DIY Natural Sunless Tanner

Every spring I dread the first few times I wear a skirt or shorts because of my pasty white legs.

I have fair skin and basically only burn. I will either be pasty white or red and sore.

Years ago I "fake & baked" at a salon but even if I didn't go every second day my tan would fade right away - not to mention it is not good to use tanning beds anymore.

I would use bronzing lotions but if I sweat or got caught in the rain it would streak or completely disappear.

I attempted to use a sunless tanning lotion but ended up with a streaky mess and had to wear pants for weeks.

Recently I volunteered to make a presentation at a work event - I'm crazy...

I wanted to wear my favorite dress and cardigan, I was extremely nervous and wanted to feel confident.

A week before the event, I tried on my dress. Those darn white legs...

I had to figure out something.

I looked online  for something and found some all natural sunless tanner recipes using tea bags.

I found one that I had the ingredients for and 30 minutes later was pleased with the results.

Although it is subtle, it made me feel more confident wearing my dress.

Here is the recipe:

- 8 black tea bags
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Coconut Oil (Optional)

  •  In a pot, add tea bags, water and vanilla. Bring to a boil, turn to medium heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. 

  • Remove from heat, take out tea bags. Let sit until completely cooled - about 1 hour.

  • Add the coconut oil, mix together. 

  • Pour into a spray bottle or container.

  • Apply to body and rub in with hands. Let completely dry in between applications.

I used 4 applications and all together it took about 20 - 30 minutes. The mixture dries pretty fast. I didn't have a spray bottle so I used a wash cloth and dipped the wash cloth into the DIY tanner, then applied to my legs. I would rub in with my hands to avoid streaking. 

At first I didn't add the Coconut oil and I found the mixture too watery, the oil helped it stick to my leg and not drip off. 


- Easy
- Very little ingredients
- Smells nice
- subtle results
- no streaks


- messy (my bathtub had dark spots all over)
- too subtle for some people
- kind of runny (not a lotion or paste texture)
- comes off in shower

Overall for me I liked the results. I wouldn't want to apply every day but for special occasions or when I want that extra bit of confidence I would use this tanner.

It is water proof meaning I spilled some water on my leg, when I wiped it away I still had my subtle glow - no streaks.
BUT when I took a shower the color was gone.

This won't make people think you just got back from Tahiti but if you are like me and need a bit of color every so often this would work for you.