DIY Tanning Oil: Natural Homemade Solutions

Want to try making your own DIY tanning oil but don’t really know where to start?

It’s actually a lot easier than you may think, and I’m about to prove it.

Below, I’ll be sharing some of my easiest and most effective DIY tanning oils.

I’ll also share the benefits of using natural tanning oil and much more; so let’s get started!

Related: 7 Awesome Outdoor Tanning Tips

Benefits of Homemade Tanning Oils

Before I start giving you my homemade tanning oil recipes, I should probably let you know what your effort is worth. Right?

So let’s go over the benefits of using DIY tanning oils.

Before we do that, though, I just need to remind you that we don’t condone or recommend natural tanning, period.

Artificial tans- be it through a lotion or best at home spray tan system– are the only “safe” methods (as long as you’re not allergic to them, obviously).

That said, you’re a grownup and you’ll make your own choices. So, we’re just giving you information to make the right one for you.

Now, let’s talk benefits of homemade tanning lotion!

1.Natural Tanning Oil is a Safer Option Compared to Manufactured Tanning Oils

I get older, I’m slowly becoming conscious of what I apply to my skin.

Like other beauty products, tanning oils have some chemicals that give them fragrance, coloring, etc.

Tanning oils are packed with paraben, BHT, formaldehyde, among others.

Although the chemicals are regulated by the FDA, excessive or long-term usage of commercial tanning lotions can affect your skin.

So, this summer, you may want to give your skin a chance to breathe and use homemade tanning oil.

Besides not being toxic, natural tanning oils keep your skin hydrated, provide it with vitamin E, and make sunlight absorption safe.

Plus, they’re gentler on your delicate parts, which is especially important if you’re going to try nude tanning!

2. All You Need to Get Ingredients is One Kitchen Raid

This is always my favorite part of DIY skincare products. In most cases, you’ll always have the ingredients in your pantry.

This can really come in handy if you want to tan in your backyard and you don’t want to make that trip to the beauty shop.

Also, I have accumulated so many oils that I rarely use from my many food recipes and beauty DIY projects, and homemade beauty tips allow me to utilize them.

In case you don’t have the ingredients, I use in the DIY tanning oil recipes I’m about to share, just try your local pharmacy or supermarket.

3. Homemade Tanning Oils Give an Awesome Tan

The best thing about homemade natural oils is that you don’t need to supplement them.

In other words, you don’t need to add other products to improve your skin’s texture and absorption power.

Most natural oils attract enough sun to your skin, which may actually reduce the time you lay your body under the sun to get a tan.

However, it’s important to remember that like store-bought oils, they offer no protection from harmful UV rays.

4. Homemade Tanning Oils are Pocket Friendly

I never shy away from a tip that saves me a couple of bucks (especially with the pandemic uncertainties).

Well, you may need to spend a few dollars to buy some ingredients, but it’s nothing compared to the money you spend on commercial tanning oils.

We can all agree some tanning oils are ridiculously priced!

5. You Know Exactly What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Tanning oil companies list all ingredients they use to manufacture their products, yes, but let’s not be naïve and pretend they’re transparent about their whole process.

We all know there is always a special ingredient( like granny’s secret ingredient, which in most cases is always gin).

But with homemade natural tanning oils, at least you know what’s in them.

Top view of arranged pile of towels, seashell and tanning oil on sand

Tanning Oil Ingredients

Besides essential oils that are used in making homemade oil tans, there are a few other common ingredients that you’ll want to grab.

FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Raspberry seed oil.

The seed is packed with nutrients that protect your skin from premature aging and skin damage.

It’s also high in carotenoids and antioxidants that facilitate melanin production. If you can’t find it in your favorite natural food store, Amazon has it.

Berry Beautiful Red Raspberry Seed Oil – Cold Pressed from Locally Grown Raspberries – 100% Pure & Unrefined – Moisturizer for Skin, Hair & Nails – 2 fl oz
  • Hydrating, lightweight oil that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin silky smooth.
  • For daily & nightly use as a facial moisturizer or serum. Rich in Vitamins A & E, antioxidants, omega-3 & omega-6.
  • GMO free, Cruelty free, Vegetarian/vegan, Made from USA grown Raspberries, Does not clog pores
  • Cold-Pressed & Unrefined, no additives, enzymes, chemicals, solvents or process aids of any kind are used in the production of this oil.
  • Fabulous for all outdoor enthusiasts such as bikers, hikers, boaters, skiers, swimmers, mountain climbers, even for sky divers!

Carrot juice.

Traditionally, people used to drink carrot juice for a natural tan. And no, it doesn’t turn your face orange.

Like raspberry, it contains carotenoids that enhance melanin production.

Carrot juice is also used to protect the skin against sunburns, so you’ll likely see it in many natural oil recipes.

You should have no problem finding this right in your grocery store’s juice aisle. It’s also available on Amazon, but fair warning: it’s a lot pricier there.

