natural tanning oils

13 Best Natural Oils for Tanning: Get A Golden Glow Safely

Fed up with chemical-filled tanning products? Same here. 

Your perfect tan shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg or your skin’s well-being.

Check out our ultimate guide to 13 natural tanning oils. Mix them yourself or look for them on labels—either way, you’ll get that golden glow without the nasties.

From hydration to UV protection, we’ve got you covered.

What are Natural Tanning Oils?

Natural tanning oils are your skin’s best friend under the sun. Unlike their chemical-laden counterparts, these oils are derived from pure, organic sources—think plants, nuts, and fruits.

They enhance your skin’s ability to tan naturally, providing a protective layer that moisturises and nourishes as it soaks up the sun. These oils contain ingredients rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help protect the skin from UV damage while promoting an even, long-lasting tan.

By choosing natural tanning oils, you’re adopting a healthier, more sustainable way to achieve that golden glow, ensuring your skin stays hydrated and radiant throughout the tanning process.

Why You Need to Know About These Natural Tanning Oils

Choosing your tanning oil? Think twice before grabbing just any bottle off the shelf. Many are packed with chemicals that can irritate[1] your skin and even mess with your hormones, not cool!

The good news is that natural tanning oils like coconut, olive, and carrot seed are your skin’s BFFs. They moisturise and protect without the bad stuff, and they’re planet-friendly, too.

So, let’s keep it clean and simple. Go natural for a worry-free, healthy glow. Your skin (and the Earth) will thank you!

applying natural tanning oil

Ultimate Guide: Top 13 Natural Oils for a Glowing Tan

We’ve handpicked 13 natural oils, each playing a key role in prepping, boosting, and preserving your tan, all while pampering your skin under the sun.

  1. Organic Coconut Oil – The Hydration Hero: Kickstart with Coconut Oil to deeply hydrate and prime your skin.
  2. Organic Carrot Seed Oil – The Natural SPF Booster: Layer on Carrot Seed Oil for its sun protection and antioxidant boost.
  3. Organic Avocado Oil – The Vitamin-Rich Nourisher: Avocado Oil steps in next to nourish with vitamins for even, healthy skin.
  4. Organic Jojoba Oil – The Perfect MatchJojoba Oil offers lightweight hydration, mirroring your skin’s own oils.
  5. Organic Almond Oil – The Tan Lock: Seal in the softness with Almond Oil, for hydration that lasts.
  6. Organic Argan Oil – The Golden Glow Enhancer: Add a touch of Argan Oil for its restorative effects and radiant sheen.
  7. Organic Olive Oil – The Tan Deepener: Use Olive Oil for a deeper tan, conditioning along the way.
  8. Organic Wheatgerm Oil – The Elasticity Booster: Fortify with Wheatgerm Oil, packed with Vitamin E for skin resilience.
  9. Organic Hazelnut Oil – The Sculpting Secret: Hazelnut Oil tightens, refining your tan’s look.
  10. Organic Grapeseed Oil – The Luminosity Lift: Grapeseed Oil brings a lightweight moisture for that extra sparkle.
  11. Organic Aloe Vera Oil – The Soothing Harmony: Soothe with Aloe Vera Oil, ideal for post-sun relaxation.
  12. Organic Red Raspberry Seed Oil – The Protector: Shield with Red Raspberry Seed Oil, your natural SPF ally.
  13. Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil – The Ultimate Glow Finisher: Conclude with Sea Buckthorn Oil to rejuvenate and lock in your tan’s brilliance. PS. Our organic hydrating natural sunscreen has this powerful ingredient aswell

Check out the full guide below for a holistic tanning ritual that leaves your skin glowing and nurtured. 

1. Coconut Oil – The Hydration Hero

How to Execute: Start your tanning process by applying a thin layer of virgin coconut oil to your skin. Its hydrating properties prepare your skin for sun exposure, preventing dryness.

  • Pros: Deeply moisturizes the skin, affordable, widely available.
  • Cons: Can be comedogenic (pore-clogging) for some skin types.
  • Price Range: Generally affordable, around $15-$20 for a quality jar.
  • Mixing Idea: Combine with carrot seed oil for added SPF protection.
AloeSun Coconut Tanning Oil
07/19/2024 12:30 pm GMT
Pure Organic Coconut Oil
07/19/2024 12:05 pm GMT

2. Carrot Seed Oil – The Natural SPF Booster

How to Execute: Mix a few drops of carrot seed oil with your base oil (like coconut oil) for its high SPF properties and antioxidant benefits to help reduce the severity of sun burn.

