With the summer months fast approaching, temperatures are soaring and we’re dropping layers.
This might mean you suddenly realise your skin tone is more see-through than sun-kissed and you find yourself reaching for a bottle of fake tan to get a head start.
Fake tan is also a great alternative for getting a glow if you don’t like putting your skin in the sun – it can be ageing and pose a health risk, if you don’t slather on your SPF.
For all of its benefits, fake tan can end up leaving you two-tone and streaky, though. Here’s how to properly strip layers of fake tan off…
How to wash fake tan off
First you need to consider whether you’re trying to remove the tan from a small, patchy area, or take it off your whole body.
Either way, exfoliation is key. However, you can get away with using something a bit harsher on a persistent and tiny region rather than your body.
For small areas, try using a mixture of lemon juice and sugar and giving it a good scrub. Elbows and wrists are prime target for this method.
A paste of baking soda and water will also do this, but if it starts to sting, wash the mixture off straight away.
For your whole body, get yourself an exfoliation glove and a scrub with natural particles like coconut husk or ground shell.
Add oil when applying or go for a non-foaming scrub for a gentler feel.
How to remove fake tan from nails
Nails can stain easily in the quest for a perfect self tan.
Soak your talons in – weird but effective – a bowl of warm water with a denture tablet dissolved in it.
10 minutes per hand should be enough, and you can give them a good scrub with a toothbrush after to get rid of any lasting stains.
Removing dead skin around the cuticle will also improve the appearance of your nail.
Wearing rubber gloves under your mitt should become a habit, too.
Remove tan stains from clothes and bedding
Wearing a light colour with fake tan on is asking for trouble in the first place.
If it’s too late, though, you need to repeat after me: DON’T RUB THE STAIN.
This will smear the tan and make everything worse. Instead, employ water, fabric stain remover, and a dabbing motion.
There are very few natural remedies here, so it’s crack out the Vanish or throw away the fabric unfortunately.
How to keep your tan and soften streaks
Streaks are part and parcel of #tanlife, and seasoned professionals know how to avoid where possible.
When streaks do strike, though, you can either follow the above tips and remove the tan, or try and soften them and make them less visible.
Go for a warm (not hot) bath with some bath oil, and use loads of body lotion when you get out.
The overall colour will be lighter, but this is certainly preferable to a stripey tan.
Fake tan PSA
You can save many of these disasters by following these rules before applying self-tanner:
- Exfoliate, particularly focusing on dry or rough areas.
- Make sure your skin is lightly moisturised.
- Always wear gloves.
- Always use a mitt.
- Buy a tan with a guide colour so you can see streaks before they appear.