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    9 Best Fake Tan Removers to Banish Patchy Old Tan

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    Fake tan remover is the must-have beauty product of the summer. There’s no doubt about it. 

    The sheer joy and mood-boosting benefits of a fresh lick of fake tan are unrivalled. Nothing beats that feeling of glowing, healthy-looking, even-toned skin – and now, with so many different gradual tan formulas available, it’s anything but a one-colour-suits-all situation. Instead, you can customise your tan, contour with it, add semi-permanent freckles, add definition or to create a uniformity to skin. The options are truly endless.

    But what happens when you’ve already got tan on, it’s starting to fade and you want to start all over again? Once upon a time, you’d have needed to body scrub at your skin with an exfoliating glove like your life depended on it. But now? Fake tan removers are a thing – and they’re one of those products that’ll make you wonder how you ever coped without. 

    What is fake tan remover?

    It is, essentially, a product that helps to break down existing tan that’s on the skin. The active ingredient in fake tan, DHA (which is what causes the colour change in skin), can make skin more acidic so some fake tan removal formulas work with the pH levels, turning it more alkaline (this is where those school science lessons come in handy) in order to break down and remove stubborn patches.

    How does fake tan remover work?

    Fake tan removers come in a few different formulations. “First, there are immediate removal products which are usually just a form of cleaner that washes away fake tan before it has chance to sink into the skin,” explains Abi Oleck, skin expert at Utan. So they’re best used if you’ve made any obvious application mistakes as they give you a chance to rectify them.

    “Then there’s physical exfoliants which buff away dead skin cells faster than normal but that can be fairly harsh on skin,” and that’s why the majority of removal products are now specially formulated with a blend of hydrating ingredients and chemical exfoliants – most often glycolic acid. “They work to loosen dead skin cells, increasing the turnover and encouraging them to come off faster than usual,” says Abi.

    Tempted? We’ve tried and tested the best fake tan removers – from St Tropez fake tan remover to formulations by Bondi Sands and Isle of Paradise. Here are the ones worth your money.

    The best fake tan removers for 2022 at a glance:

    1. Best rated fake tan remover overall = Tan Luxe Glyco Water Self-Tan Eraser, £22,
    2. Best intensive fake take remover = Utan Super Strength Tan Remover, £14.99,
    3. Best fake tan remover gel = Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser Gel, £9.99,
    4. Best exfoliating fake tan remover = Isle of Paradise Over It Self Tan Remover, £17.95,
    5. Best priming fake tan remover = Tanologist Self Tan Eraser + Primer, £12.99,

    Scroll for our full edit of fake tan remover products to shop this summer.


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