The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (2023)

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe!


Following my previous article’s success about how to get a perfect tan, I decided to step up my game a bit and created my own homemade tanning oil recipe. It works wonders and is super easy, fast and cheap to make! Which is why I thought I had to share it with you. This DIY only requires 3 natural ingredients that you can find online or at your closest organic shop (for best properties!), or even at the supermarket. Are you excited to learn how to make the best tanning oil? Because I sure am to share this recipe with you! Let’s dive straight into it.

Disclaimer: I am by no mean a specialized doctor or dermatologist, the advice that I give in this article is purely informative. I advise that you make your own research or consult your general practitioner before using these oils on your skin. You should also always protect yourself when exposing yourself to the sun.

Disclaimer #2: This article contains affiliate links, which allows me to earn a small commission on any purchase you make through my links, at no extra cost to you. It helps me keep this blog running, thank you for understanding!

Contents hide

1 How to make your homemade tanning oil: the ingredients

1.1 Coconut oil

1.2 Grape seed oil

1.3 Olive oil

2 Homemade tanning oil recipe

(Video) DIY Tanning Oil - Homemade Beauty

3 How to apply tanning oil

4 What oil can I use as a tanning oil?

How to make your homemade tanning oil: the ingredients

In order to choose which ingredients I would use in my homemade tanning oil, I did a lot of research on natural oils and their properties. I found three that seemed really interesting and decided to include them in my recipe. The lucky winners are coconut oil, grape seed oil and olive oil. Read until the end to see the results I get!

Coconut oil

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (1)

Coconut is hard until the room temperature reaches 24°C (76°F)

Research has shown that coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that also protects the skin by enhancing skin barrier function. It has also been used for centuries as a natural moisturizer! You can furthermore count on coconut oil to let your skin absorb Vitamin D.

Unlike commercial tanning oils made with synthetic ingredients, it doesn’t block all the good coming from the sun! Coconut oil also triggers melanin production, and the more melanin your skin produces, the darker it gets! That’s the magic behind coconut oil. You can find more about tanning with coconut oil in this very complete article!

Another study has shown that coconut oil has an SPF of around 4, however, this does not mean that you shouldn’t protect yourself when using coconut oil or use coconut oil as a sunscreen. The oil actually only blocks about 20% of UVAs and UVBs! So always apply a natural sunscreen (I love the one from Thank Me Later!).

I will discuss later in this post how to apply your homemade tanning oil to tan safely.

Grape seed oil

Full of Vitamin E, an antioxidant neutralizing free radicals, grape seed oil is a natural oil that is well known for its anti-ageing properties. We can benefit from it when under the sun! Its thin and easily absorbable texture also ensures that your skin stays nourished when you expose yourself.

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (2)

Olive oil

Just like grape seed oil, it helps neutralize free radicals thanks to its polyunsaturated fats. This allows you to tan more safely (less damage on your skin)! And just like the two oils mentioned above, not only does it help to nourish the skin, but as an oil, it also helps your skin to receive more light which speeds up the tanning process! Without any oil, some of the sunlight is reflected away.

I add less olive oil than the two other oils in my recipe because of its texture that is quite thick and easily leaves your skin greasy.

Read also: What to do while tanning: 12 ideas

Homemade tanning oil recipe

To make this tanning oil, you will need (for 100 ml) :

Coconut Oil (45 ml)

Grape Seed Oil (40 ml)

Olive Oil (15 ml)

– A container to put the oil into (I personally reuse a bottle from another beauty product.

If you can, use virgin oils, they will offer more benefits than regular oils.


Vitamin E (10 drops, helps to conserve the product)

Carrot seed oil. This oil is known to help speed up the tanning process thanks to the presence of beta carotene (it increases melanin production), but I personally don’t like it very much. Its orange colour leaves my skin with a strange tint (and I’m not even talking about my bikinis!), the smell is strange and the texture leaves a greasy film on the skin.
But it does provide great results so if you feel like trying it, go ahead! I would suggest adding no more than 20% of the total proportion of your tanning oil.

– Natural coconut fragrance or any other natural fragrance you might like for a deeper smell (a few drops, depends on your taste)

– Mica powder to give your skin some shine! I usea mix of mica powders from this shop in the colours “Pearl Gold” and “Copper”, they are so pretty.

