Homemade Self-Tanning Recipes

By LeafTV Editor

Beach season has the power to amp up anyone's beauty routine as the pursuit of the perfect glow becomes considerably more important. But if store-bought tanners are proving too harsh or orange for your liking, consider mixing up a custom hue. Your favorite bronzer and daily body lotion can provide a fuss-free tint, while oil-based options deeply nourish and renew your skin. So toss the spray-on bronze and mix up your own special blend the next time you're scheduling a summer pamper session.

Woman applies ground coffee paste to skin
credit: iprogressman/iStock/GettyImages
Homemade Self Tanning Recipes

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Bronzing Powder and Body Lotion

Pour 1 cup of body lotion into a bowl. Choose a lightweight, untinted lotion, as it will spread and absorb more quickly than a cream while preventing a muddy tone.

Drop 3 teaspoons of bronzing powder into the bowl. Opt for a light brown shade without orange undertones for fair skin, and a medium brown matte shade for medium to dark skintones. This will look the most natural while lasting longer than a shimmery product.

Mix the ingredients until fully blended. Add more bronzing powder if necessary to create the shade of your choice.

Smooth the lotion over your skin daily after showering and lightly towel drying. Damp skin absorbs lotion best, to both moisturize and create a natural tan that can be built up over time.

Olive Oil and Coffee Grounds

Pour 1 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of warm used coffee grounds into a bowl. Mix together well.

Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes. It will thicken into a paste, which more effectively adheres to the skin.

Place a tablespoon of the paste onto an exfoliating glove. Step into the shower and smooth it into your skin using broad, circular motions. The glove will help buff away dead skin, allowing the tint to better absorb.

Allow the scrub to set into your skin for 10 minutes, then rinse it off completely with warm water. Reapply the scrub twice a week until the desired shade is achieved.

Cocoa Powder and Almond Oil

Combine 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of almond oil in a bowl. Stir together until the powder dissolves and turns the oil a golden shade of brown.

Using your hand, smooth the mixture over your skin in a circular motion. A handful will cover up to two limbs, as oil spreads more easily than a lotion or cream. Allow the mixture to sink in for 10 minutes.

Soak a clean cloth in warm water and wring it out well. Gently wipe the oil from your skin using the cloth, leaving behind only a golden tint and slight sheen.


  • Smooth an exfoliating scrub over your skin 24 hours before applying self-tanner. This will buff away dead skin cells and allow for an even finish.

  • To fade streaks, draw a bath and add 1 cup of milk. Soak in the bath for 15 minutes. The lactic acid in milk is a natural lightening agent.