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Top Ten Tried and Tested Ways to Remove Fake Tan


Fake tan fails.

We have all had them at some point.

Whether it’s been a last minute rush job due to emergency night out with the girls, 1st time applying fake tan or a sub-standard spray tan salon application.

Worry not we put together our top tips to removing that bad fake tan.

how to remove fake tan

Remove that bad tan

  • Catch it early.

Try and look for mistakes during the first eight hours while the tan is developing, it’s easier to correct early on.


  • Don’t panic.

Don’t grab that scouring pad and panic scrub the tan off, you’ll end up taking the self-tan off in patches and it’ll become a snowballing effect.


  • Steam.

Sit in a steam room for half an hour, if you don’t have a steam room in the house, put a hot shower on. The heat and humidity will penetrate the skin and help to soften the tan.

Once the skin has been softened, rub the affected area with a wet towel in circular motions. (don’t use your best towels for this) This provides a good deep exfoliation which will allow you to target problem areas and loosen the product and help remove it.

After the skin has been thoroughly softened, use a mitt and make circular motions on the skin to encourage the skin cells to renew and enhance fading


  • Lemon juice.

Get a damp towel dip it in lime or lemon juice and place in the microwave & heat it up for a couple of minutes. After the ping, rub the towel over the patchy areas, which should shift the tan immediately. The acidity of the lime and lemon helps to penetrate the skin to rescue any fake tan disasters. You can also include adding teaspoon of baking soda or salt to the mix to increase removal.


  • Tanned Palms.

This is a very common problem, even if the rest of the tan is flawless there is always the chance of spillage or leaky mitt. Apply a small amount of whitening toothpaste to the hands, rub around the palms and nail areas and leave for a couple of minutes. The thick consistency, cleansing quality and baking soda content is perfect for clearing up any streaky areas. 

tan fail


  • Swimming.

To remove the tan, get yourself down to the local pool or gym & swim in chlorinated water - the chlorine will soften the tan. Follow this with a sauna (if available) this will encourage your skin to sweat, scrub the skin with exfoliating gloves. 


  • When You’ve Gone Too Dark.

Another common problem, usually when you are trying a new brand or new to self tanning. If you’ve left tan on for too long and you’re looking more mahogany than sunkissed, massage a body oil, Baby Oil or coconut oil, all over your body, wait for 30 minutes, then take a soak in a hot bath and use an old towel to buff your body all over to remove the oil. Oil and hot water help accelerate the breakdown of fake tan.

bad tan too dark


  • Streaky Legs.

Uneven tan application can result in streaks on your legs. It's easily done but don’t freak out it’s an easy fix. Apply an oil-based fine-grained body scrub directly onto dry skin and spend a few minutes just massaging it in. The oil will help the fake-tan break down, and the grains will exfoliate your skin. Next, jump in the shower to wash off the scrub, then shave your legs – shaving will act as a second exfoliation.


  • Baking Soda.

Mix a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with a small amount of warm water, until it becomes like a thick paste. 

Rub the formulation on any streaky spots, and the abrasive and de-staining properties of the baking soda should help shift some of the stubborn areas.


  • Hair removal cream.

These can be used to remove particularly resistant patches of fake tan. This is due to the fact that hair removal creams contain chemicals that break down substances in the fake tan, allowing it to be easily wiped away. All you need to do is apply a light layer of the hair removal cream to the patchy or streaky tan you want to remove, let it sit for about ten seconds, then wipe it away with a cleansing wipe or damp towel. Obviously the main use of these creams is to remove hair, so don't use this technique on any areas of the body where you may wish to keep your hair -- such as arms.

People with sensitive skin may not react well to these creams, so do a patch test on a small area of skin, such as on your wrist, before applying it all over. Hair removal creams designed for the body should never be used on the face.


As you can see there are loads of ways that you can remove fake tan, different skin tones & different products product different results and you will find that you prefer a different method to remove that bad tan that works best for you. 

Best advice is to test it out, see if there is a way that works for you. 


Best fake tan 

To ensure that you dont get these problems you should look at your tanning routine in 3 parts, this will guarantee that your tan game is strong.

best fake tan


See our 3 part guide within the blog. 

PREPARATION, getting the primed to ensure smooth, flawless application

APPLICATION, get your method on point when applying to each different part of the body

AFTERCARE, prolonging the tan with some simple techniques.  look at our 3 part guide 

If you need any help and advice please feel free to contact beautyrokz through Facebook or Twitter or call i will be happy to help.  

You can also check out our regular #toptantips on twitter. 


Angela @ Beautyrokz x 



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