My friend Allison is back again sharing one of my new favorite DIY skincare recipes! I’m incredibly blessed to have her share such a heartbreaking story and pray you’ll practice safe sun exposure by avoiding burns and tanning beds. Thankfully, this bronzing butter recipe is all-natural and gives you a healthy glow without having to sun bathe. I hope you love it as much as we do! –Laurie
I am not one of those people who are “melanin-blessed.” I am super-duper, extremely pale and have strawberry blonde hair. Throughout my life a variety of words and phrases have been used to describe my complexion, including: transparent, vampire, porcelain (Thanks for the positive spin, Mom!), pasty white…
Tanning Beds and Sun Damage
When I was in college, I started going to the tanning bed with friends multiple times a week in order to achieve a lovely golden brown. While my tanning buddies turned that beautiful brown color, many times I would burn while in the tanning bed – even if I just laid in it for a few minutes. Although the red color would eventually fade into a decent tan for me, I knew it was not healthy. However, I was careful to not think about the damage I was doing to my skin.
My mom would pester me about going to the tanning beds. She lectured me on skin cancer, wrinkles, sunspots, and more, but I still wouldn’t listen. I was much more interested in looking good now than worrying about my health later in life.
After graduating, my college roommate (and tanning buddy) got married and moved with her husband to Korea to teach English. However, after being overseas for only a few months, she started experiencing some strange, concerning symptoms. She was originally diagnosed with Lyme disease by the Korean doctors, but eventually had to return to the States as her health worsened. When all the tests had been run and a diagnosis had been reached, one terribly scary word emerged: melanoma. The cancer had not only affected her skin, but her entire body was invaded. Shortly after her first wedding anniversary and 25th birthday, she passed away.
Needless to say, her death not only left me heart-broken, but extremely conscious of my poor choices in regard to the sun and skin care. I stopped going to the tanning beds and became more conscientious of using sunscreen in the sun.
However, I still hated my pale skin, and therefore turned to sunless tanners for that coveted tan color. Some of the tanning lotions turned me a nice tan color, but most of them left me with orange elbows and knees, streaks on my legs, or patches of white showing where I had missed applying the lotion.
Toxic Sunless Tanner
If you use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website (www.ewg.org) to check the toxicity of many sunless tanners or tanning lotions, you would see that almost all of them are moderately to highly hazardous. Even though using these products is considered “better” than tanning in a tanning bed or lying outside without sunscreen, their hazardous ingredients do not necessarily make them “safe.”
My friend Laurie recently gave me a sample of an all-natural bronzing butter. I was honestly a little skeptical when I saw the jar because the color looked really dark. However, Laurie assured me that the butter would work with multiple skin tones and encouraged me to give it a try. I decided to do a test patch on my legs, which are the whitest part of my body. I slathered one leg up with the bronzing butter and compared it with the normal skin tone of my other leg.
A Safe Solution
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with the results! The bronzing butter added a great amount of color to my skin, didn’t leave streaks because I was able to continue blending the color while it soaked in, and turned my skin very near to the color I turn when I get a tan from the sun.
I also tried the bronzing butter on my face. I added a little to my cheekbones and was very happy with the amount of color it added. This is great because this natural product can now replace one of my (probably full of chemicals) makeup items. You know we’re all about ditching old, toxic products and switching to healthy, natural products around here!
Here’s Laurie’s Bronzing Butter recipe:
Bronzing Butter Recipe
- ¼ cup shea butter
- ¼ cup raw, unrefined cocoa butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup organic beeswax pellets
- 6 TBSP cocoa powder
- ½ TBSP gold mica powder (for shimmer)
- 20 drops Young Living essential oil of choice
Melt shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. Add cocoa powder, mica powder, and essential oils. Mix together and let set in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. Whip for approximately eight minutes. Transfer to a sealable container. Apply bronzing butter daily or as needed for a sun-kissed glow (if you find the bronzer is too thick for your liking, add a little less beeswax)!
Practice Safe Sun Exposure
One note about the bronzing butter: this is not a skin-staining product. Once you shower, the bronzing butter will wash off and you will need to reapply next time you want to be a beautiful bronze color. The great thing about this is that because the bronzing butter is natural, you don’t have to worry about constant exposure to toxins when you reapply. You can apply as many times as you like without compromising your health!
If you have been going to tanning beds or lying outside without sunscreen, I want to challenge you to make better decisions for not only your skin, but your body as a while. At the age of 22, I felt invincible and was happy ignoring the dangerous truth about my decisions; unfortunately, it took the death of a friend for me to wake up to reality. This summer, challenge yourself to make some healthy changes. Limit your time in the sun. Apply sunscreen whenever you are outside. Avoid using toxic products full of toxic chemicals to get your summer glow. Try something new and give this bronzing butter a try. Not only will you feel better about your healthy decisions, but you will look fantastic, too!
Allison Sauceda is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer and blogger at thehouseplantmomma.com. She has a life-long love for Jesus and is active in her local church. You can generally find her reading children’s books, folding mountains of laundry or changing diapers. Search “Allison” in the sidebar to read other posts she’s written here on the blog!
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