our everyday life

How to Wash Off a Fake Tan

by Jaimie Zinski, studioD

Sunless tanning products provide an alternative to tanning beds and hours of lying in the sun. The active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, reacts with dead skin cells, creating the healthy glow you're after, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although the process is as simple as applying the sunless tanner, mistakes do happen, leading to streaks or a color that's darker than expected. Although fake tans generally fade after a few days, it's possible to wash them off.

Homemade Help

Combine the sea salt, sugar and 3/4 cup lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl and stir until they're well-incorporated. Lemon juice is a natural skin lightener, and the salt and sugar combination gently sloughs away dead skin cells and the self-tanning product.

Apply the mixture to any streaks or areas you want to lighten, such as the palms of your hands. Work the scrub into your skin with fingers or a loofah.

Rinse away the exfoliant. If the unwanted tan persists, work the exfoliator into the area again. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply a moisturizing lotion to prevent drying out your skin once the tan is eliminated.

Mixture with Moxie

Combine 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir the mixture and add more baking soda, if necessary, until it's the consistence of paste.

Apply a thick layer of the mixture to any streaks with your fingertips. Step into the shower or stand on a towel to prevent making a mess if you are applying the mixture to your entire body.

Allow the mixture to sit for five to seven minutes. The baking soda and lemon juice are both natural skin lighteners and will reduce the appearance of the fake tan, according to Cosmopolitan. Wipe away the mixture with a damp washcloth.

Examine your skin and reapply a thick layer of the mixture if the fake tan is still noticeable. Allow it to sit for five to seven minutes before wiping it away.

Items you will need
  •  1 cup sea salt
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  Lemon juice
  •  Medium-sized bowl
  •  Spooon
  •  1 cup Epsom salt (optional)
  •  Loofah
  •  Soft towel
  •  Moisturizing lotion
  •  1 cup baking soda
  •  Small bowl
  •  Washcloth


  • Substitute 1 cup of Epsom salt for the exfoliator if sea salt isn't available.
  • It might take two, three or even more applications of the baking soda and lemon mixture before it completely eliminates a fake tan.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.