How To Make A DIY Self-Tanner At Home

DIY Feature

By Ashlyn Noah
October 5, 2021

Everyone wants a gorgeous tan that lasts year-round, but if you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent a lot of money on tanning lotions and time under the sun or in tanning beds. 

Instead of jeopardizing your wallet and your health, you likely have items in your pantry or cupboard that could be used to turn into a luxurious DIY self-tanner!

Tanning is one of the catch 22 subjects, but it doesn’t have to be with a homemade self-tanner.

With these DIY items, you can have a bronzing concoction without risking a bad sunburn, premature aging, or skin cancer. 

Homemade Self-Tanner vs. Self-Tanning Products

You may be skeptical to try making your own sunless tanner, especially if you’re a beginner, but knowing all the facts about homemade self-tanners and self-tanning products can give you a world of confidence.

If you’re someone who’s been frequenting tanning beds, tanning under the sun, or getting spray tans, you might not be fully aware of the repercussions that can come. 

Tanning beds and sun tanning have been known to cause premature aging of the skin due to excessive sun exposure, which can turn your once moisturized skin into dry skin.

These two methods of tanning can also cause Melanoma, one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer from being under the UV rays for so long and often.

People who are aware of the harmful side effects of tanning beds and sun tanning think about opting for spray tans instead, but let’s face it, we’ve all heard the horror stories of people coming out looking like an orange.

It also doesn’t help that most self-tanners on the market use parabens and harmful chemicals that are also not the best for your skin, so you may feel at a crossroads when it comes to getting a bronzed glow.

If you can’t find a self-tanning product you like, you can always make one yourself!

Homemade self-tanners are far better than self-tanning products since you’re using whole ingredients that are natural and sometimes organic.

The good thing about using a DIY self-tanner is that these products do not penetrate through the first layer of skin like tanning beds and sun tanning does. 

How To Make A DIY Self-Tanner

Making a DIY self-tanner will require you to have certain household ingredients on hand. If you don’t already have these ingredients in your pantry, you should add them to your next grocery list. 

You can make a homemade self-tanner in a matter of minutes. Most DIY self-tanners use a max of 3 ingredients and need thorough blending once you’ve mixed the ingredients together. 

One benefit to using a homemade self-tanner is that you do not have to worry about having an orange residue left on your skin, or coming out with a discolored tan as you could in tanning beds. 

Homemade self-tanners are also easily customizable and offer you the darker skin tone you want by either adding or reducing ingredients to the recipes.

Plus, these natural self-tanners can also be cheaper for your wallet! 

DIY Self-Tanner Recipes

We have done our research and discovered the best recipes for making your own homemade self-tanning lotion to give you a flawless tan you can use year-round.

Black Tea

If you’re a black tea person in the morning instead of coffee, you now have a new reason to love your morning brew!

Black tea is a great product to use for a natural self-tanner that can easily be modified for a darker tan. 

Here’s how to use black tea as a self-tanner in two different ways:

Option 1

  • ​Boil a handful of black tea bags for about 20 minutes
  • Pour into a spray bottle
  • Wait for the mixture to cool before spraying it on your body

If you want a darker tan, add more tea bags.

Option 2

  • Boil 1 black tea bag in 30 centiliters of water for 10 minutes
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of cocoa butter with 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Add the black tea brew to the melted butter and oil and let it cool

This option creates a wonderful DIY natural body lotion! 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a lot of added benefits for your overall skin health on top of being able to give you a great tan. 

Coconut oil can be used when you exfoliate as a DIY beauty product to give your skin the perfect canvas.

Since you’re creating a homemade self-tanner, you have to prep your skin adequately for the product to work. 

Exfoliating your skin prior to applying your DIY self-tanner removes the dead skin and cleans your body appropriately.

Here’s how to create a coconut oil exfoliating concoction to optimize your homemade self-tanner:

  • ​Coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Mix the ingredients together to use after your shave

Coconut oil is also a great natural moisturizer for your skin!

Coffee Grounds & White Lotion

This is another great way for your morning brew to be added to your skincare routine! The trick for using this method as well as tea bags is to add more coffee for a darker tan.

Here’s how to use coffee grounds for a flawless homemade self-tanner:

  • Brew your coffee grounds
  • Unscented white lotion
  • Mix together to create a DIY bronzer lotion. Apply it to your skin. 

woman applying coffee scrub

You also have the option to not use the unscented white lotion if you prefer since the brewed coffee can tan your skin on its own.

If you decide to use this method, put the cooled coffee in a spray bottle! 

Brown Sugar

Yummy brown sugar can be used as a DIY self-tanner in an unpredictable way. The secret ingredient? Carrots! 

The hack to this method is that you will be creating your own DIY tanning oil instead of a tanning lotion. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Slice one pound of carrots unpeeled into circles
  • Boil 3 quarts of water
  • Add the carrots and 2 cups of brown sugar
  • Simmer the mixture for 3 hours
  • Pour mixture through a strainer to collect carrot rounds and clumps before inserting into a spray bottle.

Now you have your own homemade tanning oil!

If you want to keep your color, reapply this oil once a week, if not twice! 

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa Powder is a home staple ingredient that can give you a deep and flawless-looking tan if you consistently reapply. 

Cocoa powder has many benefits for your skin such as detoxifying it and maintaining its elasticity, giving you an anti-aging benefit! 

Here’s how to make a DIY self-tanner from pure cocoa powder:

  • Mix 1/2 cup of unscented white lotion and 1/3 cup of pure cocoa powder in a bowl
  • The mixture should be mixed to result in a liquid consistency
  • Add more cocoa powder for the desired color (but note: pure cocoa powder mixture will look darker in the bowl than on your skin!)

This is a homemade self-tanner you will need to apply daily for keeping the tan consistent and dark. 

Getting Your Homemade Self-Tanner To Last

Since your homemade self-tanner is not using chemicals like store-bought self-tanners, that means your tan will fade quicker.

But never fear! All that means is that you will need to consistently apply to continue your tan’s appearance.

Another DIY beauty hack to keeping up your DIY self-tanner is to exfoliate regularly.

Exfoliating the skin gives your self-tanner the surface it needs to absorb into your first layer of skin in order to produce a high-quality tan. 

So, now that you have the ingredients to make your own self-tanner, what are you waiting for?

If you struggle with having the time to make your own DIY self-tanner, Naru Organics has a trusted self-tanner line you can trust.

Our products are natural and use safe ingredients your skin will love. 

If you’re ready to start building an envious, safe tan, get started today with one of those DIY self-tanner recipes!

Ashlyn Noah

Ashlyn Noah is an author in the skin care industry.