Want to have an amazing tan even after the summer is gone? Then this homemade tanning oil is what you need…
I know that some of you want to get a little color before the summer months or when going on vacation. Self-tanners and conventional tanning lotions are convenient, do the trick (although sometimes you end up looking orange), and are easy to use. However, some of them have questionable ingredients, and you aren’t getting much needed– healthy sun exposure and Vitamin D.
Sun exposure has been demonized for decades causing a rise in the skin and other cancers due to lack of vitamin D and safe sun exposure.
In the past decade (2008 – 2018) the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53 percent. An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. … An estimated 9,320 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2018: of those, 5,990 will be men and 3,330 will be women. 
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to get out there and get a free dose of Vitamin D. Here is an interesting statistic:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highest rates of melanoma are in some of the cloudiest states, like Washington, Oregon, and Vermont. Rates are per 100,000 residents, and it should be noted that data is not available for Arkansas or Minnesota. Jul 2, 2014
I do occasionally use this sunscreen or this one if I’m going to be out in the sun for a long time after safe sun exposure times without shade or layers, but in general– I prefer to get the free vitamin D and a little tan from its original source via moderate sun exposure. For children, I recommend the ones in this article.
When I’m going to be at the garden, the park or the beach or somewhere where I can alternate between sun exposure or the shade of an umbrella, I prefer to just use coconut oil which nourishes and slightly protect my skin without blocking vitamin D (like most sunscreens do).
Throughout the years, I’ve used a variation of my homemade tanning oil and when a friend recently asked about a natural tanning oil, I thought it was time I share the recipe.
Natural Tanning Oil (Raw Ingredients)
This nourishing and natural tanning oil is easy to make, yields great results and is 100% natural– plus it gives you a beautiful tan without harsh chemicals.
Tanning Oil Ingredients (my natural version)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 4 tbs avocado oil
- 4 tsp concentrated raspberry juice
- 4 tsp concentrated carrot juice
- 1 tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp bronze mica powder
Note: I make small batches at a time because of the nature of the ingredients- no pun intended. However, if you want to make a lotion that lasts longer you can use the natural preservatives used in this article. Also, keep in mind that this isn’t a sunscreen — it is a tanning lotion so use caution.
DIY Raw Ingredients Natural Tanning Oil
Combine all oils, juice extracts, cinnamon and mica powder (if using) and store in a dark-colored glass container. Keep in mind that If you decide to substitute coconut oil for the olive oil, store in a jar instead, as it won’t really work with a pump.
Natural Tanning Lotion (Sun Protective Oils)
This liquid oil goes on smoothly which makes it easier to use when on the go. However, If you prefer a more solid lotion, you can make it with unrefined coconut oil which hardens at 76 degrees, and then you can store in a small jar.
This combination of ingredients for a natural tanning oil uses oils that are naturally sun protective:
* SPF measure is approximate.
All of these oils are low-SPF, and can’t be used as a substitute for regular sunscreen. If you’d like to find natural, safe sunscreens you can check my picks here. Because some of these oils are more sun protective than others, you can adapt the ratios based on your preference and how much sun protection you’d like.
I also like to add cinnamon powder and bronze mica powder for a subtle bronze glow, but you can omit this if you don’t have it.
Since olive and avocado oils have a lower SPF, they are great for someone with naturally dark skin tones (like me) who is looking for a little protection. Moreover, olive oil has been used traditionally in the Caribbean and Mediterranean countries as a natural skin protectant in the sun, creating a gorgeous dark tan.
Those who aren’t naturally olive skinned may want to start with more of the higher SPF oils like carrot and raspberry seed.
Since this is not a sunscreen, but a mild sun-protectant recipe, it is important to test with small amounts of time in the sun to find what works best for your body and skin type. I’m sharing what worked best for me, but tweak to fit your skin type and desired result.
Homemade Tanning Oil
Combine all oils, cinnamon and mica powder (if using) and store in a dark-colored glass container (like this one). Remember, If you decide to substitute coconut oil for the olive oil, store in a jar instead, as it won’t work with a pump.
This is my go-to natural tanning lotion, and I use it as needed for mild to high sun exposure. I love the natural tan it gives me while protecting my skin.
As usual, here’s my disclaimer: You want to avoid sunburns as much as possible. Sunburn is never healthy and should absolutely be avoided. If you have sensitive skin, you shouldn’t spend long periods of time in the sun, if you don’t tan easily or are unable to tan, this recipe will not magically help you tan.
I use this recipe consistently during the summer and practice common sense for moderate to high natural sun exposure. (I have fair skin) so keep that in mind. I do not recommend tanning beds. Check with a naturopath or integrative medicine dermatologist if you want to know if this recipe is specifically good for your skin.
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Over to you.
Do you use tanning oil? How has your experience been?
Are you ready to try a natural version?