Tanning season is upon us, and if you're like many people this summer you'll be at least four coats deep by now. 

As finicky it is to put the tan on, however, most people dread the removal process - a vital step in maintaining your bronzed glow, as removing all traces of older tan makes for the most radiant tan the next time. 

So how do you do it? Buff away with a sponge and hope for the best? Slather on the tan remover and, once again, hope for the best? 

The dilemma drove one Scottish woman to get particularly inventive, sharing her hack for removing tan on Twitter and racking up 14,000 likes in the process. 

Twitter user @Lauurennxxx posted a photo of a kitchen scrubber with a reservoir handle - designed to hold washing up liquid and slowly release it through the sponge - filled with Bondi Sands tan remover. 

She wrote: "To all my tanning friends... Bondi sands tan remover in one of these little scrubbers takes your tan off in minutes girls legit seconds!!" 

While most of the comments left under her post were questioning what the utensil was, there were more than enough women willing to try the hack. 

Given this is a tool used to scrub cooked on food off of pots, we doubt this is a hack Mrs. Hinch would endorse, and with good reason. Professor Caitriona Ryan, a Consultant Dermatologist, spoke to RTÉ Lifestyle about the risks in using such a method on your skin. 

When it comes to removing false tan, Prof Ryan says that "typically false tanner needs to be removed with gentle exfoliation - usually a facecloth or an exfoliating mitt. This cleaning brush is simply a more abrasive form of exfoliation". 

"My main concern is that in people with more sensitive skin or eczema or in areas with thinner skin the brush may cause abrasions and leave the skin raw", she added. 

To remove tan safely, she suggests "keeping your skin well moisturised using daily body moisturiser after the tan is applied. Then gently exfoliate with soap or a tan remover in the shower". 

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As tanning is not just a seasonal activity - our cooler weather and dull winters mean that men and women will tan all year round - better safety is needed around tanning, particularly if using tanning beds. Prof Ryan says "natural tanning and tanning beds should be avoided" as "we have had an exponential increase in melanomas in young women and men in Ireland".  

"I am actually a great proponent of false tan. There has been a generational shift where young women in their teens and 20s now opt for false tan rather than sunbathing and using tanning beds. There is minimal risk associated with using self-tanners."

For some people, there may be a risk of the dihydroxyacetone - the active tanning ingredient in false tan products - can cause skin irritation and occasionally people may become allergic to this component of false tan but, Prof Ryan says, "otherwise there is very little risk involved in using it". 

So, go forth and tan but leave the scrubbing brushes in the kitchen! 

And a particular shout out to Prof Ryan, who answered these questions just a week after having her baby - congratulations!