How To Use Olive Oil To Get Tanned Skin

Know how you can get baked into a gorgeous sun-kissed shade with the help of the oil from olives.

Medically reviewed by Dr. CP Thajudheen, MD Dr. CP Thajudheen Dr. CP ThajudheenMD facebook_icontwitter_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BE Jyotsana Rao BE linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
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Most of us love the sun-kissed look of our skin. And if you wish to tan your skin, you may use olive oil for tanning. The moisturizing minerals in this oil penetrate deep into the skin to give you that smooth and soft healthy skin look. Moreover, the lusteri  A glowing appearance of the skin that occurs when it undergoes a proper skin care routine, reflecting good health. of olive oil attracts the sun’s heat, making it one of the best natural remedies to get a glowing tan.

A study published in Pharmaceuticals in 2021 showed that extract from dry olive leaves can be used to enhance pigmentation in individuals with different skin types. This graph indicates how olive leaf extract increases melanin content in the cells and aids tanning.

Effect Of Olive Oil On Melanin Production

Source: A Novel Pro-Melanogenic Effect of Standardized Dry Olive Leaf Extract on Primary Human Melanocytes from Lightly Pigmented and Moderately Pigmented Skin

Scroll down to know how to use olive oil for tanning.

How To Use Olive Oil For Tanning

There are different types of olive oil, and for a great tan, what you need is extra virgin olive oil. Make sure that you have a large bottle and a timer before you start. All you need to do is:

  1. Lay a large-sized towel on a tanning bed or chair.
  2. Set your timer to 30 minutes. Once you know how your skin reacts to the oil, you can make adjustments to the time you spend tanning.
  3. Apply the oil to a small piece of cloth or towel and rub it all over the front of your body, not forgetting your face.
  4. Lay down on your back as soon as you start the timer. Relax and close your eyes.
  5. Once the 30 minutes are over, rub the olive oil with the cloth all over the back of your body. If you wish to, you can rub the oil off your face now.
  6. Set another 30 minutes on your timer and lay face-down on your tanning bed.
  7. When your tanning session is done, wash off the olive oil thoroughly in the shower with soap.

That is all you need to do to get the perfect tanning with olive oil. Half an hour is all you need, as this fantastic oil shortens the tanning period by a large extent when compared to the time it takes with other tanning lotions.

Tips To Remember

Before you get a tan using olive oil, there are a few handy skin care tips that you should keep in mind. They will help you get the effect you desire. These tips include the following:

1. Learn About The Different Types Of Olive Oil

Knowing the different types of olive oil will help you determine what kind is suitable for your skin type
Image: Shutterstock

It is important to know about the different varieties of olive oil that are out there. What you want is pure olive oil. The processed types have artificial ingredients that may not suit your skin. As mentioned earlier, extra virgin olive oil is the best as it is the purest.

2. Learn How It Helps Your Skin Tan

Legs of a woman sunbathing on the beach after having oiled herself
Image: IStock

As you know, olive oil comes with many benefits for health as well as for skin. Its natural properties make your skin soft and silky smooth. The heat of the sun is attracted by its lustre, and this is something that you do not get with other tanning products. Olive oil can give you a tan that is browner and deeper, and it takes very little time.

3. Learn How To Use It

It is not hard to learn how to use olive oil for tanning. All you need to do is make sure that you apply it evenly all over your body. Set the time for 30 minutes, as it is just the right amount of time you need to get a beautiful tan. You can always adjust it if needed.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can add lemon juice, carrot juice, coffee grounds, and avocado oil to olive oil to make it a better, natural anti-aging tanning oil.

4. Learn How To Apply It

Woman at the beach applying olive oil to her arms and shoulders
Image: Shutterstock

The best way to apply olive oil on your skin for a tan is to use a small towel or piece of cloth. Soak the cloth generously into the oil and massage it evenly on the exposed parts of your body. Keep in mind that your skin should be dry before application. Be generous while applying the oil, but do not apply so much that it starts to drip. 

5. Learn How To End Your Tanning Session Properly

Woman enjoys a therapeutic bubble bath to wash off the oil from her sun tanning session
Image: Shutterstock

When you have tanned your front for 30 minutes, repeat the procedure on your back. Once your entire body is done, it is important that you wash the oil off completely. You can use ordinary soap, but if you want a more luxurious treatment, have a fragrant bubble bath and relax for a while. Gently wash the oil off with a loofah and feel how soft and smooth your skin becomes.

