DIY Self-Tanning Lotion Recipes

DIY Self-Tanning Lotion Recipes
blog self tanning

Why make your own Sunless Tanning Lotion?
I’m forever thinking of my beautiful daughter who reminds me to always look at the ingredients. There are many ingredients in store brands that you will think twice about putting on your skin. This one is for my girl!

I love you!
mckenna 24 blog mom mckenna

Click Here for a rundown of what common ingredients are in self-tanners: This is what you are putting on your skin.

Prep Your Skin Before Applying Any Self-Tanning Product- Exfoliate!!!

blog dry brush 2Source: Movement Heals

CLICK HERE PDF DRY Brushing: to see A Simple Secret to beautiful skin and healthier body functioning with Dry Brushing.

1. Wax or Shaving – Wax at least 24 hours in advance; the same goes for any other kind of hair removal that tears hair out of the follicle — like threading or tweezing.  The hair follicles may still be open, and self-tanner can pool in them, creating tiny dark spots.

2. Slough off old skin first – Any patches of old, dead skin will absorb more self-tanner, which can lead to spots and streaks. For an even start, dry-brush before your shower. (see Dry Brushing Above) To get the smoothest skin take the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix ingredients together and use as a scrub and shower off.

Another great recipe:
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix everything well, then rub all over your body. A little messy so best to use in shower, but it feels instantly amazing after you rinse it off!

These are both fantastic!

3. Test it out – Self-tanners rely on the ingredient dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, it can be irritating for some. The day before you self-tan for the first time when using a DHA formula, test a silver dollar-size area on the inside of your arm or inner thigh.

4. Be naked –  It’s best if self-tanner goes on dry skin that’s freshly cleaned and exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate, so no essential oils, spray on perfume, or  body lotion. You want to tan a “Clean Canvas”!

5. Remove Tan from Hands – Take chilled yogurt in a bowl and add a pinch of turmeric or haldi to it. Mix it properly. Apply this paste daily for 20 minutes on your hands before bathing.

Here is another remedy that is the easiest of all and can be applied anywhere and everywhere.

Just take lemon juice and apply it directly on your hands. Let it stay for 15 minutes. Now wash it off with cold water. Lemon juice contains citric acid which effectively lightens the skin and fades away tan. However, this treatment can be a bit drying for your skin, so don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.

6. A Great Lip Balm – 

Lavender Coconut Lip Balm
Makes ~5 oz of lip balm (enough for ~10 containers)
  • 2 oz Beeswax, chopped (or grated) I use 100% Organic Hand Poured Beeswax or Organic beeswax Pellets (If you get white, some companies use chemicals to bleach them)
    3 oz Coconut Oil (I use Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil)- you can use more coconut oil if you want it softer– this is a hard recipe which is good for lip balm tubes, too.
    5 drops of Vitamin E (Vitamin E Oil)
    10 drops of Therapeutic Grade Lavender Essential Oil (Find Quality Essential Oils)

After it’s chopped, add the beeswax to a double boiler over medium heat with the coconut oil. Stir it occasionally until it is completely melted. Leave it over the steaming water and add the vitamin E and Therapeutic Grade Lavender Essential Oil (Caution: non-therapeutic grade can cause skin irritation).

Carefully pour it into a lip balm container– watch out it’s very hot! (I used these Lip Balm Tins but you can also use lip balm tubes if you like).

Let them cool until firm, and then they are ready to use. This is so easy.


CLICK HERE: to see treatment to look better naked in only 45 minutes!

blog spray tanCLICK HERE to see best Application Instructions

To get the best results from these DIY self-tanners, please follow all the above recommendations.

DIY Sunless Tanning Lotion
Temporary Tan lasts until your next shower (see bottom recipe if you want to tan to last 4 – 7 days)

The best part about making your own temporary sunless tanning lotion is that:

  • No pumpkin colored skin!
  • You can customize the exact color you want
  • Less expensive
  • No harsh chemicals


Any White Unscented Lotion – CLICK HERE DIY Anti-Ageing Lotion
100% Pure Cocoa Powder

This is the simplest sunless tanning lotion to make. It only requires two ingredients; any unscented, white lotion and 100% pure cocoa powder. You can use any cocoa powder as long as it says 100% pure on the label. .


  1. Start out by combining 1/2 cup of unscented white lotion in a bowl with 1/3 cup of pure cocoa powder.
  2. Mix together with a whisk. Make sure to break up any clumps and blend together well.
  3. Adjust the recipe to match your desired color. The lotion will appear darker in the bowl than it will on
    your skin.
    Keep adding a little bit of cocoa powder at a time until you reach your desired shade.
  4. Smooth over entire body evenly.
  5. Apply daily for a gradual deep tan.

The lotion will look extremely dark when you make it but it does not appear that dark on
your skin. To make a lighter formula just use the standard 1/2 lotion, 1/3 cup cocoa and keep adding layers until it is as dark as you want it.

