Whether your tan has been on for a few days and you’re starting to look a little crazy, or you botched the application and there are streaks or spots everywhere, here is a fast solution. It may seem impossible to get a too-dark tan off, but softening your skin, then exfoliating and lightening your skin, will guarantee that your skin will be back to normal in no time. There are lots of options available around your own home, so check your pantry before you go buy a tan eraser out of panic. It turns out you may just need a little bit of sugar and a nice swim to get your luxurious skin back.
1. Pumice Stone + Body Scrub
If you exfoliate regularly already, you are probably familiar with pumice stones and body scrubs. Usually pumice stones are saved for the rough patches on your feet because of its abrasive nature, but you can also use it to remove fake tan buildup on other areas. Body scrubs found at your local grocery store, can exfoliate your skin, and should be a regular part of your beauty routine to increase cell turnover. They are also great at removing fake tan and as a bonus they leave a nice scent.
2. Exfoliating Gloves
If you fake tan regularly, you should keep exfoliating gloves in the shower. Exfoliating gloves can be used both to prepare your skin before you apply fake tan as well as assist in removing fake tan buildup. They are easy and convenient to use and because they last longer than a body scrub, they are a great investment.
3. Lemon + Sugar
If you are looking for a more home grown remedy, try making your own body scrub with lemon juice and sugar. The lemon is great for lightening effects, and the sugar exfoliates your dead skin just like a store-bought scrub. Start by mixing one cup of sugar and ¾ cup of lemon juice together. Let it sit on your skin for 3 minutes before rinsing. Keep in mind that if your skin is sensitive, lemon juice may cause irritation so rinse immediately if you have a reaction.
4. Baking Soda
Is there anything baking soda can’t do? Mix 2 tablespoons with coconut oil or water to form a paste, then leave on for 3 minutes, and rinse. That’s it! The baking soda lightens your fake tan and the oil breaks the tan down even further while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. This is a must-try for anyone that wants fast and easy results.
5. Facial Brush
Even though they are called facial brushes, there is no reason we can’t tap into that superior technology and exfoliate our bodies. It takes all of the work out of removing a fake tan. There is no mixing of ingredients or scrubbing for hours. but It feels refreshing on your skin and you are still getting that tan off fast. The new TAO body brush is a perfect solution and a great alternative to more time consuming options.
6. Massage Oil
If you’re lucky enough to have massage oil in your house (and someone to give you a massage to boot) then next time you need to remove fake tan, use this as your excuse for a freebie. The oil breaks down the tan and the massage gently exfoliates. If you’re lucky, you may finish without any leftover tan at all. If you’re not as fortunate to have an on site masseuse, then you can apply a massage oil until it is fully absorbed and wash it off along with that tan.
Toothpaste is not an ideal whole body solution, considering it comes in small amounts and covering your body in it would not be easy. The pro tip here is to use whitening toothpaste in areas between your fingers and toes, or around your ankles and wrists. After leaving it on for 15 minutes, you will see a significant improvement in areas that were too dark.
8. Tan Eraser
There are many types of tan erasers and, depending on your skin’s needs, you may benefit more from eraser sprays than eraser wipes. Check the formulas of the erasers to see if there are any irritating ingredients. Generally, there are soothing oils to help break down the tan alongside acids that chemically exfoliate your body. Pro tip: you can also use chemical exfoliating gels meant for your face on the rest of your body. This can remove dead skin faster, but it will not remove your tan evenly so if you use face products use them sparingly or on the darkest areas.
9. Bath Oil
Do you want to know the most luxurious tan removal method? Take a bath. Use any bath product with bath oils in it that promise to moisturize your skin. These oils will break down your tan fast and soaking will loosen up your dead skin to be scrubbed off later. This is a great option if you have a lighter tan or to use in conjunction with other methods that exfoliate deeper.
For the brave of heart, try white vinegar on your skin for a couple of minutes before rinsing. If it doesn’t lighten the color after several minutes, you can leave it on for up to ten minutes, as long as you don’t feel any irritation and you don’t mind the smell! If covering your body in vinegar doesn’t sound appealing to you then only try this on a couple of small areas you want lighter.
Vitamin A, or Retinol, is the magic eraser for wrinkles and is also a magic tan eraser too! Retinol promotes cell renewal which means dead skin and the fake tan go away more quickly. You can find retinol in some body lotions, but if you are having a hard time finding lotions that contain retinol, you can look for lotions that contain AHA’s which also can exfoliate the skin and help fade your tan.
There are many benefits of going to a sauna or steam room, but did you know that fading fake tan is one of them? The moisture in the air almost works the way taking a bath does. It will cause your skin to soften and make it easier to exfoliate your dead skin. Extra points if you put on a body oil or lotion beforehand to further break down the tan.
Ironically, swimming especially in a pool full of chlorine, is one of the fastest ways to rid yourself of fake tan. We could see that as a downside of fake tanning or we can see it as a big upside if you’re done with your old tan and want to start anew. Plan your swim right when your tan is getting patchy then exfoliate in the shower afterwards to prepare for the next round of self tan.
We hope that you found some tips that work for you. It can be embarrassing and stressful when you don’t think you look your best, but a bad tan is not a life sentence. It can be fixed! Regularly incorporate a form of exfoliation into your self care routine to ensure you don’t end up patchy. When you first apply and see streaks a few hours later, remember that it doesn’t take a lot to lighten. It may simply take a little toothpaste or some vinegar and you’ll be on your way to glowing for days.