Are you looking for sexy summer-tanned skin with a sun-kissed glow without soaking in the sun all day? It is not tricky! Having a great tan naturally is possible with a simple kitchen ingredient like olive oil. Harnessing the power of this tried-and-tested tanning lotion will give you an even and beautiful tan without any damage. All you need to do is use it the right way. So, are you ready to achieve your bronzed goddess status? Read on below to know more.
Is Outdoor Tanning Safe?
First things first. Outdoor tanning or using a tanning bed is NOT at all safe. During tanning, the UV rays from the sun create free radicals in the body, which cause oxidative stress by reacting with other molecules. This results in cellular damage due to mutations of DNA, which develops precancerous cells and eventually increases the risk of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) (1). Other common adverse effects of sun tanning include dryness, sunburns, sunspots, heat rash, peeling skin, leathery skin, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. In addition, the practice of sun tanning has also been found to significantly accelerate the natural aging process of the skin (2).
Using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF 50 or more can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Choose products with ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide may help in preventing DNA damage.
What is in Olive Oil?
When it comes to skin and hair care, olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), is considered one of the most reliable staples. Being very low in saturated fats, it is highly recommended for consumption too. The oil is almost entirely composed of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or ‘good fats’, contributing to its magical benefits. Besides, it also contains loads of vitamin E and vitamin K.
Also Read – What Ingredients Should You Look for in Self-Tanners?
How Does Olive Oil Help You Tan?
Now the question is, why should you reach for olive oil instead of readily available sun tanning solutions? Well, because it helps in achieving a quicker, deeper, and safer tan. We tell you how. When any form of light hits the surface of our skin, it does not get absorbed completely. Instead, a big amount of it is reflected away by our skin. As olive oil lowers the refractive index of the skin upon application, the light gets absorbed from more angles. This allows more light to penetrate the skin and speeds up melanogenesis (synthesis of skin pigment ‘melanin’) in the cells. As a result, you get tanned skin quickly.
Extra virgin coconut oil and petroleum-based baby oil are often considered as alternatives to olive oil for tanning. However, olive oil has its own set of benefits for the skin that makes it a better solution than others in all possible ways.
Why Use Olive Oil for Tanning?
Olive oil offers several other benefits, along with a beautiful bronze tan and a nice summer glow sans sun. Here is how:
- Comes loaded with essential nutrients and nourishes the skin thoroughly by penetrating deep into it.
- Hydrates and moisturizes skin cells from inside with its plethora of moisturizing minerals.
- Rich in skin-friendly antioxidants like vitamin E that prevent premature aging.
- Polyunsaturated fats help neutralize free radicals in the body, thereby protecting the skin from damage. (3)
- Makes the skin look soft, smooth, and healthy while inducing an even tan all over it.
- Attracts the heat of the sun and adds excellent luster to the skin.
- Contains no harmful chemicals or artificial compounds like commercial tanning lotions.
- Ensures that your skin does not develop any rashes, breakouts, or infections with its natural healing properties.
- Safe, readily available, and pretty much inexpensive.
- Works as one of the best natural tanning solutions with long-lasting results.
No matter how quickly natural olive oil attracts the sunlight, it does not come with any sun protection (SPF) to shield the skin from UVA/UVB rays. Hence, it is always better not to use olive oil for speeding up the process of outdoor tanning.
How to Use Olive Oil for Tanning?
To get stunning bronzed skin at home, olive oil can be used in two different ways. Given below are the recipes for DIY self-tanning solutions made of olive oil:
DIY Tanning Oil – Recipe 1:
The first one is the most common and widely followed method with excellent instant outcomes. Here are the steps for you:
- Take 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized bowl. The quantity will depend on the intensity of tan you desire to get.
- Spread a large towel on a chair, keep it in a lighted room, and set the timer for half an hour. Of course, you can constantly adjust the time based on how your skin reacts to the oil.
- Dip a small piece of cloth (a small towel will also do) into the oil and rub it all over the skin present in the front section of your body, including your face.
- Lay down on your back right on the towel you have already spread on the chair. Close both of your eyes and relax for the next half an hour.
- After that, repeat the same process for the back of your body and cover your skin with the oil.
- Reset the timer for the next 30 minutes and lay down on the chair with your face down this time.
- Once the entire tanning session of one hour is over, wash the oil off your body thoroughly using mild soap and plain cold water.
