How to Get Rid of a Fake Tan
If you end up with a streaky, uneven, or orange fake tan there are many options for getting rid of it. Start by loosening the color deposit on your skin with items like lemon juice, baking soda, and whitening toothpaste. A steam or swim may also help to even out your color. Next, exfoliate your skin with a towel, scrub, or exfoliating mitt to remove the fake tan.
Loosening the Color from Your Skin
Apply a tan remover with ammonium oleate within 4 hours.Ammonium oleate is a mild form of bleach that won't harm your skin. For an instant fix to a bad fake tan or unsightly streaks, apply a tan remover containing this ingredient to your skin. This option is only suitable for removing a freshly-applied fake tan and will be relatively ineffective once the tan has set.
- Rub the product onto streaks or problem spots and leave it there for 5 minutes, then rinse it off your skin.
- Purchase a tan remover at a pharmacy, beauty supply store, or online.
Spread a lemon juice and baking soda paste on your skin if the tan has already set in.In a small bowl, combine equal parts lemon juice and baking soda. Stir the mixture with a spoon until it forms a paste. Spread the paste over the surface of your skin and let it sit for 5 minutes until you see the fake tan fading.
- Remove the paste from your skin with a clean, wet cloth.
Coat sensitive skin in baby oil and let it sit for 10 minutes.If abrasive or acidic ingredients irritate your skin, use baby oil to loosen your fake tan instead. Pour the oil onto your hands and rub it onto your skin. It will loosen the fake tan color from the top layer of your skin.
- Coat your entire body with the oil and leave in on for a full 10 minutes.
- To avoid a mess, get into your empty shower or bathtub to apply the baby oil.
Use whitening toothpaste to remove streaks or stains on your skin.The active whitening ingredient in the toothpaste will cause your fake tan to fade, but it is better suited for small applications to problem areas. Squeeze a dot of whitening toothpaste onto your finger or an old toothbrush. Rub the toothpaste onto your skin in a circular motion until the fake tan begins to disappear.
- Add a drop of water to the toothpaste if it is hard to spread.
- Once you are done, rinse your skin thoroughly to remove the toothpaste.
Swim in a chlorine-treated pool if you don't mind showing off your tan.While you may be embarrassed to step into a pool with an unsightly fake tan, it is an excellent option for loosening the color. Chlorine will break down the fake tan buildup on your skin, making it easier to scrub away afterward. Spend at least 20-30 minutes in the pool to allow the chlorine to work.
- Shower the chlorine off your body and scrub your skin gently to slough away the color.
Sit in a steam room for 30 minutes if you have access to a spa or gym.Steam can soften your skin enough to loosen the color of your fake tan. Sit in a steam room for a half hour for the best results. Be sure to drink water before going into the steam room to prevent dehydration.
- Exit the steam room immediately if you experience disorientation, weakness, or dizziness.
Exfoliating the Skin
Rub a wet towel on your skin in circular motions to lift the color.Wet a towel with clean, cool water and wring it out. Exfoliate your skin by rubbing the towel over it in small circles. The wetness and abrasiveness of the towel should help to remove the fake tan.
- Use an old towel as it will likely be stained by the fake tanner.
Apply an exfoliating scrub to dry skin to remove a stubborn fake tan.While most exfoliating scrubs are designed to be used on wet skin, they are more abrasive and effective if applied to dry skin. With clean hands, apply the scrub to your skin and rub it in circular motions to lift the fake tan. Once you have worked the scrub into your skin thoroughly, rinse it off in the shower.
Massage your skin with an exfoliating mitt or glove for an easy solution.Exfoliating mitts and gloves are made of an abrasive material designed to slough away dead skin. Wet one of these gloves or mitts and gently run it over your fake tan in circular motions. This should break up the color deposits on your skin to fade the tan.
- Focus on hands and feet, where self tanner mistakes like streaks and blotches tend to occur.
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