Can You Use Coffee As Self-Tanner? The Answer Might Surprise You

While tanning for real has proven to be unhealthy and some self tanners are so darn expensive, it can seem like the only way to get a healthy glow is to dish out a lot of money. Well, think again. If you're looking for a cheaper and more natural way to get bronzed, look no further than your kitchen cabinet. It turns out you can self-tan with coffee, tea, and even cocoa powder, so your transition into spring can be a healthy one.

As a super pale redhead myself, I know firsthand that the winter to spring transition can be tough. Between spray tans, self tanning-lotion, and body bronzers, it can be intimidating and pricey to try and find the perfect (and perfectly healthy) fit. The solution? Use what you've got at home!

Odds are that you have either coffee, tea, or cocoa hiding somewhere in your house, so why not put them to good use? Depending on how deep a tan you are going for, the all natural ingredients will create a natural and glowy look. All you'll need is one of the three ingredients paired with some water and you'll be kissing your dull winter skin goodbye. Not only is it completely healthy for your skin, but you can do it at home and wash it off if you don't like it. It doesn't get much better than that!

When choosing the best products to self-tan with, it comes down to a few things. First, you need to have an idea of what kind of color you want. Obviously cocoa powder is a bit darker than coffee, which is darker than the tea. Second, you should know about the benefits. While tea has rich antioxidants for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, according to The Huffington Post, coffee is best for giving the skin some shine and removing dead skin, reports Byrdie. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, tightens and moisturizes skin, according to India Times.

You can add just about anything else to the mixture for additional skincare benefits as well. If you're looking to just start with the basics, here's a few recipes that will get you on your way to a healthy summer shine in no time.

1. Tea

Tazo English Breakfast Tea, $3.55, AdvancedNutrition.com

According to Elle, all you need for a great tea tan is water, tea, and a spray bottle. Just steep some tea in hot water for about 20 minutes, let it cool, and then pour it into a mister. After that all you have to do is spray on your clean body and enjoy the all-natural color!

2. Coffee

Folgers Classic Roast Coffee, $6.95, dollargeneral.com

This method will probably have a stronger smell, but it's just as easy to apply as the tea. One YouTube vlogger suggests sprinkling some grounds in a bowl, crushing them up, and then adding some lotion to the concoction. After mixing it together, apply it just like you would your normal lotion.

3. Cocoa Powder

Hershey's Cocoa Natural Unsweetened, $4.55, jet.com

This one is for the brave of heart. Sure, it will smell amazing, but it's also dark, so depending on your skin tone and what you're going for, you maybe want to be a little careful with how much you use. The consistency is also much thicker than the tea or coffee. According to Gurl, cocoa powder could leave some streaking, but The Beauty Bean offers a DIY self tanner recipe that combines black tea, water, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and raw cocoa powder.

Of course, none of these options are permanent, but it sure does beat sitting out in the sun for a long time and risking skin damage!

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Images: Karl Chor, Nousnou Iwasaki, Anda Ambrosini/Unsplash