How To Remove Self Tanner Properly

Remove Like a Pro Feature

By Ashlyn Noah
March 7, 2022

Tired of the streaky look self tanning products can leave behind? You’re not alone.

Self tanners are excellent products and the best way to have a fresh tan without harmful sun exposure, but it’s not that easy to apply (and remove) these products.

Finding the right way to apply a self tanner can take time. It’s super common to find yourself dealing with streaky results or odd-looking building up on your fingers or hard-to-reach areas such as your ankles and elbows. (Want to avoid these problems entirely? Try Naru Organics streak-free and stain-free self-tanner instead)

If you’re dealing with orange leftover residue or uneven patches from a traditional self-tanner, you can use tan remover products to start over and try to achieve a flawless look.  Maybe try Naru Organics next time too…!

Here’s how to remove self tanner in ways that won’t damage your skin, no matter your skin type.

​How To Remove Your Self Tanner: Home Remedy Style

We get it. Sometimes spray tans or self tanner go wrong and you need the help of a fake tan remover fast.

No one wants to walk around with a fake tan gone wrong, and luckily there are some DIY ways to remove your self tan fast and move you forward as your best self. 

St. Tropez expert, Sophie Evans, has given some excellent tan tips and safe ways you can remove your tan at home without damaging your skin.

Sure, there are products out there that can help you take away the accidental tanning mistakes that were made applying a fake tan, but these products often contain harsh chemicals that can strip your skin of nutrients.

When it comes to removing a self tanning product, it’s best to go about it in a healthy, natural way that won’t leave your skin suffering.

Don’t order another tan remover mousse from Amazon without looking at these expert tips first! Here are some home remedies tan remover ideas you can start today to get rid of the uneven patches and streaky leftovers caused by sunless tanning.


Exfoliating is not only good for your skincare and cleaning out your pores, it’s also good for getting rid of the dead skin cells that latch onto your self tanner product. 

The top layer of skin is what holds your self tanner. When you use your exfoliating mitt to scrub in your exfoliator, it will remove the cells and allow you to start with a fresh canvas.

When you use your sugar scrub or body scrub, but sure to use an exfoliating mitt, loofah, or washcloth to rub in circular motions. 

Sugar scrubs and body scrubs are excellent products to include in your shower routine that will restore dry skin and correct tanning mistakes. 

Baking Soda

using baking soda and lemon juice to remove a self-tan

Another harmless way to remove self tanner build-up? Baking soda and extra ingredients such as coconut oil or lemon juice.

​When you use baking soda and lemon juice, it will turn into a paste you can rub into your skin and let sit for 5-10 minutes. 

Once it’s time to rinse, use a washcloth and warm water to gently scrub the questionable tan away. 

Baking soda works perfectly to get rid of a tan. Just don’t forget to apply your moisturizer once you’re finished. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, by itself, can also act as a home remedy tan remover.

Since it’s acidic, the acid in lemons works to break down the self tanning product and remove any mistakes.

Lemon juice is meant to use for smaller areas. So if you have a splotchy ankle or burnt-orange palms from build-up, lemon juice will work perfectly! 

To apply lemon juice, use a cotton ball or cotton pad to dab in the liquid and then dab on your skin before working it in circular motions.

Once you’ve applied and dabbed (no, not the gesture) the lemon-absorbed cotton ball on your skin, rinse it off with warm water and a washcloth before applying your daily moisturizer. 

Body Oil

Another highly effective tan erase is body oil.

​Body oil can make your skin silky smooth and also remove any tanning mistakes in bigger areas!

If you have uneven patches on your legs or arms, body oil can simply remove those streaks and help you start fresh.

When you use body oil, apply the product on the areas you would like to remove, and let it sit the recommended time of 10-15 minutes.

Once the minutes are up, hop in the shower and rinse with warm water and a washcloth. Body oil is also great for sensitive skin and ensuring you’re not using any harmful products.

Glycolic Acid

Speaking of sensitive skin, glycolic acid can act as a tan eraser and solve other skin issues you may be dealing with.

Glycolic acid can remove unattractive tanning mistakes while also helping with acne, serve as a deodorant, improve keratosis pilaris, and much more.

Glycolic acid will exfoliate your skin when it’s used with an exfoliator mitt or loofah to open up your pores and wipe away the dead skin cells holding onto the self tanner product.

This product is fast-acting and can quickly remove an unwanted fake tan. 


If you’re looking for a simple and easy self tanner remover, look no further than your everyday household item: whitening toothpaste.

To use toothpaste, simply rub the toothpaste on your skin, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then rinse it off your skin.

It is not the most recommended method, but it can work and it’s super simple. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera works great for sunburn, and it also works for fake tanning!

This option will take a little bit to see results, but it’s another healthy way to remove tanning mistakes without the inclusion of harmful chemicals.

How aloe vera works is by lightening the pigment of skin that is bound by the tanning mishap. 

When you apply aloe vera, leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. If you leave the product on, it could cause your skin to dry out.

This method will start to work within a week if you remember to apply it to the skin every day. 

DIY Sugar Scrub

DIY Sugar Scrubs can be an effective way to remove self tanner from your skin.

These can be made using simple ingredients you probably have in your home like coconut oil and brown sugar. Using a DIY Sugar Scrub is a method that is both natural and highly effective in removing self tanner from your skin.


The best way to remove self tanner mishaps is to make sure you apply the right amount to reduce the chances of buildup. 

If you find yourself needing to correct tanning mistakes, using one of these DIY methods is the best way to strip a fake tan without stripping your skin of moisture.

When you start to remove a tan, don’t forget to use your remover mitt to exfoliate the skin and protect your hands from products that use harsh chemicals. 

Want to avoid all of this mess next time? Try Naru Organics self-tanner. No stains, no streaks, no toxins (looking at you leading brands!). 

Note: Want to give yourself an even, natural-looking sunless tan without exposing your skin to toxic chemicals, dyes or synthetic fragrances? Get Naru Organics self tanner and try the very first flawless self tan with no nasty ingredients. Learn more now!
naru organics self tanner

Ashlyn Noah

Ashlyn Noah is an author in the skin care industry.