How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 Easiest Methods [Video]

Every regular user of spray tan has, at one point or the other, asked for help on how to remove spray tan from hands. This is because while your hands are what you would typically use to apply a spray tan on your body, orange palms and patchy knuckles are not exactly a great look.

So, even though for the past 20 years, humans have been enjoying using fake tans that match each person’s skin tone, no one wants their hands to give it away, literally. Hence the forever quests on how to get a spray tan off.


Below, we consider the best and easiest methods to achieve this and other concerns you may have when you use a spray tan.

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods

The regular spray tan contains a chemical known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), whose primary responsibility is to make your skin surface darker. But there is a catch; the dryer the skin area, the darker this chemical will make it.

This is what makes your hands and knuckles darker than the rest of your body when you use spray tan.

Basically, to get spray tan off, you need to dilute and remove this chemical from those areas using simple techniques such as a soak in a tub, skin exfoliation, or taking a swim.

Below are the steps on how to remove spray tan from hands:


Using Bath Oil

Step 1: Get a bowl or basin. Be sure it is deep enough to immerse your hands entirely.

Step 2: Get a pot, pour in some water and place over some heat until it starts to get warm.

Step 3: Pour the warm water into the bowl or basin and add a few drops of bath oil to the warm water.

Step 4: Dip your hands into the bowl of water and oil and allow standing for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Remove your hands after 10 minutes and gently scrub immediately with a loofah or clean towel. You should notice the tan begin to clear instantly.

Using Lemon Juice

Step 1: Get a big bowl or small basin deep enough to contain your hands

Step 2: Heat some water until slightly warm

Step 3: Pour the water into the basin and squeeze some lemon juice into it

Step 4: Dip the hand into the bowl of water and lemon juice and allow soaking for 30 to 60 minutes

Step 5: Withdraw the hand from the water and scrub gently with a warm, damp towel. Doing this immediately will help lift the spay tan from your hands

Using Glycolic Acid

Step 1: Get a face pad or a clean towel if you don’t have a face pad at home

Step 2: Pour some Glycolic acid onto the face pad or towel

Step 3: Use the part soaked with the acid to gently scrub the areas on your hands with the tan stains

Step 4: Continue to wash until you see the skin becomes clean. The acid is famous for separating chemicals like DHA from the skin

Using Sugar Scrubs

Step 1: Get a bowl or basin and mix one cup of refined sugar or baking powder with a half cup of sweet almond oil and about 10 drops of any essential oil like Lavender.

Step 2: Dip your hands in warm water to soak and steam them up

Step 3: Get an exfoliating towel or mitt and dip a part into your homemade scrub

Step 4: Use the soaked portion of the towel to gently rub the stained part of your hands in a circular motion

Step 5: Continue to hone until you see the tan plus dead cells come off

Step 6: Rinse the hands in clean water, dry off with a towel, and moisturize with your favourite lotion

Going Swimming

Step 1: Jump into a swimming pool. The chlorine in the water is good for removing the DHA. However, it may also clean your tan from the rest of your body. So you want to try this method when you don’t mind cleaning the tan from all your skin.

Step 2: Take a shower once you leave the pool to wash off the chlorinated water

Step 3: Moisturize your body to avoid having a dry skin

Why Are My Hands Orange After Spray Tanning?

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods

The reason your hands look orange after applying a spray tan is that your hands, just like your feet, elbows, and knees, happen to be one of the driest and thinnest parts of your body and retain more coloration than the rest of your body.

For a better understanding of why this happens, let us break it down like this:

  • The skin surrounding your hand is dehydrated and thin, making the oxidation process of tanning occur faster in that area
  • Because on its own, the hand is already dry, applying a spray tan without moisturizing the hands first makes the situation even worst.

So what can you do to avoid these orange patches the next time you want to tan your skin?

  • Exfoliate for at least 4 hours before applying the tan. Exfoliation helps remove dead cells, responsible for holding on to the coloration and giving you that unwanted look.
  • Always remember to take a shower several hours before your next spray tan appointment. Moisturizing your skin this way will prevent the skin from being dry during the process and eliminate the intense coloration that may follow.
  • Never use more tan than is absolutely necessary. While using tan may cause patches, using too much tan can quickly become overwhelming.
  • Take care never to apply the tan in a rush. Rushing the process means you will likely not give too much thought to use it correctly.
  • As much as possible, try to use the proper tools such as a tanning mitt or brush. If you are applying the spray tan yourself, you may not hit perfection, but they will help to avoid patchy palms.

What Do You Do If Your Spray Tan Is Too Dark?

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods

Getting a tan can protect you from the harsh UV rays; however, there are instances where your spray tan can become too dark.

If your tan ever gets too dark, the best solution to lighten it is to apply some baby or coconut oil, allow sitting for about 10 minutes before taking a shower and exfoliating.

The oil will help lift the spray tan off the top layer of the skin and make the exfoliation process easier. Together this can help lighten the tan, making it appear more natural.

Alternatively (and if only certain areas of the skin appear darker than usual), you can make a baking soda bath and use it to lighten the skin area.

