circle of feet image by Sara Bassani from Fotolia.com

Self tanners offer consumers the luxury of a bronzy glow without the concerns of possible harmful ultraviolet rays. Application blunders occur most often near elbows, hands and the rough areas of the feet. Sunless tanners fade naturally after a number of days, but those in a rush to remove the colorant from the soles of their feet can exfoliate the area to remove the tanner and help expedite the process. Never apply harsh bleaches or solvents to any area of the skin.

Make a grapefruit exfoliating scrub by mixing one cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil and eight drops of grapefruit essential oil in a plastic container.

Clean the soles of your feet with the exfoliating scrub and a loofah sponge, available at most department and beauty supply stores. Add a generous amount of the scrub onto your feet, rubbing with the loofah in gentle circular motions. This will remove dead skin cells and take care of some of the colorant. Rinse and dry your feet.

Move into a comfortable position where you can stretch out or elevate your feet. Keep a pair of thick socks next to you, and position a doubled terrycloth towel under the area your feet will rest upon.

Rub a liberal amount of baby oil into each foot. Apply several layers until the soles become well-lubricated and greasy.

Allow the baby oil to soak into your feet for a minimum of 30 minutes, reapplying the oil after 15 minutes.

Put on socks, so you do not damage the floors on your walk to the bathroom. Run a warm bath.

Get into the tub, and rub each foot sole with a microfiber cloth, working your way in circular motions across the bed of the foot. Work in small areas, gently rubbing to dislodge any remaining tanner. You may reapply a small amount of the grapefruit scrub onto the cloth as you work.

Briskly dry each foot with a terrycloth towel, and examine them for any remaining color.

Soak a cottonball with hydrogen peroxide over any remaining color. Rub the moist cottonball over each foot, concentrating on areas with remaining color.


Always use hydrogen peroxide that is fresh—less than six months old--for best results. Use baking soda and water as an alternative scrub on the soles of the feet. You can substitute lemon oil for the grapefruit essential oils in the sugar scrub, if desired.


Avoid exposing your eyes and lungs to dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the ingredient used in sunless tanners and tanning spray booths. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using eye protection and covering the mucous membranes including the nose and lips when using spray booths as a method to tan.