How to Remove Fake Tan Step-by-Step Guide

Everyone wants that stunning summer glow and a fake tan is a great way to achieve it — but mistakes happen. We’ve all been in the orange shame spiral, panicking because we need to go outdoors again eventually. Do you want to know how to get fake tan off?

Here's our complete guide on how to remove a fake tan, so keep reading to learn more.

How to Get Rid of Fake Tan That’s Patchy

Patchy tan sucks. This is due to poor application or a poor product, as well as when your tan fades out. The latter is normal as some parts of your skin shed faster than others, however, it doesn’t make it any less annoying.

For the most relaxing way of getting rid of fake tan, head to your local gym to the sauna. Steam is great for dislodging tan stains, and let’s be honest, it’s a great excuse for a little R & R. Try to stay in the sauna for at least half an hour so the heat and humidity can really work their magic on your skin. Once you’re out, rub your skin in gentle circular motions with a wet towel to dislodge the tan stains. Even better if you can exfoliate too! Exfoliating is key to removing tan build-up, so it’s ideal for breaking up a patchy tan. That being said, don’t scrub yourself raw. This will irritate your skin, and you’ll end up both orange and pink.
While you’re at the gym, if the sauna hasn’t done the trick, hit the pool. The chlorine in swimming pools has a bleaching affect and is quite abrasive to the skin. While this is usually a bad thing (seriously though, moisturise after swimming!), it's ideal for removing fake tan build-up.

Alternative to a gentle swim in the pool, take a shower then rub the patchy spots with a wet towel before exfoliating
Want the perfect tan? Catch up on our guide on ‘How to Fake Tan’.


 How to Remove Fake Tan From Hands

There are few things worse than when you have a beautiful natural-looking tan all over your body, but bright orange stains between your fingers. Lucky for you, you probably have everything you need to remove these stains in your home already.
natural fake tan
Start with toothpaste. Sounds bizarre, but works a treat and even more so if it’s whitening toothpaste. Scrub the toothpaste in between your fingers using an old toothbrush.
Leave it on for around 15 minutes to half an hour before rinsing it off with soap. Toothpaste does dry your skin out, so make sure to moisturise your hands well.

If the toothpaste hasn’t done the trick, head to the kitchen next to grab some bicarbonate of soda. There are a couple of different ways to apply this. If you’ve got coconut oil in the house, mix two large spoons of bicarbonate of soda with some coconut oil to create a paste. Don’t worry if you haven’t got any in, you can use water instead. Apply the paste to the stained area and leave it for around five minutes before rinsing it off.

For extra stubborn stains, you can mix bicarbonate of soda with washing up liquid or lemon to create a similar paste. This will really dry your skin out, so don’t leave it to soak. Instead, scrub the paste into your skin with a nail brush or old toothbrush. 

Washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda aren’t the only home remedies you can try. Vinegar also works well for removing stubborn tan stains. Avoid malt vinegar and opt for white or apple cider vinegar. Once you’ve picked your poison, grab a cotton pad or ball and dab into the solution, then blot over the offending areas. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and rinse off with soap.

How to Remove Fake Tan Everywhere

Sometimes we try a new fake tan product and it just doesn’t work out. If you want to remove all of your fake tan, start by using oil. The oil loosens dead skin cells which can help break down tan build-up.

Baby oil, coconut oil and olive oil all work great for this trick. Rub it all over your body and let it soak for at least half an hour, but the longer the better.

Once you’ve soaked, hop in the shower and exfoliate to break down the tan further.

Another great home remedy is to use lemon juice. Before you try this one, do a test patch beforehand to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin too much. If you’re good to go, squeeze some lemon juice onto your tanning mitt or a hand towel if you don’t have one. Add a little water and put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Leave it to cool so you don’t burn yourself and then rub the warm mitt over your body. Alternatively, you can also pour some fresh lemon juice into your bathtub and have a soak. Lemon juice works as a natural bleach and the warmth will help your skin shed. For even better results, exfoliate after to get an even finish. 

There are of course purpose-built fake tan removers you can use too. There are plenty of these on the market, but we think the best body scrub to remove fake tan is our own Tasmanian Sand Scrub.

Get a Sun-Kissed Glow Every Time

Now you know how to remove fake tan, you can try the various remedies and see which works best for you. The best way to avoid this in the future is to use a high-quality tanning product that gradually builds up so you don’t suddenly turn orange!

You can shop our full tan range in our online store!