Can You Tan After Botox? How Long Do You Need to Wait?

Are you wondering, “Can you tan after botox?”

I was surprised to learn that you must avoid some things the first few hours after a botox injection, including applying makeup and tan spraying. 

And I’m here to talk about what you should know about botox and tanning and how long after botox you can tan.

Just keep reading. 

What is Botox Injection?

Before discussing if tanning can interfere with a botox treatment, let’s clarify what botox injections do.   

As doctors from Mayo Clinic explain,

“Botox injections use a toxin called onobotulinumtoxinA to temporarily prevent a muscle from moving.”(1)

In other words, this cosmetic procedure smooths wrinkles, crow’s feet, frown lines, and other facial lines. But doctors also use it to treat excessive swelling, neck spasms, overactive bladder, and more.

Unfortunately, the botox effect is temporal. It usually lasts 3-4 months, but it can be shorter or longer for some patients. 

women getting botox but can you tan after botox

And how does this cosmetic treatment work? It’s simple and doesn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes:

  • Once you’re sitting comfortably in a chair, the plastic surgeon injects a small amount of the botox toxin into the targeted facial muscles. 
  • Depending on the type of treatment, you’ll receive 10 to 15 botox injections.
  • It’s normal to experience some redness at the injection site, but it will disappear within 15 minutes.
  • Watch this video for a short demonstration of the procedure.

So, does tanning break down botox? Let’s find out! 

Does Tanning Break Down Botox?

Sun exposure doesn’t affect your botox treatment. Once you have the injection, the toxin will paralyze the facial muscle, and there’s little evidence that exposure to sunlight will dissolve it. 

However, heat increases blood flow, which makes your body work faster. And that can shorten the life of your botox treatment or shift it to other areas. 

So, tanning doesn’t break down botox, but intense heat exposure can affect the result. Does this mean you can tan after botox? You’d be surprised. 

Can You Tan After Botox? 

It’s best to wait a couple of days after a botox treatment before you tan to give your skin time to heal and reduce the risk of infection. 

As specialists from the Skin Cancer Foundation explain,

“Tanning damages your skin cells, speeds up skin aging, and can lead to skin cancer.” (2)

That’s because tanning occurs due to exposure to UV radiation. Since your skin can be sore and sensitive after a botox treatment, tanning can slow down the healing process.

But what about tanning beds? Are they safe for use after botox? 

Can You Tan in Tanning Bed After Botox?

You can tan in a tanning bed after botox. However, you have to wait until the botox treatment settles before using tanning beds. 

It’s also best to keep your body temperature cool to prevent the botox treatment from dispersing or migrating to other areas. And tanning beds raise your temperature. 

women getting tanned in bed but can you tan after botox

Moreover, it’s common to have mild pain, swelling, or brushing after botox injection treatment. And tanning beds can increase the duration of these side effects. 

Not to mention, tanning beds aren’t as safe as you think because they increase your skin cancer risks by more than 50%. (3)

But what about spray tanning? Let’s find out! (Don’t forget to check out these tanning bed tips for beginners!)

Can You Get a Spray Tan After Botox? 

Spray tanning doesn’t affect your botox treatment, so you can get a spray tan after botox. (Check these best at-home spray tan machines if you don’t want to go to a tanning salon.)

women getting spray tan but can you tan after botox

However, you should wait at least six hours after treatment before you spray tan. Spray tanning too soon can increase the risk of infection at the injection site.

And can you go in the sun after botox, or should you stay indoors? 

READ MORE: Can You Get Tan in the Winter?

What Happens If You Go in Sun After Botox?

Nothing terrible will happen if you go in the sun after botox, so you don’t need to act like a vampire about to turn into dust. 

However, you should avoid direct sunlight for the first few hours to reduce the risk of skin sagging and stretching. And don’t forget about applying plenty of sunscreens to protect your skin. 

Moreover, specialists recommend not wearing a hat after injecting botox in the forehead because you shouldn’t compress the treated area. 

So, you can’t wear a hat if you have your forehead treated. In other words, you can’t protect your face from sun exposure and are at risk of sunburn if you stay in direct sunlight.  

Then you risk swelling, bruising, skin damage, and other unpleasant effects. (Check here how long before sunburn turns to tan!) 

And can you wear sunglasses after botox? Surprisingly, you should avoid wearing sunglasses unless they’re necessary. 

Now, let’s talk about how long to wait after botox to tan and use a sunbed. 

How Long After Botox Can I Use a Sunbed? 

In general, botox takes around six hours to settle. So, you should wait at least six hours before you use a sunbed, or the botox can migrate away from the facial skin.

However, some tanning salons recommend a waiting period of 24-48 hours to ensure no swelling, brushing, or redness develops. So, when in doubt, consult with a specialist!

But what about showering? How long should I wait to shower after tanning? Again, you should wait for the botox to settle and avoid showering in the first 24 hours. 

And are there other things you should avoid? Let’s find out! 

What Should I Avoid After Botox? 

You should avoid a few things after botox to ensure maximum results and keep your youthful appearance: 

  • Strenuous exercises. Straining facial expressions during exercise can also prevent botox from working. So, wait at least 24 hours before any strenuous activity. 
  • Alcohol for 24 hours.  
  • Direct sunlight, cold temperatures, and hot saunas. 
  • Don’t sleep on your face the first night. 

I highly recommend that you discuss with your plastic surgeon what you can and can’t do after a botox treatment to ensure a successful procedure. 

FAQs

Can You Swim After Botox?

You should avoid strenuous exercise, so you can’t swim after botox. You should wait six hours before swimming or a full day if you have to wear goggles.  

Can You Wear a Hat After Botox?

You shouldn’t wear a hat if you had your forehead injected with botox. You should avoid compressing the area for 48 hours. 

Does the Sun Make Botox Wear Off Faster?

Sunlight has little effect on botox treatment. However, sun damage and intense heat can cause the botox to wear off faster. 

Conclusion

Can you tan after botox? You can tan as long as you wait at least six hours for the botox treatment to settle. And you can resume your outdoor activities after about two weeks. 

However, always ask your doctor if you require any special care after the treatment and what you should avoid for the best-possible treatment results. 

women getting tanned but can you tan after Botox

What do you think about this topic? Can you tan after botox? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

Resources:

  • 1. Mayo Clinic. Botox injections – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayoclinic.org. 2019. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/botox/about/pac-20384658
  • 2. Tanning – The Skin Cancer Foundation [Internet]. The Skin Cancer Foundation. 2018. Available from: https://www.skincancer.org/risk-factors/tanning/
  • 3. 10 surprising facts about indoor tanning [Internet]. www.aad.org. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/surprising-facts-about-indoor-tanning
About Martina Todorovska

Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES . Follow her on LINKEDIN , INSTAGRAM. Learn more about her HERE.

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