How To Remove Fake Tan

Ah, fake tan. The wondrous substance that turns pale limbs golden brown faster than you can say sunshine. Quite frankly, we’d be lost without it. But what happens when things go haywire? Knowing that your newfound glow will disintegrate in mere days can make any tanner tentative. Let’s face it; no one likes orange scaly skin. Google ‘how to remove fake tan’ and you’ll be met with an assortment of tips and tricks, each one claiming to sort out your patchy pins, pronto. Some of the advice is great. ‘How to remove fake tan with baking soda’ – not so much. What is the right way to do it? Put simply, it’s a bit of an art form and even the best fake tan remover won’t lead your limbs to redemption without a little help from some other potent products. 

So, without further ado, follow the steps below to rid yourself of all your tan troubles…

How to remove fake tan

1. Before you ruthlessly panic scrub your poor bod within an inch of its life, reach for some oil and run a hot bath instead. Oil breaks down DHA, the element in tan that gives it colour – great if you’re trying to take it off, not so great when you forget and book in a massage, so, take notes. Pour Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Restoring Sense Bath Oil into a steamy tub and treat yourself to a long soak – it’s the best first step to evening out those streaky areas.

2. Don’t scrap your scrub altogether, though, try one that’s a little less harsh, like Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Scrub. Pumice and bamboo stem is rough enough to get the job done without leaving your skin red and oversensitive, while botanical oils (see ya DHA) hydrate and condition.

3. Depending on whether or not you’re planning on taking your tan off, or if you just want to even out some dodgy streaks, your one-step solution is a tan eraser. These contain clever chemicals that slough away dead skin cells, taking your tan off with it. Isle Of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser contains liquid exfoliator glycolic acid and micellar water, which removes old tan without causing irritation. Wait three days post application, then spray on, rub in and leave to work for 5 minutes before showering off. Be sure to engage in some mild bod-buffing action with So Eco’s Exfoliating Gloves using circular motions to really reap the rewards.

How to remove fake tan from your hands

Orange hands and toes are one of the first giveaways that your newfound glow might not be legit. Unsurprisingly, they’re every tanners pet peeve and are notoriously hard to sort out. Wearing gloves before embarking on any bronzing sesh is key to preventing Cheeto fingers – St Tropez’s Velvet Luxe Tan Applicator Mitt is our failsafe – but sometimes we’re in a rush or forget to put them on. Your best bet is to go in strong. Start by scrubbing all over, then use Yes To Grapefruit Glow-Boosting Exfoliating Acid Pads in areas where your tan stains are particularly stubborn, like between the fingers.

How to remove fake tan from your face

Just like your body, use an oil to help dissolve the DHA. Elemis’ Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil is our holy grail. Exfoliating pads are paramount. Use them to eradicate areas where expired tan has built up, like around your hairline. Post cleanse, sweep Peter Thomas Roth’s Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads across your face and wave goodbye to dodgy patches, oversized pores and blackheads.

How to fix fake tan streaks

Spoiler: streaks are inevitable. Even the most pro tanners are privy to the odd one here and there. Work a bit of oil and/or scrub into any painfully obvious patches first to help them fade. Then, mix a few pumps of your go-to tan – we love Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam – into an oil-free (important) moisturiser and apply all over to even out any predominant patches. Alternatively, turn to a gradual tanner like Bali Body’s Gradual Tan. These formulas don’t develop as quickly and can be used daily to deposit a hint of colour, alleviating the dreaded streaks.