The Lowdown On Working Out: Can You Exercise with Fake Tan On

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The Lowdown On Working Out: Can You Exercise with Fake Tan On

Think ‘Summer body’ and there’s often two things you’ll be prioritising… fitness and fake tan.

While the two go hand-in-hand in terms of making you feel good, confident and ready for a season of next-to-nothing bikinis or light linen kits, the two together can also spell disaster…

All it takes is one patchy fake tan job to ruin an entire look… but often in the sentiment of ‘Hot Girl Summer’ or ‘Hot Guy Summer,’ we can lose sight of the basics like mindfulness, slowing down and consciously allowing our tans to absorb or (even better) set before hitting the gym for a sweat. 

So the question here is, can you exercise with fake tan? Or is it a complete no go?

Well, in the spirit of wellness and self care being part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, we’ll never tell you to skip either, but as a tan brand we are very much here to help you learn all the ins and outs of working out with fake tan. 

Read on for our guide to best practices, including do’s and don'ts of exercising while tanning so you can achieve your ultimate glow up this Summer. 

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Exercising With Fake Tan


Fake tan the night before

Taking time to tan the night before exercise will give you the best shot of achieving a patch-free tan AND a seamless workout experience, devoid of any post-sweat guilt.

In a best case scenario, you’ll have time to give the bod a full body scrub (using our Tasmanian Sand Scrub), allow skin to be supple and pores open, treat your body to a full body tan (be it gradual, self tan mousse or spray tan) then walk around robe free to air dry and absorb. After that, you’ll tuck yourself into bed, wearing long sleeve baggy items or using a tanning sheet to wake up aglow.

In this situation it won’t matter what kind of tanning product you use as you have time to let it absorb… meaning you don’t need to ask can you exercise with fake tan, as the next day your tan will be a second skin.

The perk here too is that we don’t tend to move around much in our sleep, so our tan is less likely to be exposed to friction and result in any unwanted streaks.

While tanning after a big day at work or with kids may seem like a herculean effort at times, trust us, it’s a life hack that saves you time and will actually give you the boost to get up and hit the gym in the AM.

Consider application time

If a tanning product says it takes between 3hrs or 6hrs to develop, trust it the first time.

While tanning times may naturally vary depending on a person’s own skin absorption rate, the guidelines on the label are there for a reason and are designed to serve you.

If you’ve left tanning to the last minute and are wondering can you exercise with fake tan? we recommend going for a fake tan that won’t streak easily and is known to develop ultra fast.

Translation…opt for a tanning water (such as our Face Tan Aqua Mist) or a spray tan (such as Spray Tan Solution) last minute over a  self-tan mousse  or  gradual tan.

A tanning water can give a fresh glow and hint of va va voom with a mere spritz. It’s ideal for a sweep across the face, neck, and decolletage to give you a quick lift when you don’t have time for a full body tan but want to look cute in your activewear or at work drinks that afternoon. It develops in as little as three hours. Shop our face tan water here.

Alternatively, if you have time to do a pop up spray tan at home, rope in a friend to do it for you or pop by a spray tan salon then this is the next best option for a full body tan, fast.

Our turnaround time is only 1.5 hrs. Or if you can’t do it at home, call a salon to see what their tan wash off times are. Some tan booths also offer a 5 minute service, so you can be in and out in a heartbeat, allowing for max absorption time. See stockists for the Three Warriors Spray Tan Solution or shop our spray tan here.

Plan a workout that suits your tan product

Often wondered can you exercise before washing fake tan off? The answer is yes - with a little pre-planning.

The best way to play it safe and still get a body sculpt and burn, minus the sweat is by opting for a low impact workout such as a light walk or slow style yoga class.

Rather than skip exercise, you can amend your workout schedule and go for a less intense style of training on a tan day. Yoga or a light walk are less sweat inducing and therefore can lead to less friction and a consistent tan - aka giving you the best of both worlds.

The caveat here - consider what you wear and what environment you’ll be in. Can you exercise before washing fake tan off? Yes you sure can, but you’ll want to be low key about it. Think baggy clothes and a cool breeze or non-heated yoga room. As soon as the temp increases, take cover and cool down.

Consider what clothes you wear

Your birthday suit will always be the more superior option when it comes to post tan after care… but in the instance you don’t wish to flash the unsuspecting public, then choosing what you wear afterwards matters.

For those who tanned the night before, you’ve bypassed any concerns. You don’t even need to ask, can I exercise after washing off my tan? You’ve fast tracked your way to sweaty nirvana, sans guilt. Go for it.

However for the fitness fans who live on the edge, wondering can you exercise with fake tan, here is where your athleisure choice is everything. Forget about keeping up with the latest lycra trends, you want to think, baggy, lightweight, strap-free, pocket-free, fun-free… 

To give a freshly applied fake tan a chance, you’ve got to forgo fashion.

Go all black everything (ideally), loose the bra or sports crop top (hooks and straps = streaks) and cover up (think sleeves and loose pants). Consider damage control from the get go by minimising any fabric friction and limbs being bumped right off the bat. 


Fake tan the night before

Thinking your tan is your best friend and that bad luck happens to others and not you would be a serious error in judgement. Always proceed with caution here: read the labels for directions of use and application time and think ahead about the workout and clothing you plan to wear.

A caveat here: in the off chance you haven’t done a full pre-body or face scrub in the shower with an exfoliator first (such as our Tasmanian Sand Scrub) it’s likely scaly skin will absorb your tan and give you a patchy complexion from the get go. 

Then if you add in the mix of sweat, wet tan, body heat and movement you’re destined for a disaster.

Rather than debating between can you exercise with fake tan, can you exercise before washing fake tan off or can I exercise after washing off my tan, just presume your tan may streak. That way you can follow best tan protocols rather than risk it.

Apply deodorant or beauty products straight after tanning 

It might be a habit - and a hygienic one at that - but you should never apply deodorant while a tan is setting.

Deodorant may be the most common pre-workout and for good reason too, given the body odour that can come with sweat, but in the case of self-tan it is more of a foe than a friend.

While it’s a golden rule known among tanning salons, with a spray tanner always suggesting lose clothes and no body products after, if you’re new to self tanning you may not know that deodorant, moisturiser or beauty products applied in the immediate aftermath of tanning is ALWAYS a risk to the tan.

We are all for looking good and smelling good, but if you’re legitimately wondering can you exercise with fake tan on or can I exercise before washing fake tan off then you’re going to have to go to au naturale. Maybe skip the gym and opt for an at-home workout that day…?

For more tips on how to fake tan check out our guidelines here or to scrub up on your exfoliating skills see our blog here.

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