How to Get Self Tanner Off your Hands

If you are reading this, you probably want to get gorgeously tanned skin – without the hassle of sunbathing. That is why self-tanners exist; and the beauty world unanimously agrees that they are the best invention of all time in the beauty world; probably aside from makeup, that is.

Self-tanning is incredibly easy to accomplish, and always guarantees great results when you are looking for that elusive, natural tan. However, as with all things, mistakes can happen sometimes during application, and you stay with splotchy skin for quite some time.

No matter how much you practice with self-tanners, there is always that annoying problem of the ‘orange hands syndrome’ as we like to call it, when the hands get excessively tanned compared to the rest of the body, and you have to wait for a whole week or two before they go back to normal!

However, fear not. There are some remedies you can apply to avoid this problem as much as possible, such as those we will discuss in this article.

  • Exfoliating using body scrubs

Hopefully, the preparation process of your skin before your tanner application took care of your hands as well, because self-tanners usually tend to accumulate in the dry parts of your skin and unevenness is the result. If you did exfoliate your skin prior, then you can scrub away the tanner using the body scrub in circular motions.

  • Using lemon juice

This is among the easiest and cheapest methods of removing self-tanner, aside from white vinegar (which we will mention later). Just take some fresh lemons, squeeze them to get the juice, then dab a ball of cotton or a cotton pad in the juice.

This method can work particularly well if you have a few spots of excessive tanning that you want to correct. In case lemons are unavailable, you can buy fresh lemon juice at the grocery store.

  • White vinegar

Speaking of lemon juice, white vinegar is incredibly versatile – it is a natural whitener, and is useful in so many other applications. When you think about it, there is nothing that white vinegar cannot accomplish, whether it is cleaning, cooking, or beauty procedures.

For you to remove the self-tanner, rub the vinegar on the skin directly, then allow it to sit for about ten minutes. Afterwards, rinse it off using water. It will work very well in case the area you are covering is large, which can be hard to do with lemon juice.

  • Baking soda

This will work perfectly when you need to clean larger areas of your skin as well, such as the arms and legs, and it makes for an excellent DIY scrub ingredient. Just mix it with a bit of water until it forms a paste, apply it on the skin, then wait for at least a minute or two before washing it off with water.

  • Baby oil

This is the best solution when you are trying to cover a significantly large area, just like baking soda and white vinegar. For you to make it work, apply baby oil on the affected area and allow it to sit for ten to fifteen minutes at least, then go have a steaming hot bath to rinse off the excess tanner off.

It does not just clean off the skin though, it has other benefits as well. For one, it leaves the skin feeling impressively supple and soft, while also smelling great. 

  • Baby wipes

This is the best alternative of the idea of applying nail polish remover or vinegar does not excite you, or you are put off by the strong smells. Just keep in mind that not all baby wipes will work effectively, but some will. In addition, they also smell great and are easier to use.

  • Acetone or alcohol

This might be the last option you even think of – they do not have the most appealing smells, especially acetone. Aside from that, they can do quite a number on your skin because of their dehydrating properties, so it is best to use them on very small areas – if you decide to use them.

They are quite easy to use though – they follow the same process as the baby oil and vinegar options. Rub them on the skin, wait for a short time (preferably a minute or two at most), and then rinse off the skin with water. If you do not want to apply it directly on the skin, you can use a cotton ball or piece of tissue to apply it, then rub the affected area gently and rinse it off after a minute.

  • Toothpaste

Before using this method, make sure the toothpaste you use is a whitening one. It is also best for smaller areas, such as between your fingers, then rinse off the toothpaste after a minute. To make it even more effortless, use an old toothbrush.


  1. Can I use olive oil to remove the fake tan?

Yes, it is possible. Generally, oil is a good option because it loosens the dead skin cells (these are the cells that the dye coats) and it will make it easier to wash off the dye.

       2. Can I apply fake tan over an already existing layer of fake tan?

No, this is not advisable. Unless you are using a gradual tanning product that builds the color of the skin, and you need to be sure that it can do so. Using a mousse or dark lotion on top of the existing tan will make the older color breakup, and it will show more prominently on your skin. Make sure to strip the skin before tanning it again, or wait for the tan to fade out first.


Self-tanners are great, and they are some of the most convenient beauty regimes ever. However, mistakes can happen when you apply them, although you can still correct these errors through these tips – without necessarily buying expensive products to remove the dye. Through these easy, DIY methods, you will look fabulous.