Lakewood Organic Fresh Pressed Pure Carrot -- (1 X 32 FL OZ)
  • Strengthen the immune system and promote healthy cell growth

Beet juice.

A concoction of beet juice and carrot juice is one of the traditional tanning products.

Together, they attract sun rays giving you a tan, but it doesn’t last for long. I’ll discuss more of this in the next section.

If you can’t find it in your grocery store, try a specialty health food store.

The juice itself is fairly pricey on Amazon, but they have a supplement-size bottle that should work just fine for your DIY tanning oil purposes.

Dynamic Health Certified Organic Beetroot Dietary Supplement | No Added Sugar, Artificial Color, Preservatives. BPA-Free, Gluten-Free | 32oz
  • Simply Organic: USDA Certified Organic, our Beetroot is unsweetened and 100% Juice Concentrate
  • Only The Best: Our Organic Beetroot contains no added sugar, artificial color or preservatives
  • Healthy: Provides naturally occurring potassium, calcium, iodine & copper & my increase Nitric Oxide
  • Pure: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Halal & BPA-Free. No expense is spared in the quality of our products
  • Customers Say: “I’ve been through 6 bottles now. The benefits I've seen have made me a believer.”

What Can be Used as a Tanning Oil?

Tanning oils are essential for your tanning process, but they have substitutes too. And the best part?

You probably have several tanning oil substitutes in your house, and you don’t even know it. Below are some examples and why they’re used in place of tanning oils.

1. Sunflower

Sunflower is lauded in the suntan oil industry for a reason. It’s an excellent natural moisturizer, so it helps prevent your skin from cracking under UV rays.

It also helps maintain your skin’s elasticity, which is another reason it’s at the top list of tanning oil substitutes.

Lastly, the sunflower is rich in linoleic acid and vitamin E, eliminating acne and premature aging.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a household name in the beauty industry. I’ve used it to get rid of acne and my hair to give it shine or body.

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidant properties that make it pass as a tan oil. It also moisturizes your skin well.

The oil gives the skin a darker tone, so with olive oil and a little carrot juice, you can achieve a dark tan without spending much time in the sun.

I prefer using extra virgin olive oil for skincare routines because it’s not processed, so it gives better results.

3. Wheat-Germ Oil

This oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, D, and E that are important to the skin during the tanning process.

It also has anti-aging properties that are critical when exposing the skin to the sun for too long.

4. Hazelnut Oil

I’m sure you’ve seen hazelnut oil on the ingredient list of commercial tanning oils. It’s used in suntans because it’s easily absorbed by the skin thanks to its high fat content.

The oil ensures that your skin stays hydrated even when it’s exposed to the sun.

Hazelnut oil also has vitamin E like other oils, and it maintains the skin’s natural elasticity.

5. Green Tea Extracts

I know you only know the impact of green tea when it comes to losing weight and detoxing.

But green tea extracts are also among the best oils for tanning oil.

They’re rich in vitamin E and Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that’s 20 times stronger than vitamin E.

While it won’t completely protect you from the sun’s damage, one study found that it does minimize the risk of burns.

This is because matcha powder is the purest form of green tea, so your skin enjoys the full power of the leaf. It mixes well with any formula, so application is easy.

6. Aloe Vera

This is another household name in the beauty industry. It contains over 75 active nutrients that include B12, A, C, E, so it perfectly fits the list.

Aloe vera is commonly used to treat sunburns, but you can use it to prevent them instead.

I love to apply aloe vera on wet skin before my suntan because it traps the moisture.

I also apply it again before laying on my mat for added protection from sun damage and sunburns.

Application is easy too; simply convert the aloe vera gel into oil and use it for tanning sessions.

7. Avocado Oil

Skincare enthusiasts across the globe love avocado oil, and that’s because it has so many nutrients.

It’s rich in vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, K, D, C, and A. Avocado oil helps repair skin due to its fatty acids and lecithin.

What makes avocado oil a good tanning oil is its hydrating properties and the fact that it can act as a natural sunscreen.

The oleic acid in avocado oil ensures your skin doesn’t dry from the UV rays’ intensity.

Avocado oil also has anti-aging properties, and that’s very important when you’re exposing the skin for a long time under the sun.

8. Coconut Oil

If you have sensitive skin like me and it has made you paranoid about trying anything new, then coconut oil will work for you.

Coconut oil is one of the best substitutes for tanning oil because it’s safe for all skin types (although check with your dermatologist first if you have any conditions). Read my guide about coconut oil for tanning.

It works well as a tanning oil because it contains fatty acids and can be easily absorbed into the skin.

The oil also has SPF content that can give you a smidge more protection from harmful UV rays. The best part is that you can use the oil for both outdoor and indoor tanning.

Like olive oil, I recommend using extra virgin coconut oil.

9. Sesame Oil

Last on my list is sesame oil, and I promise it’s worth the trouble despite it smelling like a skunk.

