How to Make Skin Dark or Black

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Make sure your suntan lotion has a high SPF.
Make sure your suntan lotion has a high SPF. (Image: Chris Williams Black Box/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Long gone are the days of rubbing cocoa oil onto skin to achieve a darker look, as this is harmful to skin, as well as aging. With science, lotions have been created to block the harmful UV rays while you are outdoors, but they still allow your skin to achieve a darker glow. Other methods of tanning are also available for those that do not wish to go out into the sun.

Use suntan lotions. The sun is undoubtedly the single most effective tanning agent for the human skin. When your skin is exposed to the infrared rays, the melanin content starts to multiply and leads to tanning. There are a wide variety of suntan lotions available on the market that darken the existing shade of your skin. Choose a suntan lotion that is oil free, high in Vitamin E and aloe vera and that also has an SPF of at least 20, but higher if you have fairer skin. Suntan lotions can provide a radiant tan throughout the year. The color takes about two to three hours to develop while laying out in the sun. In order to develop the desired shade of tan, you should ideally give a gap of three hours after each application procedure.

Apply a sunless tanning lotion or spray. These formulas are available at most drug, grocery and beauty stores, and they allow you to get a darker shade on your skin without the harmful rays of the sun. There are many brands to choose from that give you certain instructions to follow. Make sure that you apply the substance evenly, and wash your hands immediately after use. Exfoliating your skin beforehand will give you optimal results. Many tanning salons offer this service, and it takes place inside of an enclosed booth, or the lotion or spray is applied by a professional cosmetician.

Eat tomato-based foods and emu oil. Eating tomato-based foods, such as tomato puree and carrots, also helps darken your skin tone. Alternatively, make use of emu oil for darkening the shade of your skin. Emu oil encourages the production of melanin, which in turn darkens your skin tone.

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