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How To Remove Fake Tan: Your Back To Basics Guide

Need to remove your fake tan fast? Here's how to sort out those dreaded orange hands or bronze streaks, pronto...

Fake tan is the ultimate way of getting a healthy-looking sun kissed glow all year round. Which is why so many of us love it. But get it wrong and you can wake up to unwanted patches, those tell-tale orange hands or even worse – multi-tonal streaks. That’s why we’ve spoken to tan guru and founder of Isle of Paradise, Jules Von Hep to get the best tips and tricks on how to remove fake tan…

How to remove fake tan quickly

If it’s gone terribly wrong and you need to get rid of your tan straight away, opt for Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Remover, £17.95. ‘Spray all over skin, then massage into a lather and leave for 5 minutes’ recommends Jules Von Hep. Next step? ‘Keep returning to the skin and re-massaging every minute, paying special attention to those areas that are slightly dryer’- so elbows, knees, in between the thighs and armpits. Once the glycolic acid has worked its magic, rinse off in the shower. Top trick? ‘I love spraying a sheet mask with Over It too’, says Von Hep, this way you get the hydrating benefits of the mask whilst stripping the orange tan. A win win.

How to remove fake tan from hands and feet

The most obvious signs that you’ve been hitting the bottle have to be orange patchy hands and streaky feet. We’ve all been there, but Jules Von Hep explains it is all in the prep – ‘the trick here is to ensure you moisturise the hands and feet PRIOR to tan application, that way there will be no tan-over.’ For those of us not in the know, tan-over is Von Hep’s term for that moment where you wake up and realise you’ve messed up your tan. ‘Remember immediately after you have applied to wipe your palms, in-between your fingers and buff your knuckles on a dry towel to remove excess’.

If the damage is done and the wotsits fingers are on full glow, try an exfoliating product. Jules Von Hep recommends ‘a lactic acid on the surface of your hands followed by a Boots Exfoliating Makeup Wipe, £2.50’. This won’t completely strip the tan off but will help it to fade rapidly.

How to remove fake tan before applying more

If, like us, you’re a regular fake-tanner and can’t go a day without it – that’s okay. You don’t have to remove fake tan after every single application. ‘I recommend tanning back to back for two weeks’, states Von Hep, ‘then take a week’s break and use the removal tips in between’. This will maintain the golden glow whilst preventing too much product build up. And for face? ‘I tan my face every 3rd day as the face fades faster due to our muscle movement and skincare routine’.

How to remove fake tan gradually

The best way to remove fake tan, according to Jules Von Hep, is to tease it off the skin over the course of 3 days. ‘Simply mix a spoon full of sugar in with your body wash, and each time you wash a light layer of tan will come off’, suggests Von Hep. This way the tan will gradually fade for a more even natural finish.

Our round up of the best faux-tan removers:

And if you can't get out to the shops, here are some at-home fake tan removal suggestions, courtesy of celebrity tanner James Read...

How To Remove Fake Tan With Steam

James Read says: "Sit in a steam for 30mins then rub skin with a wet towel for a deep exfoliation which will loosen remaining tan and help remove it.

How To Remove Fake Tan With Lemon And Lime Juice

James Read says: "Mix a small amount of lemon and lime juice with baking soda, mix and then pour over a hand sponge. Put in the microwave for 2 minutes, leave to cool for a few seconds then rub over your skin. Do this over a 48 hour period before tanning."

How To Remove Fake Tan With Exfoliator

James Read says: "Crushed brown sugar, olive oil and lime juice work well as an exfoliation. Cut holes into a car sponge and use this to rub the ingredients over your skin."

How To Remove Fake Tan With Enzyme Peels

James Read says: "Enzyme Peels are a fool proof way to remove old fake tan – my James Read Tan Perfecting Enzyme Peel Mask works after just 10 minutes, but you can leave for up to 20 for maximum effect. Put on dry areas such as elbows and backs of knees, then peel off the mask to reveal clean soft skin."

Remove Fake Tan Using Toothpaste

How To Remove Fake Tan By Going Swimming

Jules says: "To remove tan, swim in chlorinated water – the chlorine will soften the tan. Follow this by a sauna to encourage your skin to sweat and scrub your skin with exfoliating gloves. Repeat in a hot bath with bath oils."


How To Remove Fake Tan With Bath Oil

Jules says: "Top tip for removing tan is to soak in a bath oil as this breaks down the composition of the tan, and remove using exfoliating gloves.

How To Remove Stubborn Build Up

Jules says: "To remove stubborn tan build up – take an exfoliating wipe, soak it in a facial oil and rub away the tan."

How To Make Your Tan Fade With a Mitt

Jules says: "Take St. Tropez Tan Remover Mitt and work in circular motions around your body to encourage the tan to fade."

How To Remove Fake Tan With a Sponge

Jules says: "Bronze Buffer Sponge – this is a secret weapon for tan mistakes – its woven microfibers strip the tan off when the sponge is run over the skin. Be warned, be gentle with this."

The Best Time To Remove Fake Tan Mistakes

Jules says: "Try and look for mistakes during the first eight hours while the tan is developing, it’s easier to correct early on."

How To Remove Fake Tan From Your Elbows