How long does Tan Last

This is a very common question that has been asked by tan lovers, but there’s no definite answer because everyone is different. This means whether you got your tan naturally or using a sunbed you will lose your tan differently.

The lifespan of your tan will depend on the type of tan it is, your skin, and how frequently your skin regenerates. So generally speaking, if you achieved your tan through sunbathing in the sun, your tan will take at least 7-10 days before the outer layer of your skin starts to exfoliate naturally. As for a spray tan, it can begin to fade in just after 1 day if you don’t take care of it but can last about 10 days. Your skin sheds its outer layer every 28 days so your skin will start to lose your tan immediately as the outer layer of your skin gets replaced with new skin cells. The only way to maintain your tan is by repeated exposure to UV light.

Can a Tan be Permanent?

A tan can never be permanent on your skin because your skin will naturally exfoliate after some time. This will cause your tanned skin to start flaking off as new skin cells are formed and the old skin is shed off. People who seem like they’re permanently tanned either have darker skin naturally or use a sunless tanning lotion or spray or spend a lot of time outside in the sun.

How to Make your Tan last longer

There are a few things you can do to keep your tan from fading which in the process will extend the life of your tan. The key to prolonging your tan starts even before you get one.


Exfoliating your skin before going to the sun or getting a spray tan will prevent your skin from flaking and this will give your spray tan a smooth and even base to stick on. Scrubbing off all the dead skin cells at least once a week helps to keep your tan from fading by keeping the fresh skin looking smooth and healthy.


Keeping your skin hydrated helps in slowing down your skin’s exfoliation. Applying body oil like coconut or avocado oil keeps your skin moisturized to keep it looking healthy and your tan looking beautiful. The oil locks the color in which gives you beautiful glowing skin.

Drinking lots of water

Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated which in turn gives your tan that beautiful look. Drinking water will not only keep your skin hydrated, but it will also remove toxins in your body and keep your skin looking supple and plump.

Take cool or warm showers

Taking hot showers can dehydrate your skin which can cause your tan to fade much faster. Instead, take a warm shower as it will help in prolonging your tan, but don’t take a cold shower as it will dry your skin which will cause it to crack and peel giving your tan a dry look.

Apply sunscreen

If you want to achieve a great-looking tan without getting sunburnt, you should apply a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 with a broad spectrum. This will prevent your skin from getting burnt while tanning which will cause skin damage from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Also, remember to keep reapplying it after about an hour for the sunscreen to be effective. If you’re going to swim apply it after every 30 minutes.

Use a tan accelerator

Using a good quality tan accelerator during your tanning process can help prolong your tan. Also ensure that you use a tan extender with your tanning lotion in between your tanning sessions to help maintain a healthy, glowing, natural-looking tan. Some tan extenders help to stimulate the production of melanin just like a tan accelerator.

Spend more time outside

Getting as much exposure to UV light as possible can make your tan last longer. To achieve this you need to spend more time outside to allow your skin to absorb the sun which helps to generate pigment in new skin cells thus keeping your tan beautiful.

Applying a lot of sun cream

Before you venture outside it will help if you apply some sun cream to keep your skin moisturized during tanning. Pay more attention to areas that get a bit dry like your elbows, knees, and ankles. The more your body stays moisturized, the less the damage on your skin and the better your tan will be.

Apply a self-tanner

The quickest and safest way to get a tan is to use a long lasting self-tanner on top of your original tan to make it last longer and look healthier. You can either use a spray, lotion, gel, or tanning wipes. You can either apply it at home or go to a professional who will the exact shade and identifies where it has faded to give you an even tan. The self-tanner will not only ensure your tan lasts longer but also take over and provide your skin with color when your tan fades. You also don’t have to expose yourself to the sun as often which reduces skin damage.

Wear warm colored clothes

The sad reality is your tan will eventually fade, but the colors you wear can give your tan some extra mileage. It’s not only wearing white on the first day after your tan. Clothes with pastel colors from blue to pale pink can help to maximize your tan as these colors will help to increase the warm tones in your skin and make your skin appear more vibrant and darker. Light-colored clothes also keep you cooler. If your tan has a deep olive tone and you have dark hair, wearing black will highlight the golden tones on your skin.

Final thoughts

How long your tan lasts will depend on many factors from if you exfoliated to how well you take care of your tan. But generally, your tan can last 7-10 days before your skin starts to naturally exfoliate and regenerate. However, the above tips can help you to extend the life of your tan for about 2 or more weeks.