Unfortunately, there are no skin friendly products, currently available, that will completely remove a spray tan 100% without damaging the skin.
A spraytan tints the dead skin cells that are attached to living tissue underneath. They separate at their own individual rate. You can help speed this rate somewhat, but it can not be done completely, all at once.
The best option is exfoliation, and time. As the tinted dead skin cells on the skin surface loosen, the tan will completely fade within about 2 -3 weeks. An orange tan will fade significantly in a few days, if you do nothing.
Regular exfoliation done before tanning, will allow a tan to fade more evenly, and help lessen poor fading concerns. Moisturizing regularly and proper after tan skincare, can also help a tan fade more evenly.
The following tips below can be done to help speed the fade process. It will still take some time, but this will allow you to improve overall appearance much more quickly.
I have provided active links to most of the items below, showing pictures, to help you find them locally.
Please use common sense, do not scrub skin to the point of irritation, or use any caustic substances or household cleaners on the skin. This is not only harmful to the skin, it can be very dangerous to your health. Many strong household cleaners can be absorbed into the living skin tissues, and cause harm.
Do not use a multiple of things at the same time, this will only irritate and hurt the skin.
Hands And Feet, Thick skinned areas:
Facial hair bleach products (Sally Hansen is available in many Drugstores, though other brands will also work) Also available in Beauty Supply Stores
Hair Remover Depilatory type products (Neet, Veet, Nair etc) These can also be used on other body areas, please use carefully, as they can irritate the skin (especially tender areas)
Cuticle Remover Salicylic (BHA) acid based, or lye based products, formulated for skin use only, on calluses, cuticles, and thick skin (only use on soles or palms, these will burn other areas) Available in many drugstores, or Beauty Supply Stores. (Callus Off, Be Natural) Not recommended for thin or tender or broken skin.
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) Facial/Skin Peel products, or AHA or BHA Facial Toner Products – These come in gels, creams, lotions, solutions and pads. Available online, drugstores, and beauty supply locations. Use carefully on thin tender or delicate skin areas.
A pumice stone can be used to gently buff skin on foot soles or callused areas – do not buff hard enough to abrade or tear the skin
You can also make a scrub with backing soda mixed with a small amount of water, or liquid hand soap/body soap.
Nails and Cuticles:
Acetone based nail polish remover wiped over skin with a cotton pad will lighten or remove color. Not for full body use. Do not soak in this!
Buffing nails lightly with a fine sanding block for nail use, use care not to abrade skin
Cuticle remover products, for small area use only. Various brands are available, a popular line is Sally Hasen, which come in gels, lotions, and creams. But any brand will work. Check local drug stores, and Beauty Supply outlets.
To prevent nail discoloration, Polish nails with a clear polish, or cover with a paint on skin safe latex adhesive product before tanning to lessen discoloration (Skin Tac, Osto Bond, Ben Nye and others)
Technicians can ware gloves to protect hands
Exfoliate the face with a commercial facial scrub product, nylon gloves , or exfoliation mitt. Use care not to irritate or over scrub the skin. You can use a home made scrub with baking soda and gel cleanser, baking soda and water, or sugar and gel cleanser.
Chemical based facial exfoliates such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), or Salicylic Acid (BHA) based product made for skin safe use only. Can irritate, use carefully, following product directions. Not for sensitive skin (Sea Breeze Deep Clean Astringent ) Other brands will work if they contain AHA or BHA.
Alcohol based facial toner (Sea Breeze Classic) will lighten the tan, but will not normally remove it. Other brands will work as well, look for a strong astringent made for acne prone skin. This is not for sensitive skin.
Cover the tan discoloration with a heavy coverage facial foundation.
Wash skin daily with a washcloth, and astringent or mild scrub and the tan will fade very quickly in a few days.
To protect scalp hair, cover with a paper or plastic cap. Cover roots of hair with cap, or a thick hair conditioner product. Spray solution can be lightly blended into hair line after spraying with a soft cosmetic sponge
Body hair may discolor from solution, hair removal prior to tanning is usually the best prevention
Facial hair can be protected with cream based hair conditioner applied thickly with a finger or Q-tip
Hair that has become discolored can be cleansed in some cases with Dawn Dish washing Detergent. Condition hair after use
Heavily stained hair may need to be trimmed or lightened with fresh (not old) Hydrogen peroxide (apply with a cotton ball) or Facial, Body, or hair bleach product. (this will lighten hair color)
Heavily stained hair cannot always be lightened, so prevention is the better option.
The Entire Body:
Cover skin in olive oil, baby oil or mineral oil, and dress in long old clothing (sweat pants or yoga pants and tee shirt) to protect furniture. Allow to soak into the skin for 20 or more minutes
Fill tub with hot soapy warm water, and soak for about 20-30 minutes. Exfoliate skin gently and carefully with nylon gloves , or exfoliation mitt, Exfoliation Cloth (Turkish,Japanese, Korean) and Irish Spring Original Bar Soap, or Boots Bar Soap, or Lava Bar Soap. (other soaps are usually to moisturizing to work correctly) Soaps and gloves are available at many Drugstores, and Mass Merchant stores, near bath sponge products
When tub session is complete, buff damp skin all over with a rough towel to loosen additional dead skin
This process may need to be repeated over a few days, to remove color if tan is very dark, or very fresh. Use care not to over scrub skin, as you can cause abrasion and carpet burns on delicate areas.
An AHA containing body lotion can help fade the tan when used daily. Eucerin, Paula’s Choice, Dermalogicia and many other lines carry them for body treatment use.
Hair Remover Depilatory type products (Neet, Veet, Nair etc) These can also be used on other body areas, please use carefully, as they can irritate the skin (especially tender areas). Use recommended wait time, and use caution on tender or sensitive skin. If you feel irritation, stinging or burning – shower off immediately with cool or warm water. This can irritate or burn the skin. Use common sense.
Shower off, rubbing skin gently with a rough washcloth, and mild cleanser, please moisture with Aloe Vera or very rich gentle moisturizer after toweling off skin, as it may become irritated. Do not do this before an important event (or a prom or wedding!)
Cover Up Tips:
During the removal process, you can also “mask” blend or hide a bad spray tan, using a variety of drugstore products.
Use our Facial foundation makeup (you can mix a bit with your moisturizer lotion), a bronzer gels, tinted lotions or powders (dust powder over freshly moisturized skin, using a large powder brush) or a tinted bronzer lotion or spray, can all be used to even out, blend, or mask an off color or uneven spray tan.
If nothing else works, consider the fine fashion of MuMus, Pants Suits, Turtle necks and long sleeves for a few days :)
Neither myself, nor Tampa Bay Tan can be held liable for irritation or any other issues you may experience from use, or misuse of any of the above tips.
These are only suggestions, and we assume you are reading all product warnings and use guides on your products, before use. It is assumed that you would use your own common sense, normal sound judgement, and as needed , advice from your own personal care medical adviser, or skin care specialist.
Please keep in mind, your own individual concerns, skin or health conditions, and unique skin or health needs, before taking any internet based advise. We would not be aware of all conditions or concerns that may change how your skin reacts to spray tanning, or product removal methods. Please seek advise from your primary health caregiver if you have any concerns.