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How to Remove Self Tanner at Home from Hands, Palms, & Feet

How to Remove Self Tanner at Home

Have you ever experienced waking up the next day with an orange streak and uneven patches on your leg?

Self tanning mishap?

Don’t worry, this happens to the best of us!

Luckily there are several ways on how to remove self-tan! Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

Looking for Solutions to Fix That Unfortunate Mistake with a Tanner?

Self tanning gone wrong?

We’re going to show you the different ways to remove self-tanner.

This process starts with your very own body scrub!

No need to look further, because these products are in your bathroom or kitchen!

Famous tan removing products like St Tropez are expensive. But you can make your own if you don’t want to splurge.

Here are tips to remove self-tanner mistakes…with your very own homemade products:

Make Your Own Self Tanner Remover

1. Lemon, Oil, and Baking Soda

Lemon, Oil, and Baking Soda

Here’s one of the easiest ways to remove self tan!

Baking soda is very HANDY in a lot of situations. It’s the best among all home remedies. 

It’s an all-around kitchen cleaner used for whitening and eliminating odors.

Lemon juice is a natural exfoliant. It works well for smaller sections of skin on your hands and feet.

But since it’s an acid, it’s not ideal for sensitive skin so be careful not to expose it to sunlight after you apply it.

How to use it:

  • Step 1: Mix together some bake soda, lemon juice, and a small amount of oil. 
  • Step 2: Create a paste and leave it on the problem area for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Step 3: Remove with a damp cotton ball and you’ll see the self-tanner streaks disappear.

2. Lemon and Sugar

Lemon and Sugar

If you’re out of bake soda, no problem! 

Sugar and lemon juice will remove any color from a self-tanner.

For stubborn self-tanner stain, you can also use an exfoliating mitt. 

This helps you remove any lingering color while you’re in the shower.

How to use it:

  • Step 1: Cut a lemon in half and dip it in brown sugar for the perfect exfoliation.
  • Step 2: Gently rub it on your skin to remove self-tanner from your body.
  • Step 3: You can also use it on your palms if they’re discolored at some point from applying self-tanners.

3. Lemon and Baking Soda

Lemon and Baking Soda

You can make a body scrub paste out of these two! 

Lemon juice is acidic and a super gentle version of bleach on your skin. While baking soda is a gentle exfoliator. 

The perfect combination to get rid of dead skin cells!

How to use it:

  • Step 1: Mix some fresh lemon juice and a few tablespoons of the soda until it becomes a paste.
  • Step 2: Apply it to the affected area. Make sure to spot all the streaks from self tanning.
  • Step 3: Scrub it with an exfoliating mitt to remove self-tanner and then rinse off. Enjoy that fresh skin feeling!

4. Baby Oil and Sugar

Baby Oil and Sugar

Not only do you use baby oil to remove makeup, but it also lifts any excess self-tanning products from your skin.

To help fade self tan mistakes, make it into a baby oil body scrub! You’ll see results with this method.

You can also use this recipe with coconut oil, if that’s your preference.

How to use baby oil and sugar:

  • Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup baby oil and 1 cup sugar.
  • Step 2: Scrub it on your skin where there are streaks.
  • Step 3: Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes and allow it to work its magic.
  • Step 4: Rinse in the shower then wipe it off with baby wipes, cotton ball, or a cotton pad. The self-tanner should come off right away, especially if you use baby wipes.

5. Vinegar


Is there anything vinegar can’t do?  

Like baking soda, it’s used around the house in so many different ways.  

So it’s no surprise that it’s also a self-tanner remover!

Additionally, apple cider vinegar is a natural cleanser used for cleaning skin on a daily basis.

How to use it:

  • Step 1: Mix equal parts of warm water with vinegar and apply to the skin with a cotton pad.
  • Step 2: Let it sit for a few minutes (10 minutes) before you wash it off. This mixture removes the color from all the areas with self-tanner.
  • Step 3: Wash it off in the shower.

More Top Tips

More Tips

1. Nail Polish Remover

Yes, you heard that right. But just don’t use nail polish remover on your skin!

If you have stains on your nails from self tanning, just swipe nail polish remover to remove them.

2. Warm Soak

A warm soak in the tub or a steam shower is your best friend if you don’t feel good about those streaks. 

Steam breaks down the pigments in your tan as it opens up your pores.

Fixing Self Tanning Blunders

So you decided to do something about your pasty skin in time for summer. 

You buy a self-tanner hoping you’d look like a golden goddess without the harmful sun rays.

Despite giving it your best, you still wound up looking orange.

Did This Ever Happen to You?

Self-tanner adds a festive glow for special occasions. But tanning disasters are also a popular plot line in movies.

It’s understandable why it terrifies us. Anne Hathaway’s pre-wedding fake tan gone wrong in the movie Bride Wars gives us a clear picture.

It’s scary to mess it up and the turnout could be very obvious. The fear comes from a lot of movies we watched using self-tanners. 

We’re scared of going overboard.

Did you know that fake tans only last about a week before it starts to fade? It’s a good excuse to go tanning again.

We encourage you to go for it. With the right information, you’ll be on your way to that beautiful golden bronze!

 If you’re having issues with applying tanner to your back area, then read through our article on How to Properly Apply Self Tanner to Your Back.

What are We Doing Wrong and How Do We Make It Right?

What are We Doing Wrong and How Do We Make It Right-

There are steps you may be steps you’re skipping in the process that could make a big difference in your glow:

  • Prepare your skin before tanning. Make sure to shave, exfoliate and moisturize first before doing anything else.
  • Do a patch test first on a small area. Try a lighter color first. It’s easier to build up than to tone down.
  • Use a mitt (not your hands) to apply it evenly on every part.
  • Don’t skip the back of your neck, ears, and hairline.
  • Don’t sweat away your color. Keep your body dry at all times by putting powder on sweat-prone areas. Dry skin = long-lasting color


Self tan mishaps in the past shouldn’t mean giving up on sunless tanning completely!  

It happens to everybody but there are many natural remedies to fix it.

Prepping in advance is crucial to your application.  

Simple things to remember:

  • Do a patch test
  • Shave before application
  • Exfoliate
  • Moisturize
  • Avoid sweating

The best solution for a botched tan is exfoliation.  You can use common household products to make a scrub.

Learning self-tanning is an inexpensive way to get tanned skin. 

Choosing the right shade can be tricky. It’s easy to choose a tanner shade a little too dark for our skin tone.

And while that can be a challenge, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! Practice makes perfect! 

Make sure to have a bag of lemons in your pantry.

Who knew fixing self-tanner mistakes was as easy as whipping up a summer cocktail? You’ll feel like a mad scientist with an awesome tan!


August 12, 2021 – Updated article formatting and content

July 14, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.