How to Get Fake Tan Off Hands?

How to Get Fake Tan Off Hands?

Fake tan, as self-explanatory as it is, is the application of products such as lotions and sprays to stimulate the process of tanning or to achieve a tanned look without having to bask in the sun.  These products use DHAs, these ingredients called DHAs react to protein and amino acids present in the skin and cause the fake tan effect.

Sometimes using fake tan can result in the product not blending into the skin properly and leaving behind residue.  This article covers all that is needed to know about How to effectively remove fake tan from hands and also provides a few tips on how to prevent fake tan residue in future fake tan sessions.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Why Is Fake Tan Gone Wrong?

  • Dry Skin: Applying fake tan onto dry skin is a risky business as the patchy dry skin will cause the tan to look like muddy streaks.
  • No proper skin prep: Preparing the skin with a proper cleansing and an exfoliating routine is vital before a Fake Tan session, skipping to do so will cause streaks and dark spots on the skin.
  • Improper application: Using too much or too little of the product on different body parts will cause the tan to look uneven and patchy all over the body.

What Happens When a Fake Tan Goes Wrong?

  • Fake tan patches: These are dark spots or light spots on the skin spread unevenly causing the skin tone to look uneven.
  • Streaks: Crooked irregular light-toned lines on the skin caused by the application of fake tan on dry skin are known as streaks.
  • Uneven skin tone: Fake tan application can go completely wrong if Improperly Applied. This causes the skin tone to look like it is of two different shades.
  • Gaps: When the fake tan product is not applied in proper amounts, it is likely to leave behind gaps in the skin causing the skin tone to look uneven and unpresentable.

Part 2: How to Remove Fake Tan From the Hands Quickly?

How to Remove Fake Tan From the Hands Quickly


Wash hands with warm water immediately after the fake tan session. Apply soap onto the hands and gently exfoliate with a loofah or a scrub. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and build-up of tan residue.

Baby Oil

Take a tub of warm water and add in a couple of baby oil drops. Soak hands in the vessel for about 10 to 30 minutes, Remove the hands and scrub gently with a loofah. Within a few minutes, the fake tan will begin to fade. Although baby Oil works best, one can make use of other essential oils such as lavender oil, rosemary oil and Bath oils to get rid of the tan. Oils have properties that help fasten the process of tan fading.

Swimming and Steam

Chlorine helps shed off tan quickly. Head to a swimming session right after tanning to help remove the residue of the tan.

Steam sessions are also another quick means to remove tan, the heat radiated from steam helps the skin to open up pores and remove dirt from within. This helps in the process of fading tan away.

Part 3: What Are the Natural Remedies to Remove Fake Tan From Hands?

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a wonderful ingredient that helps remove tan quickly. In a bowl gather two tablespoons of baking soda and a little water and mix the two until scrub consistency is achieved. Apply the baking soda onto the area of the skin that requires de-tanning and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, wash off the baking soda.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains natural bleaching properties that help remove stains. Soak a washcloth in lemon juice and microwave it for 30 seconds. Wipe off the tan with the washcloth. This will help fade away the fake tan. For best results, combine baking soda with lemon juice to immediately get rid of fake tan.


Toothpaste works wonders in removing fake tan from smaller areas of the skin. Apply a small amount of toothpaste onto a toothbrush and gently scrub the area. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off the toothpaste.


The acidic properties in white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work best to remove fake tan residue. Pour in a bit of vinegar into the bathtub and soak in it. Alternatively, dab vinegar onto the skin with a cotton ball and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off the vinegar after 15 to 20 minutes.

Part 4: What Are Some Commercial Fake Tan Remover Products?

Commercially available fake tan products are of different types including tan removal wipes, tan removal erasers, tan removal mittens and exfoliating scrubs. These products contain active DHA ingredients that help remove tan with a few applications.

Products such as tan removal erasers and wipes are paired with exfoliating properties like glycolic acid, urea, and lactic acid that help break down and fade tan away. Meanwhile, scrubs have mildly rough exfoliating properties that exfoliate the skin and remove tan.

Some recommended fake tan removal products are:

Tan-Luxe Glyco Water
Tan-Luxe Glyco Water

This product is a game changer when it comes to fake tan removal. It contains 3% glycolic acid that helps fade away tan and vitamin C that works simultaneously to brighten skin. Achieve the best results by pairing it with an exfoliating mitten.

Utan Super-strength Tan RemoverUtan Super-strength Tan Remover

This is a tan removal mousse that has glycol as one of its primary ingredients. It contains an herbal scent and vegan and cruelty-free tan removal product.

Tanologist Self Tan Eraser
Tanologist Self Tan Eraser

This self-tan eraser is also a primer that helps the skin achieve a glow. It consists of urea and glycolic acid as its primary ingredients and has a mousse formula.

Part 5: Some Tips To Prevent Future Tans From Going Wrong

  • Exfoliate: Exfoliation is a vital step to take right before applying a fake tan. This helps remove dead skin and prevents streaks and patches from appearing post-tan. Exfoliate knees, heels and elbows as they tend to have a lot of build-up of dead skin than other parts of the body.
  • Use the right body scrub and moisturiser: Keeping the skin exfoliated and away from dryness is key. However, when using body scrubs to exfoliate, one should ensure using an oil-free body scrub. The same goes with a moisturiser as well, use an oil-free moisturiser. However, apply moisturiser only to areas where there is too much dryness of the skin.
  • Use a tanning mitt: Skip the bare hands method and use a tanning mitt for full and clean coverage to prevent fake tan residue from collecting up on the hands and fingers. Furthermore, it’ll give even application and coverage of tan on the body.
  • Use the right amount and the right shade: One should use a fake tan product that best suits their skin tone. Going a shade darker or lighter may result in the fake tan looking bad. Apply amounts that are sufficient for the area, instead of using too much or too little of the product.


Fake tan can be problematic, especially if it goes wrong. Luckily, there are so many fake tan erasers available in the market. In addition to those tan removers, one can opt for so many natural remedies that are explained above. While those natural remedies are effective, some people still prefer professional and commercial products for the best results. People who’re about to tan their hands should have fake tan removers readily available so that they can remove it quickly if tanning goes wrong.