How to Use Beets to Get a Good Suntan

by Joanne Reid ; Updated September 28, 2017

Beets contain DHA which is an active ingredient in changing skin pigmentation.

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

There is a health move afoot to replace traditional tanning and sunless tanning products with a fake tan that is not only better for your skin, but also for the environment. Using beet-based dyes, there are products on the market that can give you a vibrant and healthy suntan. Tanning salons are now offering beet-based tans and you can purchase beet-based suntan sprays and lotions. The active tanning agent in beets is the Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that comes from the beet sugar. It is FDA approved and natural.

Items you will need

  • Exfoliating equipment
  • Depilatory equipment
  • Loose clothing
Step 1

Decide whether you will tan in a salon or at home.

Step 2

Prepare your body for the tan by shaving, or otherwise removing body hair from the areas where you want a tan -- such as your legs and arms.

Step 3

Exfoliate your skin to remove dead cells using a loofah sponge, a rough washcloth or a body scrub. The beet tan stains your skin and the fresher the layer of skin, the longer the tan will last.

Step 4

Dress in loose clothing to give the tanning application time to set. Tight clothes will rub against your skin and remove the beet tanning spray or lotion, before it finishes penetrating your skin. If you get a spray tan at the salon, it takes 10 to 20 minutes to dry. At home, the length of time you should wait depends on the thickness of the lotion you applied. It needs to be completely dry.

Step 5

Prolong your new tan: Take quick showers and don't scrub your skin too hard.

Step 6

Repeat the tanning session every couple of weeks. Like a real tan, a beet tan will fade in a week or two.


  • Beet-based tanning does not include sun block, so make sure to protect your skin when you are outside in the sun.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Joanne Reid has been writing since 1972. Her work includes articles for publications such as "Pageant" and "Writer’s Digest" and websites such as She was a computer consultant for private industry and various levels of government for 18 years. Reid has a Master of Arts in history from the University of New Brunswick.