Best Tanning Lotions

tanning lotion guide

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There are so many reasons why someone would want to get that beautiful sun-kissed look. Maybe you have a wedding coming up or even a tropical vacation.


Having the best indoor tanning lotion helps you get that sun-drenched tone without having to go out in the sun all the time. 


If you’re all about the bronze life and you want to speed up your tanning process, you might even want to use a tanning bed lotion to go along with your tan. Regardless of your chosen strategy, you want a tan, and we’ve got the best indoor tanning lotion for you to check out. 


By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to make the right purchase.


Here are our picks for the best indoor tanning lotion:

Devoted Creations Hydrating Tanning Butter

Devoted Creations #TANLIFE Hydrating Tanning Butter – 12.25 oz.

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Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm


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If you’re worried about cooking your skin or causing it to become dry this tanning lotion might be the right choice for you. It contains a wide assortment of ingredients that are useful for moisturization and wrinkle prevention. 


The tanning build contains shea butter for skin protection and RevitaFit, Body Fit, and Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6, which are all ingredients that keep skin firm and prevent wrinkles. 


This tanning butter is also great for people who have tattoos because it does not cause them to fade. 


The Devoted Creations tanning butter works well for people with sensitive skin, and it even has a nice scent to it.



  • Contains skin sensitive ingredients
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Protection against fading for tattoos
  • Smells nice


  • Does not contain bronzing ingredients
  • Slower tanning process due to lack of bronzing

Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion

Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion, Indoor and Outdoor Bronzer, 6.8 Ounces,…

Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm


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This indoor tanning lotion is an instant bronzer that you can use indoors or outdoors.


This lotion is designed to provide you with that immediate tan look, and it also helps extend the life of your current tan if you’ve tanned before. 


One plus side of this lotion is that it contains mostly all-natural ingredients. It doesn’t have any Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Gluten, BPA, or BHT.


Instead, it includes things like seaweed, algae extract, and deep-sea minerals to help nourish your skin while giving you the beautiful tan you’re looking for. 


The main plus behind this tanning lotion is that it helps people get a tan much quicker than some of the other products. The apparent downside is with a speedy tan it does contain a bronzer that can cause you to get a burn if you’re not careful.



  • Contains bronzer for fast tanning
  • Cream rubs on better than spray
  • Doesn’t contain harmful ingredients
  • For indoor and outdoor use


  • Possible rashes and allergic reactions
  • The lotion leaves a sticky residue on your skin

Tan Asz U Luau Black 200X Bronzer

Tan Asz U LUAU BLACK 200X Black Bronzer – 13.5 oz.

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Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm


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This bronzing lotion is ideal for people of all shades and tanning levels. Even if you are as white as a ghost, you can benefit from this natural bronzer. It contains a Hawaiian blend of extracts like black charcoal, shea butter, and fruit conditioning to give you that tropical glow. 


Although this lotion provides a powerful tan, it does not protect you against UV rays so you would need to use a separate sunscreen in areas where you don’t want to get a tan.


One thing we noticed about this lotion when compared to some of the competition is that people get a tan much faster. 


Some users of the product report getting a golden goddess look after only one tanning session. If you’re trying to get tan quickly for a special event, we would recommend giving this tanning bed lotion a try.



  • Great for quick tanning
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA


  • Does not contain a sunscreen
  • Could cause rashes

European Gold Dark Star Select Indoor Tanning Lotion


Here we have another indoor tanning lotion that works quickly for people looking to achieve a tan for some type of special event if their life. The first thing many customers notice about this lotion is its great smell. Out of the bottle, it smells tropical, and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue on your skin. 


Within the first tanning session using this lotion, you should be able to see a noticeable difference in the bronze color of your skin.


Something we like about this tanning lotion is that it contains EverDark lasting complex which is meant to help you keep the color of your tan longer. This means that you won’t have to tan as often, and the tan will stick around longer.



  • Color lasting technology
  • Doesn’t leave a sticky residue
  • Great smell


  • Slightly orange coloring
  • Leaves your palms discolored

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz

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Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm


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We know you’ve all heard of the Ed Hardy products so we wanted to review this one to see if it could hold up against some of the lesser-known brands. This tanning lotion is an intensifier, so it’s intended for people who already have a slight tan and are looking for something more.


