How to remove fake tan instantly, according to a tanning expert

Wave goodbye to those tan fails

Woman shocked with towel on her head

by Scott Wells |
Published on

We’ve all been there, you’re getting ready to go out and suddenly you wonder, how to remove fake tan instantly after seeing the unsightly aftermath of your latest tanning session.

From sneaky streaks to those pesky patches, which you’re sure you covered when applying your tan earlier, aren’t ideal, to say the least.

You can use the best fake tans, and unfortunately, you can’t help if you miss a spot or two. We've all been there.

We all know that when we’re running low on sunshine, fake tan is the best way to get that glow on, however, when it starts to fade, suddenly you’re looking like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.

Woman in Bathroom Applying Cream.

Thankfully, we have spoken to a true professional in the tanning industry, who has been tanning clients and celebs for over 15 years, Jules Von Hep, founder of Isle of Paradise, all about the best tan removal advice.

Jules says “A great tan will see you for up to 10 days. One of the best ways to prolong your tan is to keep hydrated.

"Drink that water – happy hydrated skin won’t shed and will hold onto the colour for longer, if you’re on a long-haul flight try to not drink alcohol as this encourages the tan to fade due to the dehydration on the skin.”

Read on for Jules's expert and frankly lifesaving tips on removing fake tan from your face, body, hands and feet.

Removing tan from your face

When tanning your face, this is one of the most make-it-or-break-it moments in your routine as you don’t want to go too heavy, but you also don’t want to not apply enough.

Rather than using fake tan for your body on your face, face tanners are the best alternative, as not only can you control this more by mixing into your daily moisturiser, but they are also packed with other healthy ingredients.

However, if you do make mistakes (we all do it), then Jules says: “I recommend using Isle of Paradise Over It Glycolic Tan Remover. Spray onto the skin, massage in so a lather is formed and leave for five minutes. I love spraying a sheet mask with this too. Keep returning to the skin and re-massaging every minute.”

Isle of Paradise Over it Magic Self-Tan EraserIsle of Paradise


This vitamin-infused tan remover is one of our go-to's

Removing tan from your body:

“The best way to remove a tan is to slowly but surely tease it off the skin over the course of 3 days following with the last day being a deep tan removal (using Over It). To tease it off simply mix a spoonful of sugar in with your body wash. Each time you wash a light layer of tan will come off giving a slow, gradual but even fade.”

Removing tan from feet and hands

How to get fake tan off your hands is a question many people are constantly asking. Hands and feet are one of the most noticeable places where you can tell someone has had a rough time tanning themselves (we’ve all experienced tango hands at one point).

So before you jump in always moisturise your hands and feet prior to application and Jules says “Remember immediately after you have applied to wipe your palms, in-between your fingers and buff your knuckles on a dry towel to remove excess.

"If time is of the essence and you need results fast, use Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid on the surface of your hands followed by a Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliating Pads - it won’t completely strip it off but it’ll fade the tan rapidly.”


Best tan remover recommendation

"If you want total complete tan removal, I recommend using Isle of Paradise Over It Glycolic Tan Remover," shares Jules. "Spray onto the skin, massage in so a lather is formed and leave for 5 minutes."

"I love spraying a sheet mask with this too. Keep returning to the skin and re-massaging every minute paying special attention to those areas that are slightly dryer - elbows, knees, in between the thighs and armpits. For stubborn tan try adding a cleansing balm on top of the glycolic tan remover and working off the skin using a face cloth."

Yougn woman in bathrobe taking off moisturizing sheet mask

Of course, as much as we love to buy a product that will help with any mistakes, there is also another way to strip your tan.

Jules says that one of the best ways to break down a tan is to go swimming, “the chlorine will soften the tan."

"Take some exfoliating gloves and scrub in the shower (pro tip – you can use instant or gradual tans in-between tan applications – this will give a hit of colour but won’t stay on the skin after you have showered and therefore and add to build up)."

But after all is said and done, keeping yourself and your skin hydrated is one of the best things you can do. So, the next time that your tan doesn’t go exactly how you planned, Jules has got you covered on all the best tips and tricks to quickly remove those stubborn mistakes – because let's face it, no one wants to be looking like they’ve been tangoed.

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