When Can I Workout After A Spray Tan?

The goal of bodybuilding is to get the most perfect looking body possible. Bodybuilders try a bunch of techniques to make their body look flawless.

From shaving to oiling, all the techniques help them get as crisp a profile as possible. The same goes with a spray tan.

Spray tan, a type of sunless tanning, is a technique of getting a tanned body while you were nowhere near the sun.

It is helpful for the bodybuilders since they can quickly get that awesome tanned look while not wasting much time out in the sun.

But when can you work out after a spray tan?

Well, you can workout after a spray tan AFTER 12 hours or so. That is the best way to ensure your spray tan isn’t messed up- as this can seriously impact how you look. The last thing you want is missing spots on a spray tan, it’s really noticeable- especially in competitions.

So, after you get the spray tan- just chill out and relax for 12 hours. Take a day off from your hard work and let it soak in.

Let us discuss that and explain the reasons why you need to wait that long.

When Can You Workout After a Spray Tan?

The answer is it depends. It depends on the kind of spray you were given. There are some express solutions out there and some regular ones. If you were given an express solution, you can expect to wait anywhere between 3 to 4 hours before you workout again.

On the other hand, if you were given a standard solution, they take up to 12 hours to fully settle on your skin. It is therefore recommended to wait a minimum of 12 hours before working out after the spray tan.

So let’s recap:

  • Express spray tan solution: 3-4+ hours
  • Standard spray tan solution: 12+ hours

The wait is important. This is because spray tan is not an instantaneous spray like a deodorant or spray paint. It takes time to settle on your skin, your skin reacts a little in exchange and that’s when the tan finally settles.

Now, personally- I’d play it safe and wait way longer than the recommended times. The spray tan isn’t something to play around with.

If you decide to workout too soon, and the tan has not properly settled yet, chances are you will wear it off and either part of your body or no part will appear to have tanned.

And of course, no one wants that! It is therefore best to wait before you work out again after a spray tan.

What Happens If You Don’t Wait Before Working Out After a Spray Tan?

It is important to understand that spray tan is not an instant spray. The tan works on your skin and takes several hours before it finally reaches its peak tanness.

If you as a bodybuilder are getting a spray tan- chances are it is for a competition. In that case, you want to look as perfect as realistically possible. The easiest way to do that is to give your spray tan some time and stay out of the gym.

Give the spray tan at least 12 hours before you hit the gym again and you will notice that your spray tan looks really good.

But what happens if you do not wait before working out after a spray tan? Well in that case the spray will most probably wear off.

The bronzing agent present in the spray tan needs its time to work on the skin. If the bronzing agent (DHA) experiences trouble in doing so (in this case caused due to bodily movements due to exercising), the pigment will simply wear off.

The result? The tan will have worked in some places while in some places it would not have worked at all! This gives an irregular and ugly look that nobody wants. It is also possible that it wore off everywhere and did not tan your skin at all.

What To Do Before Getting A Spray Tan?

Firstly your other appointments such as massages or waxing should not coincide with your spray tan appointment. Get them done a couple of days in advance. This will help your skin be in its natural form and be ready for the spray tan.

A skin that is already preoccupied by other substances and chemicals or that is already irritated by other things is not a skin that’s ready for spray tanning. It is best that you get everything else done beforehand.

In case you shave the body, you should shave a day before or at least 3 to 4 hours before the spray tan. Shaving immediately before the spray tan will not lead to the best outcome.

When shaving, make sure to use sharp razor blades (new blades) that wipe off all that hair evenly. If you use older or slightly blunter ones, they tend to leave tiny hair here and there. These hairs lead to uneven distribution of spray tan and lead to an uglier look.

Next, make sure to shower with cold water before the spray tan. The cold shower helps close off your pores. Closed pored prevents spray tan from sitting and collecting in your pores. Should it collect in the pores, it will appear as dotted freckles and nobody wants that. 

Lastly, exfoliate immediately or shortly before the tan if you can. Exfoliating helps the tan work better and really get in there into your skin to do its thing.

During the spray tan, do not wear anything such as deodorants, lotions or creams, like we mentioned before, we want a free skin, not a busy one.

What To Do After Getting A Spray Tan?

Well, we already talked about the most important thing. Which is to wait before you hit the gym again. If you wait before you hit the gym again you dismantle the possibility of wearing off the spray tan. There are a few other things you can do to make your experience better.

Remember to avoid getting wet during the waiting period of 12 hours. This means you are not going to do any heavy work (so that you don’t sweat), no swimming, no showers or anything like that, try to sleep in a cool area so you don’t sweat while asleep.

Make sure not to use any different kinds of waxes or lotions or creams of any kind while your tan is taking its time to develop. Remember this – just leave your skin alone while the tan is developing. 

Once the waiting period is over and the tan has fully developed itself, you will be able to get back to your normal schedule of working out, also you will be able to shower finally.


Getting a spray tan can be a bit confusing especially if you have never gotten it before and are getting it for the first time.

Depending on what type of solution you got, your workout may be delayed by a few hours. A normal traditional spray tan takes up to 12 hours to fully work on the skin and develop completely.

Any activity related to wetting of the skin is prohibited during this period. If you recently got a spray tan, there is nothing to worry about. As we mentioned, give your skin some time and wait out for a minimum of 12 hours to avoid wearing off your tan.

So, just take a break the day of your spray tan and relax. It’s been a hard road, and you deserve some relaxation after all of your hard work- again, don’t be too hard on yourself, you seriously deserve it.

Remember, you don’t want to ruin the spray tan, especially considering it could impact your scoring on stage and affect your confidence. So, just relax and rest up before your competition and let that spray tan soak in.

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