How to remove fake tan

See ya later orange hands & streaky legs!



Whether you’re a year-round fake tan fanatic or just fancy a fake tan summer fling, removing it can sometimes be tricky work. Maybe you’ve got your tan perfect but woken up one too many times with orange bed sheets and can’t possibly begin to think about removing it from your skin (or sheets!). Or maybe you’ve had the ultimate tanning disaster and need to remove it ASAP. But it doesn’t have to be this way; we want to make removing fake tan easy for you. So let’s go on this journey together...

What steps do I need to take to remove fake tan?

Let’s say it’s a Sunday and you’re not in a rush to get the fake tan off but you know you need to be looking in tip top shape for Monday morning. Have a long soak in the tub with some bath oils, your go-to read, and if you’re really feeling in the mood for some self-care, an eye mask. The bath oils should help break down your tan, making it easier to remove – and the longer you’re in there, the better the results should be.

If you’re in more of a rush, don’t panic scrub as you’ll only end up irritating (and potentially hurting) your skin. Instead, invest in some body scrub that contains oil, as just like with the bath oils, it should help break down your tan. If you haven’t got any body scrub with oil in (no don’t reach for cooking oil), grab a lemon from the fridge and mix that with some sugar to work as an exfoliator. The lemon juice helps remove dark pigmentation from your skin – so give it a go gently and then remove with warm water.

How to remove fake tan from clothes

We’ve all been there, especially when wearing light clothing, you think your tan is dry and bam, there’s fake tan on your collar or you wake up to it on your bed sheets. If you notice this straight away, you need to try and remove it whilst it’s still wet. First things first, run the stain under cold water as this should help loosen it. Then grab a stain remover product and get to work – don’t rub it though, dab instead and then pop it in the washing machine with other light clothing.

How to fix any streaks

If you’re loving your tan but you’ve got a couple of streaks and reaaally don’t want to start all over again, try fixing them by either exfoliating or wet shaving. If you gently massage your body scrub into the areas that are streaky, this should help to even it out – phew. Wet shaving can help remove any tiger stripes, and then moisturise generously afterwards as any dry areas will show up darker than others.

How can I avoid a fake tanning disaster in the first place?

Make sure your skin is ready for the fake tan by exfoliating, shaving (if that’s your thing) moisturising and avoiding perfumes, oil-based products and scented lotions – beforehand anyway. If you’re a fake tan newbie or you want to try out a new product, start light first as making your tan lighter is trickier than applying more. Also, make sure to use a mitt and wear gloves underneath as this should stop your hands from going orange!

If you’re a fake tan newbie or it’s been a while since your last application, head to our how to apply fake tan article to get your perfect glow.