Friday, April 12, 2013

testing out tea as a DIY self tanner

DIY tea self tanner
why the random spray bottle, you ask? Read on...
I've been seeing a lot of Pins on Pinterest lately with instructions on using black tea as a DIY self tanner. After reading about it, it seemed fairly legit. The idea is simple: brew a really strong tea and use a spray bottle to spray yourself down and gently "dye" your skin using tea. I mean, you can dye fabrics this way, right? Makes sense to me!

Some people raved about it in various reviews, so I decided to give it a try. I have notoriously pasty skin, if you need an example of my pasty legs check this out. Be forewarned, I'm practically an albino! You may in face be blinded.

So I boiled two cups of water, steeped five tea bags for 30 minutes and put it in a spray bottle (see above picture).

I sprayed myself down and let it air dry. TEN TIMES. That was labor intensive.

Here are the results of all my trouble:

DIY tea self tanner
slightly tanner


1. My legs actually looked darker, and tan.

2. It did not come off on my white bed sheets or my clothes.

3. It was free.


1. It was really, really time consuming. And I have small kids! Time is like gold.

2. It was a little sticky.

3. It streaked.

4. The dye job was uneven (my knees were darker then the rest of my legs)

5. It wore off after a few hours.

6. When I showered it came off completely.

7. My bath tub was FILTHY. More wasted time cleaning it!

Verdict: I won't be doing this again. It took waaaaaaay too much time and energy that I could have spent doing something more productive! It's worth it for me to just go spend the $8 on a bottle of Jergans Natural Glow, thank you very much.

What about you all? Do any of you use self tanner? Any suggestions on getting a natural, non orange-y glow?



  1. Great post! I never thought of using tea, but I bet my daughters have seen this suggestion posted somewhere. My youngest is twenty-something and pasty. I'll be sure to warn her lol. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for testing that out. It sounded like something I could use, but I won't go to the effort of trying.

  3. visiting from My Romantic Home- We use self tanners and have tried several. I like Jergans but it takes up to 2 weeks for a good tan to develop for us. I used a spray tanner from Sephora that was nice as a supplement to the Jergans. This week for the first time my daughter and I tried Tan Towels. Love 'em. They are around $4 for a 'whole' body towel (they sell half body too) and it worked beautifully. Just need to be careful to apply it everywhere so there is no untanned gaps- we did this by rubbing it in circular motions in long adjacent 'stripes' up our legs, then going back over it in an all-over pattern to be sure.

  4. Well thanks for testing it out to save some golden time for your pale sisters!

  5. How interesting!!

  6. What a unique idea. Appreciate you sharing the results--I doubt I'd try it after learning how long it takes, and I'm not a mother! Kudos to you for doing a sunless tan---your body is much healthier for it.

    Myself, I like a spray tan from a salon and using Jergen's to keep the tan after. They have a new formula that they say is "odorless," but it's not. It does smell much better though because of the added fragrance, so that's a plus. Thanks for sharing your trial!

  7. from one pasty gal to another....thank you! Won't be adding that to my "pins I have attempted" list LOL....I found you through the "Look what I Made" linky party.
    Carolyn @

  8. Thanks for sharing--it sounded like a good idea but I am going to trust your experience!

  9. Very interesting post! I don't think I'll be trying it! LOL! Thanks for sharing this at my Pin Me Party!

  10. Thanks for sharing over at Much Ado About Monday at Huckleberry Love! I've seen this on Pinterest and had wondered. Thanks for saving me time and from having to clean my tub :-)

  11. Well darn, I was hoping you had found the perfectly inexpensive solution! Thanks for sharing it at Monday Funday!

  12. What an interesting idea! I would have never thought of it, and now I'm glad I hadn't. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  13. Sorry that it washed off after all that time and effort, but thank you for testing this out so we don't have to! Thanks for linking on Busy Monday!

  14. This is the way for people who don't want to put massive amounts of chemicals into their body. Are you aware of what these self tanners have in them?? Not to mention your getting health benefits from the tea. I actually use green tea and love the "glow" it gives me. It's no snookie tan by anymeans. But I completely disagree with this article. I've been using tea for years and not had these issues nor do I put ten layers on, just two. I also have three children.

  15. Thank you for sharing! I came across this page as I sit here waiting for my tea to fully brew! :) The recipe that I found on pinterest calls for one cup of water to 5 tea bags...I'm wondering if you used too much water?
    The best self tanner that I've found (I've been using them since the late 1980's!) is St. Tropez. It's the most natural color on me. (Just be sure to use plastic gloves when applying it.)
    (Also, I have a little one here too and you are so right...time IS like gold! lol)

  16. i have tried them all. banana boat dark tan is a bargain and gives you instant success.. also doesn't streak. jergens takes so long and i don't like the smell. also bath and bw has a spa product at back of store on right side, that i like. there's a quick rub on tan that does come off easily with just water, and one that you apply and need to wait a bit for. i like both.

    btw, be sure to shower and loofah first.. and know that most every self tanner you apply, takes ten to twelve hours to "cure", then with many self tanners, you can shower and it won't come off, usually until you soap and loofah it off. to apply use latex gloves.. bboat tans so fast it is hard to get the residue off your hands even with soap and water immediately after.

    for a fun surprise, try sally hansen leg tan/makeup. it is pretty remarkable. also, let it cure and it also does not come off easily in shower.. until you soap and scrub. if you put it on too thick, it will come off too easily. makes your legs look amazeballs.

  17. This is such a great idea! simple and beautiful, very inspiring!
    Spray Tanning NYC

  18. I had never tasted anything so fine in my whole life. Six years have passed since then, and I still have not succeeded in finding tea like flowering tea. This really makes me love drinking it more. I took it from Sun garden online.
    flavored green tea
    japanese green tea
    english tea
    chinese green tea
    chinese white tea
    ceylon tea
    flowering tea

  19. I think you made awesome decision the moment when you choose this topic of the blog article here. Very usefull informatiom
    Bridal beauty Alabama


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