How to get rid of your self-tanner: 9 steps (with pictures)

How to get rid of your self-tanner: 9 steps (with pictures)
How to get rid of your self-tanner: 9 steps (with pictures)

Has your self-tanner left marks on your body? Its color is irregular? Has your skin turned orange? Be aware that there are several options available to you to eliminate your self-tanner. Start by blending in the pigments with lemon juice, baking soda, or whitening toothpaste. A quick trip to the sauna or the swimming pool could also help you regain an even complexion. Finally, exfoliate your skin with a towel, a scrub or an exfoliating glove, in order to remove as much of the product as possible.


Part 1 of 2: peel off skin color

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 1

Step 1. Apply a special product containing ammonium oleate

Ammonium oleate is a mild form of bleach, which will not harm your skin. To remedy a failed self-tan application or unsightly marks on your tan right away, apply a special product containing this ingredient to your skin. This product will only work on a very recently applied self-tanner and will have little effect once the self-tanner is set on the skin. Apply within 4 hours of applying the self-tanner.

  • Rub the product on the marks and problem areas and leave on for 5 minutes, before rinsing your skin.
  • You will find products of this type in drugstores, in beauty stores or on the Internet.
Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 2

Step 2. Apply a paste of lemon juice and baking soda

If the color has already taken on your skin, try this recipe. In a small bowl, combine equal parts lemon juice and baking soda until you get a paste. Apply the mixture to the area to be treated and leave on for 5 minutes until your tan begins to fade.

Remove the dough with a clean wet cloth

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 3

Step 3. Coat your sensitive skin with baby oil

If the abrasive and acidic ingredients irritate your skin, use baby oil to loosen the self-tan particles. Pour the oil into your hands and coat your skin with it. The oil will loosen the pigments of the self-tanner from the top layer of your skin.

  • Cover your entire body with oil and leave on for 10 minutes.
  • To avoid getting it all over the place, sit in your tub or shower stall to apply baby oil to your body.
Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 4

Step 4. Remove stains and streaks with whitening toothpaste

The active ingredient in whitening toothpastes will make your self-tanner blur. However, reserve this product for small problem areas. Take a dab of whitening toothpaste on your finger or on an old toothbrush. Rub the product on your skin in circular motions, until the self-tanner begins to wear off.

  • If it is difficult to spread, add a drop of water to the dough.
  • When you are done, rinse your skin thoroughly to remove the toothpaste.
Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 5

Step 5. Bathe in a chlorine treated pool

If you could be embarrassed to arrive at the pool with your failed tan, a bath in chlorinated water will effectively reduce your artificial tan. The chlorine will dissolve the excess product that has accumulated on your skin, making the color easier to rub off. Bathe 20 to 30 minutes in the swimming pool, in order to let the chlorine act.

Shower to remove chlorine from your skin and gently rub your skin to fade the color as much as possible

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 6

Step 6. Sit for 30 minutes in a steam room

The steam may be enough to soften your skin enough to loosen the pigments in your self-tanner. Spend half an hour in the sauna or steam room of your spa or gym. Remember to drink plenty of water before going in, to prevent dehydration.

If you feel disoriented, weak, or feel dizzy, get out of the steam room right away

Part 2 of 2: exfoliate your skin

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 7

Step 1. Rub a wet towel over your skin

Wet a towel with clean, cool water, then wring it out. Exfoliate your skin by rubbing the towel over your body in small circles. The moisture and roughness of the towel will help remove the self-tanner.

Use an old towel, as the laundry will likely be stained by the self-tanner

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 8

Step 2. Remove a stubborn fake tan with a scrub

While most scrubs are designed for use on wet skin, they are actually more abrasive and more effective when applied to dry skin. With clean hands, apply the scrub to your skin and rub in circular motions to remove the color. Once you have vigorously massaged your skin with the product, rinse off in the shower.

Get Rid of a Fake Tan Step 9

Step 3. Massage your skin with an exfoliating glove

Exfoliating gloves are made of an abrasive material designed to remove dead skin. Wet your glove and gently run it over your fake tan in circular motions. This will break up the colored deposit on your skin and fade the tan.

Concentrate on your hands and feet, where the spots and streaks left by the self-tanner will often be the most noticeable


  • The self-tanner can continue to develop on your skin for 3 days after application.
  • To get a regular, artificial tan, exfoliate your skin before applying the self-tanner.

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