Tanning will probably always stay in trend. People spend a lot of time, energy and money to get that beautiful, deep-bronzed skin color.

From a natural suntan to sunless spray tans, there are a number of ways to get that perfect shade of brown. But are these methods safe?


Sunbathing and tanning beds may seem like the best options, but these techniques may end up harming your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays are capable of causing irreversible skin damage like dark spots, wrinkles and other signs of premature aging, and even skin cancer.

diy homemade taning lotion
Learn to make homemade tanning lotion with only two ingredients

Sunless tanning products also have a long list of drawbacks. Most contain harmful chemicals and have a horrible smell. Artificial tanning creams may also leave behind an unpleasant orange undertone.

If you are looking for a safe and inexpensive way to get a gorgeous tanned body, we’ve got you covered. Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to make your very own tanning lotions at home.

Besides being safe and pocket-friendly, these homemade tanning lotions have several other advantages. Most importantly, they pose little risk for allergic reactions or other side effects, as you’ll know exactly what ingredients are being used. Also, you may adjust the recipe to get the desired shade. You can prepare a batch at once for a month by increasing the quantity of ingredients proportionately or make it fresh every time before you want that perfect tan with the amounts given.


You don’t have to wait for summer to get a tan, nor do you have to spend your money on chemical-based tanning products. Here are two recipes for natural homemade tanning lotions.


  • It is recommended that you use an unscented white lotion in the homemade tanning lotion recipes. This will make it easier to keep checking the color of the mixture until you reach the desired shade. Also, a scented lotion may not go well with the fragrance of cocoa or the tea used.
  • Use a lotion with moisturizing and hydrating effects that will keep your skin soft and supple.

Method 1: Cocoa Powder

Pure cocoa offers a number of health and beauty benefits. It has several essential nutrients, is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cocoa helps block the harmful free radicals in the body and protects the skin against sun damage and signs of premature aging. The vitamin C and magnesium content in this ingredient help keep the skin healthy, while the omega-6 fatty acids aid in cellular healing.

Cocoa comes with great absorbent properties and can help prevent the damage caused by harmful UV rays. It also helps improve the blood flow to the skin and keeps it nourished and glowing from within. Not only this, but cocoa also plays a role in keeping the skin hydrated and youthful.

Cocoa will give you the shade of tan you desire as well as heal and protect your skin.

Things you’ll need:

things needed
Make your own homemade tanning lotion with just 2 ingredients
  • Cocoa powder (100% pure) – 2½ tablespoons
  • Unscented white lotion – 2 tablespoons

Single-Step Method: Combine the ingredients, mix well & apply

combine ingredients
Mix the two ingredients well and apply for a perfect tan
  • Combine 2 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of lotion in a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients well. Make sure the mixture is free of clumps.
  • Transfer the mixture into a container.
  • Apply the lotion evenly over the areas you want to tan.
  • Apply another coat if you want a darker shade.

You now have a perfect tan until the next time you shower!

use diy homemade tanning lotion
Making your own tanning lotion was never this easy!

You may increase the quantity of the cocoa powder to get the desired color. Note that the mixture will appear darker in the container than on your skin.

Method 2: Black Tea

There is a lot more that black tea can do other than helping you kick-start your day. It has medicinal properties and several useful nutrients that are great for your skin and hair. It is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and E.

Tea bags can be used for toning and be moisturizing the skin, treating puffy eyes, reducing dark circles and fighting signs of aging. It also helps soothe and heal the skin, especially after shaving.


Tea acts as a natural dye and will help you get that perfect tan, sans any adverse effects. It will also protect your skin against harmful free radicals.

For best results use black tea to prepare this homemade tanning lotion.

Things you’ll need:

things needed
Gather up your ingredients for homemade tanning lotion recipe
  • Tea bags (black) – 2
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Unscented white lotion – 2 tablespoons

Step 1. Brew a cup of black tea & add lotion to it

mix lotion and tea
To brewed black tea, add unscented lotion
  • Soak the tea bags in ½ cup of water.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of lotion and the cup of tea in a jar.
  • Use a hand blender to mix the ingredients.

Step 2. Pour tanning lotion into a container & use it daily

pour tanning lotion
Transfer the prepared tanning lotion to a reusable plastic bottle
  • Pour the homemade tanning lotion into a container for storage.
  • Apply the lotion evenly over the desired areas.
  • Use another coat if you want a darker shade.

Use the lotion daily until you get the desired results.

diy homemade taning lotion
Get the perfect tan you always wanted with this homemade tanning lotion

Adjust the ingredients according to your preference. For a darker shade, reduce the quantity of water to brew the tea and follow the same steps as mentioned above. Alternatively, you can also increase the number of tea bags used. You may also use coffee instead of tea.


  • For best results, exfoliate your skin before applying the tanning lotion.
  • After applying the lotion, wait about 5 minutes and let it dry before getting dressed or applying the second coat.
  • The results offered by homemade tanning lotions are not as strong as commercial sunless tanning creams or lotions. But they do not have adverse effects on your skin, that is for sure.
  • Homemade tanning remedies are temporary. So if you want to keep your beautiful tanned look for a while, you need to keep reapplying the lotion every day.
  • If you are not a fan of tanning and looking for just the opposite of tanning lotion, we have it covered for you. Here are some easy ways to get rid of a suntan.