How Long Do Tans Last? | All You Need to Know

A tan can give you a beautiful, healthy-looking glow. While getting a tan used to require you to spend time in the sun, there are now all kinds of products that can give you the look of a tan. Sadly, whether you have a natural tan or an artificial one, your tan will eventually fade with time.

Your skin naturally sheds old skin cells and replaces them with new ones. This means that tanned skin will eventually go back to its usual color. Read on to learn how long tans last and find out how to maintain your tan for longer.

How long does a natural tan last?

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Usually, a tan will last somewhere between 7 and 10 days. With that said, the total amount of time a tan sticks around will vary based on your skin type and the environment that you live in. If you’re exposed to the sun every day, your skin will continue to tan, allowing you to stay tan even after your body sheds tan skin cells.

On the flip side, if you vacation somewhere warm and return to a colder climate, your tan could fade at a much faster rate. Since you’ll be spending less time in the sun, your skin will produce less melanin, which causes your skin to tan. It’s likely that you’ll start to see your tan fade after just a few days.

How to maintain a natural tan

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No tan will last forever, but there are a few steps you can take that will help your tan stick around for a few more days. If you’re planning on tanning, you’ll want to make sure your skin is fully prepared. Use a dry brush to clear away dead skin cells so that you can tan fresh new cells instead. The body usually sheds skin cells every 30 days or so, so this simple step could help your tan last for quite a while.

Once you have your tan, you should make sure that you keep your skin hydrated. Your skin will shed cells more quickly when it’s dry and damaged. Make sure that you regularly apply moisturizing products to your skin, especially when you get out of the shower. Try to take cold showers rather than hot ones so that you can avoid drying out your skin.

Spending time in the sun can help you to get a new tan, but too much sun exposure can cause your skin to peel. That’s why it’s best to use an SPF to protect your skin when you’re outdoors. The healthier your skin is, the longer you’ll be able to keep that sun-kissed glow.

How long does a spray tan last?

woman body paint with airbrush

The length of time that a spray tan lasts will vary based on how deep the tan is. While a darker tan can last for 10 days or more, a lighter tan will fade much more quickly. It’s not unusual for light, natural looking tans to fade in as little as long days. Medium tans will usually last somewhere between 6 and 8 days.

Artificial tanning products are able to temporarily change the color of your skin thanks to an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This ingredient reacts with the cells on your skin’s surface, temporarily making your skin look darker. The darker a fake tan is, the more DHA it contains, which is why dark tans last much longer.

With that said, you don’t necessarily have to opt for a deep tan if you want your tan to last. If you prepare your skin before getting a spray tan or applying a self-tanner at home, you can help your skin to hold onto the color. Taking a few precautions after your tan can also help it last.

How to make a spray tan last longer?

woman scrubbing her legs

Like with a natural tan, exfoliating can remove dead skin cells, allowing you to maintain your tan for longer. If you’re planning on using a tanning product on your skin, you should use dry brushes and scrubs to clear away dead skin cells on your body. While chemical exfoliant can also exfoliate skin cells, these products can interfere with tanning solutions, which is why you should avoid them if you’re planning on using a self-tanning product.

Once you have your tan, take steps to keep the tanner from streaking while it dries. It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing that won’t brush up against your skin. If it’s warm, and you’re worried that you’ll sweat your tan away, you can add a little bit of baby powder to your skin to keep it dry.

Limit the amount of time you spend in the shower, and avoid using oil-based products. Oil can break down self-tanning solutions, causing your tan to fade much more quickly. Make sure that you drink plenty of water so that you can keep your skin hydrated and healthy.


If you love the look of tanned skin, make sure that your tan will last for a long time. Whether you’re sunbathing, getting a professional spray tan, or applying a self-tanner at home, there are plenty of ways to ensure your tan lasts. Best of all, regularly exfoliating and moisturizing your skin will give you a glow even after your tan fades away.

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