Homemade Natural Bronzer Recipe

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When spring hits, I always feel the need to add a little sun-kissed color to my face. I’m naturally pale and don’t have the ability to tan in the slightest, but I think that any shade of skin can get a refreshing pick-me-up from a nice bronzing powder! Instead of searching around for the best bronzer out there, I decided to make my own!

I’ve always loved the beauty tip that says, “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin,” and this recipe caters perfectly to that advice. An added bonus: It smells absolutely incredible.

What you need:


(If you can, try to get all organic ingredients – they’ll be the best for your skin.)

Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
Cocoa powder
An empty, sealable container

What you do:

Mix the ingredients together – it’s as simple as that! Play around with different amounts of each to reach your desired color. If the color is too light, add more cocoa powder. If you want more of a glow, add more cinnamon. :) I was a little nervous about using cinnamon at first because I have very sensitive skin, but my skin is totally fine with it!



Once the ingredients are mixed, fill your empty container with the bronzer. I found this little glass jar at a flea market a while ago, and this was the perfect excuse to finally use it!


I love that this bronzer is totally portable and has no expiration date — two things that you don’t find in all homemade beauty products. You can just throw it in your makeup bag and take it with you for the day! Simple, natural, and delicious.

Photos by Brigette

More homemade beauty ideas!

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Eva -April 1, 2013, 7:31AM

This is so easy…I have all of these items. I am really trying this today – my skin right now is unhealthy looking really needing some faux sun rays and this just might do it. I have olive skin and this time of the year – I am so pale. thanks!

Sophia C. -April 1, 2013, 9:00AM

This is wonderful! I was just about to go and buy some bronzer, so glad I saw this instead.

juliet -April 1, 2013, 10:23AM

oh so very cool. love the idea

alex -April 1, 2013, 11:59AM

if your face got wet, wouldn’t it get sticky and gross because of the ingredients?

fp brigette -April 1, 2013, 12:55PM

Hi Alex! I think that would depend on how much of the bronzer you were wearing. I do a light-medium dusting as I normally do with any face powders, and haven’t come across that issue :)

Kate -April 1, 2013, 2:42PM

Does it last or do you find yourself reapplying throughout the day?

Melissa -April 1, 2013, 2:52PM

I’m not sure if i want my face smelling like nutmeg or cinnamon. Those are two very strong smells!

Priti -April 1, 2013, 2:54PM

This is awesome, would the ingredients irritate sensitive skin?

Cinthya -April 1, 2013, 2:56PM

I am almost out of my store bought bronzer so it’s about time I went natural. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I can see me making a ton of it in the process of trying to get it the right color so I will get a large jar. :)

Hannah -April 1, 2013, 3:00PM

Interesting idea I have very fair skin myself and am always looking for a bronzer with the right shades.. this way I can make my own! I would love to see what the final product looks like on the face though? Any pictures??

Sarah -April 1, 2013, 3:05PM

I tried this and it didn’t work. Maybe the spices I used weren’t powdered/fine enough, but when I put it on it looked horrible. The little grains of the different spices stuck out, immediately fell of my skin, and it didn’t blend at all. Total waste of some cinnamon I could have put on my toast.

fp brigette -April 1, 2013, 3:36PM

Hi Sarah! I’m so sorry that it didn’t work for you :( I think you’re right about the spices not being fine enough — the ones I used were very fine and blended together nicely.

fp brigette -April 1, 2013, 3:38PM

Priti – My skin is quite sensitive and this recipe doesn’t irritate me, but unfortunately I can’t speak for everyone! I would suggest doing a spot test first, though – maybe try a little spot on your neck, as the skin there is supposed to be very similar to the skin on your face.

Amanda -April 1, 2013, 3:39PM

Do you have photo swatches of this on your skin? Also, I’m sure there’s probably an optimal amount of cornstarch to spice ratio, could you approximate that?? This is a great idea but for people trying to do this at home I could see them coming up with things that just do not work well for them. I know that I’ve never tried something like this and would appreciate some more specific quantities and photos of this actually being used on different skin tones.

Alicia -April 1, 2013, 3:40PM

Maybe using a sifter to make the spices even finer would help out if your final product doesn’t seem fine enough or not mixed well. I would give it a sifting before I call it quits…that may just be all it takes for a great homemade product and with just a little of the right color as opposed to too much shimmer or too much orange! Good luck! I think I am going to give this one a try! :)

Linette -April 1, 2013, 3:56PM

I made mine with cocoa powder and a translucent “face” powder…I would NOT recommend putting cinnamon on your face, it can cause serious irritation and some people are allergic to it…

Jess -April 1, 2013, 4:10PM

I have been using this for months as my finishing powder (tinted to match my skin tone). I LOVE the smell every time I use it! <3 Wish I had a cute container like yours… mine is in an old jelly jar.