The only thing you need to do is add the oils one by one in your final containerand any other extra ingredient you may like from the optional list! Then close your container, shake it well and voilà! Your homemade tanning oil is ready to be used. And of course, you can modify the proportions to your liking!

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (3)

(Video) DIY Tanning/ Bronzing oil

Read also: 10 tips to get a perfect tan

How to apply tanning oil

Throughout the summer, I usually apply my tanning oil differently.

At the beginning of the summer, my skin is quite fair and not tanned at all, so I take a lot of precautions. For this reason, I prefer to apply my tanning oil at home, before heading to the beach. I leave it to penetrate my skin for about 20-30 minutes before going to the sea.

Then, at the beach, I apply my sunscreen (while being under an umbrella) and leave it to penetrate while I drink my freddo espresso or read a book!

After that, I finally go in the sun and change position every 10-15 minutes (I can’t stay in place doing anything for longer than that!). I also do a break in the shadow or go to the seaevery once in a while. I never stay more than 1-2 hours under the sun at the beginning, I don’t want to burn my skin. By the way, I wrote an article in which I share many tips on how to get a perfect tan if that’s a topic that you are interested in!

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (4)

Pretty tan lines! Image via Pinterest, source unknown.

After a couple of weeks, my skin starts being darker and is more protected by itself thanks to the increase of melanin. Then, I like to apply my tanning oil without any sunscreen during safe hours. This means only after 16:00 in August, before that I don’t apply any oil at all.

At night, I love using my tanning oil as an after-sun lotion. It helps to keep my skin nourished and I don’t get this “crocodile” skin anymore! Say bye-bye to dry skin with this oil 😊

What oil can I use as a tanning oil?

There are many other natural oils that you can use as tanning oil on top of coconut oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil. You can use jojoba oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, carrot seed oil, hazelnut oil… I chose the first three because they have the best properties, smell nice naturally and have a good consistency. But feel free to try different oils and see which one(s) you like most on your skin!

(Video) Bronzing Oil Recipe | How to make Natural DIY Homemade Tanning Oil

Benefits of homemade tanning oils

My favourite thing about homemade tanning oils is that they are completely natural and don’t harm your skin with nasty chemicals! Tanning oils sold at supermarkets contain artificial products that are not ideal for your skin. For example, many of them contain silicone or mineral oil which is derived from petroleum. It is actually the byproduct of the distillation of petroleum to form gasoline.

Is it really something you want to apply on your skin? On top of coming from a non-renewable resource that happens to be harmful to the environment, mineral oil is known to clog pores and lead to oily skin and/or acne. Although it does trap moisture in your skin, it does not moisturize itself. It also acts as a barrier between your skin and the air, not allowing it to breathe properly.

Your homemade tanning oil will bring you all the benefits from natural oils while giving you a really deep, long-lasting tan. Here are the results I get with it ✌🏽

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (5)

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and learnt new things today! Have fun making your own tanning oil, and send me before/after photos, I would love to see your results!

Save this post for later on Pinterest:

The best homemade tanning oil: DIY natural recipe! (6)

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What natural oil helps tan? ›

Olive oil has tons of skin benefits. It can help you achieve a healthy glow, an even and beautiful tan, and even speed up the tanning process for you. As long as you use it safely and responsibly, olive oil can be your fast-track ticket to gorgeous tanned skin.

What oil makes you tan the fastest? ›

Italian food, anyone? Still, putting olive oil on your skin will cause your skin to tan more quickly than if you simply applied sunscreen or no oil at all. How does it work? Moore says olive oil, like other oils, attracts UV rays to the skin quickly.

What oil makes you tan darker? ›

Watermelon Tanning Oil

It's enriched with watermelon seed oil, which stimulates the production of melanin in the skin to provide a deep tan.

What is the key ingredient to tanning? ›

Dihydroxyacetone, DHA, is the most commonly used active ingredient in most sunless tanning products and gives an even and natural tan.

What can I put on my skin to tan fast? ›

To get tan quickly, you'll need to apply a lotion or oil with a low SPF, but you still want to make sure you have some protection from the sun's powerful rays. Choose between rub-on lotions, aerosol sprays, and oil rubs that all contain some SPF.