The great bonus of this formulation is that you will be able to see the color as you apply it.

Tea and Chocolate

Steep three or four black tea bags in about 3/4 cup of hot water. As the tea brews, combine 1/3 cup of raw cocoa powder with 1/2 cup of cocoa butter in a blender. Mix half of the steeped black tea with 1/2 cup of sesame or coconut oil and add it to the blender. Blend until smooth, then add the remaining tea. The longer your tea is left to brew before adding to the mixture, the darker the final pigment will be.

Coffee or Tea DIY Sunless Tanning Spray
Temporary Tan lasts until your next shower (see bottom recipe if you want to tan to last 4 – 7 days)

For this tanning spray, you can choose to use coffee or tea. Just as these drinks can stain your teeth leaving an undesired effect, they can “stain” your skin leaving you with a beautiful tan color. No matter which one you chose, make sure you use the caffeinated type versus the decaf. The caffeine can actually help to firm and tighten the skin to diminish the look or wrinkles and even cellulite.

1. Brew coffee of tea just like you normally would do. If using coffee, use enough grounds for an entire pot but only enough water to make 1 cup. If you are using tea, use enough tea bags to make a gallon but only about 8 ounces of water.

2. Mix enough tanning spray and coffee/tea to get your desired color. The more coffee or tea you add, the darker your tan will develop to be.

3. Put in a spray bottle any apply.

Make sure to shake well before each use
Use weekly or bi-weekly for best results

Just add to the above recipes:

DHA – primarily used as an ingredient in sunless tanning products. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin, the color change produced by DHA usually lasts about 4 to 7 days .

To make enough for a 8.5 oz bottle. Mix 20 to 24 granules (0.26 oz ) of DHA added brewed tea or coffee (7.1 oz) or water-based lotion together. For best results mix this in a blender until smooth. Pour into a spray bottle or fill lotion bottle. (I find that DHA dissolves best in liquid so if you use in lotion dissolve in a little water, tea or coffee first and then add it to lotion)

Click here for cheap DHA Source I found for $9

Note: to add “gold tones” to the formula add 2 tablespoons of turmeric to the Coffee or Tea Sunless Tanning Spray recipe. (I found that this worked best in liquid recipe only)

  • Turmeric is knowing for its amazing ability to reduce acne and even scaring. People with oily skin and acne scars can expect to see benefit from using turmeric on a regular basis.
  • Turmeric is also a great anti-oxidant that helps fend off free-radicals, which age your skin prematurely.
  • Turmeric will help normalize uneven skin tone. Many people say that they were able to stop wearing foundation after using turmeric on their skin. Note: careful not to spray this addition on your hands or toes. The “gold tone” does stain the skin and if you are not careful it will stain your hands, feet and nails.
  • None of these recipes contain sunscreen.

    CLICK HERE to see  Why you should ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN

  • Natural Sunscreen Oil – Here are some good carrier oils for the recipe: Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba oil, Hemp oil and Avocado oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

    135 ml (~ 4,5 oz) Oil blend (use any combination of the oils listed above)
    15 ml (~ 0,5 oz) Zinc oxide (non-nanoparticle)
    3 ml (~1/2 tsp) Vitamin E

    10-20 drops of Lavender essential oil (or your own choice)Mix a small part of choice oil mix and oxides before mixing the sunscreen. Carefully measure zinc oxide or titanium oxide into your blending container. Add approximately ¼ of the oil blend and mixture to the powder, blend well. Continue blending until the powder is thoroughly mixed with oil. Transfer the oil/oxide mix into the new container. Add the rest of the oil mix, Vitamin E, essential oil for scent and shake your container/bottle until everything is thoroughly mixed together. You can also combine everything in your blender from the start, and blend until well mixed.

  • Notes:  * This recipe contains zinc oxide at 10% which gives it a SPF of around 6-11. See the chart below to reduce or increase the amount of zinc oxide/titanium oxide based on your family’s needs.
  • Make sure not to inhale the zinc oxide/titanium oxide
    * Beneficial, sun protecting essential oils include lavender, myrrh, carrot seed oil, and peppermint.* Avoid using citrus essential oils, such as bergamot, orange, lemon or lime. They may cause unpleasant skin reactions when exposed to the sun. They also reduce a sunscreen’s effectiveness.*
  • When using this oil you will get a soft white tint on your skin from zinc/titanium oxide. If you wish to make it less visible, add some iron oxides or cacao powder.*

    Be aware of the shelf life of products made without preservatives. The beauty (and simplicity) of making your own product is that you don’t have to adhere to the stringent industry guidelines of manufacturing to lengthen the shelf life.

    Simply make enough to be used within a short period of time.
    CLICK HERE to see how to make DIY SUNSCREEN

    Julianna Hawaii

 Get White Teeth while you Tan! Click here


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