The Pintester Takes on Homemade Self Tanner

I know it’s August, but it’s hard to get tan when you wear SPF 80 if you step outside even for a minute for fear of burning like a boiled lobster. We of Scandinavian descent can’t have it any other way. It’s pale as a ghost, or burned all to hell. Luckily, Pinterest has a solution for us:

It’s a self-tanner using black tea. Should work, right? I mean, it stains your teeth, so why not your legs?

I steeped myself some tea and set out to test it.

And then I tried to take a Before picture like 80 bajillion times because I couldn’t find an angle that didn’t make my legs look fat. (Turns out it wasn’t the angle’s fault. Hrm.)

I opted for the sponge method rather than the spray bottle method, mostly because I don’t trust my aim with a spray bottle and I didn’t want my walls to have a fake tan, too.

I got the bright idea to only do one leg so that the before and after picture would be irrelevant: you could just look at the tan leg and the white leg. So after I used the whole 2 cups of tea on one leg, my legs looked like this:

Can you tell which one I tanned? Yeah, me either, although when I asked my husband when he got home, he pointed to the right one, which was correct. I guess he had a 50/50 chance. So yeah, my right leg should be slightly less pale than my left leg. You be the judge.

Also, my tub looked like this when I was finished:

It definitely got tanner than my legs did.

Sooo, if you’re looking for a self-tanner solution, you should probably just go buy some. I would much rather have had this tea to drink than sponge it all over one leg for a tan you can’t really tell is there.

To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

7 Responses to The Pintester Takes on Homemade Self Tanner

  1. Sandra says:

    just recently discovered your pintrosities. you CRACK me up!! keep on testing :)

  2. Heidi O. says:

    Taking one for the testees again. We salute you.

  3. Anonyvox says:

    It looks…maybe…faintly…tanner? Maybe you should just throw 43 tea bags into a full bathtub and soak for a while. At least you wouldn’t get any streaks! (Until you got to the line of the water level.)

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  5. seattlepatricia says:

    The only thing that would work is walnut juice. Hasn’t anyone read Rudyard Kipling’s book Kim?

  6. Pingback: Homemade Self-Tanner | Pintester

  7. Lauren says:

    I can tell which leg it was… I’m wondering if maybe with regular use it’d get more tan.

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