8 Expert Hacks For Removing Fake Tan Stains

May 24, 2017

Because orange hands are a dead giveaway.

For all of us who aren’t blessed with sun-kissed, olive skin naturally, fake tan is a life saver.

From helping us look slimmer, to blurring imperfections and generally making us appear healthier and more vibrant, the benefits of having a bronzed glow far outweigh the emotional rollercoaster of getting a spray tan, or, for the extra game among us, the inevitable mishaps involved in doing our own at home with DIY faux self-tanners.

Tan Temple salon owner, Jacci Haslam says the most important aspect when tanning at home is to “wear loose, dark clothes so your tan doesn’t rub onto your couch or elsewhere. If it does, a warm wash cloth takes it off easily.”

But what’s a girl to do when she successfully avoided staining her sofa, but her hands, elbows, and knees are 50 shades of patchy orange? Thankfully, there are a few effective expert remedies and products to even out your tan so you don’t have to walk around looking like Ross in that infamous Friends episode. Here are are 8 hacks to get fake tan off:

1. Lemon Juice

Besides looking great on the rim of a cocktail glass, lemon is actually a fab beauty helper thanks to its bleaching qualities. If you need to tone down your fake tan, dampen a towel with fresh lemon juice, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, and gently rub it over your fake tan to lighten the shade.

2. Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is a great option if you need to remove small fake tan stains, such as in between your toes or fingers. Use it on an old toothbrush to brush off stains effortlessly.

3. Baking soda

This is a brilliant DIY scrub when you just want to strip tan off larger areas, such as your legs or arms. Simply mix a bit of water with some baking soda to create a paste, rub it all over your skin, wait a minute or two, and then wash it off.

4. White vinegar

Just like apple cider vinegar, this pantry must-have can do it all, including removing fake tan, thanks to its acidity. Dab some onto the skin with a cotton pad, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse off to visibly lighten the shade of your tan.

5. Take a bath

Probably the most relaxing way to remove fake tan all over your body is to take a nice long bubble bath with essential oils. The water and oils will soften your skin cells, making it easy peasy to scrub off the tan with an old towel after you step out of the tub.


“My go-to tan stain remover is ModelCo’s tan-removing soap. It completely removes tan stains with ease and lasts FOREVER.”

Buy ModelCo Tan Remover Exfoliating Soap HERE.

6. Nail polish remover

This is a very effective, though rather harsh method of removing fake tan, so it’s best to only use it for very small areas and opt for a really gentle solution, like OPI Aloe Polish Remover. The acetone in nail polish remover will break down the tan, even after it has set on your skin, which is why you shouldn’t get your nails done right after a fake tan session. However, if you need to lighten a small patch somewhere, just rub some nail polish remover on it and see the tan disappear.

Buy OPI Aloe Polish Remover HERE.

7. Tan remover scrub

It’s all about exfoliation when wanting to remove a tan, and the easiest way to do this is by using an exfoliator especially made for this purpose. A scrub like ModelCo Tan Remover Body Scrub can be used to prep the skin for a fake tan, but also to correct small areas that might have become a bit too dark.

Buy ModelCo Tan Remover Exfoliating Body Scrub HERE.

8. Enzyme mask

If you don’t like rubbing and scrubbing, let enzymes do their magic to remove an old or blotchy tan. A product like Aspect Gold Fruit Enzyme Mask will actually do the hard work for you; effortlessly erasing dead skin cells to reveal new, untanned skin after rinsing off. It’s perfect as a prep, or when the shade of your face is miles away from matching your neck; we’ve all been there.

Buy Aspect Gold Fruit Enzyme Mask HERE.

Images via giphy.com and favim.com.

Comment: Know another way to get fake tan off? Share it with us!

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