chlorinated water. 

Color Shifts: The fake tan’s pigment may change as a result of the connection between the medium and the product agents. These alterations may alter the undertone or overall shade of the tan, producing an unnatural or unpleasant tint. 

Accelerated Exfoliation: The natural exfoliation process of the pores may be accelerated by prolonged exposure. The clearance of cellular debris may be sped up by the interaction of chemicals between bleach and the top layer of the dermis, which includes an artificial tan. The shortened lifespan of the tan may be a result of this. 

Uneven Fading: Areas of the skin that are exposed to chlorine, such as those submerged while swimming, may experience faster fading of the fake tan. This can result in patchiness and uneven color distribution, where specific parts of the body keep their tan longer than others. 

Reduced Longevity: The overall duration of the dubious tan can be extremely lowered by the combined impacts of fading, color shifts, rapid cleaning, and uneven wear. To maintain the intended appearance, repeated time in chlorinated water might necessitate more frequent reapplication of the tan.

How can you protect your tan while enjoying a swim?

How can you protect your tan while enjoying a swim

Time Your Swim: After receiving a spray tan, exercise patience by waiting a minimum of 24 hours before taking a dip. This waiting period allows the tanning solution to effectively penetrate and settle into your skin.

  • Apply Sunscreen Protection: Before heading into the water, generously apply waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This dual-purpose shield not only guards your skin against harmful UV rays but also creates a protective barrier, preventing chlorine or saltwater from prematurely fading your tan.
  • Consider Protective Attire: If your aquatic adventure involves an extended stay in the water, consider donning a rash guard or loose-fitting clothing. This clothing choice reduces direct peel contact with the water, minimizing the potential impact on your tan.
  • Post-Swim Rinse: Immediately after your swim, it’s advisable to rinse off with fresh water. Gently pat yourself dry using a towel, avoiding vigorous rubbing, which can trigger exfoliation. This practice helps maintain the evenness of your tan’s fading pattern.
  • Hydration is Key: Ensure you continue to moisturize on a daily basis using an oil-free lotion specially formulated for self-tanners. Well-hydrated one holds onto its color for a prolonged duration compared to dry skin.


A typical spray tan lasts between 5 and 10 days, depending on a number of variables, including skin type and aftercare.

Skin Type Oily or dry skin types might expedite the fading of your spray tan. Appropriate Aftercare Adhering to suggested aftercare measures can lengthen the duration of your spray tan. 

Besides, Swimming Exposure to chlorinated water has the potential to accelerate spray tan fading or result in an uneven appearance. Physical Activity Excessive sweating during rigorous exercise may cause the tan to prematurely fade. Although, Exfoliation Overdoing exfoliation before or after tanning can reduce the lifespan of your sun-kissed glow.

How can you ensure your spray tan lasts as long as possible?

  • Prep Your Canvas: Prior to getting a spray tan, exfoliate your skin gently to remove dead cells. This provides a smooth surface for the tanning solution to adhere to, helping the tan last longer.
  • Hydrate Your Skin: Well-moisturized holds onto a tan better. Start hydrating your skin a few days before your spray tan session and continue afterward to extend its lifespan.
  • Choose Clothing Wisely: Opt for loose-fitting, dark-colored attire after your spray tan session to prevent friction and potential smudging.
  • Avoid Water Contact: Steer clear of water-based activities, including swimming and excessive sweating, for at least 8-10 hours post-tan application to allow the solution to fully develop.
  • Skip Oil-Based Products: Oil-based skincare and bath products can expedite tan fading. Opt for water-based alternatives to extend the life of your tan.
  • Pat Dry After Showering: After showering, gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing to avoid prematurely fading the tan.
  • Mindful Towel Usage: Use older towels after your spray tan to prevent staining and retain the tanning solution on your skin.
  • Moisturize Regularly: Apply a gentle, alcohol-free moisturizer daily to maintain skin hydration and prolong your tan’s vibrancy.
  • Avoid Harsh Soaps: Harsh soaps and exfoliants can strip away your tan. Opt for mild, sulfate-free products for bathing and showering.
  • Reduce Chlorine Exposure: If you swim frequently, consider applying a barrier cream before entering chlorinated water to protect your tan.
  • Avoid Hot Baths and Saunas: Heat can accelerate tan fading. Limit hot baths, saunas, and hot tubs to help your tan last longer.
  • Touch-Up Sessions: Schedule occasional touch-up spray tan sessions to refresh and maintain your tan’s color and radiance.



Even if a fake tan is labeled as waterproof, exposure to chlorinated pool water can accelerate its fading process.

The pool’s chemical content has the potential to deteriorate the tan, leading to a lighter hue. To extend your spray tan’s life, limit water exposure and rinse off with fresh water after swimming.


For a lasting vacation tan, minimize water exposure, skip hot tubs, and opt for lukewarm showers to safeguard your skin’s radiance.

Before swimming, apply sunscreen to shield your tan from sun and water-induced fading.


Finally, chlorine, a strong force observed for its oxidizing tendency, may cause many kinds of changes, for example, Oxidation of Pigments, Chemical Reactions, Color Shifts, Accelerated Exfoliation, Uneven Fading, and reduced longevity. In contrast, adopting strategies such as waiting for 24 hours, applying sunscreen and Post-Swim Rinse could assist you in maintaining your tan

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