Jess -April 1, 2013, 4:13PM

p.s. I run the powder through a sifter to blend the spices in. :)

Erika -April 1, 2013, 8:40PM

LOVE it…I use coconut and almond oil on my skin and make my own scrub etc so it is time to bring on the DIY bronzer. Can’t wait to try it. Will def use a sifter and test the colors first. So fun. Great tip.
Thanks for sharing and check out some of my recipes on my blog.

Lizzy -April 1, 2013, 9:11PM

LOVE the idea of a natural bronzer! I always try to stay away from products that use synthetic ingredients and incorporate concepts like this into my blog so this is great, I can’t wait to try :)

Visit me at. . .

Rosy -April 1, 2013, 10:12PM

Great idea!! Thank you = )

Katie -April 2, 2013, 1:27AM

I tried this out today!! I love it. Thanks so much :) I’ve never been able to find a good bronzer for my skin tone before. This is perfect!!

Manda -April 2, 2013, 12:43PM

I am allergic to cinnamon. Is there an alternative that that? Or can i just exclude it?

Ally -April 2, 2013, 4:29PM

This was so fun! I have really sensitive skin, so I’m always cautious about what kind of makeup I use. I was a little wary of the cinnamon after reading some of the comments; so I tried some out on a sample area, bueno! No issues, and it does require re-application over the course of the day, however most brozers do.

<3 it.

Shelley -April 2, 2013, 11:18PM

Awesome idea! I love that it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals in it and that it is so environmentally friendly!

Muskan -April 5, 2013, 2:35AM

Hi Fp Brigette
Great Tips. I am gonna try this today. I am always looking for a bronzer with the right shades. But with the help of your tips, I can make a shade which match to my skin color

wenny -April 10, 2013, 3:23PM

smells fantastic!

Kelsey -April 21, 2013, 2:26PM

Love this! Thanks for the great recipe! We reviewed it and shared on our blog: http://soundlivingseattle.com/blog-review-free-peoples-natural-bronzer/

Amanda -April 27, 2013, 12:22PM

Anyone know how to add shimmer to this? What can be used?!

louise -April 28, 2013, 5:42PM

just loved it i am so glad to have found this recipie. now my face is the same color everywhere .
just loved it thank you i look tan and i so pale it help me alot smell sooooo good and love cinnamon.

Lauren -May 8, 2013, 6:27AM

Would baking soda work as a substitute for corn starch, or is that too harsh for skin?

Sophie -June 1, 2013, 10:58AM

I tried this and it didn’t work :( but i don’t know why. i mixed all together but when i put it on my skin i see nothing. and i also think the ingredients were not fine enough.

Ro -June 16, 2013, 10:07PM

Love the idea!! thank u i’m going to try it!!!

Anonymous -June 30, 2013, 2:10PM

a mortar and pestule is the best way to grind a powder into a finer consistency. They are fairly inexpensive and you can use them for spices in the kitchen.

Melanie tate -July 4, 2013, 9:22AM

I realy love it, I would recommend it to anyone to give it a try for yourself

melfish -July 14, 2013, 2:27AM

This is awesome ! I have just made some up to try i it worked out really well . Thank you for the recipe

Lily -July 20, 2013, 6:22AM

Hey:) Just a tip, if u don’t have any cornstarch or stuff like that, you may just be able to use Baby Powder instead. It smells great and it smooths your skin.

Lily -July 20, 2013, 6:23AM

Good luck;)

Anonymous -January 17, 2014, 4:22AM

I put my powder in one of those little prize containers that you get in those quarter machines.I was able to mix them easier by shaking it lightly and it got it mixed way better.

Michelle -January 29, 2014, 5:10PM

Hi there
I love this natural concoction, I was using it for awhile minus the nutmeg , but had to stop because my face was sensitive and I ended up breaking out. If you could just find a way to make highlighter powder…natural ofcouse, I would be thrilled!!! I will try this concoction again, and I would highly recommend this, it works and it’s saves you $?..what more could a GIrl ask for.
Btw love your container;)

Teresita -February 17, 2014, 2:26PM

Fantastic! I’ll try it!

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