Self-tanning or “fake tanning” has risen in popularity as our knowledge about the long-term side effects of overexposure to the sun has risen. Unfortunately, many self-tanners have grown frustrated with the less than desirable aspects of self-tanning products such as the cost, mess, smell and often unnatural orange color. That’s why many people unwilling to give up the healthful look of a tan are looking for more natural and more effective ways to get it. With their natural tannins and ability to stain, tea leaves are one easily attained ingredient that can be used to create a fake tan.

Things You'll Need

Boil one quart of water.

Place ten tea bags in a teapot or other heat-safe container with a lid.

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Cover, and let them steep for 20 minutes.

Remove the tea bags, and using the funnel, transfer the tea to the spray bottle. Leftover tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Work one section at a time (one leg, one arm, etc.), and spray the body with the tea. Rub it in quickly and evenly. The tea should work like a gentle stain to slowly darken your skin. For maximum impact, apply the tea after a shower so that it will not wash off.


  • Add a teaspoon of almond oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add scent and moisturizing capabilities to your self-tanning mix. Be sure to shake well before using.

References and Resources

Tanned to a Tea


Self-Tanning Queen