Using self tanner is an easy, affordable and healthy way to get a natural glow. However, self tanners can be tricky to apply, especially for your hands. If you are 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, give you your natural tanned look.

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 have applied self tan to your skin. This step will help get rid of the extra amounts of self tan that can cling on to your hands after application.

If you forget to wash your hands and your self tanner has dried on your palms, never fear! Exfoliation is one of the easiest ways 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 and our best tips on how to get off self tanner – that you probably already have at home!

Baking Soda

You have probably heard all about the miraculous uses you can get out of a box of plain old baking soda, so now add “helps to get self tan off” to the list! 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 backs of your hands 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 doing a 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. Wupti, the sunless tanner is removed.

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.

Toothpaste

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.

Oil

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.

No.1 Tan Drops is super easy to apply; either mix it into your favourite moisturizer or lotion, or apply it directly to your skin, and distribute with your hands.

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 moisturizer to replenish your skin’s moisture and keep it looking healthy.

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

Would it not be nice if you did not 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 moisturized. 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 moisturizer 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.

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