How to get rid of a fake tan

Updated April 17, 2017

Sunless tanners can help you achieve a sun-kissed look without exposing your skin to the sun's damaging rays. Unfortunately, much can go wrong when you use sunless tanners. If you apply too much, your skin can take on an orange hue. Poor application can also result in blotchy, spotted or uneven skin. Thankfully, there are various things you can do to get rid of your fake tan and get your skin back to its normal tone.

Exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the top layers of your skin. Since these cells were dyed by the sunless tanner, you'll remove much of the tan as you remove these skin cells. Use a body scrub and loofah to exfoliate your skin multiple times daily.

Soak in a hot bath. Hot water reeks havoc on sunless tans. It softens the top layers of your skin, helping them to slough off more easily. Fill a bath tub with hot water or sit in a traditional hot tub for at least 15 minutes.

Shave the area. If the fake tan is on an area you would normally remove hair from, shave the area. As you shave, the razor will remove some of the dye on your skin, helping your fake tan to disappear more quickly.

Apply mineral oil to your fake tan. Mineral oil works to break down the dye used in self tanners, helping the fake tan fade more rapidly. Simply pour some mineral oil on a clean washcloth and apply it to the affected area.

Rub fresh lemon juice onto your fake tan. Lemon juice works as a natural bleaching agent. Its acidity will break down the dye in the sunless tanner, helping your skin to get back to its natural tone.

Try a self-tanner remover. These products are specifically designed to remove sunless tanning products from your skin. They come in various forms, such as wipes, lotions and toners. You can find self-tanner removers in most drug stores.


Moisturise your skin before applying fake tanner. It makes for a more even application.

Things You'll Need

  • Body scrub
  • Loofah
  • Razor
  • Shaving gel
  • Mineral oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Self-tanner remover
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