DIY: Homemade Tanning Lotion Recipes

October 10, 2022

Why I Make my own Homemade Tanning Lotion

  • There is no weird orange color that you can get from store-bought products because you can customize the exact color you want by changing the recipe a little.
  • Homemade tanning lotion is a fraction of the cost of store-bought products.
  • You know exactly what you are putting on your body because you made it. No harsh chemicals that you can’t even pronounce.

Homemade Carrot Tanning Oil

Homemade tanning lotion -  carrot
One coat of homemade carrot tanning oil applied to lower arm.

Source: Donatella’s Fashion Blog

This homemade self tanner typically needs to be reapplied once per week. If the picture to the right looks a little too orange to you, add a beat to the recipe. It will give it a little more of a red tone instead of orange.


  • 3/4 gallon of water
  • 1 lb of fresh carrots (with peels on)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 8 drops of vitamin E extract
  • 1/2 a cup of Aloe Vera gel


  1. Rinse carrots and cut into thin slices.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add carrots and brown sugar.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.
  5. Turn of stove and let cool.
  6. Pour through a strainer to remove the liquid from the clumps.
  7. Add the Aloe Vera and the vitamin E into your self tanner.
  8. Pour self tanner into a spray bottle.

Cocoa Powder Self Tanner Recipe

For best results: apply daily. Only use 100% Pure Cocoa Powder for this recipe. Anything else will not work right.


  • 100% Pure Cocoa Powder
  • Unscented White Lotion


  1. Combine 1/2 cup of unscented white lotion in a bowl with 1/3 cup of pure cocoa powder.
  2. Mix together with a fork until it is smooth and has no clumps. Use the fork to push big clumps against the side of the bowl to break them up.
  3. Keep adding a little bit of cocoa powder at a time until you reach your desired shade. The lotion will appear darker in the bowl than it will on your skin. So, once you reach your desired shade, just add a little more.
  4. Smooth over entire body evenly.

Black Tea Self Tanner Recipe

This is my favorite recipe!

black Tea self tanner
After one application to my left leg.


  • 8 Black Tea Bags
  • 16 oz Water


  1. Boil 8 ounces of water in a sauce pan.
  2. Add 4 tea bags to the pan, remove from heat, and cover.
  3. Let water seep for 2 hours. This gives it plenty of time to get all the color out and it will be cooled off by the time you move to the next step.
  4. Squeeze all the excess water out of the tea bags into the pan.
  5. Pour into a spray bottle any apply. You may want to use a kitchen funnel to make sure you don’t make a mess.

Tips for Using These Homemade Tanning Lotion Recipes

Any time you use tanning products on your skin, there are a few things you need to do beforehand to get the best results. This applies to store-bought or homemade tanning lotion/oil. The main way self-tanning products work is by staining your skin. This only works on the top few layers of skin cells. The reason your tan fades is that we shed the top layer of skin cells on a regular basis – usually every week or 2. To get the best results from these homemade tanning lotions, you need to get rid of any dead skin. This is done by exfoliation. This way, the tanning product can get to the healthy layers of skin and not just the skin you will shed very soon.

Homemade Exfoliating Lotion

Exfoliating lotion is actually really simple to make at home. Just add 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 cup of lotion. Take globs of this and rub it on your skin. Use a little bit of pressure so it acts as a scrub. After that, apply your choice of homemade tanning lotion. Enjoy!

What do you think?

Which recipe are you going to try? Did you already try one? Do you have your own recipe? Let me know!

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