Cocoa powder is a popular ingredient to use in DIY self-tanning mixtures at home, it is easily available and has many health and beauty benefits for the skin as well.
However, cocoa powder is infused in many different beauty products, such as in face powders, face masks, exfoliators, and self-tanners.
Does cocoa powder actually darken the skin? Whether or not cocoa powder darkens the skin depends on how it is used, and what ingredients it is mixed with. Fine cocoa powder mixed with unscented lotion can help to change the appearance of the skin, giving it a darker appearance, however, this is not a permanent color, and will be washed away when you shower or bath.
Cocoa powder has many great benefits for the skin, and using it as a non-permanent self-tanner can give you a gorgeous tan for a short period of time, and used as a treatment for skin it has some wonderful effects.
The Best Natural Bronzer With Cocoa Extract
Before we dive into the DIY version of tanning with cocoa powder, I want to share my absolute favorite bronzer of all time.
The Drunk Elephant Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum contains cocoa extract, platinum peptides, and white tea extract, which work together to give your skin a beautifully bronzed glow.
It looks a little pricey at first, but when you realize that you only need one drop for your face, you realize that this amazing bronzer will last you a ridiculously long time.
How To Make Bronzer With Cocoa Powder
When using cocoa powder to darken skin, you will be using it as a self-tanner. Making a cocoa powder self-tanner at home is quite easy, and is inexpensive compared to self-tanners you can buy at the store.
DIY Cocoa Powder Bronzer Ingredients and Instructions
To darken your skin using cocoa powder, you will need the following ingredients:
Here is how to mix all the ingredients:
- Add the coconut oil to a mixing bowl
- Add an equal amount of cocoa powder to the coconut oil
- Using the spatula, mix the two ingredients together
- Mix until everything is blended together, forming a smooth texture
- Dip the body brush into the mixture, but do not overdo it, a little of the mixture goes a long way
5 Steps to Using Cocoa Powder to Tan Skin
Now that your mixture is ready, you will need to apply it to your skin to help darken the tone, giving you a summer tan without any of the sun.
1. Pat it on
You should start with your legs, working your way up. Being gentle, tap the brush with the mixture onto your skin.
Once you have used the brush to put some product on your legs, use your hands to massage it better over your skin, but take note that this will take some time as the coconut oil needs to absorb into your skin.
2. Move Up
Continue to dab the mixture on your skin as you work your way up to your body, and methodically massage it gently into your skin, not letting the oil touch any of your clothes as it might stain the material.
3. Blend it all
Once you have applied the cocoa powder mixture to your skin, blend it in one more time with your hands to get even coverage, blending in all areas that need some extra attention.
4. Let it dry
You need to make sure that the coconut oil mixture has completely absorbed into your skin, not only to allow it to take on a deep hue, giving you that tanned appearance but to also stop it from staining your clothes and linen.
You will not need to apply any other lotions or oils to your skin as the coconut oil in the cocoa powder tanner will give your skin some great nourishment, keeping it hydrated and glowing, allowing you to properly showcase your new tan.
Maintenance is a bit tricky, as the cocoa powder formula will more than likely wash off as soon as you jump into the shower, so it is only a temporary solution.
You might find that not all of the cocoa powder stain comes off your skin, and you might have to exfoliate to get it all off. While this does speak to the formula lasting longer, it is not waterproof at all, so some might wash away, and some might stay, which means that you will have some darker patches on your skin.
You will have to repeat the above method whenever you want an instant, temporary tan, and if you are looking for a long-term solution, you will need to look to self-tanners bought from the store.
For a real review of using cocoa powder to darken skin, check out this video by Ellko. She doesn’t recommend cocoa powder as a self-tanning alternative, which I completely agree with given how easily it washes off when you apply water (or even sweat).
Watching this will save you the time it would take to test it out yourself. However, keep in mind that she uses lotion, not coconut oil, which is more likely to wash off with the water that she applies during the video.
Some Tips For Darkening Skin With Cocoa Powder
Making a self-tanner with cocoa powder is pretty easy, and applying it is simple as well. However, a few simple tips can make using it a bit easier.
- You can store any leftover coconut oil and cocoa powder mixture in a plastic container or in a mason jar kept in the pantry for when you need to reapply the tanning mixture. This stops any waste, and you can make a big batch to use for a few applications.
- Coconut oil is a great option, as it has many great benefits, but you can also choose to use another unscented lotion as well, whichever suits your skin best, and whichever will give your skin some wonderful moisture.
- Make sure to exfoliate before applying the cocoa powder, as this will rid your skin of a build-up of skin cells, and any other impurities, creating a fresh canvas for the cocoa powder to really build a dark color.
- It is important to note that the cocoa powder formula will look really dark when you mix it up, but it will not be as dark when applied to the skin. However, if you are worried it is too dark, you can add more lotion until it is more suited to your preference.
- The color it appears when you apply it to your skin is the color it will remain. It will not develop a darker color over time, so you should consider doing a test patch, and if it is too dark, you should lighten the formula a bit.
Benefits Of Cocoa Powder For The Skin
Cocoa powder, whether you are using it as a self-tanner or as a treatment for your skin, has some undeniable benefits. The biggest advantage is that cocoa powder contains free radicals, which help to protect the skin against signs of aging, making skin appear more youthful.
Raw cocoa powder is the best to use, as it has not been over-refined, which could destroy some of its beauty benefits. Raw cocoa powder is also used to maintain the health of skin thanks to flavanols. These flavonols help to decrease the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin, while still enhancing hydration and elasticity.
Using cocoa powder will help to clear, soften and detoxify your skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Some people believe that cocoa powder actually lightens the skin, which is in contrast to using it as a self-tanner. Cocoa powder, especially in raw form, really helps to clear the skin, which can make it appear lighter.
It can reduce dark spots and scars, which once again can result in an appearance of lighter, more youthful-looking skin.
So What Does Cocoa Powder Actually Do?
Used as a self-tanning lotion, cocoa powder can help to temporarily darken the skin, giving you a tan without any of the damage done by the sun.
Used as a face mask or as a face treatment, cocoa powder can help to clear the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and give a brighter complexion.
Whatever you use the cocoa powder for, and whatever form you use it in, it will have some great benefits for your skin and have a great chocolatey smell as well.
Can I apply cocoa powder on my face?
It is completely safe to apply cocoa powder to your face, even if you have sensitive skin. To make a beauty mask, you can mix a tablespoon of cocoa powder, sugar, honey, and butter, to create a paste.
Gently massage it onto your skin and leave it to rest for 20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and repeat this once or twice a week for glowing, clear skin.
While you’re at it, you can also check out these awesome sugar scrubs for your face when you’re ready to wash it off and want to exfoliate.
Is cocoa powder good to use on hair?
Cocoa powder is great for many different purposes, and other than using it on your skin, it can be great to use to promote the health of your hair as well.
Cocoa is rich in magnesium, which helps to fight against hair loss. It helps to add shine, vibrancy, and volume and hair growth, with some additional nutrients to boot.
Cocoa powder is natural, and completely safe to use on your hair, leaving it fuller, shinier, with more body and more vibrancy.
Cocoa powder is a natural product that is perfect to use to treat your skin. Used as a face mask or scrub, cocoa powder can actually lighten the skin, giving it a clearer complexion, with a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Used as a self-tanner, cocoa powder can temporarily darken the skin, giving it the appearance of a gorgeous tan without the help from the sun. However, this darkening of the skin will not build over time and will be washed off in the shower.
If you are looking for a temporary solution to darker skin, cocoa powder is a safe and natural way to go.