How To: Remove (or improve) your fake tan, fast

Whether it’s patching up a four-day-old-tan – or you’ve suffered a tanning disaster on an apocalyptic scale – there’s a simple self tan solution for you, says Marie Claire Digital Beauty Editor Katie Thomas…

By Katie Thomas

Gilly Ferguson

We've all had to remove fake tan before. Whether it be because of a tanning disaster - obvious tell-tale lines on your wrists, stripes that make you look like a tiger or nails and fingers that are so multi-tonal you consider wearing gloves to work (in July). Or you might just need to get rid of a patchy four-day-old tan. The art of fake tan removal is something that everyone should know.

Even if you've invested in the best fake tan / self tanner out there (Fabled by Marie Claire loves Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant Skin Finisher) chances are you're not going to get it right 100% of the time. Ever Googled what removes self tan out of carpet or bed sheets? Don't worry you are not alone.

The art of fake tan removal is something that everyone should know.

Luckily there are ways to remove a terracotta disaster and give yourself a more naturally sun-kissed glow. Here are some tips and tricks of how to remove fake tan:

Try adding a glug of Espa’s Detoxifying Bath Oil to your Sunday soak

1. BATHE (aka how to remove fake tan with oil

The easiest way to wave goodbye to mismatched colours on your limbs is to run a bath and fill it up with bath oil – we love Espa’s Detoxifying Bath Oil – as this will soften the tan. Oil breaks down the DHA in tanning fluid. (NB This is a good thing to remember if you've just had a cracking spray tan. Don't moisturise your body with anything containing oils afterwards, use a body cream instead.) Whilst you're in there, use a flannel or a sponge to gently exfoliate to ensure that any stubborn patches are evenly removed.

Fabled by Marie Claire loves Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub

2. SCRUB (aka how to make fake tan last longer)

Mix a light body polish, something like Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub, with a tiny amount of body oil and lightly buff this into your skin. Repeat this a couple of times, then wash off for an even all-over fade.

Bronzie’s (frankly genius) Back & Body Exfoliating Mitt should be in every serial self-tanners kit

3. If in doubt – SWIM

Make a trip down to your local swimming pool (if you don't mind being a bit stripy in public), as the chlorine will break down the colour. Afterwards, take an exfoliating mitt into the showers with you and work in circular motions. Bronzie’s The Ultimate Back & Body Exfoliating Mitt is brilliant as it tackles those hard to reach areas.

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