Get a Sexy Summer Tan with Olive Oil | The Olive Oil Source

Get a Sexy Summer Tan with Olive Oil

By Carol Firenze
May 01, 2012

The last chapter in my book, The Passionate Olive – 101 Things to do with Olive Oil, is titled, “Let’s Hear from You”. After sharing over one hundred ways for my readers to use olive oil in their daily lives, I asked if they had any tips or secret recipes they would like to share. The wealth of suggestions I received ranged from putting a dab of olive oil on your nails and cuticles before putting on pantyhose in order to prevent snags, to using EVOO (with its anti-microbial properties) to get rid of bacteria on the teeth and gums of people and dogs! But now that summer is just around the corner, let’s talk about how olive oil can help you look “hot” in your shorts, bathing suits and sleeveless tops!

One of my all-time favorite tips I learned from famed esthetician to the stars, Raya Ruder, when she shared her natural trick for getting a glamorous tan, Hollywood-style in a New York Times article published in 2005. It involves using coffee grounds and olive oil to get a sexy summer tan. Yes, coffee grounds. Best of all, it’s a healthy and cost-effective way to get that perfect self-tan and use up any aging olive oil on your kitchen pantry at the same time.

My Tanning History

What's Carol Firenze's recipe for a healthy indoor tan?Growing up in California near the beach, sunbathing was a regular summer pastime. As a teenager, my girlfriends and I would compete for the best tan. My girlfriends would use baby oil and I would use (what else?) olive oil – each of us with the goal of getting the deepest tan possible in the shortest amount of time. Needless to say, times have changed. Today, I never go out in the sun without protection from harmful rays with a UVA/UVB sunscreen lotion (SPF 30). But if you would like to get a healthy, natural and safe indoor tan, I have a recipe for success.

Exfoliate and Look Bronzed

First, gather up the following items:

  • 1 cup used coffee grounds (fresh and warm grounds will work best)

  • 1 cup of olive oil

  • Optional: Newspapers to line the floor of your bathroom; disposable plastic gloves


  1. Combine the olive oil and coffee grounds. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  2. With your clothes off, stand in the shower (for those who don’t want coffee grounds in the tub) or stand on newspaper that’s been spread on the floor. Apply the coffee/olive oil mixture to your skin and scrub it in for 5 minutes. Let it sit for another 10 minutes on your body.

  3. Shower off the mixture with warm water and feel how silky smooth your skin is! If you do this twice a week, your skin will get a golden, tan color.

The coffee mixture will help exfoliate your skin and as an added benefit, if you vigorously rub the coffee grounds/olive oil mixture on pesky cellulite spots, they will lessen in appearance. Coffee is considered a stimulant and may break down fat deposits when rubbed in a circular motion on trouble spots.

Remember, after your shower put some olive oil on your skin. Not only is it a skin smoother and softener, but it has great penetrating ability.

Oops … Tan Palms?

Your hands will tend to absorb your “tanning solution” if you don’t wear gloves. If your palms become discolored, just grab some sea salt and olive oil. Scrub gently to remove the excess color while moisturizing your hands at the same time.

You don’t have to go outside to get that sun-kissed glow; everything you need is already in your kitchen. Talk about recycling! Not only do you have a new use for your used coffee grounds, but you can also make good use of last year’s olive oil or that EVOO that you forgot in the back of your cupboard. And when your friends ask you what expensive tanning solution you used to get that great look, just smile mysteriously.