Homemade, Long-lasting and Effective Tea Vanilla Self Tanning Recipe


  • 8 organic black tea bags
  • 16 ml. filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Get 16 ml. of water and 1 tablespoon of boiled vanilla extract.
  • Pour the boiling liquid over the tea bags and drain for at least 8 minutes.
  • After you’ve removed the tea bags (and put them in the compost), give your homemade self-tanner plenty of time to cool off. This could take 30 minutes or more, but trust me when I tell you that you shouldn’t use almost boiling tea on your legs.


  • There are a few steps to take before applying this effective home bronzer.
  • Make sure to exfoliate your skin first. You don’t have to do anything particularly laborious, but use a good scrub with a towel on the target area (legs or arms, probably) a few hours before you need to use your homemade tanning formula.
  • I say this because the first few times I didn’t, and I wish I had. I will do it next time. It is also a good idea to hydrate the skin. Have you already made your own lotion? The hydration of the skin will facilitate the obtaining of a uniform and good tone.
  • After the skin has been primed and the homemade self tanner has cooled down and poured into a spray bottle, it’s time to apply it. Use the simplest method: spray it on your legs and rub it in with your hands.
  • When you rub it evenly and let it dry, add another coat. Do this four or five times, which seems like a lot, but homemade self-tanner dries quickly. Don’t spend more than ten or fifteen minutes applying it.

Second option

Recipe alterations

  • Like I said before, I have a very light complexion. This particular recipe worked well for me, but darker skinned people might want something stronger.
  • I used a ratio of 1 tea bag to 60ml of water, but for a stronger solution a ratio of 1:30 ml could be used.
  • I steeped my tea for 8 minutes, but steeping it longer would definitely result in a darker solution.
  • One thing I wouldn’t do is add more vanilla, because I think adding a lot more would result in a sticky solution.

Ok, but does it really work?

It does! It really does. I’m not saying that my homemade tan makes people ask me if I had a nice sunny vacation, but my legs are a darker color and I feel better wearing shorts.

Another thing I love about this homemade formula that smells great. It’s not perfume or anything, but if you’ve ever suffered from the chemical smell of old self-tanners, you’ll agree that this homemade product has a much more pleasant scent.

I’ll be honest: I have two problems with this solution.

  • First, it is neither durable nor permanent. It didn’t last long in the shower.
  • Second, tea is perishable. This self tanner keeps best in the refrigerator in a glass container, but even when refrigerated it doesn’t keep for more than a week or two.

Even considering those two caveats, I think it’s a good idea. It was easy to do, easy to use.

And I admit that I have not been able to have tanned legs in years without using a good self-tanner bought in the store or pharmacy.

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