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Since Coco Chanel accidentally popularized tanning in 1923, it has become its own fashion trend. Sunbathers long for the darker tones and beautiful sun glow, but what’s the best way to achieve this look? Tanning oils can enhance your skin, leaving you with a darker, richer tan than lasts longer.
Purpose of Tanning Oil
Tanning oils work by focusing the suns UV (ultraviolet rays) on the skin. While most climates give enough UV exposure to create a tan, tanning oils quicken the process, amplifying the intensity of the rays.
Tanning oils accelerate your skin’s melanocytes, which are the cells that produce and contain melanin, the pigment in your skin that gives it color. The more melanin, the more rich and darker your tan will be. Basically, tanning oils just enhance your skin’s natural ability to create a tan.
If you want to learn even more about tanning oils, or want to check out some of our favorite tanning oils for this season, head over to 10 Best Tanning Oils for 2019!
Natural Oils that Benefit Your Skin
Natural oils can nourish your skin and give you a beautiful sun-kissed glow! Here are 11 natural oils that will benefit your skin while you tan.
Coconut oil is a great tanning oil for people with sensitive skin. While some natural oils can have adverse effects like skin irritation, coconut oil has tons of fatty acids that can help your skin. It also contains a light SPF4, which makes it a perfect natural tanning oil.
Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot Seed Oil is a common tanning oil ingredient, because it’s rich in beta carotene, vitamins A and E and pro-vitamin A. It nourishes dry skin and helps heal chapped and cracked skin. Carrot seed oil is suitable for all skin types, so anyone can use it!
Like coconut oil, avocado oil also contains natural fatty acids, vitamins, as well as lecithin, which can moisturize your skin. Make sure to use unrefined and cold-pressed avocado oil in your homemade tanning oil.
Aloe Vera Oil
If you are prone to burning, aloe vera oil is a great way to prevent the nasty effects of sunburn. This oil is rich in powerful antioxidants and aloe vera is very soothing on the skin, which helps to counter effect any negative impacts the sun had on your skin.
Hazelnut oil is a widely used ingredient in many natural tanning oils. It absorbs very easily into your skin because of the high fatty acids it contains. Since it’s high in vitamin E, it can increase your skin’s hydration on the top layer, improving elasticity and firming your skin.
Olive oil is beneficial because it contains the antioxidant vitamin E, which is great to moisturize the skin. It’s also favorable in tanning oils because it increases your ability to develop a golden tan. And hey, the leftover oil you don’t use in your DIY tanning oil you can cook with! Gotta love products with versatility!
One of my favorite additions to any homemade tanning oil is orange oil, and not just because it smells so good! Orange oil is anti-inflammatory, which makes it ideal for using on acne-prone skin. It also increases the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C, promotes collagen production, and increases blood flow to the skin. These are all of which are essential for anti-aging, making it perfect for your DIY tanning oil.
Wheatgerm oil will give your skin a natural glow and smooth your skin. This oil is high in vitamins A, E and D, which help with your skin’s elasticity and protect your skin from sun damage, wrinkles and pigmentation.
Not only is sunflower oil a wonderful moisturizer, but it also helps to prevent wrinkles and is a great tanning aid. Sunflower oil protects your skin’s natural elasticity by maintaining your skin’s natural moisture.
A little bit of sesame oil goes a long way. This oil is thick and contains a very strong scent, but is a great addition to a tanning oil and also naturally contains a light SPF (around 4 to 6). Sesame oil and coconut oil go together well for a darker tan.
Walnut oil is high in antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage and aging. This oil is a great addition to any tanning oil to protect your skin and tan at the same time!
Hemp Seed Oil
One of the most popular tanning oils is hemp seed oil because of it’s amazing ability to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as prevent developing signs of aging. Hemp oil also contains linoleic acid and oleic acids, which are important in this process.
Natural Extracts that Nourish Your Skin
Natural extracts can benefit and nourish your skin. Many natural extracts have anti-aging properties and can protect your skin. Here are 5 natural extracts to consider adding to your tanning oils.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a powerful anti-inflammatory and aids in neutralizing UV radiation.
This extract is rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, can help slow down the signs of aging, fights inflammation and helps to treat acne and dark spots. Pomegranate extract also brightens the skin naturally.
Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark is great for skin hydration. Added to a tanning oil, this extract can help reduce dryness of the skin from the sun.
Aloe Vera Extract
Aloe Vera is a miracle extract! It helps with healing, soothing and anti-inflammation. There are amino acids in Aloe Vera that can soften skin cells. It’s a great addition to a natural oil and also beneficial after tanning.
If you are prone to redness and irritation, Chamomile extract has great anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce irritation and inflammation.
Do-It-Yourself Tanning Oils at Home
If you’ve ever read the ingredients on store bought tanning oils, it really makes you wonder what you are putting on your skin! Make your own with natural oils and extracts that will not only benefit your skin, but they will also increase your beautiful tan. You can make your own tanning oil by picking and choosing oils that will benefit your needs. Here’s a great recipe for a DIY tanning oil at home. It’s a great idea to exfoliate your skin prior to using tanning oil, so you are removing dead skin prior to tanning.
DIY Tanning Oil Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 drops walnut oil
- 3 drops aloe vera extract
If you are prone to irritation, add in 2 drops of chamomile extract. This is optional.
- Mix the ingredients in a lidded jar or other container that has a lid for storage.
- Seal the jar and shake well.
- Use before tanning by adding liberally over your body.
Remember that tanning oil is not waterproof, so make sure you reapply after swimming or sweating.
Natural tanning oils are a great way to achieve a beautiful tan. You can create your own tanning oils by looking at the benefits of each oil and seeing what works for you. Achieve that beautiful sun glow that Cocoa Chanel made popular in 1923, but you can avoid the sun burn with all of these great oils she didn’t know about! Good luck achieving that beautiful tan.