  • Pros: Offers natural sun protection, promotes a deeper tan.
  • Cons: Strong scent that may not be appealing to all; relatively expensive.
  • Price Range: Mid-range, approximately $10-$20 for a small bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Works well with avocado oil to enhance skin nourishment.
Cabana Sun Carrot Seed Tanning Oil
07/19/2024 01:58 pm GMT
Pure Organic Carrot Seed Oil
07/19/2024 12:39 pm GMT

3. Avocado Oil – The Vitamin-Rich Nourisher

How to Execute: Apply avocado oil directly on the skin or mix it with your base tanning oil. Its rich content of vitamins A, D, and E will nourish and condition your skin.

  • Pros: Deeply hydrating, rich in nutrients, supports skin health.
  • Cons: Heavy texture might not suit oily skin types.
  • Price Range: Mid-range, about $7-$15 for a quality bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Blend with jojoba oil for a lighter, more absorbent mixture.

4. Jojoba Oil – The Perfect Match

How to Execute: Use jojoba oil as a carrier oil for your tanning mix. Its similarity to the skin’s natural oils makes it an excellent moisturizer without blocking pores.

  • Pros: Non-comedogenic, closely mimics human sebum, excellent for all skin types.
  • Cons: Slightly more expensive than some other oils.
  • Price Range: Mid to high-range, typically $10-$25 for a pure bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Combining with aloe vera oil can enhance skin soothing properties.

5. Almond Oil – The Tan Lock

How to Execute: Almond oil is perfect for locking in moisture and your tan. Apply it after sun exposure to hydrate and maintain your tan’s longevity.

  • Pros: Lightweight, rich in Vitamin E, promotes skin hydration and elasticity.
  • Cons: May not be suitable for those with nut allergies.
  • Price Range: Generally affordable, around $6-$12 for a quality bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Mix with grapeseed oil for a non-greasy, antioxidative blend that promotes skin health.

6. Argan Oil – The Golden Glow Enhancer

How to Execute: Use argan oil sparingly on your skin to add a luxurious shine to your tan and to nourish your skin deeply.

  • Pros: Absorbs quickly, rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, suitable for hair and skin.
  • Cons: Higher price point.
  • Price Range: Mid to high-range, about $15-$30 for a small bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Combining with coconut oil can enhance hydration and shine without feeling too heavy.

7. Olive Oil – The Tan Deepener

How to Execute: Apply olive oil directly to the skin before sun exposure to amplify the tanning process and condition the skin.

  • Pros: Easily available, deeply hydrating, and contains antioxidants.
  • Cons: Can be greasy; potential to attract more sun without proper SPF protection.
  • Price Range: Very affordable, around $5-$10 for a large bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Blend with carrot seed oil to add natural SPF properties to the mix.
Pure Organic Olive Oil
07/19/2024 11:44 am GMT

8. Wheatgerm Oil – The Elasticity Booster

How to Execute: Integrate wheatgerm oil into your tanning oil blend for its vitamin E richness, which boosts skin elasticity and hydration.

  • Pros: High in antioxidants, promotes skin health and repair.
  • Cons: Has a strong scent that might not be appealing to everyone; can be pricey.
  • Price Range: Mid-range, approximately $10-$20 for a small bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Mix with almond oil for an enhanced moisture-locking effect.

9. Hazelnut Oil – The Sculpting Secret

How to Execute: Use hazelnut oil to tighten the skin and enhance its bronze appearance. It’s perfect for a sculpted, tanned look.

  • Pros: Offers natural sun protection, absorbs quickly, suitable for oily and combination skin types.
  • Cons: Nut allergy concerns, slightly astringent.
  • Price Range: Mid-range, about $8-$16 for a quality bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Pair with avocado oil for extra vitamin-rich nourishment.

10. Grapeseed Oil – The Luminosity Lift

How to Execute : Apply grapeseed oil for a non-greasy moisturizing effect and to enhance the luminosity of your tan.

  • Pros: Lightweight, high in antioxidants, suitable for acne-prone skin.
  • Cons: May not be as hydrating as thicker oils for very dry skin.
  • Price Range: Very affordable, around $5-$12 for a quality bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Combining with jojoba oil can create a balanced, skin-friendly tanning blend.

11. Aloe Vera Oil – The Soothing Harmony

How to Execute : Aloe vera oil should be applied post-sun exposure for its soothing and cooling effects on the skin.

  • Pros: Excellent for healing and soothing sunburn, hydrates without greasiness.
  • Cons: Less common in oil form and may need to be sourced from specialized retailers.
  • Price Range: Mid-range, about $9-$18 for a quality bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Mix with coconut oil for enhanced skin soothing and hydration.

12. Red Raspberry Seed Oil – The Protector

How to Execute : Incorporate red raspberry seed oil for its natural SPF and to act as a radiant barrier protecting your skin.

