How to remove a tan from hands

Written by cheryl grace myers
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How to remove a tan from hands
Tan Body Without Staining Hands and Feet (

Washing your hands is a common chore after applying self-tanner. Sometimes you may forget to wash your hands and between your fingers. Streaks and blotches form on your knuckles, and your nails and cuticles collect excess self-tanner. The same problem occurs on your feet. This is because the skin did not absorb the self-tanner and instead collected on top of the dry patches of skin.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • vinegar
  • Mr. Pumice Bar
  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle remover
  • Nail blocks

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  1. 1

    Place first aid tape around the affected area. If you only have a small spot on your hands or feet that needs a fix, you can isolate the area with first aid tape so the removal process does not interfere with the rest of your sunless glow.

  2. 2

    Apply acetone nail polish remover to a cotton ball and wipe the affected area. You can buy acetone polish remover at most beauty stores. Non-acetone polish remover will not work for removing self-tanner.

  3. 3

    Scrub your hands and feet with a multipurpose hand cleaner such as those used by mechanics. Orange Goop works well for removing self-tanners, but any professional hand cleaner will do. Use the Resource Box for more information.

  4. 4

    Use a pumice bar from Mr. Pumice. Mr. Pumice acts like a scouring pad for the body. Use it alone, wet or dry, or apply cleanser on the bar. Using it dry on dry skin is more effective in getting self-tanner off, but it may irritate your skin. Use it wet for a kinder approach on your skin.

  5. 5

    Soak your hands and feet in vinegar. Mix one part vinegar to one part water for five minutes. Continue to soak for an additional five minutes for troubled spots.

  6. 6

    Give yourself a manicure and pedicure. Cut your nails, trim your cuticles, and use a medium/coarse nail block on your nails. File the entire nail, not just the tips.

  7. 7

    Use a fine or medium-coarse nail block on your skin between fingers and toes. A fine grain block is suitable for those with sensitive skin. If you cannot fit the nail block between your fingers and toes, use a nail file instead.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear disposable gloves when applying self-tanner.
  • Use gel gloves and socks for an intense moisturising treatment the day before you apply self-tanner. Your hands and feet will absorb the self-tanner better.
  • To avoid sunless tanning mistakes, mix one part self-tanner and one part moisturising lotion when applying self-tanner. Even if the tanning product claims moisturising benefits, always mix the two for an even application. Mix one part self-tanner with three parts moisturiser when applying to hands, feet, elbows and knees.
  • The removal process can irritate skin, so apply moisturiser after you remove the self-tanner. Do not apply moisturiser before or during the removal process because moisturiser makes the self-tanner adhere to the skin, making it harder to remove.
  • Keep acetone and hand cleaner away from children. Use a mask when applying acetone and be sure to use it in a ventilated area.
  • Too much abrasion may irritate the skin. Do not use any method of removal if you have open wounds on your hands or feet.

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