How do you make easy tanning oil? ›

First, pour 1 cup or 16 teaspoons of olive oil into a bowl. Then mix in 8 teaspoons of avocado oil. Stir thoroughly until the two oils combine into one mixture. We're combining the ingredients one by one so that it will be easier to mix them together.

How do you get a deep dark tan? ›

The best way to develop the darkest of tans is to use a tan accelerator. Carrot Sun's Original Carrot and Tropical Fruits give the best results for developing a deeper and darker tan, making tanning easier, less timely, and creating better and longer-lasting results.

Do you tan better with oil or nothing? ›

Tanning oils are able to offer a “quicker tan” as they stimulate the body to produce more melanin. When these oils are applied to the skin, it activates the melanocytes and causes them to produce melanin at a faster rate. If your skin has a higher concentration of melanin, your body will tan more easily.

Does coconut oil make you tan faster? ›

Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “Coconut oil can help with tanning, and it helps if you want to keep your tanning “organic” and “natural.” However, coconut oil cannot protect you from sunburn and other harmful effects of the sun's UV rays.”

Which is better tanning oil or lotion? ›

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but while many tanning oils contain SPF, they're really not made to protect you from the sun's harmful rays. "Tanning oils contain very little SPF compared to a product labeled as a sunscreen lotion, which actually provides protection from the sun's rays," says Jaliman.

How do you make a DIY tan? ›

How to Remove Tan from Face
  1. Yoghurt and Gram Flour. For effective tan removal at home, add Yoghurt to a spoonful of Gram Flour and combine them to form a thick paste. ...
  2. Aloe Vera. ...
  3. Yogurt and Turmeric. ...
  4. Potato. ...
  5. Gram Flour and Turmeric. ...
  6. Almonds. ...
  7. Raw Milk. ...
  8. Curd and Honey.

What is the safest tanning solution? ›

Safer self-tanning options
  • Skinerals Onyx Self Tanner.
  • The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan.
  • Suntegrity Natural Self Tanner.
  • Whish Coconut Milk + Verbena Self Tanner.
  • Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer.
  • Tarte Cosmetics Better Bod Bronze & Contour.
Jun 22, 2021

What do celebrities use to tan? ›

They spray tan!

Celebrities know that, if done correctly, spray tanning is the ultimate solution to getting the bronze shimmery glow, without the risk of damaging the skin. Spray tanning has been so perfected that the only difference from getting a vacation tan is the lack of tan lines.

How can I make my tan more golden? ›

Using baby oil is one of the best ways to get a quick tan. Using this method easily without exposure to the sun, the skin color turns golden bronze. To tan the skin with baby oil, you must first pour some baby oil into the bottle, and then spray it on the skin. If this is done every day, that is better.

How can I look more tan overnight? ›

How to Get a Tan Overnight
  1. Remove Old Self-Tanner and Prime Skin for New Tan. ...
  2. Avoid Shaving Immediately before You Self-Tan. ...
  3. Stay Cool, Baby. ...
  4. Take Special Care of Your Hands. ...
  5. Use a Light Hand on Your Face. ...
  6. Don't Rush the Drying Process. ...
  7. Get Up and Glow. ...
  8. Take Care of Your Tan.
Apr 17, 2018

Do you tan faster in water or laying out? ›

Do you tan faster in the pool or laying out? Floating on top of the pool can help you tan faster. The sun's rays reflect off of water and onto your skin. This means that when you're floating on top of the water, you're getting a more intense exposure to the sun.

How to get your skin darker? ›

Using makeup is the safest, but also most temporary, way to darken your skin.
Consider self tanning products.
  1. Try a self tanning lotion at home for a speedy tan. ...
  2. Use a gradual self tanning lotion. ...
  3. Get a self tanning spray. ...
  4. Always be sure to exfoliate your skin before applying your self tanner.

How long does it take to get a dark tan naturally? ›

Most people will tan within 1 to 2 hours in the sun. It's important to remember that both burns and tans may take a while to set in, so if you don't see color immediately, it doesn't mean you're not getting any color or should use lower SPF.

Does 2 layers of tan make it darker? ›

Another way to make your tan darker is to apply two layers of self-tan or to top your tan up the day after the initial application. However, this is probably best left to the more confident tanners among us.

