Tanner Skin

How Long Does a Tan Last and Everything You Need to Know 1

How Long Does a Tan Last? Everything You Should Know

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Before we dive into how long a tan lasts it’s brilliant to get ourselves familiar with what tanning is exactly.

Tanning is the process of darkening your skin color with the help of chemical products or ultraviolet (UV) radiation which permeates to the lower layer of your epidermis where they activate cells called melanocytes. These cells then help you to produce melanin which helps to protect your skin from burning.


Many questions abound about the duration of this process such as how long does skin tanning lasts, why it may fade away quickly or if it ever goes away. Tanning may last for several days to nearly two weeks if properly maintained. However, there are habits such as natural exfoliation, hard scrubbing of the body, and steaming that may make your tanning fade away.

By reading further, you’ll get comprehensive answers to questions you may have concerning how long does it take for a tan to fade and everything you need to know about how to get rid of it.

Does Tan Ever Fade

Yes, a tan can and will fade. However, how you want it to fade totally depends on you.


Since tanning affects the outer layer of the skin, ultimately a tan will fade naturally on its own because the skin is in a continuous routine of shedding away dead outer skin cells, thereby making way for new cells to begin to develop. This can also be aided naturally by normally taking your bath, moisturize, and staying out of the sun.

Skincare routines like scrubbing the skin as a form of exfoliation can also help eliminate the dead skin cells thereby causing the tan to fade even faster.


Can a Tan Be Permanent and Last Forever?

Nothing good lasts forever, and that includes a good tan. So, No! Tans can’t be permanent, although they can stay for a duration of time, say a week to ten days. This is because tan only affects the outer layer of the skin and since new skin cells must develop after the old ones, ultimately; the tanned skin cells will become dead and gets exfoliated away in a natural biological way.


How Long Does It Take for a Tan to Fade Completely

If you are wondering how long for a tan to fade, on average; it takes like 7 days for a tan to fade completely. However, the duration of a tan depends on some factors like your skin type, tan technique, and how fast your skin exfoliates.

A tan on a dark or olive-skinned person usually lasts longer than a beige or fair-skinned person.


How long it takes for a tan to fade can also be dependent on how the skin is tanned. A skin tanned from sunbathing can be expected to last for a week to ten days. While skin tanned with spray tans generally fades away within an average of 3 days, however, you can make it last longer to 10 days with proper preparation and maintenance.

How Long Does a Sun Tan Last (How Long Does a Tan Last From the Sun)

How Long Does a Sun Tan Last (How Long Does a Tan Last From the Sun)

A suntan might last for 7-10 days after which the skin undergoes its natural exfoliation. However, there are effective ways to achieve a longer duration which includes:

  • Avoid bathing in hot water as it dehydrates the skin thereby making you lose your sun glow quickly.
  • Also, frequently staying moisturized using good moisturizers, natural oil, say avocado or coconut oil, will extend your skin tan.

How Long Do Fake Tan Last

Fake tanning includes all tans that aren’t achieved from sunbathing. This term is synonymous with sunless tanning, self-tanning, UV-filled tanning, and spray tanning.


A fake tan may last for ten days. However, these results vary based on the product and manufacturer. For instance: A spray tan with dark shade will likely last for ten days. Comparatively a medium and lighter spray tan can last for three to five days. This variation is due to the amount of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) ingredient contained in the spray tan.

How Long Does a Tan Last on a Black Person with Brown Skin

As a black person with brown skin type, your tan may last for two to three months before it fades away.

However, if you wish to stretch the time before the tan on your brown skin fades away, it’s advisable to follow similar post-tan precautions that generally stretch and lengthen the duration of tanning. They include and are not limited to:

  • Avoiding exfoliation after sunless tanning
  • Not taking a warm bath
  • Staying off deodorants.

Why Do Tans Fade So Quickly

Very few people’s tans fade quickly but if you are a few of the minority whose tans get faded too quickly, you might be wondering why and how tans fade so quickly?


Well, tans can fade rapidly for many reasons like:

  • Using a fake spray tan
  • Not properly preparing before applying a tan (Pre-Tan preparation)
  • Dehydration
  • Steaming your skin
  • Exfoliation
  • and swimming.

To preserve your tan glow, do well to avoid all the listed points above and instead do the below points:


1) Moisturize your Skin

Moisturize your Skin
Moisturize your Skin

To prevent dryness which can cause your skin cells to fall off a good moisturizer can help. A proper moisturizer applied properly on the skin will delay the natural skin regeneration process so you can enjoy your glow longer.

2) Avoid visiting Saunas

avoid sauna bath
avoid sauna bath

Frequent visit to saunas while trying to make your tan last is a bad idea as a session in a sauna will open large pores of your skin giving room for your tan to fade.

3) Avoid Swimming

Avoid Swimming
Avoid Swimming

Lastly, spending too much time in water can fade a spray tan. Swimming pool water contains chlorine and a combination of water with chlorine is a bad combination for a fake tan. For the time being, if you must engage in swimming, don’t spend too much time doing it and moisturize as often as you can immediately after getting out.


Why Your Tan Never Goes Away?

Sometimes you may ask yourself why your tan never goes away especially in somebody areas that are constantly being exposed to sunlight.

It’s important to understand that the sun UVA radiation plays a major role in natural skin tanning due to the melanin the body generates to protect against the harm of the UV. The more exposed you are to the sun, the darker your skin gets thereby appearing tanned. So, if your tan isn’t going away you might want to check if:

  • You are constantly being exposed to the sun.
  • You are not using a sunscreen moisturizer
  • You mixed a fake tan into your moisturizers (yes, people do it)

If the above isn’t the case, you might want to make sure you are:

  • Using sunscreen
  • Exfoliating frequently
  • Spending significantly lesser time in the sun

If all proves to fail, then safe skin lightening ingredients like retinol and vitamin C can be of help when you observe discoloration on your skin or tanning that doesn’t want to fade away.

How Long Do Natural Tans Last?

How long does a natural tan lasts depends on your skin type and how regular your skin exfoliates itself. Typically, a natural tan may last between 7 to 10 days.

However, if you want to keep your natural tan from fading quickly, endeavor to exfoliate your skin before going sunbathing in the sun UV rays. Exfoliating will peel off skin that is ready to be shed and give room for new skin to be tanned and you could enjoy your tan before your body new skin shed.


Here is Why Your Tan May Lasts for Months and Is It Normal?

Yes, it’s normal for a natural tan to last for months depending on your skin type and tone or maybe the nature of your job. Many people have revealed that their tans usually last some months and that’s why concerns like how long does it take for a tan to fade completely are a frequent inquiry.
Your tanning may last for months if you continually expose yourself to the sun. While this might not be intentional, it certainly contributes greatly to how long a tan lasts because continuous exposure to the sun means continuous exposure to UV rays and this means your body continues to generate melanin.

So, if you’ve noticed your tan is taking longer to fade off or you notice discoloration, first thing is to limit the time you spend in the sun and use the safe methods discussed above to get rid of your tan faster.

Can a Tan Last For Years?

Although tans don’t and will not naturally last for years, there are methods that will make your tan last longer than usual.


This includes:

  • Having a naturally darker skin
  • Using a sunless tanning lotion
  • Using spray tan regularly
  • Spending a lot of time in the sun
  • Avoiding moisturizers with sunscreen

It’s important to note that tanning pills and supplements, such as lotions or pills do not work and maybe dangerous according to the FDA.