Spring is almost here, which means bronzed skin will soon be majorly coveted again. For those of you looking to fake bake the healthy way, there are simple DIY self tanners out there that will have you glowing in no time. The best part is, the ingredients come right from your kitchen, so they're safe on skin and can boost your appearance in more ways than one. But does self-tanning with coffee grounds or with tea really work? Well, lucky for you, I tried these methods of at-home body bronzing so you don't have to.
As a redhead who gets little to no color all year around (unless we're talking sunburn) I was interested in an all-natural tanner from the start. The process of using a tea mixture or coffee grounds in lieu of chemical self-tanner seemed super simple. I'm talking two step processes that just about anyone could do. Add to that the natural benefits of rubbing these healthy drinks all over the skin, and you've got an all-around great option, right? Well, it all depends. Sure, tea has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Huffington Post, and Byrdie reports that coffee is great for removing dry skin, but if you want to get a really bronzed look, these might not be the methods for you.
I tried out both of these natural fake tanning methods and am here to report my results. I've done some crazy things in the name of beauty, but walking around all day smelling like hazelnut coffee is at the top of my list. Feel free to thank me later.
Tea Spray Tanning
Total Cost = $5.77
If you're looking for a subtle, sun-kissed tan, this is the option for you. All you need is a spray bottle and a handful of black tea bags to get started, and it's even easier from there. Simply steep the tea in a large pot for about twenty minutes, pour into a spray bottle, and, most importantly, wait for it to cool. I repeat, wait for the tea to cool.
From there all you have to do is spray it on your body. The darker the tea, the darker the color. I did two teabags per cup of water and got a pretty mild color. Although the spray bottle was easy to use, I did have to use a sponge to push the tea into my skin in the places that it started to run.
Here's what my legs looked like before and after applying the tea tanner.
The difference wasn't completely dramatic, but it was enough to make me feel like I had a little bit of a tan. It dried fairly quickly, which was nice since I had to do about four layers of tea spray to finally start seeing the color. The best part about it was how soft my legs felt. It was like I had just rubbed down with moisturizer, which I was happily surprised with.
Because it was a bit chilly out, I ended up wearing jeans, which wasn't a good option for my healthy spray tan. Although I waited for the tea to completely dry before putting on my jeans, the color rubbed off pretty quickly. At the end of the day there was barely any left on my skin all.
Final verdict: if you're looking to get a little bit of a glow, I'd go for it. Just make sure you're nowhere around water or this tan will be off of you faster than you can say "Kylie Lip Kit" five times fast.
Coffee Body Bronzing
Total Cost = $5.59
This option is for anyone looking to get a much darker summer glow. All you have to do to get this bronzer is pour instant coffee into a small bowl, crush it up into more of a powder, and add it to your favorite lotion. Don't be fooled by the color of the concoction, because it'll be much lighter on the skin. Actually, on my skin tone it looked completely orange at first, which freaked me out, but it dried down to look pretty natural.
Here's what my legs looked like before and after applying the coffee tanner.
When it dried down, it actually didn't look too bad. Be careful though, because this bronzer will stain everything that it touches if you're not. It took a bit longer to dry than the tea, since it is using lotion. It's also not very buildable. When I tried to apply two layers, it got super cakey and streaked a ton, so I had to start all over. I ended up just doing one.
I wore leggings with this look, which was a total mistake. Even though I let the lotion dry completely before putting on my pants, the coffee bronzer was so sticky that it made my leggings cling to my body even more than they already do. The good news was that the tan seemed to stay all day, though. Here's what I looked like after wearing leggings for a few hours.
Final verdict: This one isn't worth it. The coffee mixture is super uncomfortable and creases in all the wrong places. Just like the tea spray tan, it's super easy to wash off though, so you won't be stuck with it if you end up hating it.
Unlike store-bought bronzers, these DIY all-natural tanners don't stay for more than a few hours, but that could be a total plus if you're looking to try out the trend. No matter which method you choose to try, just make sure you're comfortable in your own skin. Because at the end of the day, that's the most important thing.
Images: Kali Borovic/Bustle (5)