Do you tan faster in salt water? ›

No. Your skin darkens and your hair lightens because of exposure to sunlight, not salt water. The water has nothing to do with it.

Does olive oil make you darker? ›

Does Olive Oil Darken The Skin? No. On the contrary, the antioxidant properties of olive help in lightening your skin tone and reducing dark spots.

Is it better to tan with coconut oil? ›

Although coconut oil can benefit your skin in many ways, it isn't advisable to use it for tanning. While it offers some protection from the sun's damaging UV rays, it doesn't offer a high enough level of protection to prevent you from getting sunburned or suffering other types of long-lasting skin damage.

Is coconut oil better than olive oil for tanning? ›

Olive oil and coconut oil are both fantastic for tanning, but olive oil will still give you a better glow, and like olive oil, it's best to use extra virgin coconut oil.

Does olive oil and vinegar help you tan? ›

And if you wish to tan your skin, you may use olive oil for tanning. The moisturizing minerals in this oil penetrate deep into the skin to give you that smooth and soft look. Moreover, the luster i. of olive oil attracts the sun's heat, making it one of the best ways to get a glowing tan.

Is olive oil or baby oil better for tanning? ›

Is olive oil or baby oil better for tanning? Neither. While theoretically both oils may help speed up the tanning process, they lack SPF and hence may lead to skin damage. It is recommended to use a tanning lotion or mix the oils with SPF to protect your skin while tanning.

Does vitamin E oil make you tan faster? ›

Consider taking a supplement

Whether you are planning a lavish beach holiday or you simply intend to catch some rays in your back garden, taking a supplement that contains beta carotene, selenium and vitamin E will help boost your skin's resilience to the sun and allow you to tan more easily.

Why does it take legs longer to tan? ›

Why Are Legs Hard To Tan?! The skin on your legs is thick so it's harder for the sun's rays to penetrate it. Also, if you're finding it difficult to tan your legs, then your legs may not produce as much melanin as the rest of your body, so it may be difficult to ever get them as dark as other parts of your body.

Does baby oil make you tan fast? ›

Many people tan with baby oil because it can actually make your skin tan more quickly. The reason for this quicker tan is because baby oil helps attract and absorb UV rays, says Farber. The problem, and this is a big one as far as problems go, is that baby oil doesn't offer any sun protection.

Does tanning oil make your skin darker? ›

Tanning oils also work a little differently than sunscreens, as these oils actually attract and focus UV rays onto the skin. It accelerates the production of melanin, which gives your skin the darker hue, according to Whyte.

Is coconut oil a natural tanning oil? ›

Although coconut oil can benefit your skin in many ways, it isn't advisable to use it for tanning. While it offers some protection from the sun's damaging UV rays, it doesn't offer a high enough level of protection to prevent you from getting sunburned or suffering other types of long-lasting skin damage.

Can I use olive oil for tanning? ›

Nope, olive oil isn't safe for tanning—and neither are other oils—because there's really no safe way to tan. Tanned, darkened skin is simply sun damage in disguise.

Does coconut oil ruin tan? ›

This melanin is embedded in your skin, so coconut oil rubbed on the surface does not affect it and will not remove your tan. However, a spray tan or self-tan only affects the outermost layer of the skin. If you would like to know more about how self-tanners work, we wrote this article on how self-tanners work.

Is coconut oil or olive oil better for tanning? ›

Is olive oil or coconut oil better for tanning? Olive oil and coconut oil are both excellent for tanning. But olive oil will give you a better glow than coconut oil because it attracts UV rays to the skin quickly. Also, the presence of fats may help shield the skin and prevent the formation of pressure ulcers.

Can you tan without tanning oil? ›

Without the use of tanning lotions, skin is dry and deflects UV rays while using a sunbed, which can make you waste up to 50% of your sunbed tanning session effectiveness. This then results in you having to tan more times to achieve your desired tanning results, which in turn costs you more money.

Does baby oil make you tan faster? ›

Many people tan with baby oil because it can actually make your skin tan more quickly. The reason for this quicker tan is because baby oil helps attract and absorb UV rays, says Farber. The problem, and this is a big one as far as problems go, is that baby oil doesn't offer any sun protection.


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