Spray tan accidents happen, and they are one of those mistakes that are pretty noticeable. If you try to spray tan at home or have a little mishap at the salon, you might land up with orange hands, and orange hands are a dead giveaway of a spray tan gone wrong.
So, if you find yourself with patchy, orange hands after a spray tan, how do you remove the color? Ways to remove spray tan from your hands include lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste, soaking your hands, and using a tan remover. These methods are gentle but effective, and the one you choose can depend on what you already have at home.
Luckily, there are quite a few options available for removing spray tan from your hands. All of the items used to remove the color from your hands can be found in most homes, and the process is fairly simple as well.
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands
Here are different ways to remove spray tan from your hands, all while saving the rest of your beautifully tanned skin.
Lemon juice is the key to so many self-tanning and spray tanning woes. The acidity of lemon gives it a bleaching quality, and you can use either lemon or lime to lighten or remove a tan.
- Dampen a towel with some fresh lemon juice (fresh juice works better, but if you have no option you can use bottled lemon juice).
- Place this into the microwave for a few seconds and then massage it onto your hands to lighten the orange tone.
- Make sure the towel is not too hot when it comes out of the microwave, or it might burn your hands.
Another option is to mix lemon juice with an exfoliator, like sugar. For those instructions, read this article.
Whitening toothpaste works really well to remove spray tan stains and is a good option to use on your hands. (It’s also a great way to remove fake tanner from your hair.)
- Place some whitening toothpaste onto an old toothbrush and use it to scrub your fingers and hands, and your nails.
- Leave the toothpaste to sit for a little while on your hands before washing it off, as this gives it a little more time to remove the color.
If you don’t have whitening toothpaste you could use regular toothpaste. It is still fairly abrasive enough on the skin to remove the outer layer of the tan, which should help to lighten the tone a bit.
Scrubbing with a toothbrush also helps to exfoliate the skin and remove the tanned skin cells.
You can see how Average Jane on YouTube removed spray tan from her hands using Crest Whitening toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide:
Baking soda is another household item that works well to remove spray tan stains.
- Mix a small amount of water with some baking powder, enough to make a paste, and rub it all over your hands. Make sure to scrub it in as much as possible, and leave it to sit for two minutes.
- After this, wash it off and the color should be considerably lighter.
- You can repeat this process a few times until the color is as light as you would like.
Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar have so many incredible uses, and not just in cooking.
- Put some white vinegar onto a cotton pad and dab this onto the skin.
- Let it sit on the skin for a few minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- You can repeat this process a few times to drastically lighten the spray tan on your hands, but note that it can land up drying out your skin, so moisturize between as well.
Soak Your Hands
A gentle way to remove the spray tan from your hands is to simply leave them to soak.
- Fill the sink with some warm water and drop in some essential oils.
- Place your hands in the water and leave them to soak for 10 minutes.
- Together, the water and the essential oils soften your skin cells, which makes it easier to scrub the tanned skin cells off after the soak.
- If you don’t feel like standing by a sink for 10 minutes: You can fill a bucket with some warm water and essential oil (or baby oil) and place it on your lap while sitting in front of a TV. It will feel more like a pamper session than anything else.
- When you have finished soaking your hands, use a towel to rub the oils and the spray tan away. This is a gentle way to remove the tan from your hands, so you can repeat the process quite often.
So you might not have tan remover lying around at home, but it is worth purchasing a bottle to keep if you spray tan or self-tan often.
A tan remover scrub is a great option to use to remove the orange from your hands, and it does so gently enough to not damage or dry out your hands.
Tan remover scrubs can also be used to prepare the skin for a spray tan and can help to remove an old tan in preparation for a new spray tan.
Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover should be your last option for removing spray tan from your hands, as it is a little harsh on the skin, but it does work well for smaller areas such as the hands. Use a gentle nail polish remover if you can, as it will be less harsh on your skin.
Pour some nail polish remover onto a cotton swab and dab this onto the darker area. Do not use this method if you have just had your nails done, as it will remove the nail polish.
How To Protect Your Hands From A Spray Tan
There are some ways to prevent your hands from turning orange or dark during a spray tan, and prevention is much easier than fixing a problem afterward. There are a few ways to protect your hands, and here is how:
Barrier creams work well to protect your hands and nails from absorbing too much spray tan formula and turning a darker color.
Place the barrier cream around your nail beds and between your fingers to avoid these turning a darker shade.
If you are applying the spray tanner at home, it is a good idea to use a self-tanning mitt. This protects your hands as you are applying the spray tan, and when you rub in certain areas. Not only does the self-tanning mitt help to protect your hands, but it does wonders to even out the product onto your skin, leaving it free from streaks and patches.
If you are worried that your nails might be ruined by the spray tan formula, you can apply nail polish to your nails before going in for your appointment. It can be clear or colored, but the nail polish will protect your nails from becoming stained from the spray tan product.
Once the spray tan is done, you can easily remove the nail polish with nail polish remover, which can help to remove and darker areas around your hands as well.
The simplest way to protect your hands from staining during a spray tan is to wear gloves. You can purchase disposable gloves and use a new pair every time you go in for a spray tan. You can throw the gloves away after the session and not have to worry about cleaning them.
Will coconut oil ruin my spray tan?
If applied while the spray tan is still developing, coconut oil can act as a barrier to the reaction and leave patches and streaks.
However, when the tan has developed, coconut oil applied to the hands and the rest of the body is a great way to get your spray tan to last. It moisturizes the skin and prevents it from drying out, which helps the tan stay more radiant for longer.
Should I spray tan my hands?
Hands should be left till last when spray tanning and self-tanning, as they can turn much darker than the rest of the body.
Right at the end of your spray tan session, rub some excess product onto your hands and massage it in circular motions. Avoid getting the spray tan product onto your nail beds as they can leave some unsightly stains.
How do I remove fake tan from my feet?
You can remove fake tan from your feet much the same way as you remove spray tan from your hands, using methods and ingredients such as lemon juice, baking soda and essential oils in the bathtub.
Removing Spray Tan From Your Hands
There is nothing worse than having a beautifully bronzed new spray tan, but then bright orange hands to give it all away. Luckily, there are a few trusted ways to remove spray tan from your hands, to get them back to looking more natural and even with the rest of your body.
Give your hands the beautiful tan they deserve, and remove any unsightly streaks, patches or colors by using one of the above tried and trusted methods, all which can be done at home!