The procedure involves pouring 2 or 3 cups of baking soda into the bathwater, then soaking the skin in the mixture for about 30 minutes before using a washcloth to scrub the area gently.

How Long Does It Take For Spray Tan to Fade?

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods

On average, a spray tan takes about 10 days before it begins to fade. However, this depends mainly on the skin texture and tone as much as on the quality of tan used.

For instance, lighter skin tones may have their spray tans last for at least 5 days before it starts to wear off. A medium skin tone could last for about 7 -8 days, while darker shades can last as long as 10 or 12 days.

Generally, other factors could also affect how long a tan job lasts, including what you do before the tanning, what you do during the tanning and what you do afterwards.

Things to Do Before a Spray Tan

  • Pedicure, massages, and facials have to do done before a tanning session
  • Wax your skin at least a day before your tanning appointment. It could be more challenging for the spray tan to hold and stick to your skin if you haven’t waxed
  • Shower and exfoliate with an oil-free exfoliator at least 4 hours before you get your tan on. Showering and exfoliating will make it easier for the tanning to stick, and doing it earlier will ensure no discoloration will occur as the skin pores must have closed after 4 hours
  • You could also shave before you shower and exfoliate. It is recommended that you shave at least 4 hours before the tanning to allow your skin to heal
  • Clean off all makeup and lotion before you begin the tanning

Things to Do During a Spray Tan

  • Wear loosely fitting clothing such as a T-shirt or dress with flip flops to prevent the tan from rubbing off on your clothes
  • Avoid bras, if you can, as they often tend to mess up a tan job with their straps. And if you can’t do without them, wear a strapless or bandeau bra.
  • Avoid yoga pants or denim. These are well known for ruining a perfectly done tan job and wiping your skin clean, as they can get clingy.
  • If you suspect it will rain or are tanning during a rainy season, go out with an umbrella. A freshly done spray tan and raindrops are not a good fit.

Things to Do After a Spray Tan

  • Wait for at least 4 to 8 hours (but not more than 24 hours) before going near the shower.
  • It would be best to avoid whatever would cause your skin to touch some moisture within that period. This includes workouts, liquid foundation, cleaning, and applying lotions.
  • During your first shower after the job, you will need to exercise extra care while scrubbing your body. Cleaning too hard can strip the skin of the fake tan, and this is considered one of the quickest methods on how to get a spray tan off.
  • During your first shower and subsequent showers, you may want only to use a natural body wash free from any oils. When washing your palms, you can use oils if you are looking for how to remove spray tan from hands.
  • Also, avoid taking a hot shower as this is one of the ways to reduce the duration of a spray tan.
  • After the shower, pat yourself with your palms and allow yourself to sit and air dry rather than using a towel to wipe clean your body. Cleaning with a towel can also clean off some tan color.
  • Moisturizing properly with an oil-free moisturizer can also help to make your tan last longer. It is recommended that you moisturize every morning and evening.
  • You can begin to use a tan extender 3 days after you get your tanning done. It will help the tan stay on much longer before fading.
  • Avoid swimming in a pool while you still have your tan on. Chlorine is well known for decolorizing a good tan. Other things to avoid include long showers, steam baths, saunas, massages, bandages, products that contain acids, and fashion tapes. Any of these things will most likely strip off some tan.
  • If possible, avoid any skin to skin contact, including crossing those lovely legs of yours while you sit. Rubbing your skin together could undo the job faster than you want
  • You can use tinted moisturizers to “top off” your tan subsequently. Using a tinted moisturizer that is the same color as the tan you got will not only look more natural but will help to extend the glow you get
  • Avoid exfoliating until you decide it is time to remove the spray tan. If you are looking for how to get spray tan off hands, you can focus on exfoliating only the hands.

The list may look long and overwhelming, but they are essential for your good. You can even call it the Do and Don’ts of Spray Tan, as they will not only help you get the best tan job but also help elongate your glowing period.

What’s the Best Tan Remover?

How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods
How to Remove Spray Tan from Hands: 5 of the Easiest Methods

Once your beautifully bronzed skin begins to appear darker, drier, and less attractive, you will know it is time to search for how to get a spray tan off.

The good thing is getting off a tan is often easier than applying or maintaining one. A good tan remover will help you get the spray off in one quick sweep, but how do you know which tan remover to use?

Some of the best tan removers are Sienna X Eraser Self Tan Remover and Mitt, St Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Remover Mousse, Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self Tan Eraser, and so many others.

These products usually include oils that can easily break down DHA, one of the active ingredients found in all tanning solutions.

Some of these products also include glycolic acid as an ingredient. This acid is excellent for removing dead cells and tissues to reveal a cleaner and fresher skin layer underneath after every tanning session.

Lastly, some of the best products also come with an exfoliating mitt to make the job easier when removing the spray tan.

The trick is to pick one that provides all these bonuses without costing more than necessary.


How to apply a spray tan may be complicated and require the services of a professional, but how to remove spray tan from hands doesn’t have to be mainly because it is something you may need to do at home and in a hurry.

Using any of the 5 techniques described above should help you get the job done quickly and conveniently. And to finally get a spray tan off, you can try any of the tan removers listed above.