How To Remove The Remnants Of Your Self-Tan With Products You Have At Home

We all love the safe, natural-looking glow a spray tan can provide for our skin. But we definitely don't love the maintenance required to keep up with spray tanning. If you enjoy spray tanning, you are all too familiar with the rule that you must remove all remnants of the spray tan before you can receive another, otherwise, your tan may end up flaky or uneven.


Or maybe you enjoy the occasional spray tan but don't want to commit to the look full-time and are looking for an easy way to remove it before it becomes uneven and blotchy. And let's not forget that even the most experienced of us can fall victim to a bad spray tan and need it off our skin immediately. Either way, removing a spray tan can sometimes feel like an impossible task.

You could invest in pricey tan-removing products with varying levels of success, or you could get a little creative. While exfoliation is a good bet, there are additional ways to help the process along. Before scrubbing your skin into oblivion, try checking your pantry or bathroom cabinet. The solution for removal may be hiding in plain sight.


Use baby oil

Baby oil isn't just for babies. The mineral oil is excellent at removing spray tans from the skin. It works by hydrating your skin, causing the skin cells to expand, making it easier to wash the tanning product off, according to Good Looking Tan.


To get the most out of baby oil, start by running a warm bath. As the water in the tub fills, apply a generous amount of the oil to your skin. Soak in the tub for at least 30 minutes (but the longer you soak, the better). Adding Epsom salts can also aid in the process of loosening tanning products. After soaking, exfoliate your skin with a washcloth or exfoliating mitt. You can repeat this process daily until you're satisfied with the results. A bonus of this method is that it will leave your skin silky smooth and moisturized, which is a recipe for creating the perfect canvas for your next spray tan. If you're worried about break-outs caused by the oily mixture, especially on your face, try adding a witch hazel toner to your beauty routine. It can help with irritation and neutralize any new acne spots. 


Get sweaty

We all know sweat and tanning usually don't mix — after all, one of the golden rules of getting a spray tan is to avoid sweating or showering for several hours after application. But if you're trying to remove a tan faster, sweating is an easy way to speed the process up. "For many of us who exercise regularly, a tan can slough off the skin in days," tanning expert James Harknett told Harper's Bazaar.


Sweating dries out the skin as well, causing it to shed faster. Pairing this method with tight workout clothes can create enough friction to start removing your tan. Working up a good sweat and following it with a hot shower and bath oil can increase the removal of your tan. To help seal the deal, we recommend combining this method with exfoliation to remove additional dead skin cells holding on to your tan.

Try lemon juice

Lemon juice has been used for a long time as a natural skin lightener for dark spots, Stylecraze. The good news is it works for fading spray tans as well. The acidity in lemon juice removes the tan from your skin. The best part is it's all-natural.


To use lemon juice as a tan remover, mix the juice of a lemon with brown sugar or baking soda until you form a paste. You're looking for the same texture as a body scrub. After creating your paste, start working in patches on your skin, making sure to rub the paste in a circular motion. After each application, wipe the excess product off with a damp washcloth. You may need to repeat this cycle for a few days to receive results.

Be careful not to overdo it. If your skin starts to break out, become red, or burn, take a break from this method and try a different one. Irritated skin is not worth removing the tan.

Break out the hair removal cream

This one may seem odd, but hair removal creams, like Nair, work great at helping even the most stubborn tans loosen from your skin. "Hair removal creams break down your tan, making it easier to wash it off and start fresh," celebrity makeup artist Tarryn Feldman told Women's Health. This method is useful for getting in those hard-to-reach spots like between your fingers and toes, since the cream can get in your nooks and crannies easily.


For best results, it's recommended to let the cream sit on your skin for about half the time recommended on the bottle. Somewhere in the two to five-minute range will give you optimal removal results. After you wipe the cream off, be sure to exfoliate again (are you starting to see a pattern here?). Although hair removal cream can be used almost anywhere on the body, be sure to avoid applying it all over your face because it can cause irritation.

Try aloe vera

If you have sensitive skin, this method will be best for you. Using aloe vera oil or gel can be a really gentle and easy way to start fading your self-tan. According to Science Direct, aloe vera has a high water content, and is deeply moisturizing for the skin. For best results, apply your aloe vera all over and let sit for up tp 15 minutes. Then you'll want to wipe it off and exfoliate. If you want to speed the process up, as well as amp your self-care routine, try a dry brush as your exfoliator. 


One downside of this method is it does take longer to see results — you may need to repeat this process for up to a week before you start to notice a significant difference. But if you have delicate skin, this is an easy and natural way to start breaking your tan down.