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Growing up, I was a tanning bed queen. Like any teenager growing up in the early 2000’s (ok, maybe not any… :-)), tanning beds were an easy fix for pale skin. Living in Florida definitely didn’t help. As strange as it sounds, when you are able to get sun all year around, you are expected to be tan all year around. Who has time for that?!
As I got older and more aware of the skin damaging effects of UV rays, I stopped using tanning beds and started using sunless tanners instead. This is not an easy substitution, as no tanning lotions are made alike. I have found that it is best to start with a bronzing lotion that will wash off, especially if you have an important event.
If you are looking for a temporary bronzing lotion for a night out, don’t waste your money on expensive lotions or sprays. You are going to wash it off in the shower anyways, so why not make your own at home?
While searching for diy liquid bronzer for my own use, I was frustrated with all of the recipes that involved cornstarch, cocoa powder and other kitchen spices. I wanted a nice glow without smelling like a chocolate milkshake.
Instead of kitchen ingredients, I decided to try cosmetic grade mica. This ingredient is a naturally occurring mineral that is refined and used to add color to cosmetics. Many natural diy bronzing powder recipes use mica, so why not try in it in a liquid form?
This skincare recipe is so easy to modify based on what you already have at home. This recipe is for 2 ounces of lotion and fits well in this jar.
Fill a small jar with an ounce of unscented lotion. Stir in bronze cosmetic mica powder. Remember, a little goes a long way. I like to add a little bit of aloe for consistency and its skin benefits. I find that its easier to blend the diy bronzing lotion when you have a gel-like texture and not just a thick lotion. Raspberry seed oil is a good addition for its anti-inflammatory and skin soothing benefits. If you want to add a mild scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I like geranium for its light floral scent, but you can try sweet orange or ylang ylang, depending on what scent you are going for.
If you are looking for something longer lasting, you can purchase dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This is the ingredient that is in self-tanners that turns your skin temporarily bronzed. The Making Cosmetics website that is linked above does mention that you should purchase Erythrulose too, as it keeps the DHA from being orange and streaky in your product. I don’t know much about this, but I will follow up with a post once I have tested it.
I have heard some negative reports about DHA floating around the internet. It does, however, appear that DHA is regarded as safe for topical use by the FDA.
I did see a report about how DHA could potentially cause damage to your DNA and possibly cancer. Despite this Prevention article’s dire headline, it seems that as long as you are using a way where you can control the application and avoid inhalation and mucus membranes, it is safe. The FDA has issued a warning on spray tans for this reason.
Have you had any success making your own diy liquid bronzers? Share your recipes in the comments!