How to get fake tan off hands ASAP, according to the pros


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Jul 08, 2023

How to get fake tan off hands ASAP, according to the pros

Even the best fake tan or best gradual tan can come with some hiccups if it isn’t applied correctly, and one of the most common tanning woes is how to get fake tan off your hands. If you’ve ever used

Even the best fake tan or best gradual tan can come with some hiccups if it isn’t applied correctly, and one of the most common tanning woes is how to get fake tan off your hands. If you’ve ever used fake tan, you’ll likely be familiar with some of the struggles that can come along with it: product transfer, streaks, and the heavy biscuity smell that lingers after it dries. It’s not always as easy as you might think to get an even and natural-looking glow. If you’re struggling to remove your tan from your hands or wondering how to remove spray tan from hands, then fear not, we’re here to help with some extra handy (pardon the pun) tips from Michaella Bolder, Tanning Expert for St. Tropez.

Dry skin on your hands and wrists can create a rough surface for fake tan to adhere to, resulting in dreaded orange patches, so make sure to load up on the moisturiser on any dry spots before you get your glow on. But it’s also important to invest in a good quality tanning product. “The type of self-tanning product you use can also affect how dark it appears on your hands and feet,” Michaella told us.

“Tanners with too much DHA, the active ingredient in self-tanner responsible for turning your skin a darker shade, are more likely to result in an orange appearance. These poorly formulated self-tanners easily cling to thick, dry areas of skin, such as your hands and feet. That is why investing in a quality self-tanner with trusted ingredients is so important, one I would recommend is the St. Tropez Berry Sorbet Mousse”

Wipe your palms

If you’re wondering how to get tan off hands, it isn’t as simple as just washing them with soap and water. To keep the tan on top but avoid staining your palms, use a makeup wipe to carefully clean the underside of your hands and fingers immediately after you’ve applied your tan.

Prep your hands

Avoid letting the tanning product absorb into any dry spots by keeping your hands moisturised before a tanning sesh. It acts as a protective layer between your skin and the product and makes it easier for the tan to rinse off your skin afterwards. Use an oil-free moisturiser to make sure that it doesn’t create a barrier to the fake tan and leave your hands a different colour from the rest of your body.


Exfoliating is a fab and easy way to buff away any dead skin, which is great if you’re looking to remove your fake tan or remove spray tan from hands. On the top layer of your skin, there are up to 30 layers of dead skin cells, meaning if you’ve overdone it on the tan, it should be easy enough to take some of the top layers off. To do this, you can use a powerful chemical scrub or any body scrub you already have at home. Or alternatively, opt for an exfoliating mitt or glove to get more precision on any specific patches you want to remove.

Use a fake tan remover

One of the best innovations to happen to the tanning world, tan eraser is a useful product to keep in your beauty stash. “St. Tropez Prep And Maintain Remover Mousse is a great tan remover which you can massage into the area that has overloaded self-tan, and wait 5 minutes before buffing with a tan remover mitt to buff the tan away” Suggests Michaella. These products are often made with nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile and coconut oil to protect and soothe the skin. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and apply the product evenly to your hands.

Use your household staples

Did you know that using baking soda is one of the most commonly used at-home self-tanner removal methods? According to Michaella, mixing baking soda with a bit of lemon juice will do the trick. “Mix baking soda and lemon into a paste and massage it into the area for a few minutes, then leave for another few minutes to break down the self-tan colour.” She said. The reason why baking soda works so well is that it removes the top layer of skin that was dyed by the fake tan without irritating the skin – which is a huge plus, obvs.

Try toothpaste

Toothpaste is one of the best multi-taskers in your home, and aside from cleaning your white trainers and polishing your jewellery, it’s also fab for removing self-tanner. Whitening toothpaste contains sodium bicarbonate, which is formulated to whiten teeth. However, it can also be used to lift uneven patches of fake tan. Simply rub a generous amount onto the area, leave it on for around 10 minutes and rinse with warm water or remove with a damp cloth. If you’re wondering how to lighten spray tan on hands, this is your best option as it won’t remove the tan completely.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to worry about getting fake tan off your hands in the first place? Here are a few useful tips to help you banish this mishap from your routine for good.

If you’re not already doing this, using a tanning mitt or glove is by far one of the easiest ways to apply fake tan and avoid getting caught orange-handed. This is a great way to make sure your glow comes out even without any streaks or orange-stained hands.

To dodge bad fake tan hands, make sure to lightly moisturise your hands before you apply any tan. Pay particular attention to the knuckles and palms to stop the tan from clinging to any dry areas.

To avoid the dreaded tanning sleeve (caused by washing your hands immediately after tanning), use a tanning mist on your arms and continue spraying over the tops and sides of your hands for a completely streak-free finish, no hand-washing necessary.

According to Michaella, it’s best to always tan your hands and feet last, using the leftover product on your mitt. “Make sure your hand is positioned in a claw-like shape in order to reach the sides of your fingers,” She said. “Just imagine you’re holding a tennis ball as you apply! Lightly rub around your hand and down each finger.” If you struggle to get into all of the creases on your fingers, Michaela suggests alternating the shape of your hands from clawing to straightening your fingers to make sure you’re covering all bases.

Now you’re clued up on what takes fake tan off, how to fix spray tan hands and how to properly apply self-tan to your hands, go forth and layer on the fake bake! Be sure to buy quality tanning products, ALWAYS use a tanning mitt and remember to do the claw shape when applying product to your hands. Hot girl summer, here we come!

This berry-scented tanning mousse impresses on many fronts: its non-sticky feel, extra quick

This restoring formula intensely moisturises and delivers nourishing ingredients to the skin.

A clever combination of skin tone-improving glycolic acid and white castor beads work together in

We've got nothing but good things to say about this trusty reusable exfoliating mitt. For quick

With a soft, foaming consistency slather on to tan and leave on for 5 minutes, not forgetting to

Along with removing your fake tan, this also primes your skin and corrects any tanning mistakes,

Scoring top points for effectiveness, this tan-removing mitt helps to prep the skin for a

All you need to achieve smooth and even colour while preventing your hands from getting stained,

For any stubborn dry patches, this is a miracle worker. It will repair, hydrate and relieve

If you want a quick bronzing, this is your golden ticket. The hydrating formula mists over skin,

Wipe your palmsPrep your handsHow to get fake tan off hands after stainingExfoliateUse a fake tan removerUse your household staplesTry toothpasteHow to avoid getting fake tan on hands1: Use a tanning mittHow to fake tan hands