6. Learn To Be Careful

Remember to take a proper bath to wash off the oil
Image: IStock

As you know, extensive exposure to the sun can cause a lot of damage. It can result in premature aging and skin cancer. You can also damage your eyes if they are exposed to the sun for too long. This is why you always need to be careful when you are tanning. It is best not to stay in direct sunlight for over an hour on each side. Apart from the dangerous effects just mentioned, you could end up getting a sunburn as your skin absorbs the olive oil.

protip_icon Quick Tip
After getting a tan, ensure to moisturize your skin properly and wear a sunscreen that offers a UV protection of 30 SPF (sun protection factor) or higher for proper protection and to avoid skin peelingi  A condition where the uppermost skin layer is damaged due to exposure to irritants like pollution and UV rays, and starts to come off. .

Getting a tan with a beneficial oil like olive oil is far better than using the suntan lotions that you find in the stores. It is also a much safer alternative to sun-bedsi  Also known as a tanning bed, it is a bed-like apparatus containing a device emitting UV rays causing direct skin tanning. and other tanning devices since it is in its natural form. There are no chemicals or other harmful artificial ingredients that could damage your skin. By using olive oil, you also enhance your skin’s beauty, minimize the risk of developing skin conditions and heal skin infections, if any.

But how well does olive oil compare to coconut oil when it comes to tanning? Keep reading to know more.

Is Coconut Oil Or Olive Oil Better For Tanning?

Coconut oil is packed with nourishing fatty acids that do wonders for your skin. It acts like a natural moisturizer with a little sun protection in it (SPF) (1). It is a great choice to keep your sensitive skin soft and hydrated.

When it comes to tanning, you can use both coconut oil and olive oil. But if you want a deeper, more luscious tan, olive oil may be what you need thanks to its oleic acid content that absorbs deeper, aiding moisturization and healing (2). Otherwise, you can also use extra virgin coconut oil. However, remember that neither oil offers substantial sun protection. So layer on proper sunscreen with a good SPF to keep your skin safe from harmful UV rays.

Infographic: A Simple Guide To Using Olive Oil To Get Tanned Skin

Everyone is aware of the wonderful advantages of olive oil. One of its amazing perks is that it gives you a nice tan. It is the luster of this oil that attracts the sun’s rays, resulting in a gorgeous tan. Check out the infographic below to understand how to use olive oil to get tanned skin.

a simple guide to using olive oil to get tanned skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most effective and natural ways to tan your skin. It attracts the sun’s heat and helps you get a browner and deeper skin tone. The key is to know how to use olive oil for tanning. Apply it on one side of the body evenly using a cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes before applying it on the other side. However, you need to dry your skin thoroughly before starting the tanning procedure. When this oil is applied, limit your sun exposure to the prescribed time (one hour for each side) to avoid damaging your skin. So, practice sun safety.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can olive oil burn your skin?

It is possible. When olive oil interacts with the skin’s natural oils, it may cause irritation, rashes, or redness.

Can you put olive oil around your private area?

No. It is not advisable to put olive oil around your private area as it may clog pores and lead to breakoutsi  Pus-filled bumps that occur on the skin when the hair follicles become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells or bacteria. and infection.

What is the SPF of olive oil?

Olive oil has an SPF of around 8 and shouldn’t be used independently as a sunblock. It is not enough to protect your skin; you need a sun lotion or a sun cream with at least SPF 15-30 to prevent sun damage.

Key Takeaways

  • Exposing each side of your body to the sun for at least 30 minutes after covering it in olive oil gives you the tan you desire.
  • The luster of olive oil attracts the heat of the sun and gives you a brown and deep tan.
  • After your tanning session, make sure to wash off the oil completely using soap.
  • Excess exposure to direct sunlight can damage your skin.
olive oil for tanning_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Flaunt a natural, sun-kissed glow without exposing yourself to damaging sun rays! Know how to make your own DIY tanning/bronzing oil? Take a look at this video, now!


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics
  2. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
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Dr. CP Thajudheen has over 20 years of experience in various lasers, light-based devices, and other advanced equipment. He was one of the beginners who introduced cutaneous lasers in India. He carries out dermato surgeries regularly, including hair grafting and vitiligo surgeries.

Read full bio of Dr. CP Thajudheen