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Article: How to Remove Fake Tan Step-by-Step Guide

How to Remove Fake Tan Step-by-Step Guide

How to Remove Fake Tan Step-by-Step Guide

We’re all chasing that summer glow, and a fake tan is the safest and most effective way to achieve that.

But there’s a learning curve that comes with applying fake tan, and mistakes happen. We’ve all been in the "orange shame spiral," panicking because we know we’ll need to go outdoors again eventually.

Even if you’re a tanning pro, there will always come a time when your tan has faded, signalling it’s time to scrub it off and start over.

So, how do you remove fake tan when you’re looking a little less bronze and a little more tangerine?

In this guide, we explore how to remove fake tan (without scrubbing your skin raw!). 

Can Fake Tan Be Washed Off?

With fake tan mousses and sprays, the first layer is washed off 1 to 8 hours after application.

This rids your skin of the top layer of tan to prevent it from transferring, but leaves a beautiful bronzed colour behind.

But can fake tan be washed off completely if you go too dark?

While spending time in bodies of water — baths, showers, and pools — will definitely cause your tan to fade, it won’t happen quickly. If you’re using water and soap alone, you won’t be rid of your tan for at least a few days.

However, there are a few different ingredients you can use to send your tan on its way with a bit more haste.

Step-By-Step Guide for How to Remove Fake Tan

So, how do you remove fake tan fast?

If you’ve found yourself in one of those Anne-Hathaway-in-Bride-Wars situations, we understand why you’d want to get rid of your fake tan fast.
Removing fake tan takes a few steps, so it’s a matter of taking your time and trusting the process. 

Step 1: Oil Up!

Does coconut oil really remove fake tan?

Yep! Oil in all its forms — think baby oil, coconut oil and olive oil — loosens dead skin cells, which can help break down tan build-up.

Grab the oil and apply a generous amount to your palms before massaging it into the skin. Let it soak for at least half an hour (the longer you keep it on, the better).

Then, jump in the shower!

Step 2: Shower n’ Scrub

Once you’re in the shower, it’s time to exfoliate.

Take a gentle exfoliator like our Tasmanian Sand Scrub and massage it into the skin in circular motions. To level-up your exfoliation, use an exfoliating glove to apply the scrub.

Our Sand Scrub contains nourishing, all-natural ingredients that infuse your skin with hydration, so you won’t have to worry about contending with dry, flaky skin post-exfoliation. 

Step 3: Moisturise 

Once you’ve finished exfoliating, jump out of the shower, pat your body dry, and apply moisturiser to your whole body.

This step is crucial; while exfoliating won’t rid your skin of its natural oils entirely, it will remove most of them. Moisturising is essential for restoring the hydration that was lost during exfoliation.


Step 4: Repeat!

You can repeat this process until your skin has returned to its natural colour.

However, keep in mind that frequent exfoliation can be harsh on the skin. If you experience any irritation, leave your skin to breathe for a few days before trying again. 

What Else Dissolves Fake Tan?

If your skin reacts to oil or it’s not quite getting the job done, there are a few other at-home remedies you can try.

Lemon Juice

Before you try this one, do a patch test to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. 

Once you’ve patch-tested, squeeze some lemon juice onto a hand towel. 

Add a little water and pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Leave it to cool so you don’t burn yourself, and then rub the warm towel over your body. 

Alternatively, you can pour fresh lemon juice into your bathtub and soak. 

Lemon juice works as a natural bleach, and the warmth will help you shed dead cells from the surface layer of the skin. 

For even better results, exfoliate afterwards!

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great option when you need to remove a full-body tan quickly. 

Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with some water or coconut oil. This will form a paste. Rub the paste over the area and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.

Then, wash off using an exfoliating mitt. 


Vinegar is best used on small patches. Apply apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to a cotton ball and dab onto dark patches of tan.

Leave for a few minutes before rinsing off. The acidity will work to lift the tan from your skin.


Yep, this one really works!

This hack is best suited for smaller sections of the body; we don’t recommend lathering your entire body in toothpaste.

If your knuckles or the spaces between your toes are a touch too dark, scrub some toothpaste on the area and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse off. 

How to Remove Fake Tan From Your Face

When it comes to removing fake tan from your face, you’ll need to take extra care.

The skin on your face — especially the skin surrounding the eyes — is more sensitive than the skin on your body, so you’ll need to choose products that won’t irritate the skin.

We recommend sticking with a purpose-built product, like the Tasmanian Sand Scrub. This scrub is gentle enough for use on the face.

Simply apply a small amount to your hands and massage it softly into the skin before rinsing it off. 

How to Maintain Healthy Skin After Fan Tan Removal

Moisturiser is the key to keeping your skin nourished and smooth after fake tan removal. 

Apply a generous amount of moisturiser after every shower to replenish the skin with vitamins, antioxidants, soothing oils, and all that good stuff!

How to Remove Fake Tan with Three Warriors 

Here at Three Warriors, we want the fear of an orange tan to be a thing of the past. That’s why we’ve ensured our products carry absolutely no orange undertones. A bronzed, post-European-holiday glow is what we’re all about.

Explore our Tasmanian Sand Scrub and our full range of tanning products.

Have a question about how to remove fake tan? Get in touch with us!

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