DIY Suntan Oil

DIY Sun Tan Oil

Hi!  The sun is out, birds are chirping and the HEAT is high!  I’m ready to get some healthy color!!  As I was getting my 20 minutes of sunlight the other day, I literally was blinded by my white, dry legs-Ewww!  Not hot.  Beach babe not present here.  It dawned on me that this would be the perfect time to hydrate.  Seriously-heat will open pores and help moisture penetrate deeper-ever heard of a “hot oil treatment”?  Well, it’s not just for your hair!

Believe it or not there are oils that actually have a decent SPF!  I’m going to give you some options on this DIY recipe.  It will all depend on how high you need your SPF to be.  I personally don’t like any SPF.  Daily, I spend very small amounts of time outside-read why HERE.  When I’m soaking up the sun for my 10-20 minutes a day, SPF only blocks my bodies ability to produce Vitamin D.  Your body LOVES vitamin D-Read more on that HERE.  However, it is possible to make a nourishing suntan oil that has a decent SPF.  Pick and choose your oils of choice and remember to only use high quality ingredients.  That could made a difference in the SPF efficiency.  I have linked my suggestions.

Oils with an SPF:

Red Raspberry Leaf=SPF 28-50

Wheatgerm=20 SPF

Carrot Seed Essential Oil=SPF 30-40

Sandalwood Essential Oil=SPF 30

Coconut Oil=SPF 2-8

Avocado Oil=SPF 4-15

Olive Oil=SPF 2-15

Lavender Essential Oil=SPF 6

Macadamia Nut Oil=SPF 6

DIY Suntan Oil

DIY Suntan Oil

1/2 cup Wheatgerm Oil (find it HERE)

1/2 cup Macadamia Nut Oil (find it HERE)

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)

5 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil (find it HERE)

2 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil (find it HERE)

Precautionary Tips!

  • When using a new sunblock/oil whether it’s homemade or store bought, always test it out before spending large amounts of time in the sun.  Start by only staying outside for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.  Notice how your skin responds.  Everyone is different.
  • Because the oil will not soak in, your skin will be “shiny”.  This can actually attract the sun to your skin and make you burn or tan faster. 
  • I absolutely always protect my face from the sun.  Sun damage rears it’s UGLY head around your late 20’s-early 30’s.  From that point on, sun damage is very easy to acquire.  Trust me on this one.  Hats and large sunglasses are a staple.
  • If you are going to be in the sun for more than 10-20 minutes you must re-apply your sunblock or oil every 3 hours at least.  Read HERE for more info. on sunblocks and SPFs.
  • Natural oils oxidize (lose some of their medicinal properties) over time and when exposed to light.  Always store your oil in a dark glass bottle and I like to keep mine under my lawn chair or beach bag rather than in sunlight.
  • Except Red Raspberry Seed Oil, most plant oils protect only against UVB rays.  UVA rays are the ones that AGE you so do not use this oil to protect for long amounts of sun time.  Best option is to switch to a natural sunblock.
  • The shelf life of any sunscreens or oils is about a year.  Don’t use the same product for more than 2 summers!

Pros of Using a DIY Suntan Oil:

  • Using an oil sunblock can give a more even tan.  It reflects and distributes the sunlight across all oiled areas.
  • By using an oil, you will attract the sun to your skin and tan quickly.  The flip side of that coin is that you will also burn more quickly!!
  • Organic oils are so nourishing to the skin.

If you do get a sunburn Aloe Vera Gel with a few drops of Lavender is very healing-Go HERE for a sunburn relief DIY.   For healing the face, chest or shoulder, manuka honey is an excellent mask to heal and relieve.  Leave on as long as you like.  Go HERE for more info. on manuka honey.

Be good to your skin, it’s your largest organ!!  LIMIT your time in the sun.  NEVER allow your skin to burn and be sure to replenish your skin with a moisturizer afterwards.

xx, Jenni


Receive my weekly newsletter and never miss a post!

Plus get 10 free labels for all your DIY projects


DIY Suntan Oil




  1. May 18, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    I would love to see a version of this diy with a bronze shimmer in it!

  2. Chantelle
    July 23, 2014 / 2:18 am

    This looks like a great recipe! Question about the SPFs of the oils: How many drops of the essential oils or the carrier oils are required in order to achieve the SPF you listed?
    Thank you!

    • August 2, 2014 / 7:40 pm

      Chantelle-so sorry to take so long to respond. I’m not sure what you mean. Straight lavender, carrot seed and sandalwood oil will provide the spf listed. Because there is no way to determine an exact spf of a mix of these oils I came up with a formulation that I believe will give you decent protection. Hope this makes sense! Thanks!

  3. February 12, 2016 / 8:14 am

    Hi this is Kelly with HULA TAN .com We would like you to check out our product.
    Will send you a bottle . Need your address .

  4. Steve
    March 15, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    Macademia and Wheatgerm oils are expensive. Are there cheaper alternatives to them? 🙂

    • Jenni
      March 25, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      Steve-Not when you want a Suntan Oil to have an SPF. If you don’t mind lowering the SPF (down to very little), you could use whichever oil you like.

  5. Katie
    August 29, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    MRH mentions that wheatgerm oil has a very strong odor. Is the odor still very strong since it makes up half of recipe? Is there anything it smells similar to?

    • Jenni
      September 6, 2017 / 10:22 am

      Katie-I don’t think the smell is offensive but the essential oils cut it quite a bit.

  6. October 11, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    does it give a real tan? or is this just like “washable”

    • Jenni
      October 12, 2017 / 8:29 pm

      Janet-This DIY gives no color-it just enhances what the sun will do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *