Is Fake Tan Waterproof

Is Fake Tan Waterproof?

Yes, you can certainly go for a swim with your fake tan. However, prolonged swimming can hasten the disappearance of your fake tan.

So, while enjoying a refreshing dip in the sea or a pool, remember that your tan may suffer. 

A fake tan, for example, will not just wash off in the shower. Unlike skin stains, it won’t come off with soap and water unless you use a product designed for temporary usage, like Instant Bronzing Gel.

Is fake tan waterproof?

People who want to look tanned without risking their health in the sun use fake tanners. Sunless tanners, commonly known as fake tans, have risen in popularity due to their ability to mimic the effects of UV light without putting the user in danger. 

Users often wonder if their fake tan will last during their planned swimming activities. Read on to learn what aspects of a sunless tan affect its water resistance, how different products fare in the shower, and how to keep your tan fresh for as long as possible.

Knowing What’s in That Fake Tan

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the primary ingredient in most fake tan lotions, combines with the skin’s amino acids to temporarily darken the skin’s outermost layer. 

DHA causes a shift in pigmentation, but it doesn’t stain the skin, and its effect is localized to the epidermis and stratum corneum. A fake tan, therefore, does not seem as natural as a tan acquired from direct contact with the sun.

Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof

Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof

Understanding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant is essential before getting into the complications of fake tanning with water. 

Water-resistant materials can endure some water exposure, but with repeated soaking or rubbing, they may still fade or disappear entirely. In contrast, waterproof materials are made to withstand extended contact with water without substantial fading or removal.

Water-Resistance of Fake Tan

Instead of being entirely waterproof, most fake tan products are water-resistant. A product’s ability to resist water can depend on how it was made. When exposed to water, sprays may be more prone to fading than creams and lotions, which may be more water resistant. 

Sunless tanners can withstand light splashes and brief contact with water, like rain or sweat, without significantly fading.

Challenges with Chlorine and Saltwater

The effects of chlorine and saltwater on a fake tan are particularly problematic. Chlorine, found in most public swimming pools, has a chemical makeup that speeds up the fading of sunless tanners. 

Similarly, the saltwater found in the oceans and seas can help remove the tan when the skin is subjected to the abrasive forces of the waves and friction.

Prolonging Your Fake Tan in Water

Prolonging Your Fake Tan in Water

Although not all fake tan treatments are watertight, there are steps you may take to protect your sunless tan:

  1. Preparation: Use a moisturizer before applying the fake tan to establish a barrier between the substance and your skin; this may increase the duration of the tan.
  2. Timing: Wait to expose your skin to water until the product has had adequate time to develop. You should wait at least 6-8 hours after applying the medication for this to take effect.
  3. Avoid Abrasion: To avoid prematurely removing your tan, wipe your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing it after getting out of the pool or shower.
  4. Hydration: Daily moisturizer will help your skin retain its elasticity and keep you from premature aging.
  5. Touch-Up: If your tan has faded because of time spent in the water, you might consider applying a slow tanning moisturizer to bring it back to life.


How long to leave self-tanner on?

Put on a high-SPF lotion 20 minutes before you plan to go swimming. Your tan will last longer and look better if you take these precautions. If you plan on spending a lot of time in the water, reapply every 30 to 40 minutes. If you want to enter often and exit the water to cool off, reapply the sunscreen every 90 minutes to two hours.

What happens if you don’t wash off your self-tanner?

When utilizing a product, “it is best to follow the instructions for that product,” Wong advises. However, since DHA and other self-tanner active ingredients like erythrulose are designed to be left on the skin for extended periods, there aren’t any particular safety issues associated with doing so.

How long after a spray tan can you go swimming?

Waiting at least 24 hours before swimming on the beach or pool is recommended. Because of this, the spray tan solution has time to permeate your skin and set it correctly.

Will sunscreen fade spray tan?

It’s not a good idea to put on sunscreen shortly after having a spray tan. There should be a 12-hour pause. By waiting, you’ll allow your fake tan to develop and set fully. After that, the sunscreen won’t rub off in streaks or smears and won’t ruin your tan.

How long until a spray tan looks good?

About 8 hours are needed for the spray tan to be fully set. During this time, it’s best to dress loosely and comfortably. Wearing tight garments might accelerate the spray tan’s fading process by rubbing off the color. In addition, tight clothing, especially on people with sensitive skin, can be a source of irritation.

Does spray tan damage skin?

Spray tans might not subject customers to the harmful UV radiation that causes skin cancer, burns, and early aging in the same way as tanning beds and sun exposure do. However, the chemical that gives skin a lasting bronze hue has been linked to cancer and DNA damage. Cancer and other genetic disorders have been linked to DNA damage.

Final Verdict

Although fake tans are safer than going to the tanning bed, they still aren’t entirely watertight. Different products have different levels of water resistance, and exposure to chlorine and salt water can hasten the fading of a tan. 

Your sunless tan won’t survive a dip in the pool or a day at the beach, but you can extend its life by taking precautions and embracing a thoughtful skincare routine. For the greatest results, reading and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions is always recommended.

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