How Long Does Self Tanner Take to Dry?

women tanning legs

If you have just applied self-tanner (fake tan) you might be wondering how long it takes to dry and develop. That could be because you want to get dressed or get into bed or even take a shower.

Self-tanner typically takes around 5-30 minutes to completely dry depending on the type of self-tanner you used including other factors too. The development time though is a lot longer, usually taking around 4-12 hours depending on what self-tanner you opted for.

Below we will break it all down, so you know what to expect.

How Long for Self-Tanner/ Fake Tan Take to Dry?

Typically, you can expect self-tanner to dry in around 5-30 minutes. This will be depending on the brand of self-tanner you for chosen. It can also matter if your skin is dry or more moist and that can also play a factor. We will break down out of the options below and how it can affect the drying time.

Types/Brand of Self Tanner

Some brands of self-tanner will dry more quickly than others thanks to their ingredients make up. Look at some of the reviews of your self-tanner if you haven’t used it before to see how long you can expect for it to dry.

Some self-tanners are more dense and thicker, and these kinds tend to dry more slowly.

Tanning mouse and self-spray tans tend to dry more quickly in part because they are lighter and spread more easily and evenly which usually means you don’t need as much self-tanner to cover all your skin.

Self-tanner in lotion form tends to spread on more thickly in comparison and therefore sometimes ends up taking a little longer to dry.

Home Temperature

Keeping your home at a balanced temperature will allow your self-tanner to dry a little more quickly. We basically mean that you don’t want it too hot, and you don’t want it too cold. If it’s too hot it might you sweat which could cause issues for your tan drying.

If you live somewhere warmer then opening the window or turning on a fan can also help because that airflow really helps speed up the tan drying process in general.

Skin Dryness

Of course, if your skin is more dry the self-tanner will absorb more quickly into the skin, and it will dry more quickly.

That is why it is recommended to not moisturize just before applying self-tanner, because this can mess up the spray tanning application process.

Generally speaking, if your skin is a little dry before application that is better. That’s because the self-tanner will dry more quickly and chances our it will develop more smoothly and absorb better.

Shower Before

Showering before your self-tanner application will help clean the skin, it also tends to dry out the skin, but this also makes the application much easier and makes the self-tanner dry more quickly.

Quick Tip for Speeding Up Drying

If you are in a hurry for one reason or another you can try using a hair dryer on a cool setting to blow over the skin.

This will speed up the drying process and reduce the overall drying time needed. It’s best to use a cool setting on the hair dryer as the warm setting may cause you to sweat which could affect your tans development.

If you need more tips on how to speed up drying check out our article here – How to Make Fake Tan Develop Faster.

How Long Does Self Tanner Take to Develop

It’s important to mention that once a self-tanner dries it will not have developed immediately. The development process takes time, and you can expect it to take around 4-12 hours’ time. This depends on the brand of self-tanner you have used and whether you had got one that has a rapid development time.

Self-tanners that offer a fast development time usually can completely develop in around 4 hours’ time. This is usually a fair bit faster than regular self-tanners which tend to take a little longer to develop.

If you didn’t know self-tanners usually have something in them called DHA. What DHA does is that it causes a reaction with the skin that causes it to darken and tan over time.

The important thing here to note is that the development takes time, and you should not be doing anything such as showering during this development time. If you where to shower it would likely ruin your tan and cause it to become patchy or worse.

If you aren’t sure how long the development takes check the bottle and if you can’t find it you’ll have to assume it will take longer and not shower or do anything else to the skin for 12 hours to be safe.

Once the tan has developed on the skin you are safe to shower etc. without it affecting the tan.

Interesting Related Questions

How Long Does a Fake Tan Take to Dry?

You can expect a fake tan to dry in around 5-30 minutes depending on the type and the brand of the tan. Mouses and spray self-tans tend to dry more quickly because the are lighter than lotions.

How Long Does Self Tanner Need to Dry Before Putting Clothes On?

Ideally you’ll want to wait at least 10 minutes before putting on clothes after applying self-tanner.

It’s often better to wait a little longer if you have time especially if you plan on wearing tighter fitting clothes like leggings for example. Though generally it is best to wear looser fitting clothes soon after applying self-tanner as tighter clothing may mess up your tan and cause things like streaks etc.

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