How To Avert An Accidental Fake Tan Disaster

Fake tan removal feature - Sunbathing girl beach fake tan

In a typically British fashion, the pasty skinned among you may well have only peeled off our jeans to let our pins see the sun since the warm weather began.

To save blinding the locals with the sheer brilliance of your tanless thighs, chances are you’ve hit the bottle already. No, not that one, the fake tan one. The one that doesn’t leave you looking like a boiled ham hock and increase your risk of skin cancer.

Naturally tanned? Lucky you. Love being pale and interesting? Give us some of what you’re having, please. But this piece, we’re afraid, is not for you.

This one’s dedicated to all the beauty wallies out there who’ve liberally slapped on their colourless self-tan moisturizer, only to wake up the next morning streakier than a rasher of bacon and reeking of biscuit. There are ways to reverse the catastrophe, and fortunately, most of them don’t involve wondering too far from the house.

Get. In. The. Bath.

Girl in bath

We know it’s hot out there, but you’ve brought this on yourself. So run a bath, add a generous helping of bath oil, soak your skin and use a remover mitt or exfoliating brush to work on those streaky areas. Don’t scrub too hard though, or it will come off in patches. Light, circular motions work best for even removal.

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Go Rummaging In The Kitchen

Snacking only momentarily eases the feeling of “what the f*** have I done?!”, one of many after effects of a dodgy self-tan. But, on your kitchen rummage, if you come across a pot of baking soda, rejoice. Your days of orange palms and feet could be over.

A personal favourite trick of ours (also works to clean everything in the kitchen): mix three tsps of baking soda with a little of water and mush into a paste. Allow it to sink in to the problem area for a few minutes, then gently rub and rinse with some water.

Lemon And Sugar? I’m Not A Pancake…

Fake tan - Girl in Kitchen

Never a truer word spoken. Turns out, though, there is something in the old wives tale about mixing the citrus juice with a teaspoon or two of sugar. The fruit acids slowly break down the tan while the sugar acts as an exfoliator. This isn’t as good as the baking soda method, however, so only attempt if you can’t find any of the sweet stuff lurking in the back of the cupboard. Use a mitt to improve removal effectiveness. 

Couldn’t find anything? Back To The Bathroom

White toothpaste is pretty good at removing those tell-tale water marks around the wrists and the feet. Has to be WHITE though, so back away from the Aquafresh or you’ll just make a mess.

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To dial down a tan that was meant to be J-Lo but ended up more Donald Trump, try applying shaving foam on affected areas while in the shower. Leave it on for a few minutes to work its magic, then rinse away.

Go For A Swim

Sunglasses by a swimming pool - fake tan removal

OK, if things are really bad and your gym has a swimming pool, go and take a dip in there. The chlorine from the pool will slowly dissolve the fake tan like paint stripper, and your body will be streak free in no time.

Even better, if your gym has a steam room, pop in there afterwards with an exfoliator and gently buff the unfortunate incident away.

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