  • Pros: Natural UV protection, high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
  • Cons: Can be expensive and has a distinctive scent.
  • Price Range: Mid to high-range, approximately $15-$30 for a small bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Works well with almond oil to lock in moisture and extend the longevity of your tan.
red raspberry seed oil

13. Sea Buckthorn Oil – The Ultimate Glow Finisher

How to Execute : Apply sea buckthorn oil sparingly for its regenerative properties that can help heal and illuminate the skin.

  • Pros: High in nutrients and omega fatty acids, promotes skin healing, vibrant color enhances the glow.
  • Cons: Strong color can stain clothing, high cost.
  • Price Range: High-range, approximately $20-$35 for a small bottle.
  • Mixing Idea: Mix with grapeseed oil for a lighter application and to dilute the intensity of the color.

These natural oils offer unique benefits for tanning and skin health, allowing you to customize your sun care routine to your specific needs. Experimenting with mixing these oils can also help you discover the perfect blend for your skin type, ensuring a beautiful, healthy tan.

Considerations When Choosing Tanning Oil For Your Skin

Selecting the ideal tanning oil goes beyond sniff tests and brand popularity. It’s an exercise in understanding your skin’s individual needs and how various oils can cater to them. Here’s a detailed breakdown to help you make an informed choice for that perfect, healthy tan:

Understanding Your Skin Type

For Oily Skin: Go for non-comedogenic oils like grapeseed or jojoba. They’re lightweight and won’t clog pores, keeping breakouts at bay.

For Dry Skin: Choose coconut or almond oils for intense hydration. They’re packed with fatty acids and vitamins to nourish and restore your skin’s moisture barrier.

For Sensitive Skin, Choose soothing options like aloe vera or sea buckthorn oil. Aloe vera calms inflammation, while sea buckthorn offers antioxidants and vitamins for healing without irritation.

sun protective skincare

Sun Protection in Natural Tanning Oils

While embracing the glow, it’s crucial not to overlook the sun’s harmful effects. Here’s how to tackle sun protection:

  • Natural SPF in Oils: Some oils, like carrot seed and red raspberry seed, have natural SPF properties. However, their protection level isn’t enough for long-term exposure. They can boost your skin’s defense but shouldn’t replace traditional sunscreen.
  • Layering is Essential: Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen alongside your tanning oil. This combo protects you against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. The sunscreen should be applied first, allowing it to fully absorb before adding tanning oil.

For the same reason we use natural tanning oils, make sure you use natural mineral-based sunscreen!

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Hydrating, antioxidant-boosted natural face sunscreen crafted for adventure and endurance sports.

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The Art Of Blending Oils

Mixing oils allows you to customize your tanning experience to your skin’s needs. Here’s how to get started:

  • Moisture and Elasticity: Blocking hydrating oils like coconut with elasticity-boosting ones like wheatgerm can improve dry skin’s texture and resilience.
  • Glow Enhancement: If you want a radiant glow, mixing a base oil like almond with a bit of argan oil can provide a luxurious sheen while nourishing your skin.
  • Sensitivity and Soothing: For those with sensitive skin, a mixture of soothing oils such as aloe vera with a gentle base oil like jojoba can reduce potential irritants and keep skin calm under the sun.
  • Patch Testing: Before you slather on your custom blend, do a patch test on a small skin area to ensure there’s no adverse reaction. This step is crucial, especially when trying out new combinations.

Remember, the goal is a healthy, glowing tan that prioritizes your skin’s health. 

Check out the video below to see how easy it can be to mix your own natural tanning oil!

homemade natural tanning oil

DIY & Homemade Tanning Oil: Take It To The Next Level

Let’s make your own tanning oil in six simple steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Base OilStart with coconut, almond, or jojoba oil for hydration that suits any skin type.

Step 2: Add Natural SPF BoostMix in carrot seed or red raspberry seed oil for extra sun protection.

Step 3: Boost with AntioxidantsThrow in wheatgerm oil to fight off sun damage and keep your skin fresh.

Step 4: Scent it UpAdd a few drops of lavender, peppermint, or chamomile essential oil for a spa-like scent.

Step 5: Mix and TestCombine everything in a dark glass bottle, shake it, and spot-test it on your skin.

Step 6: Apply and EnjoySmooth it on evenly before soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to reapply!

Bonus Tip: Add aloe vera gel for extra hydration and cooling relief.

Crafting your own tanning oil isn’t just about the glow; it’s about giving your skin what it needs. Enjoy your unique DIY glow!

Alternatives to Making Your Own Tanning Oils

If mixing your own tanning oils isn’t your thing, here are some straightforward alternatives:

  • Grab Off-the-Shelf Natural Tanning Oils: Many brands offer ready-made natural tanning oils. These come packed with hydrating ingredients like coconut oil and offer a hassle-free way to tan.
  • Mineral Sunscreens with Tint: For those looking for protection plus a bit of color, tinted mineral sunscreens are a great pick. They shield you from the sun while giving your skin a temporary bronzed look.
  • Self-Tanning Products: Want a tan without the sun? Self-tanning lotions and mousses can give you a natural-looking glow without any UV exposure.