The yellow color of sesame oil gives you a golden fast tan, while protecting you from harmful UV rays.

It also helps in repairing and moisturizing the skin, which are critical for the tanning process.

To get the desired results, use cold-pressed or organic sesame oil.

I know they’re other substitutes for tanning oil that I haven’t mentioned.

The nine oils I mentioned are what I’m confident in through my own experiences, extensive research, and reviews from trusted sources.

You can try them and see how well they work with your skin.

One thing I want to remind you about, though- like using baby oil for tanning, these won’t completely protect you from sun damage.

Yes, a few offer “more” protection than going without, but a full-spectrum SPF lotion that blocks out the sun’s rays is the only real protection. Even that isn’t infallible.

So, use oils sparingly and keep your tanning sessions brief.

Easy to Make DIY tanning Oil Recipes

Are you ready for the fun part that brought you here in the first place? I know you are.

Most of the recipes were inspired by makeup tutorials. They have many beauty hacks for nails, fashion, and a little bit of celebrity fashion gossip.  You can check them up.

Anyway,here is a list of easy homemade tanning oil recipes.

1. Tropical Tanning Oil

Beautiful girl in swimsuit diy tanning oil on body on the tropical sandy beach during summer

If you’re trying to become the tannest you can be, then this is the only recipe you need to read on this list.

The sesame oil in this recipe has a dark tint, making it easy to achieve that dark skin tone.

How to Prepare the Tropical Tanning Oil


  • 8 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 8 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 8 tablespoons of walnut oil
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • Lavender (or any other essential oil of your liking)


  1. Ensure your coconut oil is liquid enough and heat it on low heat if it’s gel-like.
  2. Pour the coconut oil into a bowl, and add sesame oil, coconut oil, and walnut oil.
  3. Add lavender to the mixture
  4. Stir until you get a uniform mixture
  5. Store in an airtight glass container

2. Hydration Boost Homemade Tanning Oil

womans hands holding small bottle of tanning oil on background of blue swimming pool.

If you have dry and flaky skin, tanning can be hard because it could make your skin flakier.

Therefore, it’s important to use a tanning oil that will protect your skin from UV rays and keep it hydrated.

Luckily, the ingredients in this recipe will boost collagen production, keeping your skin hydrated and maintaining your it’s elasticity. It also strengthens the skin barrier, which protects you from getting sunburns.

How to Prepare tanning Oil for Dry Skin


  • Patchouli oil (or any other essential oil)
  • 8 tablespoons of walnut oil
  • 8 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 8 spoons of wheat germ oil
  • 8 tablespoons of sesame oil


  1. Mix all the walnut, wheat germ,sesame and avocado oil in a glass bowl
  2. Shake the mixture to form a uniform mixture. Or stir the mixture.
  3. Add patchouli (this is only if you want your tanning oil to have a great scent). If you don’t care about the scent, you can skip this step.
  4. Store the remaining tanning oil in an airtight container.

3. Tanning Oil for Fairies

nice smiling female lying down on the beach and holding in hand bottle with tanning oil

Being fair-skinned can turn out to be a great disadvantage when it comes to tanning.

The skin type reacts and doesn’t handle the UV rays very well, so you can easily end up with sunburns.

So, should you give up on tanning? No. You only need to ensure you protect your skin well before your tanning session.

And this recipe will help you do exactly that.

How to Make Tanning Oil for Fairies


  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of carrot seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons of raspberry seed oil
  • 8 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • Sandalwood essential oil


  1. Pour the olive oil into a bowl.
  2. Add the avocado oil.
  3. Stir the two oils until they form a uniform mixture. (adding the oils one by one makes the mixing process easier).
  4. Add the carrot seed oil and raspberry seed oil to the mixture and keep stirring to get a uniform mixture.
  5. Lastly, add the sandalwood essential oil and store the tanning oil in an airtight container.

Besides using this combination as tanning oil, you can also use it on your way to work or at the beach. The ingredients have a high SPF, which acts as a sunscreen to protect you from UV rays.

As a tanning oil, it gives you a gradual tan without irritating your skin.

woman spraying tanning oil on her body for skin nourishment

How to Prepare Your Skin Before Using DIY Tanning Oil

Before applying your DIY tanning oil, ensure your skin is well exfoliated.

This will ensure your pores are open and all dead skin is gone, allowing easy absorption of the tanning oil.

This should be done at least 8 hours before applying the oil because the pores expand after exfoliation. And the pH of your skin isn’t at its normal level.

To simplify this, scrub your skin the night before your tanning session.

DIY Tanning Oil: Natural Homemade Solutions (Conclusion)

There are multiple ways of getting a tan, and they all have different steps and involve different products.

It all comes down to your personal skincare goals and lifestyle.

If you love using natural products, then the DIY tanning oil in this blog post will come in handy when you decide to get a tan.

So, what is your best substitute for tanning oil?

DIY tanning oils

What are your favorite diy tanning oils? share below!

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.