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How to Remove Self Tanner

How to Remove Self Tanner

With self tanner now we can get that sun kissed glow and a gorgeous tan without having to expose our skin to the sun. As excited as you can be about trying this, you need to be aware of self-tanner mishaps that can happen when you choose the wrong self tanner or when you don’t apply it in the right way.

Your skin can turn orange, patchy, dark, or streaky when you don’t apply the self-tanner correctly. But if this ever happens to you, just don’t panic. There are very simple ways to remove self tanner.

Before we get into the remedies, let’s go over the causes so you know exactly what to do and what not to do the next time you use self-tanner.

What Causes Self-tanner Blunder

  • You Used the Wrong Shade

One of the blunders people make while applying self tanner is choosing a tanner that doesn’t match their skin tone. You need to first make sure that self tanner matches your skin tone perfectly so that you can get the result you are looking forward to. For that, you can try a small amount of self tanner on your hand and see the result first.

  • You Did Not Apply Self Tanner on a Clean Skin

Yes, keeping your skin clean is very important. So a fresh shower before applying self tanner is a must.

  • You Did Not Moisturize

The secret to getting a perfect glowing tan is to clean, hydrate, and moisturize your skin first. If you skip these basic steps and jump straight to applying self-tanner, chances are high you will get patchy, orange, and dull skin later.

  • You Applied in Way Too Heavily in Certain Areas

Your result depends upon how you apply self-tanner, so be cautious. You need to apply it evenly throughout your body, and for areas like elbows and knees, which are already rough and dark, you need to apply less tanner in those areas.

  • Shaving After Tanning

It is recommended to not shave immediately after using self tanner. I mean, it is obvious, isn’t it that you won’t want to ruin your perfectly tanned skin by shaving it right away. Shaving before applying self tanner is the best way as your skin gets exploited too.

  • You Dressed Way Quickly

I know we all want things to be done quickly, but you need to have a little patience while dealing with self tanner. Do not rush to put on your clothes immediately after you apply self- tanner. Let it completely dry first.

How to Remove Self Tanner

But if you are sure you did everything right and still didn’t get the result you expected. And now you are looking for remedies. You are in the right place. Let’s go through some quick remedies:

Use an Exfoliation Scrub With a Loofah or Sponge

Use an Exfoliation Scrub With a Loofah or Sponge

Use exfoliating scrub and gently rub it to the part where you want to remove the tan with the help of loofah or sponge. Make sure you don’t rub it too hard, as it might cause your skin to turn red. This will help to remove pigmented dead cells from your skin and, as a result, tanning will fade.

Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone

Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone

Ace tone is also known as Nail-polish remover. Rubbing alcohol or acetone on your skin can help to fade the color from your skin. But it is advised not to apply alcohol in large areas and don’t use alcohol in extreme amounts as it can dry your skin . Use a cotton ball, dip it in alcohol and apply it.

CAUTION: If you opt for this option make sure you moisturize your skin later. Both of these product will leave your skin dry. So hydration is must once you apply any of those product.

Use Baby Oil or Coconut Oil

Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone

For larger areas, baby oil, coconut oil, olive oil or sunflower oil is best. These oil not only help to lift tan they also make your skin smooth. Apply it all over your body, leave it for 20-30 minutes and wash it away. It is better if you can wash with warm or lukewarm water. Baby oil is considered to be the best for removing tans.

Soak in a Pool, Hot Tub, or Sauna

soak in a pool hot tub or sauna

Soaking in a pool, hot tub, or sauna for at least 30 minutes or an hour is suggested. Luke’s warm water or warm water will be best to fade the color from the skin. It is better if can do this as soon as you put the self tanner. It might be a bit hard to remove it when the tan is set on your skin. It might be a little streaky but it will definitely help to fade the tan away.

Sugar and Oil Scrub

sugar and oil scrub

You can purchase sugar and oil scrubs almost anywhere. If you are into DIY, this is very simple: add some sugar (brown or white), any will work, and then add some oil (sunflower, coconut) whatever is available). Stir it well and apply it to your body. Yes, simple as that. But do remember that it won’t remove the tan instantly. It will just help fade it.

