What To Do When Your Self Tanner Turns You Orange!

What To Do When Your Tanner Turns You OrangeI always strive for the perfect streak free tan; with a beautiful bronze tint that makes me look 10lbs. lighter and 3 years younger.

If you looked at my search history on my computer you would find that often times I’ve Googled: “How to be tan without looking like I tried” and “Self tan secrets of the stars”.  But right under that you would also find “What to do if my tanner turns my skin orange” and “Help! I look like an oompa loompa what do I do?”.

Assuming I’m not the only one with these crazy Google requests…..

One of the advantages of self tanning is if you mess up, most mistakes start to fade within a few days. But sometimes, you use the wrong product and look too orange or suffer streaks and discoloration.  I have put together a list of tips that others have used to undo what usually takes days to be undone.

Because nobody wants to go in public when you’re suffering a self tan meltdown, most of these tips are at home remedies from products you probably already have.


To lighten up the results of a self tanner, apply lemon juice to your body.  You can also rub your hands with a small slice of lemon to remove tanning lotion stains.  I’ve actually done this before and it works pretty well.


To lessen the appearance of a bad tan, start lightly rubbing vodka into your skin.  Personally, I’ve never tried this, but I might just start doing this on a regular basis after a long day at work ;)

Baking Soda:

Add a small amount of baking soda to a moistened washcloth, and rub across self tanning splotches.  Not only will the baking soda bring a bleaching effect, but it also exfoliates the skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide:

When too much tanner has gotten under your fingernails, hands, feet and toenails, apply hydrogen peroxide to affected areas to encourage the color to fade.

Pumice Stone:

Sunless tanning lotions affect the top layer of your skin, so removing dead skin cells will cause the effects to fade away.  Gently rub a pumice stone on your palms to eliminate tanning lotion residue.


Gently rub your hands and skin where you wish to remove sunless tanning lotion.


Use a moistened washcloth to scrub the orangey residue left behind after self tanning with lotions.

Sugar or Salt:

The abrasive nature of sugar or salt granules can help remove tanning lotion stains on your hands.  Simply moisten your hands and rub with the sugar/salt.

Nobody should have to endure a self tan meltdown that lasts for days.  Use these tips the next time your self tanning product pulls a fast one on you.

Orange you glad you heard about these great tips?  Do you have any remedies to solve a self tan meltdown that isn’t featured above?  Share your tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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Category: Self Tanning Tips

About the Author

Emily Andrews is the Editor-In-Chief of SelfTanning.com. As you can imagine, Emily loves anything and everything having to do with self tanning! She's also a big fan of shopping (duh), tiny Yorkies and football.