How to Remove a Spray Tan

If you’re in a situation where you need to remove your spray tan or fake tan for whatever the reason, then keep reading. Luckily removing spray tan and fake tan is a lot easier than removing a tattoo :)

There is no definitive answer to this problem and what works for some may not be as effective for others – despite what you may read on the web! However, the fact is that at least one or a combination of the following tips will help you to remove an unwanted spray tan.

It is also important to remember that you should always take the necessary steps to avoid or minimize your chances of something going wrong when applying any type of fake tan by following the recomended preparation steps such as not shaving or waxing too soon after the application or using oily products on your skin before applying the fake tan. See my post about spray tan care tips.

Soak in warm bath and use exfoliating gel and glove:

I recommend you try this first. Run a warm bath and soak in the soapy water for about 20min or so. Then using your body scrub and exfoliating glove, scrub the parts of your body where you want to remove the spray tan. Be gentle yet thorough and you should be able to remove your tan.


Freshly squeezed lemon juice:

No this is not a wive’s tale. If the exfoliating glove and soap scrub don’t remove the fake tan, then rub some lemon juice onto your skin. Ensure that before applying the lemon juice  that your skin is completely dry. Leave the lemon juice on your skin for a couple of minutes and then gently rinse with warm water.
The acids in the lemon juice should be able to dissolve the spray tan from your topmost dead skin layer.
After doing this make sure to apply some moisturizing lotion to your skin to hydrate it.


Baby oil:

Another method is to use baby oil to remove the spray tan. You apply some baby oil to your skin and leave it for a few minutes so the top layer of your skin can absorb it. Then get your exfoliating glove and moisten it with some more baby oil and scrub your skin.

Fake tan removal products:

There are some products out there specifically designed to remove spray or fake tans. To be honest, the relatively cheaper methods I have described above work just as well but some people swear by the tan remover products. There are plenty of products to choose from and one of the better ones is the St Tropez Tan Remover.

Hydrogen Peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide is usually used as a disinfecting agent (and some girls use it to lighten their hair). You can also use it to remove unwanted spray tan. The way you do this is to dab a cotton cloth in some hydrogen peroxide and swab the cloth over your skin. Leave for a couple of minutes and then pat the solution off with a dry cloth.


What if all of the above methods don’t satisfactorily remove my tan?

The good news is that it’s not permanent but you will have to be patient and let nature take its course and wait till your topmost (dead) skin layer is shed, which may take a few days. To speed up the process, gently exfoliate your skin daily in a warm bath using the exfoliating body scrub gel and glove as described above.



  1. claudia butcher

    this is a great site, it helped me heaps with removing fake tan! thanks heaps! (:

Leave a Reply