Getting a tan can be as easy as just lounging around in the sun for a couple of hours, but if you’re like me and you live in Maine, getting some quality sun time can be a bit of a challenge. There are tons of guides on how to get lighter skin, mostly because people think it’s easy to darken your skin anyway. While it’s easy for people who live in warmer climes or have access to tanning booths, for pasty people like me who live in year-round chilly conditions and can’t afford regular visits to tanning beds, we need more long-term solutions.
While spray-on solutions help, they can sometimes be unnatural-looking, especially if applied by someone inexperienced. Instead, choose these all-natural solutions to get darker skin. None of these remedies use artificial ointments or chemical solutions; rather, it stresses the importance of a balanced (albeit different) diet, getting the right nutrients into your system, using all-natural supplements, and of course, the most important factor of all, which you’ll see in the end.
How to Get Darker Skin Using: A Balanced, but Different, Diet
A balanced diet is a great way for you to retain skin that is youthful, vibrant, and clear. However, did you know that there are certain foods you can eat that can actually alter your skin tone and give you darker skin?
All foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain large amounts of color pigments in their flesh. This color comes from the presence of certain vitamins and minerals that lend their color to the food in question. In fact, people have been known to turn their skin orange because they ate an excessive amount of food containing beta-carotene, a vitamin that’s found in carrots. Eating an excessive amount of tomatoes, on the other hand, has also been known to turn your skin into a dark orange/reddish tone.
Changing your diet to include large amounts of carrots, tomatoes, and other dark-colored vegetables can go a long way to darkening your skin and giving you a year-round tan that even your most hardcore beach bum friend will envy. The best part? Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays so that when you do catch some sun, you only get the good stuff from the sunlight. Besides, a balanced diet rich in veggies gives you that porcelain skin that’s the envy of people everywhere.
How to Get Darker Skin Using: Vitamin Supplements
Not a fan of carrots and tomatoes? Not a problem: vitamin supplements are readily available for you to benefit from beta-carotene without consuming too many vegetables that you might not like. Beta-carotene supplements contain large amounts of the mineral and are designed in such a way that it is either released slowly into your system or formulated in such a way that your body stores the beta-carotene for later use.
As you start taking your beta-carotene supplements, your body will start processing it gradually, which in turn, will gradually start turning your skin darker, with a slight orange hue that’s present in most healthy tans. Of course, as with any pill, always consult with your doctor on what a healthy amount is. After all, just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean that you can’t overdose on a vitamin.
My advice? Play it safe and just eat your veggies. Yes, veggies can be kinda gross if you don’t cook it properly, but these can be remedied with some well-researched recipes, some YouTube videos on proper cooking techniques, and a more adventurous palette. Eat your vitamins, don’t take them as pills!
How to Get Darker Skin Using: Natural Oils
We’re not talking about those weird, chemical suntan oils that bodybuilders use; rather, we’re talking about essential oils like Emu Oil (derived from the Australian Emu bird) have naturally dark pigmentation that seeps into your skin and forms a tan-like appearance. When done right, Emu oil can give you a shade that’s one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. If you’re going for Emu Oil, always go for the all-natural stuff: the fewer artificial ingredients, the better.
But what if you’re vegan and you’re not big on using animal-derived products? Don’t worry, nature’s got you covered: there are tons of vegan suntan oils out there that use all-natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, green tea extracts, and other plant-based products. Of course, these suntan oils might require a bit of sun for you to get the most out of them, but that’s all you’ll need for a natural, cruelty-free tan.
How to Get Darker Skin Using: A Regular Moisturizing Regimen
Dark spots and sun spots appear on your skin when it’s too dry. Having a regular, moisturizing regimen, however, can prevent that and give you a clearer and lighter complexion. But what if you’re already very light and fair? Will moisturizing make you even whiter?
Nope. In fact, a proper moisturizing regimen can actually help you get darker skin that’s more even and tanner. This is because skin that’s been properly moisturized is protected from UV rays, which means you reduce the risk of skin cancer and burning. When your skin is properly moisturized, your skin’s natural melatonin receptors are able to receive the sunlight better, which means that they produce more melatonin and thus giving you darker skin.
But, again, the benefits of a regular moisturizing regimen, much like going on a veggie diet and using natural suntan oils, all require one, very crucial element…
The Best Way to Get Darker Skin: You Need to Spend Time in the Sun
There are no two ways about it: getting a tan is all about getting a healthy amount of sunlight during the day, even if it’s just 30 minutes to an hour of sunshine on a daily basis. Yes, that’s all it actually takes, but you need to get the good sunlight: morning sunlight, that is, sunlight present in the first couple of hours in the morning, is the most beneficial to the skin, as this light is bright and warm enough to activate certain cells in our bodies to start producing Vitamin D (which is why it’s called the Sunshine Vitamin). It’s the best way to change skin colors: a healthy dose of sunlight.
Combined with the other methods in this list, even just an hour of the sun (yes, even during the winter) can go a long way to giving you that California, sun-kissed look all year round.