It contains ingredients like Quad Tyrosine and MelanoBronze to help stimulate and increase melanin in your skin.


This component speeds up the tanning process and makes your tan stick around longer if you take a break or have a while until your event. 

The tanning bed lotion also contains melactiva which produces a smoother and darker tan quicker. That is the primary reason they only suggest this type of tanning lotion for people who have experience tanning already. 


Lastly, it also contains an ingredient we haven’t seen much before called Bodyfit. This component helps reduce the appearance of cellulite, and it promotes firmness of the skin.


Sometimes with tanning lotion and tanning in general, it can bring out the light color of stretch marks making them more apparent. This lotion helps eliminate that.



  • Contains high-quality tanning ingredients
  • Help reduce stretch marks and cellulite
  • Works quickly


  • Intended for expert tanners
  • Could cause beginners to burn

Millennium Tanning: Dark Tanning Lotion

Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion, 100x, 13.5 fl. oz.(400ml)

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Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm


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This tanning lotion is a bronzer, so it is for less experienced tanners. If you’ve never used a tanning lotion before you could use this on your skin to help get that overall base layer on your skin.


It has a 100X silicone bronzer with auto-darkening tan technology. 


This means that you’ll notice the tan quickly and it will continue to work even when you get out of the booth.


In addition to being a bronzer, it also has tan enhancement properties that will help even people who already have a decent base tan. 


Since it works so quickly, many people do not recommend it if you are highly fair-skinned. Within an hour or two of getting out of the booth, you will notice the results, so it works very quickly. 


Lastly, since the coloring is so significant, you want to make sure you are applying the lotion correctly. If you do not use it carefully, you’ll notice streaking and spotting.



  • 100X bronzer, so it works quick
  • Great for beginners and experts
  • Smells great


  • Could be too intense for fair skin

Baja Bae Bronze Tanning Lotion

BAJA BAE Bronze Tanning Lotion for Indoor Tanning Beds – 3 in…

Last update was in: May 28, 2023 3:15 pm
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We find this tanning lotion to be one of the most effective for a couple of different reasons.


First, it has a unique three in one formula that works as a bronzer for tanning beds, a daily moisturizer, and bronzing lotion. 


You can apply this lotion to your body each time you hit the tanning bed, and it will help accelerate the development of your tan. Once your tanning session is over, you might find that your skin is dry, and you can apply more of the lotion which will then help nourish your skin back to full health.


Even if you aren’t tanning in a bed, you can use this lotion without the tanning process, and it will give your skin a bit of a bronze glow. 


Something else we like is the texture of this tanning lotion. It doesn’t have that sticky consistency like a lot of the competition.


It doesn’t require a tanning mitt, and it quickly rubs right into the skin, so you get nice even coverage throughout your whole body. Since it isn’t sticky and it doesn’t stain, you can put it on your skin and go to the tanning booth later if you have to. 


Lastly, another reason we love this tanning lotion is that its 100% natural. It contains all-natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin and moisturize as you go.


It uses oils like jojoba, agave, and hibiscus. These ingredients help nourish your skin, which leaves you feeling silky smooth after each tanning session.



  • All-natural ingredients
  • Three in one formula
  • Great consistency and texture
  • Pleasant scent
  • 30-day warranty


  • Bottle is small
  • Contains mineral oil which clogs pores

What Are Indoor Tanning Lotions?

You might not even know what an indoor tanning lotion is. If that’s the case, no need to worry because we’re here to supply you with all the details you need to make use of this incredible bronze building lotion.


Tanning is a massive industry, so there are many different products on the market with each of them promising better results than the rest.


When you’re dealing with a ton of different items, how can you choose only one? 


During our reviews, we take the time to research all the information when choosing our recommendations, so we make sure you get the exact details you need to know to make the best-informed decision. 


The primary purpose of outdoor tanning lotion is to help you get a tan without hurting your skin from harmful UV rays. The difference between the indoor and outdoor tanning lotion is that indoor tanning lotion is supposed to increase melanin production when you’re using a tanning booth. 


Outdoor tanning lotion is for sun protection while indoor tanning lotion is for increased tan production. Makes sense, right? 


