When the sun is out, it can be so tempting to spend all your time outdoors getting that golden summer glow. Exposure to UV rays leads to a wide variety of sun damage and skin cancer, so think twice before spending all day in the sun unprotected. There are many self-tanners on the market that smell terrible, make a complete mess, and are full of dozens of unknown chemicals. That’s more unnecessary damage to your skin that is easily avoidable!
Tan skin doesn’t have to be damaging. Skip the tanning beds and slather on the sunscreen when out in the sun this summer – but still get that sun-kissed look with natural, safe ingredients that smell good and really work.
DIY Natural Self-Tanner
- 8 bags of organic black tea
- 16 oz. water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Bring the water and vanilla extract to a boil. Pour over tea bags and let steep for at least 8 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the liquid to cool completely.
Before applying, make sure your legs (or other areas you want tan) have been exfoliated. The simplest way to do this is to rub the area with a washcloth several hours before applying the self-tanner. It is also a good idea to moisturize your skin after exfoliating. These steps will help you achieve a more even, streak-free application.
The easiest way to apply this self-tanner is with a spray bottle. Pour the mixture into the bottle and spray on the desired area. Rub in with your hands and allow to dry. Repeat the process four or five times, allowing each layer to dry in between (don’t worry – this only takes about 10-15 minutes total).
This recipe is ideal for fair skin. If you have darker skin and still want an extra oomf of sun-kissed glow, try making the recipe stronger. A 1:1 ratio of tea bags to water (16 tea bags:16 oz. water) and longer steeping time can result in a darker solution.
Extra tanner can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. This solution does not rub off, but will wash off in the shower.