It's the classic scenario - you've applied your fake tan and you think you've done a bang up job only for it to dry and realise you've got dodgy brown marks on your elbows, knees, palms and ankles that immediately give away the less than natural origin of your faux glow.
The question is - how do you remove fake tan and those tell tale tan marks that make it a lot less easy to convince co-workers that you definitely did go to Bali for two weeks and you definitely didn't just sit at home watching Love Island re-runs?
We caught up with pro faux tanner James Harknett to let you in on how to remove that fake tan and ensure your all over bronzed glow is totally believable.
How To Avoid Fake Tan Marks In The First Place
'Exfoliate the day before your tan and only use a body moisturiser that is oil free', says James, 'Shaving should be taken care of 24 hours before a self tan application or spray tan. This gives the pores time to seal over and avoids any guide colour sitting in the pores.'
Before you start, moisturise your elbows, wrists, hands, knees, ankles and feet, 'Just enough to create a slight barrier on the areas of your skin that are prone to dryness and absorbing too much colour,' says James.
If you're a self tanning novice, James advises to just start with your legs and use a product with a guide colour so you can avoid piling the tan on giveaway areas like your elbows and ankles.
And don't forget your ears! 'Blend whatever product you have left on your hands or application mitt over your ears.' Because tell tale pale patches are just as bad as the tan marks, people.
ELLE Top Tip: Use a mitt! Never underestimate how much fake tan really wants tostick to your palms.
How To Remove Fake Tan From Your Feet
Get those feet in some hot water and start scrubbing. A pumice stone with a good body scrub are a winning combination for removing that tan.
How To Remove Fake Tan From Everywhere Else
1. Take a bath ASAP
Run a hot bath with bath oil and soak. The oil and hot water will help break down the fake tan and remove any dodgy marks. The only downside is you have to be committed to getting rid of the entire fake tan, not just the bad bits.
Really freaking out? Up the ante by moisturising with a body oil first, then hop in the bath.
2. If you do shower...
Use a shower gel with sulphates in as these will help strip the colour away and exfoliate with a body scrub like there's no tomorrow.
3. Towel dry
To maintain a fake tan, James advises you pat yourself down lightly with a towel post-shower. Which means to remove a fake tan you want to do the opposite and give yourself a good all over body buff.
4. Moisturise the hell out of any patchy areas
Using a moisturiser with AHAs, vitamin A or retinol will help increase skin cell turnover and in turn encourage your fake tan to break up.
5. If all else fails, go swimming
Chlorinated swimming pools and hot tubs are renowned for their tan stripping abilities. And it;s fun too.