Foods That Tan Your Skin Naturally

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Foods That Tan Your SkinFoods that tan your skin naturally? Sounds completely ridiculous right?

Well, maybe not…

Did you know that most of the primary ingredients used in tanning products can also be found naturally in some foods?

For example Millenium Tanning’s most popular lotion contains straight carrot seed oil as well as tyrosine, which can be found egg whites, salmon, soy and many other foods.

I’m going to give you a break down of what I believe to be the best foods that can effectively tan your skin naturally.


These are one of the most effective ways of naturally tanning your skin. It’s a little hard to understand how they work, so try to think of them like tiny colored particles that are taken directly to skin cells. Once there, they naturally change the pigmentation of your skin.

What most people don’t realize is there are over 600 different varieties of carotenoids, many of which can be found naturally in our foods.

Here’s my list of favorites:


They contain A LOT of beta-carotene, one of the most powerful carotenoids. Make sure you don’t overdo it with the carrots as the color they can offer might be a little orange for your liking!

Just remember – “A carrot a day should keep the paleness away.”

Sweet Potatoes

Again a great source of beta-carotene, but not as high as carrots. It also contains a ton of vitamin A. This will help increase the production of melanin, which is responsible for changing the color of your skin.

Anything high in vitamin A, will have a positive effect on your tan.


Did you know that just one apricot contains almost 15% of your daily vitamin A requirements? Like the two mentioned above, they also contains a lot of beta-carotene that will again lead to a natural tanning effect.

As a general sidenote, any of the orange colored fruits and vegetables will contain a ton of carotenoids.


This is an important amino acid that aids in the production of melanin. Next chance you get, take at look at the ingredients on your outdoor tanning lotion as it’s likely tyrosine will appear on the list.

Like carotenoids, this amino acid is also found naturally in many of the foods we eat today.

My fave tyrosine-rich foods include:


Definitely the food with the highest amount of tyrosine. Okay so munching down on seaweed all day doesn’t sound too appealing, so I recommend taking it as a supplement instead.

Make sure you get the organic variety as the synthetic brands are less likely to react well with your body. This is the brand I use that contains 400 tablets. They say take 6 per day, but I recommend just taking 2 so it will last you for a  lot longer.

Soy Foods

Any form of soy product will also contain a high level of tyrosine. I’m not a huge fan of the taste of soy, so I again use this supplement. You don’t have to use a lot and I recommend combining it in any smoothie for the best results.

Egg Whites

What are you currently eating for breakfast? Try switching over to eating eggs whites, fried with some spinach and green onions as this will definitely add a little extra glow to your skin.

There are a ton of great foods high in tyrosine worth checking out here when you get a chance.

Riboflavin(Vitamin B2)

This works in a very similar way to tyrosine. Riboflavin usually appears on the backs of most tanning accelerators as it’s one of the best ingredients known to help increase the production of melanin.

Remember, once activated the more melanin our skin can produce the more intense our overall tan will look. Anything that can help increase the production of melanin is certainly going to be of use to us.

Some of my favorite foods high in riboflavin include:


Eating just a handful of almonds will offer you around 60% of your daily requirement of roboflavin. They’re also rich in Vitamin E, again an essential component for the production of melanin.

As a personal preference, I like to throw them into my salad every day. They are high in fat so make sure you don’t overdo it with your almonds!

Fish(Atlantic salmon, mackerel and trout)

Mackerel is one of the best sources of vitamin B2 as one small fillet contains 56% of your daily recommend intake. The next step down is salmon followed by trout.

These 3 species of fish are also a great source of fat-free protein…boooonus!

Dried Spices & Herbs

Spices and herbs are an easy source of riboflavin, with dried paprika containing the highest amount followed by coriander(cilantro). One really simple suggestion would be to mix some dried paprika into your salad dressing. Not only will you be getting most of your daily requirement of Vitamin B2, but it also gives your salad a nice little kick.

Finally as an added bonus, paprika is known to have weight loss properties as well!

Foods To Stay Away From

Just like there are foods that tan your skin, there are also those which can take it away. If you’re currently consuming too much of the following types, than chances are it’s seriously hindering your ability to tan.

Too Much Vitamin C!

There’s a reason why most skin lightening creams contain ingredients high in vitamin C. This is one of the most effective ways of stopping the production of melanin. I’m not saying don’t take any vitamin C because it is essential for a healthy body, but just don’t overdo it.

Try and stick to your recommended daily intake, which is 60-95mg/day.


Definitely not something I’m willing to give up completely! I have however made an effort to cut back over the past 6 months and my skin is definitely starting to reap the rewards. :-)

Anything that causes your skin to become dehydrated will affect the production of melanin. Another good example of this is…


If you’re overdoing the latte’s then try and cut back to one a day girl! Better yet switch over to black tea and while you’re at it, you can make your own self tanner from home using this recipe.

Anything High In Salt

Salt is one the fastest ways of dehydrating your skin. Work on seriously cutting back your sodium intake. The more moisture contained in our skin, the better its ability to produce melanin.


Yes it does sounds ridiculous that certain types of food can have an effect on our ability to tan. I know because I used to think the same thing.!

It wasn’t until my Mom told me a story about when I was growing up, she was always amazed at my ability to consume a crazy amount of carrots every day. She said she used to have to stop me from eating too many because my skin was starting to turn bright orange. My teacher actually asked her one day if I was using a fake tan at home before coming to school!

And no I wasn’t in case you’re wondering 😉

Yes the beta-carotene in carrots and other vegetables can change your skin tone, but probably the more important lesson to take from this is to work on keeping your skin hydrated as much as possible. The more moisture in your skin, the easier it is to produce more melanin and that’s the real reason why our skin forms a healthy looking tan.

Hope that helped some of you!

Keep an eye out for next week because I’m going to offer you guys some meals high in what was mentioned in this article today.

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