We all want a perfect, natural looking tan, and for many of us, the only way to achieve this is by using a self-tanner. However, as much as you might want that perfect sunless tan, you definitely do not want the orange and yellow stained nails that happen after application.
Stained nails are a dead giveaway that you have just used self-tanner, and did not, in fact, spend your summer tanning on a beach somewhere exotic.
For many first-time self-tanners, orange fingernails is a reality, you are so focused on getting in between every nook and cranny on your body that you forget your poor nails are soaking up an excess of self-tanner.
So, let’s not waist any time and jump right into the guide.
7 Ways to Remove Self-Tanner From Nails
Whether you use a self-tanning lotion, mousse, mist or towelettes, you might end up with orange nails. Luckily, there are a couple of remedies for this that should see your nails looking pretty and clean in no time!
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is one of the best gifts nature has given us! From naturally bleaching hair to tasting great in a Lemon Drop Cocktail, you should always keep a couple on hand.
To remove staining from your nails, simply dampen a face cloth with some fresh lemon juice, place it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up, and then gently massage it over your stained nails.
The bleaching properties in the lemon will lighten the staining and remove it altogether after a few tries.
The best thing about using lemons to do this is that they are completely natural!
2. White Vinegar
Thanks to the acidity in white vinegar, it is able to remove almost any stain. Drip some white vinegar onto a cotton swab and dab it onto your nails. Leave it to soak for a few minutes and rinse off to reveal clean nails.
Everyone has toothpaste at home, so this is one of the more handy options. Whitening toothpaste works best, but any old toothpaste should do.
Use an old toothbrush and some toothpaste to scrub off the staining on your nails and soon enough your nails will be tan free!
4. Nail Polish Remover
This is possibly the most logical solution. The acetone which makes up nail polish remover will break down the self-tanning solution which has stained your nails. Simply dab it on with a cotton pad and gently massage the stained area.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another household staple that has so many great uses. Baking soda is in almost every kitchen cupboard at home, making it a really accessible solution to almost anything!
Mix some baking soda into a small amount of water to create a paste. Scrub it into your nails and wait a few minutes before washing it off. You might have to do it a few times to completely removing the stains but it does work.
If you don’t have time to waste with other remedies, simply leave your nails to soak in a warm bath with some essential oils.
The water and oils help to soften your nails and will make it easy to scrub off the self-tanner with a towel once you are done relaxing in the bath.
If you have twenty minutes to spare, you could try this method which combines a couple of the above to ensure the staining is completely removed from your nails for good.
- Fill up the bathroom basin and mix in some mild soap. Soak your nails in the warm water for 10 minutes.
- Use a cuticle trimmer to cut dead and stained skin away from the nail base.
- Empty the basin and refill it with warm water, and add a couple of drops of tea tree oil in.
- Place your hands in the water for a few minutes.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub your nails, under your nails and your nail beds.
- Soak a cotton pad in lemon juice and rub it onto each nail.
- Wash your hands with warm water and dry off.
- Massage some hand cream onto your nails to give them some extra moisture, preventing them from drying out.
This is one of the best and most gentle ways to remove staining from your nails!
How To Avoid Fake Tan Staining Your Nails
While it is good to know how to remove fake tan staining on your nails, it is even better to know how to avoid your nails staining in the first place!
Preparation is the absolute key to ensuring a flawless, natural looking tan, and the same goes when performing the correct preparation to make sure you don’t have give-away stained nails.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid orange fingers and toes!
Use Tanning Mitts and Gloves
It is always a good idea to use a tanning mitt when applying self-tanner at home. It will help you achieve an even, smooth tan and the mitts have the right texture to properly rub in the self-tanning product.
However, tanning mitts also help to protect hands, fingers, and nails from staining due to the self-tanning lotion.
Some people prefer to use gloves when applying self-tanner at home. The fingered-gloves help to properly get the self-tanner into smaller, more hard-to-reach areas.
Just like tanning mitts, gloves really help to protect nails and hands from staining.
Apply Tan Primers
There are some tan primers available that help to act as a barrier to self-tanning products. The primers stop the self-tanners from being absorbed, making it impossible for staining to happen.
Wear Nail Varnish
Any type of nail polish applied to the nails will help to protect them from the sunless tanner.
You don’t even have to use dark nail polish, even a clear nail varnish will do the trick.
You can simply remove the nail varnish after application with nail varnish remover, and apply some moisturizer to keep your nails hydrated.
How To Protect Artificial Nails from A Tanning Bed
Other than tanning your skin by basking in the sun, there are other ways to obtain a golden, glowing tan.
Self-tanning is a great option for those who want to get it all done in the privacy of their own home, and at a more affordable price, but tanning in a sunbed at a salon is also a popular choice.
Many people choose to use a sunbed at a salon for a quick, natural looking tan. Many people also love having artificial nails. The bad news is that these two don’t mix really well.
Exposed to UV rays, such as those in a tanning bed, artificial nails can turn yellow. Artificial nails need to be protected in a tanning bed, and there are some simple ways to do this:
- Coating artificial nails with a UV protectant can stop the UV rays from turning the nails yellow. Some salons do offer this, but at an added price.
- There are some nail polishes which have UV protection. You can paint your nails with the varnish before getting into the tanning bed, and remove it with artificial nail-safe varnish remover once you are done.
- You can also cover your artificial nails with nail savers or even with some plastic bandages. Nails savers are quite handy, as they are pockets which slip onto the finger and cover the entire nail and the end of the finger from UV rays. Alternatively, you can wrap a small bandage around the end of each finger, covering the nails, but this can be time-consuming.
- If you are using a tanning bed which is lying down, you can simply hang your fingers out of the tanning bed. Just a note, this will not work if you are using an upright tanning bed.
- Some nail salons offer solar nails, which do not need any additional protection from UV rays and will not turn yellow when in contact with them.
How To Protect Toe Nails
You might be so focused on protecting your fingernails that you forget to protect your toenails as well! Nobody wants to have to cover up their feet in the summer, so you need to ensure you don’t land up with orange toenails.
All the same tricks apply to toenails. You can remove self-tanner staining from toenails the same way you remove it from your fingernails, and you can protect your toenails the same way your protect your fingernails from being stained during a fake tan (except using gloves and a tanning mitt, as these weren’t designed for your feet)
Self-Tanner Stained Nails
There is no need to freak out if you happen to stain your nails orange during a fake tan. There are lots of remedies to fix this, and you will soon discover which is best for you.
See it as a learning curb as well, once you have stained your nails orange, you will most probably make sure that it never happens again!
Everyone makes these common mistakes, and they are the best way to perfect your self-tanning application going forward.