You probably already have the tanning basics down by now, so let’s zoom in on a territory less conquered: showering. A good prep is just as important as the post-tan care steps, and the first on our post-tan care list is your first shower. In order to enjoy your tan to the tee, pay close attention to how your first wash goes after your tanning sesh.
From shower time to drying methods, we are sharing our best tips to utilize your first shower for a lasting glow.
“How soon after fake tanning am I allowed to shower?”
The answer to this will really depend on the type (and quality!) of the tanner you use. For a lighter tan, there are tons of products that will allow you to shower after as little as two hours. Generally, most self-tanners suggest waiting at least 8 hours for the color to develop well before stepping into your bathroom.
If you think eight hours is a long time to wait for your tan to develop, we suggest sleeping on it. Apply your self-tanner before bed and wake up to a glowing you on a golden morning – say eight hours later.
“I’ve held off taking a shower for two to eight hours. Now what?”
While getting rid of the excess bronzer may be thrilling, we advise keeping your first shower short and sweet – like a few minutes kind of short and sweet. Skip the shampoo and schedule it for another time, especially because some ingredients in your shampoo may lead to your tan streaking. Also, avoid shaving and exfoliating during the first shower.
Put aside your sponges and washers – use your fingers and lukewarm water to remove excess bronzer until the water turns clear. Skip on the body wash as well to avoid streaking, but if you absolutely must, make sure it is free from colour-stripping, drying sulfates and other chemicals. A bonus is if it is hydrating as well.
(Our suggestion: Choc Coconut, which is made with a coconut water base for healthy and hydrated skin.)
“What about my face?”
If you can’t resist and you absolutely need to cleanse your face, pick out a gentle face wash that does not have acids or exfoliating ingredients. These may break down your tan.
“All done! What do I do post-shower?”
Pick out the softest towels you have and gently pat (not rub!) your body dry. Rubbing may exfoliate your tan prematurely and create a patchy, uneven glow. Some self-tanners have a drying effect, so make sure you lock that glow in with a rich and ultra-hydrating moisturiser. Stay away from moisturisers that have anti-ageing or anti-acne ingredients such as retinol and salicylic acid. Plus points if you put on your moisturiser on slightly damp skin.
“I showered after just a few hours and I’m still pasty. What do I do?”
Before you panic and slather more self-tanner onto your skin, we recommend waiting it out. A self-tan fully develops after 24 hours so hold off on reaching for your tanning mitts until then. Chances are the pastiness will be replaced by a deeper hue after the maximum development time has passed.