Make Homemade Tanning Oil

A guide to making your own tanning oil at home.

Few things are better signs that summer weather is on its way than seeing people out in their yards or out on the beach, soaking in the sun's rays and trying to get that perfect tan. Though it's long been said that too much exposure to the sun is bad for you, recent studies have actually shown that moderate sun exposure actually has several health benefits!

Of course, it still isn't wise to go out into the sun unprotected. But with so many different sunscreens, tanning oils, and amplifiers on the market today, how does a person decide on what to buy? Well, who says that you have to buy anything at all?

Instead of buying expensive tanning oils filled with chemicals that you can't pronounce, perhaps you should try making your own at home. It's easier than you might think, and lets you be sure as to exactly what it is that you're putting on your body.


The first thing that you'll need when making your own tanning oil is the oil itself. This will serve as the base for your finished product, and has the dual purpose of keeping your skin from drying out as well as helping you shield you from some of the damaging aspects of the sunlight. Use a refined olive oil... not only is it high in nutrients and minerals for your skin, but many people also consider the scent of olive oil to be quite pleasant!

Next, add several drops of tincture of iodine to your olive oil. The tincture of iodine will help to protect your skin from sunburn, and can help the olive oil to produce that golden tan that you're seeking.

If you want a darker tan, you might want to include a little bit of carrot juice in with your mix. The vitamins and minerals in the juice can be quite good for your skin, and carrot juice is often used as an ingredient in tanning amplifiers to help focus the sun's rays and create darker tones. You need to be careful not to use too much carrot juice, however; a few drops will likely do you. In addition to the fact that too much could cause you to get a sunburn (because it would focus the sun's rays on your tender skin), the natural hue of the carrot juice could temporarily dye your skin orange. Even though you're trying to get some color, that's probably not the color that you're going for.

Once you've got your simple tanning oil together, shake it vigorously to mix the ingredients and apply to your skin before laying out in the sun. As the oil doesn't contain ingredients to waterproof it, you need to reapply after getting out of the water or after about an hour of sun exposure (possibly sooner, if you've been sweating heavily.) Additionally, make sure that you're not putting on too much of the oil... it should be rubbed into the skin, and shouldn't create an oily layer on top of it. After all, you don't want to take a quick dip in the pool and leave an oil slick behind!

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