And if you are too lazy to make the scrub, some of the best available on the market are: Herbivore Botanicals, Sephora Collection Sugar Body Scrub, and Fresh Beauty Brown Sugar Body Polish.



Yes toothpaste this too can be used to remove tan, just the way it removes stains from our teeth they will help to fade tan. Toothpaste contains Sodium Bicarbonate which brightens teeth which is also considered best to remove tan. Toothpaste can be best if you want to remove tan from areas like: between your fingers, your palms.

Apply it to the area you want to lighten the tan. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, let the toothpaste dry completely and then wash it away.

Use Aloe Vera

use aloe vera

Aloe Vera might not give you an instant result, but this is a very healthy way to remove tan. You will have to apply it on daily basis and you will see the result within a week. You can extract aloe Vera gel from the real plant or get ready-made aloe Vera gel from the market.

Apply it all over your body and let it remain only for 10-15minutes because if you leave for too long it will dry out your skin. Rinse with mildly hot water. Repeat the process for a week to see the result.

Apply a Strong Toner

apply a strong toner

Use a toner that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). They are known best for skin discoloration. Apply it throughout the area you want your tan to be removed. Let it remain for 15-20minutes. Risen with mildly hot water. You will have to repeat this process at least 3-4 times to see the result.

Skin Lighting Product

skin lighting product

Skin lighting products are best known for removing tans from skin. Look for products that contain the below ingredients. These product not only help in removing tan but also have a lot of other skin benefits like acne, serve as a deodorant, improve keratosis pilaris and much more.

  • Glycolic acid
  • retinods
  • Vitamin C
  • Kojic acid

Baking Soda

baking soda

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Stir it well and apply to affected area. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. And then exfoliate the tan away.

CAUTION: Don’t apply baking soda if you have sensitive skin.

Baby Wipes

baby wipes

Since baby wipes are used to clean the skin, they can be handy for removing pigments too. But remember, this can be useful only if the tanner hasn’t dried up. This will only be useful if this is available within your reach while you are applying self tanner. This will work only for not dried tanner and won’t help if it is already set on our skin.

Tan Build Up Remover Mitt

Tan Build Up remover mitt

Exfoliating mitts are also useful for fading self-tanning streaks. Take a hot shower and exfoliate to remove streaks. Then, using an exfoliating mitt, buff the streaks away in circular motions.

I hope this was helpful and you were able to get rid of self tanner. Remember the above mentioned points when you apply self tanner next time.

What Not to Use

Lemon Juice

It is suggested not to use Lemon to remove self tanner as undiluted lemon contains acid which can be damaging to the skin. Even if you want to apply it, make sure you mix lemon with water and don’t let it remain on the skin for too long. Wash it away within a few minutes only.

Skin Bleaching Cream

Bleaching creams can irritate the skin and alter skin pigmentation. Using skin bleach cream should be strictly avoided on tanned skin as it can severely burn and damage it.


Removing streaky self-tan areas with Windex should be strictly avoided. This is not an option. The solution contains strong chemicals that should not be used on skin and should only be used on windows and glass surfaces. So please don’t use that chemical on your skin.

How to Prepare Your Skin Before Applying Self Tanner

If you want that perfect tan you need to first prepare your skin. You will have to clean, exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize it proper before applying self tanner. These are very simple and basic steps but if you skip these steps chances are high you will get uneven tone and streaks. So it is mandatory to prepare your skin first. To avoid the any mishap do these basic steps first from next time onwards.

  • Clean
  • Exfoliate
  • Hydrate
  • Moisturize
  • Apply self-tanning mist (optional)

Self tanner are amazing products if you apply it in correct way and correct shade but we all can go wrong now and then. If you ever get an uneven tone or streaks while applying self-tanner, simply use the easily available products and steps mentioned above to get rid of them.