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How to Remove Fake Tan

25th Jun 2020

Achieving a gorgeous, natural-looking sunless tan involves a little more than squeezing self-tan lotion on and rubbing it all over your body. Even with proper preparation, mistakes are inevitable and we end up with streaking. Sometimes the slips are in places that cannot be easily disguised, like our palms, fingertips and soles of our feet. How can we correct these little oopsies and achieve all-over perfection?

To Stain is Human: To Forgive, Exfoliate & Erase

You can expect your fake tan to last approximately seven to 10 days, when considering the outermost layer of skin sheds every five to 10 days. This keys you into the most effective means of removing sunless tan - exfoliation. Self-tanning formulas are absorbed primarily into the top layers of your skin, so if you want it to fade faster, increase your efforts to slough away the dead surface skin cells.

Our Fake Bake Coconut Exfoliating Wipes are an effective way to scrub away at the surface to rid your skin from dark marks or streaks that may have developed over time. Another wonderful solution for removing unwanted tan marks is our Fake Bake Tan Corrector & Eraser. Infused with the scent of mango, our Tan Corrector & Eraser is enriched with aloe vera extract, making it effective in removing unwanted tan while still being gentle on your skin.

Fake Bake's Exfoliating Wipes and Tan Corrector & Eraser work on any part of your body stained with uneven tan, including the palms of your hands, soles of your feet and your face and neck. They can be used immediately, during application or after your self-tan has fully developed.

More Removal Tips

Here are some other ways to remove self-tan, whether you need to spot-correct or do a full body removal:

1. Use a Bath Scrub - There are many scrubs that you can use to exfoliate and remove your self-tan. Most scrubs contain oils that break down the pigments in the tanning solution and ultimately fade your tan.

In addition to oils in bath scrubs, moisturize with lotions that are oil-rich. Shower between lotion applications to maximize the fade. These oils also help to break down self-tan components to encourage fading.

2. Exfoliating Gloves - Using an exfoliating mitt or glove helps to remove dead skin cells at the surface, speeding up the removal process.

3. Household Remedies - A number of self-tanning professionals recommend lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda and toothpaste to remove self-tans, particularly spot stains. Soak a cotton ball with lemon juice and dab the unwanted marks. If you're using white vinegar, rub it onto the stains, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse with water. Baking soda should be combined with water and used as a scrub. For toothpaste, make sure to choose a whitening toothpaste. Rub it onto unwanted marks, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it away.

4. Baby Oil - This is a technique that will not only remove self-tanning formulations, but leave your skin moisturized and sweet-smelling. Rub a generous amount of baby oil wherever you want to erase your self-tan. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off with hot water. Baby wipes can also be used for a similar effect.

5. Hair Removal Products - According to some beauty professionals, using hair removal cream helps to dissolve the pigments in sunless tanning formulas. At the same time, you get rid of unwanted hair for lovely, smooth legs.

6. Swimming Pools - To remove fake tan from all over your body, Marie Claire recommends swimming in a chlorinated pool a few times. Reportedly, the chlorine in the water helps break down the self-tanning chemicals.

7. Rubbing Alcohol & Acetone - These solutions will also help remove self-tan formulations from the surface layers of your skin by breaking down the chemicals in the pigment compound itself. Unfortunately, they smell unpleasant and dry out your skin, so we only recommend their use as a last resort.

A Word About Removing Self-Tanner Stains from Clothes

If you happen to spill some self-tanning solution on to clothing, it's important to treat the stain as soon as possible. It becomes harder to remove the stain from clothes the longer they sit. In the case of washable fabrics, flush the stain by holding the reverse side of the stained fabric under a stream of cold water. This helps to force the self-tanner out of the fabric fibers.

Next, use a mixture of liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water to sponge the stain from the edges toward the center. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and wash immediately using a heavy-duty detergent containing stain-lifting enzymes, like Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent or Tide. Check to see if the stain is gone after the washing before placing the garment or towel into the dryer.

If the stain is really stubborn, try soaking the area in an oxygen-based bleach and cool water solution for several hours; if the stain is gone, wash as usual. Hopefully the self-tanner has disappeared, but if not, another couple tricks to try are dabbing the stain with hydrogen peroxide (then rinse with cold water) or rubbing pure vegetable glycerin into the area, then repeating the dishwasher detergent and/or hydrogen peroxide treatment.