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How to get fake tan off: Tips and removers that actually work

We've rounded up the best home hacks to clear up patchy tans

fake tan remover
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Fake tan is a great way of getting a healthy-looking glow, but sometimes the wrong application or a simple beauty mishap can leave you with unwanted patches - and with summer fast-approaching, you probably want to look as gorgeous and glowing as possible! Luckily, there are some very easy ways to remove fake tan – from home methods to the products that remove fake tan quickly and efficiently... and we've rounded up the best ones just in time for the sunnier seasons. 

RELATED: 26 fake tans to make you look like you've been on holiday even if you haven't

The best fake tan removers:

The easiest and quickest way to remove fake tan? With a product dedicated to getting rid of your tan safely and effortlessly. These are the very best:

bondi sands eraser

Bondi Sands self tan eraser, £11.99, Lookfantastic


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tan luxe

TAN-LUXE Glyco Water Tan Remover & Primer, £22, Feelunique

st tropez mitt

St. Tropez tan build-up remover mitt, £6, Cult Beauty


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Top tips for removing fake tan:

1. Don't vigorously scrub

If you try to scrub it off, you'll end up with even more patches, or risk even damaging your skin. Instead, use a body polish or massage oil, and apply all over – it's better to have the tan fading evenly and have to repeat the process as it will make for a subtler look.

pink body scrub

Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish, £33, Cult Beauty

brazilian scrub bodyshop

Spa of the World Brazilian Cupuaçu Scrub-in-Oil, £22, The Body Shop


2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

Whether you're using a mitt or a damp towel, make sure to gently exfoliate your skin in circular motions. This will help to get your skin cells working and renewing themselves, breaking down the tan and eventually causing it to fade.

exfoliating gloves

So Eco Exfoliating Gloves, £4, Look Fantastic


3. Hit the steam room

Sit in a steam for 30 minutes – the heat and humidity will work to soften the tan. When you get out, rub your skin with a wet towel in circular motions to deeply exfoliate – this will loosen the remaining tan and help to get rid of it.

4. Get lemon or lime juice

The citric acid in these fruits helps to remove even the most stubborn of tans. Apply the juice to a damp flannel, and pop it in the microwave for no more than two minutes. Leave it to cool for a few seconds – make sure to check it's not too hot as you don't want to burn your skin - and then rub the flannel over the patchy areas – the tan should come off almost immediately.

lemon juice

KTC Lemon Juice, £3.58, Amazon


5. Use bath oils

Soak in the tub with bath oils, as these break down the composition of the tan. When you feel your skin has softened, use a mitt and gently make circular motions on the skin – this will encourage your cells to renew, and make it easier for the tan to fade and eventually disappear.

jo malone oils

Lime Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil, £48, Jo Malone

aromatherapy oils

Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath and Shower Oil Collection, £65, Look Fantastic


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