Who Should Use Indoor Tanning Lotion?

If you like the idea of using the best indoor tanning lotion, but you’re not sure if you should, here are a few things to think about.


Do you tan regularly? If you go to the local tanning salon consistently, you likely care a lot about your tan. 


You spend a lot of money for a membership or per visit, so you want to get the most out of your tanning experience. 


Having the best tanning bed lotion will help increase the process of getting a tan, and it will also help your tan look better. You’ll have more of a bronze appearance with a reduced chance of getting a baked look. 


Indoor tanning lotion is also useful for people who are worried about exposure to the tanning bed lights. Over time, we’re realizing the dangers of tanning beds as well as UV light from the sun.


You need protection even when you’re indoors, and indoor tanning lotion will help protect you from the tanning booth lights. 


What Kinds of Tanning Lotion are Available?

If we sold you on getting the best indoor tanning lotion, you need to decide on what kind to get. 


As we said, there are so many different products available on the market, and they all do the same thing. Since they are so similar, it’s challenging to pick something unless you know the finer details. 


We love details, and we love sharing them with the readers. We’re here to help clear up any confusion and misconceptions about indoor tanning lotions. Here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about the different types of indoor tanning lotions. 



First things first, if you’ve never tanned before and you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, you are probably pale.


You have to be careful at this point because you don’t want to damage your skin and you don’t want to get burned either. You need to get that base layer of tan going, so you can progress from there. 


To get to that first stage, you need a stage one product. Bronzing lotions add color to your skin as soon as you apply them which boosts the melanin in your skin.


Many people turn towards bronzing lotions, in the beginning, to give themselves a leg up so they can get tan faster. 


This is especially useful if you’re trying to get tan quickly for an event like a wedding or prom. You can use a bronzer and get the job done right away. 



Another great beginner choice is accelerators. These promote melanin production in your skin, and they contain a bunch of moisturizing ingredients that keep your skin dry while you’re tanning.


When you use an accelerator, you’ll notice your skin changing and getting more tan as you go each time. 


Bronzers and accelerators are what most people will need to get to their chosen stage. These two will provide you with a tan that you would want for a special event. If you’re looking to take things a bit further, there are options as well. 



Now, once you have the base layer of tan down and you’re ready to move on, you might opt for a maximizer.


These are for people who understand tanning any they know exactly what shade of bronze they are looking to achieve. 


Once you take your tan past the base layer, moisturization becomes key. If your skin dries out, you’ll start to look wrinkly, and no one wants that. Maximizers ensure your skin stays silky smooth and rich-looking. 



One of the best indoor tanning lotion choices is the tingling lotion. These are unique because they cause a tingling sensation on the exterior of your skin.


They’re made to bring oxygen to the surface of the skin which helps promote tanning. 


There are risks associated with these lotions, and you should only use them if you know exactly what you’re doing. 


Manufacturers recommend trying one of these lotions on a portion of your skin first before covering yourself in it.


Tingling lotions can cause a nasty rash or allergic reaction if your skin doesn’t react well to it. If all is well, move forward and get your tan on! 


Why Use an Indoor Tanning Lotion?

Since you’re exposing yourself to UV rays in the tanning bed, you want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.


The more time you spend in the bed, the more health risks you are possibly causing. To get the job done as quickly as possible, you want to use an accelerator indoor tanning lotion to save time and get dark as fast as you can. 


How to Pick the Best Indoor Tanning Lotion

Now, by this point, you understand quite a bit about indoor tanning lotions.


You know the different kinds, you understand what the point of this lotion is, but you might be wondering; how do I pick one for myself? 


Well, we’re here to clear the air. Choosing the best indoor tanning lotion is quite a task, and you need to pay attention to a few factors. 


First, you need to assess your current tanning situation. How pale are you on a scale of 1 to 10. If you said a 9 or 10, then you want to look for a bronzing lotion to get started. You need to start from the bottom and work your way up. 


The most important thing is that you don’t get ahead of yourself when you’re starting. If you try to tan too fast and you use the wrong lotions, you could get a serious burn, and that might turn you away from tanning forever. 


