Self tanners like the Boë products make you ready for the beach in a moment’s notice. That means being sporting a flawless glow so you feel like you could wear your favourite beach wear, even in the depths of winter. Concerns about skin aging and cancer, plus the ultimate no-no for having strange tan lines, makes tanning in the sun a bad idea for everyone. To avoid these problems, women and men everywhere use self tanners.
Unfortunately, sometimes with self tanner you can make the common mistake and get streaks or end up with orange hands. We will provide you with our best tips on how to remove self tanner from your hands.

If you’ve got just a few spots to fix

… you can rub them with a cut lemon. Lemon juice can also be applied with a cotton ball, and it’s one of the most effective methods. If the stains are stubborn, you can also combine lemon juice and baking soda in a paste.

The ultimate secret on how to remove self tanner from your hands

… is to not get streaks or stains in the first place – and to start slowly, then gradually increase frequency and how much you apply – and then the ultimate-ultimate-ultimate secret: hand wash :)

We’re no fan of tan mitts – and believe, that you find no better way doing your tanning routine, than with your bare hands. Here you will be most accurate, most gentle and most compassionate, and get more feeling of where and how much you have distributed. Just always remember to wash your hands carefully afterwards.

Like you normally do. Nothing special. Just ordinary careful hand wash :)

However, self tanners can be tricky to apply, especially for your hands and if you’re new to self tan you might feel insecure about how to remove tanner from hands. If you’re looking at your streaky, orange palms and wondering how to get self tanner off your hands, these quick DIY tan removers can save the day and will answer your question:

How do you get self tanner off your hands?

No. 2 Tan Water is one of our bestselling products. It is innocent looking, but extremely efficient and gentle to your skin. A couple of pumps and you have a golden tan 2-3 hours after.

How To Get Self Tanner off Your Hands and Palms

The most effective way to avoid an excess tanner situation is to wash your hands right after you apply self tanner to your skin. This is how to get self tanner off your hands the best and most convenient way – and will come easy to you, when you first get familiar with your tanning routines. This step will help get rid of extra amounts of self tanner that can cling to your hands after application.
If you forget to wash your hands and your self tanner has dried on your palms, never fear! This is how to get self tan off hands!


… is one of the easiest ways how to get self tanner off hands and to remove self tan from your palms and hands. Exfoliants slough off dead skin cells, so they can gently take off the top layer of tanned skin cells, creating a lighter appearance. However, removing too many skin cells can create discomfort or even long-term skin damage.

The key is to use gentle materials that get the job done without harming your skin. Many of the best exfoliants for this purpose are everyday household items you likely already have, so no need to search for an expensive or exotic option. Here are some of the best options you probably already have at home – and will help you about how to self tan your hands and feet!

Baking Soda

Make a paste out of half a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of water. Massage the paste gently over your palms and between your fingers, or put it on a toothbrush to scrub your fingers lightly. Let it sit for a minute or two, then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Baby Wipes

These are specifically made to clean delicate skin. Use them alone or after the baking soda treatment.

Lemon Juice

This is a natural alpha hydroxy acid, which makes it another effective exfoliant. Dab a little on affected areas, then rinse off. You can also combine lemon juice with sugar to make a scrub. If you just have a small patch, you can rub it with the cut end of a lemon.

White Vinegar

Like lemon juice, white vinegar contains acid that helps remove dead skin cells and break down stains.

Nail Polish Remover

Acetone nail polish remover can help eliminate stubborn patches on the nails and fingertips. However, this method should not be used to remove self tanner from other parts of your body, as it is harsh and damaging to skin cells. Dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover to carefully get rid of excess tanner on your hands.


Specifically, whitening toothpaste can help you get rid of self tanner blotches. Apply a dollop of toothpaste and rub onto your skin in a circular motion.


Soaking your hands with coconut oil, olive oil, or baby oil loosens the top layer of skin cells and decreases the appearance of darkened or orange patches. It can work exceptionally well in combination with gentle exfoliation.

Body Scrub, Loofah, or Washcloth

Use any of these to gently massage and exfoliate your hands.

Facial Bleach

Facial bleach is designed to lighten the hair on your face. Put a small amount on a toothbrush or cotton swab and gently scrub your palms and fingers.

Hair Removal Cream

This product falls into the category of methods to go light on. Use a cotton swab to apply to your hands, palms, or fingertips.

Although these methods are fairly mild and non-toxic, it is still possible to go overboard. To avoid irritation or skin damage, do not over-exfoliate your skin. After exfoliating, always remember to slather on a deep conditioning moisturiser to replenish your skin’s moisture and keep it looking healthy.

How To Avoid Getting Self-Tanner on Your Palms and Hands

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to think about how to get self tanner off your hands in the first place? Follow these tips to avoid dealing with tanner on your palms:

  • Wash your hands with soap and lukewarm water immediately after applying tanner.
    It is a lot easier to remove excess tanner before it dries on your skin.
  • Keep your skin moisturised.
    Dry skin on your hands and wrists creates a rough surface for self tanner to adhere to, resulting in the dreaded orange patches. Apply a skin softening moisturiser to your hands every day to avoid dry skin.
  • Dab a little moisturizer on your palms, nails, and cuticles before applying self tanner.
    The freshly-applied moisturizer creates a thin barrier between the tanner and your skin, so tanner is less likely to stick to your hands.
  • Apply self tanner in bright and even lighting.
    Shadows and dim lighting can make it hard to judge whether you are applying your product evenly.

Key Takeaways

  • Apply moisturizer to your palms, hands, and fingertips right before you apply self tanner. It can help act as a barrier between your skin and the sunless tanning product.
  • Carefully wash your hands with soap and water right after application to get rid of excess tanner.
  • Remove dried on tanner by gently exfoliating with a washcloth or natural exfoliant.
  • Always treat your skin gently! Overly enthusiastic exfoliation can cause irritation, dryness, and damage.
  • Moisturize after exfoliating as part of your skincare routine to get rid of lingering dry or rough spots.
Read more about our tips, products and Boë in general on our tan talk-page.