Also Read – Figaro Olive Oil Review: Composition, Uses, Advantages, and Disadvantages
DIY Tanning Oil – Recipe 2:
This method involves exfoliation for healthier and more effective tanning. However, it takes time to work, and you need to practice it for a few months to get visible results. Check out the steps:
- Take 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add 1 cup of used coffee grounds to it. Use warm coffee grounds obtained right after straining freshly brewed coffee.
- Combine them and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes or so.
- Put on a pair of disposable plastic gloves and spread a few newspapers on the floor of your bathroom to avoid a mess.
- You may also stand in the shower or use your bathtub for the process.
- Apply the olive-oil-coffee ground mixture all over your skin and start exfoliating gently in a small circular motion by using your fingertips.
- Continue for 5 minutes, and then let it sit for the next 10 minutes.
- After that, wash the mixture off your skin with the help of tepid water and reveal silky soft, smooth skin.
- Repeat the process at least twice every week, and your skin will get a beautiful golden tan within a couple of months.
Olive oil not only gives a summery glow even without exposure to the sun but also works excellent for post-sun skincare. Add it to your go-to moisturizer and give your skin a soothing antioxidant and fatty acid boost after getting a little too much sun.
Important Tips to Remember
Not getting the desired tanning effect even after using olive oil? We have some handy tips for you. However, before you get your hands on the practice, keep the following points in mind:
- Though there are 4 different types of olive oil available in the market, it is always recommended that you use extra virgin olive oil for tanning as it is the purest and has no synthetic compounds.
- Add effective natural ingredients like carrot juice, lemon juice, avocado oil, raspberry seed oil, iodine, etc., to your extra virgin olive oil for browner and radiant tan.
- Using a sugar scrub for exfoliation of the skin will make your tanning session with olive oil smooth and hassle-free.
- Ensure that your skin is completely dry before applying your olive oil tanning solution so that it gets absorbed into the skin easily and quickly.
- The oil must be applied evenly all over the skin to make the appearance of the tan uniform.
- Do not rub your skin hard with a loofah or abrasive scrubber while ending the tanning session in the shower.
- Make sure that you follow the procedure correctly and consistently to make your sexy tan last longer.
- Take care of your tan and lengthen its life even more by applying moisturizer and oil rubs frequently to your skin after a beach vacation.
Alternatives Used for Sunless Tanning
Certain products are there in the market for sunless tanning, which can be used in place of olive oil. These commercially available self-tanners are available in lotions, sprays, gels, and even pills. However, they use color additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA), canthaxanthin, etc., as active ingredients, which may lead to risks and side effects while simulating tan. Also, these products neither come with enough sun protection nor give long-lasting tan. So, it is always better to rely on olive oil for this purpose.
Outdoor tanning speeds up aging and increases the risk for skin cancer while causing a number of other adverse effects. So, if you are looking for sexy summer-tanned skin with a sun-kissed glow without soaking in the sun all day, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be a natural, safe, and healthy way. It helps in achieving a quicker, deeper, and longer-lasting tan by lowering the refractive index of the skin upon application. Besides, olive oil hydrates the skin deeply and nourishes it thoroughly while giving it a significant antioxidant boost. The inexpensive kitchen ingredient also turns the skin softer, smoother, and brighter. You can get stunning bronzed skin at home by preparing DIY self-tanning olive oil solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can I Combine Olive Oil with Sunscreen?
If you are using olive oil for sun tanning, it is better to combine it with sunscreen as the oil does not come with natural SPF. But make sure that you choose mineral sunscreens over chemical-based sunscreens for deflecting the UV rays physically.
What Foods Help Tanning?
Some well-known foods that can accelerate melanin production in your skin cells are carrot, tomato, lemon, spinach, kale, egg, sweet potato, hazelnut, butternut squash, etc.
Do Tanning Pills Work?
There is not much evidence in support of their effectiveness. Instead, most of them are potentially dangerous.
What Vitamins Help You Tan Faster?
Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are known to facilitate the conversion of L-tyrosine into melanin pigment, thereby allowing the skin to tan faster.
Can You Fake Tan with Tea Bags?
Black tea bags can help you get a subtle tan. All you need to do is steep the bag in hot water for 20 minutes, let it cool down, and spray the infusion to the skin.
- “Tanning & Your Skin”, SkinCancer.org
- “10 Surprising Facts About Indoor Tanning”, AAD.org
- “Is Olive Oil a Good Tanning Oil Substitute?”, OliveOil.com