Homemade Ways to Look Tan

by Yvonne Van Damme ; Updated September 28, 2017

Getting a glowing and glistening tan can take some hard work. As baking in the sun or a tanning bed damages the skin, it is best to avoid these options. Instead, utilize homemade ways to look tan and keep skin healthy. There are myriad self-tanning options, lotions and bronzers that add color to the skin without a long-term commitment.

Cocoa Powder

A sweet, homemade concoction to look tan is to add cocoa powder to body lotion. It is also a cost-effective and natural solution. Add 3 tbsp. pure cocoa powder to a creamy body lotion. The amount may vary depending on the desired tan. The color in the bottle is darker than what appears on your skin. Those with sensitive skin may want to try the lotion on a small area of skin in case the skin reacts.

Sunless Tanner

Use sunless tanner as a way to look tan. This is a safe alternative to baking in the harmful rays of the sun, and can be done at home. Lotions, foams and spray forms are available. When using sunless tanner, always wear gloves to avoid orange palms. Really rub and work the sunless tanner into the skin. To prevent orange feet, knees and elbows, apply a thick lotion to them prior to applying sunless tanner.

Tinted Gel

A no-commitment tinted gel creates a homemade tan. It lasts only until you wash it off with soap. It is perfect for getting a light tan. Tinted gels are not useful for creating a deep, dark tan. Apply one layer of tinted gel. Evaluate whether or not it is dark enough. Apply one more layer if the color is too light.

Powder Bronzer

Powder bronzer is another way to fake a tan on the face and neck. Apply bronzer to the face and neck by brushing it on with a fluffy blush brush. Start with a little bit of the bronzer and build on it. It is best bronzer after applying foundation and concealer. Choose a powder bronzer that is not too dark or light for your skin tone.

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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.