How To Remove Fake Tan Properly

How To Remove Fake Tan Properly

If you find your attempts to apply self-tan results in streaks and uneven patches, you’re probably in need of a decent tan remover – as well as some expert advice. Here are some of the best products out there to correct any mishaps you might have, while glow master, Amanda Harrington, is also on hand with her top three tips…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

First, Invest In The Right Remover

“I really recommend using a good body scrub, or a dedicated removal formula – there are so many on the market now, from foams to liquids and gels. When shopping for one of these products, always invest in ones which include glycolic. Why? Because it causes DHA (fake tan’s active ingredient) to separate on the skin, so everything lifts away much quicker. Always look out for glycolic if removal is your main focus, but other acids like lactic work well, too – plus, they’re gentle.” 

Make The Most Of Your Bath

“My other big tip for tan removal is to soak your skin in a hot bath. Drop in a good quality bath oil, too, as this will help slough away uneven tan, while locking extra moisture into your skin at the same time.” 

Treat Your Face Differently

“The skin on your face is far more delicate than that on the rest of your body, so it pays to use a gentler remover here. Look for exfoliating pads – like our Skin Face Advanced Glycolic Facial Pads – which allow for precision and remove misplaced colour fast. They’re easy to use and grab the colour in those hard-to-reach areas, too – think around the nose, chin or anywhere that stubborn it might have stuck to. If you’re going to use a tan remover on your face, make sure the product specifies it’s safe to do so, as this will ensure less irritation and inflammation.” 

Shop our product pick here...

Amanda Harrington London Skin Facial Pads, £18

Best For: Facial Tan Removal

Why We Love Them: These gentle pads are a must-try for stubborn fake tan sat on your face. Rich in exfoliating AHAs – including glycolic – they work to break down dead skin cells, as well as the tan attached to it for a smoother, streak-free surface. Added fruit acids help brighten your complexion, too, while keeping it more hydrated, so that anything you apply on top can adhere to and penetrate your skin barrier better. Even if you don’t wear fake tan, these are a must-try to keep cell turnover high. 
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Bali Body Self-Tan Remover, £19.95

Best For: Hydration & Sensitive Skin

Why We Love It: Perfect for those with sensitive skin, this soft foam removes tan seamlessly without any need to scrub. Use it in the shower, massaging the formula into any stubborn stains, and you’ll see the colour come away within ten minutes. Aloe vera, glycerine and rose extract provide extra skin-softening benefits, too, so your limbs will look and feel more hydrated afterwards.
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St Tropez Tan Remover Mousse, £14.50

Best For: Small Mishaps

Why We Love It: Whether you want to get rid of build-up, erase small mistakes or just guarantee a seamless tan, this remover is a must-have. Perfect for tanning novices, it corrects mistakes immediately, while detoxifying cotton extract and probiotics rebalance and hydrate skin. Non-sticky and easy-to-use, the light foam is great for dry skin, melting away colour within five minutes. Rinse off any excess in the shower and use a mitt if you want to cover a wider surface area.
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Tan-Luxe Glyco Water Self-Tan Eraser, £22

Best For: Face & Body

Why We Love It: With a watery consistency and 3% glycolic acid, this exfoliating treatment quickly dissolves self-tan residue and streaks. Spritz it onto dry skin – it’s safe for use on both the face and body – and let it melt in before rinsing and gently wiping it off. The silky formula keeps skin smooth and feeling refreshed, ready for the next coat of colour.
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Tanologist Self-Tan Eraser & Primer, £11.99

Best For: Gentle Exfoliation

Why We Love It: Tanologist’s versatile formula can be used as an eraser or a primer before you tan. If you’re using it for the former, massage it onto patches that need evening out, or onto areas where you want to remove unwanted remnants – you can also use a small amount on a cotton pad for quick fixes. For priming, use it all over, massaging it into dry skin before stepping into the shower. The 3% glycolic exfoliates for a smooth, even surface, getting rid of any dry, flaky patches immediately.
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Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser, £17.95

Best For: Versatility & Ease

Why We Love It: One of the first brands to create a tan ‘eraser’, Isle of Paradise’s Magic Remover combines glycolic acid with micellar water to gently remove dead skin cells, dirt and old colour. Not only does it reveal fresh skin, it hydrates and softens with avocado, chia seed and coconut oils – plus, it’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Spritz it onto small areas if you’re only removing a little faux pas, or mist all over your body until skin is saturated, lathering it up and leaving it on for five minutes before rinsing it off in the shower.
Available at

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