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How to Remove Self Tanner:
Get Unwanted Color Off Skin, Nails & Hands

Self tanners are one of the finest inventions because they let would-be sun bunnies go golden brown without ever having to expose yourself to the actual sun. With the ozone layer depleted, the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure has greatly increased, but we all like the glow that says, "Yes, while you've been slaving away in your cubicle, I've been lazily tanning at the beach". Sunless tanner is the way to be a golden girl without forsaking your job, your kids, your graduate education or your winter in the Chicago suburbs.

Ways to Remove Orange and Splotchy Self Tanner

  • Let it Fade Naturally
    And that fading effect is what's going to save you if you're wondering how to remove an overdose of self tanner. If you're lucky, it's just your hands or hands and feet that have turned orange, maybe because you forgot to wear gloves when applying the lotion or because your feet got a few more coats than your legs. You can easily fix the sunless tanning orange by waiting a few days—as the outer layer of skin sheds off, the color will come with it. We're all losing skin cells by the thousands each day, so if you can wait, you need do nothing else to get rid of your fake tan.

  • Gently Exfoliate Splotches
    If the color is an issue because of an important event, tips on removing sunless tanner tend to recommend the use of baking soda as an exfoliant. Put a nice blob of baking soda on a washcloth and gently rub it on damp skin. The baking soda exfoliates the skin, speeding up the loss of tanner, and it can be used on your body without the potential chemical complications that would come along with peroxide or bleach. Don't rub yourself raw, even if you're desperate to get the stuff off: give it a little rub, rinse off and wait a couple of hours before trying again.

  • Bathe in a Baking Soda Bath
    Baking soda is a home remedy for so many ailments that it's surprising they don't sell it in five gallon containers. If you've used too much sunless tanner all over your body, you can dump several cups of baking soda into your bathtub and crawl in with it. Add water and soak. Basically, you're softening the skin, making it easier for the outer layer to slough off and using the whitening properties of baking soda to help provide a little gentle bleaching action. Take your loofah and gently scrub feet, ankles, elbows and other places where the tanning liquid may have collected and created splotches.

For Orange, Over Tanned Nails, Feet and Hands

For orange or too-brown fingernails and hands or toenails and feet, you can apply a facial cream bleach for around ten minutes, but don't try to use this stuff on other parts of your body: your skin will probably react to it in unpleasant ways.

Fixing Over Done Self Tanner on Your Face

To cover up sunless tanner on your face while it's wearing off, try layering mineral makeup over it, applying to your neck as well. Use a tinted moisturizer in green or blue to try to counteract seriously orange skin, and add your makeup on top of that. Exfoliate gently at night with an oatmeal scrub and remind yourself that in a few days it will be like nothing happened at all.

Fake ‘n’ Bake in a Bottle: Better to Pay a Little More

Getting the right suntan in a bottle takes a little work, and it's better to pay for the more upscale self tanner if it's going to get you a smooth, even coat in a realistic color. This is no time to be cheap! But even the best sunless tanners can leave you a fake bake orange if you don't apply them correctly, with stealth, patience and continuity. Most self tanning lotions or foams say to reapply every two or three days, because the effect wears off fast.

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