How to get fake tan off - the removers that actually work

Plus some home hacks to clear up patchy tans

Julie Delahaye

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…

Buy a fake tan remover

The easiest and quicket 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 self tan eraser, £14.99, Lookfantastic



TAN-LUXE Glyco Water Tan Remover & Primer, £19.80, Feelunique



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



Sienna X Eraser Remover & Mitt, £19.99, Lookfantastic



Fake Bake Tan Corrector & Eraser, £10.35, Feelunique


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.