How To Remove Fake Tan From Your Hands

How To Remove Fake Tan From Your Hands

The fake tanning process can be tricky unless you know how to navigate it. One of the most common fake tanning mistakes that can occur is when you overcook the tan on your hands, turning them orange or patchy – and telling the whole world you’re wearing self-tanner. For these situations, you need to know how to remove fake tan from hands, fast! And that’s where we come in.

So don’t panic and start furiously scraping off all the delicate skin on your hands. We’ve got a few quick tricks on how to remove fake tan from hands, without requiring you to shed seven layers of skin. Plus, we’ll show you what caused this fake tan faux pas and how to prevent it from happening again.

Sound good? Lay down your loofah and read on.

First thing’s first – what got me into this mess?

Before we can tell you how to remove fake tan from your hands, we need to sort out what mistake you might’ve made that’s got your hands looking less-than-fab.

According to Jayne Cooper, St.Tropez’s Tanning and Skin Finishing Expert, there are five common mistakes people make when it comes to tanning their hands:

Applying too much tan: “This will cause the hands to over-develop and be darker than they should.”

Not applying moisturiser before tanning: “Moisturiser creates a barrier on the skin and prevents over-developing. Our dry areas will develop quicker, so don’t worry if they look slightly lighter once you’ve applied your tan, as this is just the guide colour.”

Missing areas and not blending correctly: “This leaves tell-tale signs of tanning, especially between the fingers and knuckles.”

Stained palms from not using a tan applicator mitt: “This important tool contains a plastic lining to prevent staining. Not wiping hands and nails after tanning is the other faux pas.”

Washing hands after applying tan: “This will result in the tan being removed, so avoid getting the tan wet during development. Use a wet wipe instead to clean the palms of the hands.”

How can I prevent it from happening again?

Now that you’ve figured out where you went wrong, it’s time to make sure you never have to figure out how to remove tan from hands again – because with Jayne’s do’s and don’t’s, you’ll be a hand-tanning pro!

DO: Always use an applicator mitt

“This ensures an even, streak-free finish without leaving the palms of your hands bronzed as well (which looks completely unnatural). If you apply self-tan using your hands then you can easily miss areas through your fingers, however, if you use an applicator mitt, the product glides on and gives an even finish. You wouldn’t brush your hair with your hands so avoid tanning in this way too!” bh loves: pureTAN Deluxe Self-Tan Application Mitt ($11.95 at and LYCON LYCO-BRONZE Application Mitt ($19.95 at

DO: Clean up after yourself

“Wipe the palms of the hands, fingers and toenails with a wet wipe after tanning to prevent them from staining and apply a small amount of moisturiser to the inside crease of the wrist for a seamless finish.” bh loves: GAIA Natural Baby Plant-Based Water Wipes ($6.49 at Chemist Warehouse) and NIVEA Naturally Good Facial Wipes ($4.99 at Chemist Warehouse

DON’T: Overdo the tan on your hands or feet

“When tanning your hands and feet, don’t add any additional product to the tanning mitt – just use the residue from the body application, this will be enough. Put your hands in a claw and sweep the mitt over, then sweep around the feet in the shape of a sports sock and finish.”

DON’T: Skip the prep steps:

“Exfoliate well and add a light layer of moisturiser to your hands, elbows, knees and feet before tanning to stop any tan from sticking.” bh loves: etch&ethos Nourishing Body Lotion – Botanical Bloom ($12.39 at Chemist Warehouse).

Okay, now tell me how to remove fake tan from hands!

Alright, it’s go-time and we’re ready to find out how to remove fake tan from hands once and for all. The good news is, there are a few ways to ditch your orange hands sitch, fast!

1. Slather a loofah with some salt or sugar scrub and work in circular motions over your hands. Don’t have any? Mix a quarter of a cup of raw sugar crystals with half a cup of sorbelene cream for similar results. Resist the urge to scrub them red or you’ll risk creating abrasions on the surface of your skin. Repeat once every morning and afternoon. You should notice a significant difference after two days. bh loves: Kenkay® Sorbolene Cream with 10% Vegetable Glycerin ($2.99 at

2. Squeeze 1 or 2 fresh lemons and sit your hands in the juice. Leave to sit for an hour, or as long as you can bear it. Repeat up to three times a day. The ascorbic acid in the lemon will cut into the tanning product, causing it to fade.

3. Jayne suggests using an oil to help remove the tan. “Add a few drops of bath or massage oil to some warm water and soak your hands,” she says. “Add a couple of drops of the oil to an exfoliator and scrub the hands to help remove the tan, repeat the process if necessary.”

4. Invest in a tan-removing product – it will come in ‘handy’ (pun intended) next time you’re in an orange-handed fix and will work twice as fast as a DIY method. bh loves: St. Tropez Tan Remover Mousse ($25.49 at Chemist Warehouse) and SugarBaby GLOW TO GO Tan Remover Mousse ($24 at Myer).

Need a good tan that won’t go patchy or streaky on your digits? bh loves: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam One Hour Express ($22.95 at and Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse ($34.95 at

Have you ever struggled to remove fake tan from your hands?

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Comments 18

  1. Yes this is a problem and whats more of a problem is if you have not rub the cream into your legs very well you land up a with a dark brown spot which cannot be removed.

  2. I use fake tan on my legs as I am fairly pale, and where I live i wear shorts pretty much year round. I like Le Tan Mousse the best, easy to apply, doesn’t leave streaks and looks fairly natural. And yes love Redwin sorboline cream. Great product for a great price!

  3. I’m not the most coordinated person so fake tan in my hands might be a mistake. I could imagine how badly it would end. Don’t like it if it has too much smell. Best I give it a miss. Thanks for the tips though, good to know about the moisturiser beforehand and using tan applicator mitt. Hope it goes well for everyone who tries.

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