Choose what fits your tan goals and skin type best, and enjoy that sun-kissed look safely and easily.

self tanning lotion

Wrapping Up and My Experience With Natural Tanning Oils

I hope you’ve picked up something about keeping your skin happy and healthy while getting that glow. 

Why trust me? Because I’ve been there. Skorcha comes from real-life sun and a skincare journey to natural heal the damage that has been done. Every product we make is something I believe in—organic, effective, and skin-friendly.

Thanks for hanging out and talking sun care. With Skorcha, you’re not just protecting your skin; you’re doing it with products made by someone who’s faced the sun head-on and wanted better. Let’s keep our skin safe and glowing together. 

Cheers to glowing hard… Naturally!

Overview of the importance of natural tanning oils for skin health under the sun.

How to choose the right natural tanning oil for your needs and mix them together or find them on labels.

Key considerations for safely tanning and looking after your skin in the sun.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which natural oil is best for tanning?

Coconut oil is highly recommended for enhancing tanning due to its ability to deeply penetrate the skin, stimulating melanin production, deepening the tan. It not only provides a protective layer against photoaging but also helps to reduce the likelihood of sunburn. Furthermore, it hydrates, nourishes, and prevents the skin from becoming dry, tight, or flaky, all the while improving skin elasticity and firmness. For additional sun protection, you can mix coconut oil with other natural oils such as carrot seed oil or oil, which are known for their sun-protective and skin-nourishing properties.

What is a good substitute for tanning oil?

Creating your own natural tanning oil blends at home is a great alternative to commercial tanning oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and carrot seed oil are among the top choices for homemade tanning oils. These oils not only aid in achieving a beautiful tan but also provide nourishment and hydration to the skin, enhancing its overall health and appearance.

Does tanning oil actually make you tan?

Tanning oils are designed to accelerate the tanning process by encouraging the body to produce more melanin. When applied to the skin, these oils activate melanocytes, which are cells responsible for melanin production, causing them to work more quickly. As a result, if your skin has a higher melanin concentration, it will tan more effectively.

How do you make natural homemade tanning oil?

To create your own natural tanning oil at home, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of carrot seed oil
  • 10 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix these ingredients thoroughly to ensure an even blend. This homemade tanning oil not only aids in achieving a deeper tan but also nourishes and hydrates the skin, thanks to the natural oils and essential oils’ beneficial properties.

What is the recommended UV for tanning?

For tanning purposes, limiting sun exposure to 15-20 minutes is generally advised when the UVB radiation level is between 30-50%. This amount of exposure is typically enough to activate melanin production in the skin, which contributes to tanning. However, it’s important to be cautious and avoid prolonged exposure as it can lead to sunburn or DNA damage, potentially causing premature aging, skin cancer, and other detrimental effects.

Can you still tan with sunscreen on?

Using sunscreen does not completely prevent tanning. Although sunscreen is a protective layer for your skin, it does not offer 100% protection against UV rays. These rays can still penetrate the sunscreen to some extent, allowing your skin to tan. It’s important to understand that while sunscreen reduces the risk of sun damage, it doesn’t entirely block all UV rays, meaning a tan can still develop even with sunscreen application.

How can I tan naturally and safely?

To achieve a natural and safe tan, follow these guidelines:

  1. Apply a suitable SPF sunscreen to protect against UV rays while still allowing for some tanning.
  2. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.
  3. Gradually increase sun exposure daily to build a tan safely.
  4. Stay hydrated to support skin health.
  5. Use a fake tan product for a safer color boost without UV exposure.
  6. Avoid sun exposure during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when UV rays are strongest.
  7. Wear a sunhat and sunglasses for added protection.
  8. Incorporate natural tanning oils, such as those with coconut, olive, or carrot seed oil, to nourish and moisturize the skin. Remember, these oils should be used alongside sunscreen for optimal skin protection and health.

These steps can help you tan more safely, minimizing the risk of skin damage while enhancing skin hydration and nourishment.

Mick Wadley

Mick Wadley – Founder of Skorcha

After a decade in the scorching sun as a roofer and going door-to-door in sales – I was forced to take my skin health seriously following a skin cancer scare before the age of 30.

So began my passion for suncare, which is both effective and natural. Crafted for adventure and endurance sports, Skorcha formulas are non-greasy, have no eye sting and absolutely no bullshit (100% Organic).

My goal is to share what I’ve learned about skin health and safe ingredients, inspiring happier, healthier lives through adventure, organic goodness and conservation!

Help us plant a mangrove tree with every Skorcha product sold to protect fragile marine ecosystems and support underprivileged communities around the world.


Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Skorcha recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition.