How to Stop Fake Tan Coming Off in Pool

Summer is here, and you’re ready to enjoy those long, sunny days by the pool. You’ve got your stylish swimsuit, your fabulous shades, and your sun-kissed glow from a recent application of self-tanner. 

However, there’s one dilemma you might face: keeping your fake tan intact while taking a refreshing dip in the pool: chlorinated water. It can cause your carefully applied tan to fade, streak, or even wash away completely. Here’s how you can stop your spray tan from coming off in the pool.

How to Stop Fake Tan Coming Off in Pool

Look for and apply a water-resistant sunless tanning lotion. Before hitting the pool, apply a barrier cream to your skin to help lock in your tan and protect it from the harsh pool chemicals. After swimming, cleanse your skin with a pH-balanced cleanser. You’ll also need to keep your skin moisturized and exfoliate regularly to ensure an even, long-lasting tan.

By following these steps and taking good care of your skin, you can enjoy a beautiful, bronzed glow all summer long without worrying about your fake tan washing away in the pool. More details on how and why you should follow these steps below.

Why Spray Tans and Chlorine Don’t Mix

When it comes to maintaining your spray tan while swimming in a pool, it’s essential to understand how the chemicals in the water react with the spray tan.

Spray tans use an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to darken your skin’s surface temporarily. DHA reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells, which results in the bronzed appearance. However, this reaction can be affected by the chlorine found in pools.

Chlorine can break down the DHA and cause your tan to fade. It’s especially likely to happen if you spend a lot of time in the pool. But don’t worry, you can take certain precautions to protect your tan while enjoying a day at the pool, starting with pre-tan preparations.

Pre-Tan Preparations

As part of your pre-tan preparations, we’ll talk about exfoliating, moisturizing, and applying a barrier cream.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

First, exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells and ensure an even application of the self-tanner. You can use a gentle body scrub or an exfoliating mitt to achieve a smooth surface. 

It’s important to exfoliate both before and after applying your fake tan. Remember to shave or wax at least 24 hours in advance to avoid irritation or uneven color.

Next, moisturize your skin daily leading up to your self-tanning session. Pay special attention to dry areas like elbows, knees, and ankles, as they absorb more product and tend to develop a darker color. Moisturizing will help the self-tanner adhere evenly, prolonging your tan’s life and making it fade more naturally.

Apply a Barrier Cream

Now it’s time to apply a barrier cream. This step is crucial in preventing your fake tan from coming off in the pool. Look for a water-resistant sunless tanning lotion or a product specifically designed to resist water.

Before taking a dip, generously apply the barrier cream to your skin. Make sure to cover all of the areas where you have applied the self-tanner. This protective layer will not only help lock in your tan but also shield it from the water and chemicals found in the pool.

Applying Spray Tan Properly

Choose the Right Product

When it comes to keeping your fake tan intact in the pool, the first step is selecting the right product. Look for a water-resistant sunless tanning lotion as it can last longer when exposed to water. Check the label for claims of water resistance or pool-friendly benefits to ensure you’re making the best choice for your needs.

Even Application

Proper application is key to a streak-free, long-lasting tan. Begin by exfoliating your skin to remove any dead skin cells, which can cause an uneven tan. Use a tanning mitt to apply the product in a circular motion, ensuring seamless coverage. 

Blend the color into your skin, paying extra attention to areas like the wrists and ankles, as these are more likely to develop a patchy tan.

Protecting the Tan in the Pool

Wait Before Swimming

One crucial aspect of maintaining your tan in the pool is giving it enough time to set and develop. After applying your self-tanner, wait at least 6-8 hours before hitting the water. Patience is key. This buffer allows the product to properly adhere to your skin, so it’s less likely to come off when you swim. If possible, let the tan set overnight for the best results.

Apply Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Regardless of whether you have a fake tan or not, wearing sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. However, by choosing a water-resistant sunscreen, you can play a dual role in shielding your tan from washing off as well. 

Opt for a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and reapply every 2 hours, or after extensive swimming. Similar to your spray tan, you should apply it evenly, take care not to rub it off, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes so that it can soak into your skin before you head out into the sun.

Avoid Rubbing or Scratching

Finally, be mindful of any actions that might cause your tan to fade or rub off prematurely. Avoid harsh rubbing or scratching your skin while drying off with a towel. Instead, gently pat yourself dry to minimize the chances of your tan coming off. Also, steer clear of tight or abrasive poolside apparels that can cause your tan to rub off.

Post-Pool Tan Maintenance

Rinse Off Immediately

Once you’re out of the pool, take a quick shower to rinse off any chlorine and pool water from your skin. Chlorine can cause your fake tan to fade, so it’s essential to wash it off as soon as possible. Use a gentle body wash to cleanse your skin without stripping away your tan.

Moisturize Regularly

Keeping your skin hydrated is crucial for maintaining a long-lasting fake tan. Apply a moisturizer each night before going to bed to lock in moisture and help your tan last longer. Opt for a lotion that is oil-free and fragrance-free to prevent any adverse reactions with your self-tanner. Consistent moisturizing can also help minimize the appearance of any streaks or patches.

Touch Up As Needed

Inevitably, your fake tan may start to fade or become uneven due to pool water exposure. To keep your tan looking flawless, touch up any areas that need it using a gradual tanner or a water-resistant sunless tanning lotion. Make sure to exfoliate and shave at least 24 hours before applying the tanner to help it adhere evenly to your skin.

Following these steps will help you maintain a gorgeous fake tan even after spending time in the pool. Enjoy your summer days with confidence, knowing your sunless glow will remain stunning despite contact with pool water.