It’s a scenario we see all too often; you got a little overzealous with a self-tanner or get spray tanned so often that you have buildup from previous sessions. As a result, we often hear the question we dread answering: “How do I remove a sunless tan?”
Our research has uncovered the most insane suggestions for sunless tan removal. We have seen every home remedy from lemon juice, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide to window cleaner. While these may work, we do not recommend because it is harsh on the skin.
In addition to home remedies, there are several products on the market that claim to remove tans. They usually require the user to scrub their skin with an abrasive exfoliant. While these may work to a degree, the damage it causes to the healthy skin is not a desired outcome.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no miracle ingredient that will remove a sunless tan. DHA adheres to the outer layers of the epidermis. As the skin cells shed so does the DHA attached to it. At the end of the day, time is the only thing that will remove a sunless tan. However, there are some things that we can recommend to safely remove dead skin cells and the sunless tan attached to it.
- In a circular motion gently rub the skin using a loofa mitt or washcloth. Harsh exfoliation can cause more of a patchy fade.
- Tans can be removed by taking a soak in a hot tub/Jacuzzi. Hot tubs seem to have the right temperature, chemicals and amount of friction from the jets to remove the dead skins cells gently and effectively.
- If there isn’t a hot tub near by, slather on baby oil. Allow the baby oil to sit on the skin for several minutes. Then soak in a very hot bath (as hot as you can handle) that also contains additional baby oil. Use a washcloth to gently wipe off the tan (be careful not to slip getting out the tub). Because baby oil contains mineral oil, you should wait 48 to 72 hours before receiving your next sunless tan.
TIP: You may have some areas that stubbornly hold onto the tan. These are usually around the armpits, ankles and elbows. If this happens, use a baby wipe to gently remove the remaining tan.
If you keep your skin healthy, your sunless tan will look better, last longer and fade more evenly.