We’ve all been there: we wake up expecting to see a smooth, golden glow after washing off our guide tan and oh, things have gone horribly wrong.
Whether it’s a fake tan that has streaked, a gradual tanner that has gone a little too orange in tone or a spray tan affected by your strappy sandal lines (nightmare), there are so many things that can go wrong.
While we’ve created a guide to help avoid tanning mistakes, occasionally it just can’t be helped.
That’s why a surprising hack that promises to eliminate fake tan faux pas is sweeping the internet.
According to Fashionista.com, the secret to a smooth tan lies in a dry body brush and some baby oil.
Sophie Evans, St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert, told the website that you should get into the shower (without turning the water on), then slather some baby oil all over your body (try olive oil if you don’t have any to hand), followed by a good exfoliator.
She explained: “Applying baby oil to the skin works well before exfoliation. Allow the oil to settle for about 10 minutes.
“It’s highly hydrating and on initial contact, it will cause the skin’s surface cells to expand slightly. Follow with a thorough exfoliation using a scrub on top of the oil to remove the excess tan.”
Then rinse it off with water and voila, streak-free skin.
Dry body brushing will totally transform your skin… here’s exactly how to do it
We spoke to the experts to discover what other tips and tricks they swear by when you face your own nightmare…
How to remove fake tan?
“Tan continues to develop even after you have washed it off, so can really only be removed after 3 days,” says tanning expert and co-founder of Isle of Paradise, Jules Von Hep, “but there are some tips and tricks to help speed up the process.”
The best way according to Von Hep? Soak the skin in a hot bath infused with aromatherapy oil as this will help loosen the tan in the surface of the skin. Then rather than scrubbing, use your bath towel to rub away stubborn patches, especially where it can gather around the tops of the inner arm and the inner thigh area.
Are there any products that can aid removal?
There are, of course, plenty of helpful products specifically targeted at taking off a tan. “We’re just about to launch Tan-Luxe Glyco-Water, which is a really hardworking formula; it us an incredible tan remover, an amazing exfoliator, as well as a primer for self-tan,” says Tan-Luxe brand founder, Marc Elrick.
Another glycolic acid-based remover is Isle of Paradise Over It, which Von Hep recommends spritzing onto skin and leaving for five minutes before using an exfoliating gloves. “Your tan will come off instantly,” he assures.
What about unconventional ways to remove it?
For those stubborn unwanted tell-tale signs that gather on the wrists and palms, cut a fresh slice of lime and massage into the stain. Then massage in some L’Occitane Verbena Salt Scrub.
How can you avoid streaking in the first place?
Streaking can be avoided by applying your tan on to even, clear, exfoliated skin. Ensure that there are no traces of oil, wax or body lotion on the skin as these can cause your tan to not activate evenly.
However, a little slick of strategically placed moisturiser can come in handy; “Add a light layer of aloe vera-based moisturiser to your palms, elbows, knees and soles of feet to stop any tan from sticking to these areas, which tend to be drier than the rest of the body and wouldn’t naturally catch the sun,” says Jayne Cooper, St. Tropez tanning expert.
As for the application itself, always start from the ankles up. “Work up from your ankles (not your feet – these come last!),” explains Von Hep, “and work your way up to the heart and chest. Always apply in sweeping motions – never circular – as this ensures even distribution.”