How long does tanning lotion last? This question is very important and a common concern – especially when you’re trying it out for the first time. There are tons of mistakes that you can avoid. You don’t want to be over-the-top or a patchy tan.
Our guide teaches you everything you need to know about the perfect application intervals. We also cover other topics like lotion expiry and how long until you start seeing results.
Let’s get into the guide!
How Long Does Tanning Lotion Last? Our Answer
Let’s hit this question right out of the gate. I’d love to be able to give you a straight answer that can be generalized across all tanning lotions – but that’s not possible.
Instead, I’ll give you the effective times in days at different levels of quality.
Remember that tanning lotions will all fade after a couple of days. This period is increased as you use higher quality tanners (but then so does the cost).
Here is how long tanning lotions last at the different quality levels:
- High-end tanning lotions: these will last you anywhere from 10-15 days before they start fading and need to be reapplied
- Mid-range tanning lotions: these will last from 4-8 days
- Low and bottom range: you can expect 1-4 days of effective use before needing an application. Just bear in mind that some low-end and budget tanners have more side effects and oftentimes don’t work as intended.
High-end tanning lotions can cost you a pretty penny and they often come in smaller quantities. You’re not alone in going for the mid-range products. I find them to have the best balance between cost and results. You should go for the mid-range lotions that are at the upper end of the quality scale.
How Long is Tanning Lotion Good For?
This is an issue of expiry and how long a tanning lotion can be used after its expiry date. The answer is simple. If the lotion has expired, don’t use it!
You’re more likely to experience side effects and patchy tans that don’t look great (so don’t pull out that lotion that’s been sitting in your cupboard for years!).
Most tanning lotions have 12 months until they expire.
How Long Does Self-Tanning Lotion Last?
In case you’ve heard of self-tanning lotion and think it’s different from other types, it’s not.
Self-tanning lotions have the same application times and expiry schedules as other tanners.
How Long Does Jergens Tanning Lotion Last?
Jergens tanning lotion is well-renowned and widely used. Unfortunately, the lasting times provided by the company are quite vague.
In practice though, you can expect anywhere between 1-2 weeks before needing to re-apply the lotion.
This varies depending on skin type, color, age, level of physical activity, the soaps and shampoos you use, etc. The variance is huge.
You’ll need to test it out yourself to know exactly where you fall in the 1-2 week general guideline.
How Long Does Tanning Lotion Last on Skin?
Well, the skin is the only place you’re going to be using tanning lotion. You shouldn’t be using it on your hair.
This question doubles up on ones that have already been answered in this guide. Very high-quality tanning lotions can last up to 14 days.
How Long Does Tanning Lotion Take to Work?
This is the golden question that’s probably already come into your mind. If you’re new to using tanning lotions then you’re after results. Let’s break down the results you can expect – and how soon you can expect them.
Most tanning lotions take 6-10 hours to work.
This is because the main ingredient (DHA if you’re interested) takes quite a while to sink into the skin and work on the dead skin cells. If you want to get the best results from your tanning lotion – make sure the tanning lotion stays on your skin for the full 6-10 hour period.
It’s as simple as that. Though to be honest, it’s often easier said than done. You need to avoid the following:
- Water getting on the skin where you’ve applied the lotion
- Sweating too profusely
- Exercising during the 6 to 10-hour period
- Wearing overly-tight clothing on the application areas
Keep these in mind while the lotion is getting to work. If you avoid these common pitfalls, you’ll get better and more consistent results. Sometimes things are out of your control (like rain) so don’t stress. You can re-apply the lotion to the affected areas.
How Long Does Sun Tan Lotion Last?
I’ve added this in here as I don’t want you to get tanning lotion and suntan lotion confused. Tanning lotion is designed to gradually alter the color of the pigments in your skin for aesthetic reasons.
On the other hand, suntan lotion is designed to prevent the sun from burning you and killing your skin cells (though you can still get a tan).
If you want to know how long suntan lotion lasts, take a look at the SPF number. This is the number of minutes until you need to re-apply the lotion.
Failing to do so will leave you exposed to the damaging effects of the sun. For example, SPF30 suntan lotion needs to be re-applied every 30 minutes. You should also re-apply every time you get wet (unless it’s a water-resistant lotion) and after you’ve wiped your skin with a towel.
By now, you should be well-informed and confident enough to start your self-tanning journey. We all have our reasons for taking on something like this. Maybe you want to look healthier. Perhaps you don’t want to risk skin cancer by spending hours getting a natural tan in the sun.
Whatever your reasons are, you now have the know-how to support them. Take what you’ve learned from our “How long does tanning lotion last?” answer and put it into practice – soon you’ll have the tan you’ve always wanted!