Luckily, most professional tanning suites will not allow you to get too carried away, and they’ll help you progressively get to the tan you want. 


Next, you want to think about your skin and how it reacts to things. Do you find that your skin is seriously irritated by a lot of lotions, shampoos, etc.?


If you said yes then you might want to pay close attention to the type of lotion you get. 


They have products out there that are great for sensitive skin and some that are not. The most important thing you can do is protect your skin so make sure you read all the labels, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. 


Lastly, you want to look at the tanning lotion itself. If you are considering buying a specific one, take a look at the brand. Does that brand have a good reputation? Are there any positive reviews about that tanning lotion?


What do customers have to say about it? 


Luckily, during our reviews, we only recommend high-quality products with great ratings and a solid reputation.


If you choose any of the products reviewed above, you’ll have no problem getting that beautiful bronze tan you’ve been looking for. 

How Does Tanning Happen?

It’s time to get scientific. To understand how to choose the best tanning lotion, you might want to know more about how tanning happens. You may learn a lot of this when you go to the tanning booth for the first time, but we figured, we’ll give it to you now. 


There are three different forms of ultraviolet radiation or UV light. UVA is what causes tanning, and this is what gets used in the tanning booths to cause your skin to tan. These types of rays break through the atmosphere. 


UVB light is what causes damage to our skin. When you get UVA and UVB together is when serious sunburns and skin cancer can occur. 


UVC light contains the lowest number of nanometers, and as a result, most of this light is filtered out by the atmosphere. 


For people with light skin, UVA radiation causes the production of melanin hormones that change the pigmentation of our skin. The production of melanin takes a long time, so that’s the reason why you can’t jump into the tanning bed and come out with a perfect tan in five minutes.


You need to reach your goals using continued exposure progressively. 


Tanning Outdoors vs. Indoors

We’ve talked a lot about indoor tanning lotions but what if you still want to give it a shot in the great outdoors.


Tanning outside takes quite a bit more time, and there’s more risk associated because it’s not a controlled environment. There are a few things you want to keep in mind when taking your tanning outdoors. 


If you’re looking to tan quickly, you want to apply an accelerator lotion before you leave the house. Follow that with a solar protection layer like a basic SPF. Before applying the sunblock, you want to wait at least five minutes to let the first accelerator layer soak in. 


When you’re tanning outside, it’s most important that you regularly rotate your body at even intervals. During the peak sunlight, make sure you rotate your body once every 10 minutes and take plenty of breaks in between sunbathing, so you don’t get burned. 


After you’re done tanning for the day, consider taking a shower and applying plenty of moisturizing lotions and creams to your skin to prevent it from drying out. Spending an entire day in the sun can do a number on your skin.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Tanning Lotion

You’re spending precious time and money on your tan, so you want to make the most out of each trip.

There are a handful of things you can do each time you head to the booth to make your tan come faster and look better. 

Check out these tips:

Tanning Oil Tips

  • Make sure you take things nice and slow and follow the guidance of anyone working at the tanning salon. Tanning beds have the same risk as to the sun, so you want to build yourself up and not spend too much time in the booth.
  • Wash your skin thoroughly before going to the tanning salon. You want to remove any grease and grime that’s deep in your skin so you can open yourself up to the UV rays.
  • Do not use any perfumes or sprays before you go into a tanning booth. The molecules in these ingredients react negatively to high UV ray exposure, and this is what usually leads to rashes. We’re even talking about deodorant. Bring it with you and put it on when you get out.
  • You know when you get a sunburn, and it takes a few hours to show? The same goes for your tan. Don’t shower or go in any body of water until a few hours after your tanning session. This process allows the tan to settle in.
  • Use SPF 15 chapstick on your lips because this area is prone to severe sunburn and drying out. You also want to use some kind of eye protection, but most salons will require you to do that anyway. 

Time to Tan! 

That’s all we’ve got. At this point, it’s time to tell you what we think about tanning lotion. We highly recommend checking out the Baja Bae and Millenium Tanning lotions.


These two provide the quickest tan, and they use ingredients that are natural and good for your skin. 

Whether you’re a beginner or expert, you’ll enjoy these tanning lotions because they work quickly, and they don’t dry out your skin.