The 6 Best Tanning Oils (Summer 2019) + Buyer’s Guide
Looking to bronze up for summer?
Here are the 6 best tanning oils to get you looking like a sun kissed beach local in no time while still keeping your skin healthy.
- The 6 Best Tanning Oils
- Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil
- Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil
- Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil
- Mexitan Tropical Sands Tanning Oil
- Panama Jack Tanning Oil
- The Ultimate Tanning Oil Buyer’s Guide
- What Is Tanning Oil?
- What Is Tanning Oil Made Of?
- How to Apply Tanning Oil
- What Skin Type Do You Have?
- Tanning Oil Recap
The 6 Best Tanning Oils
We put a buyer’s guide below to help you choose the right tanning oil. We cover things like:
- What ingredients are important to look for?
- What skin type do I have?
- How do I apply tanning oil?
Here’s our top 3:
Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil
Sun Bum Tanning Oil not only smells and applies great, but it’s also excellent for your skin. There are some great ingredients in this tanning oil that are healthy for your skin. SPF is present as well, but for a good reason. This tanning oil is great for being on the beach all day.
The tanning oil will intensify the rays, but the SPF will keep the harmful UVB rays out. Other ingredients in Sun Bum tanning oil like marula and argan oil are jam packed with antioxidants so even if you stay in the sun too long your skin is still getting the nutrients that it needs to start repairing itself quickly, or keep from damaging in the first place from exposure.
Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil
Who hasn’t used Hawaiian Tropic products? Their Dark Tanning Oil has been a favorite at the beach for decades.
The original blend has no SPF, but does a fantastic job of keeping your skin moisturized while you’re in the sun and after you’re done. We wouldn’t recommend using this as a daily moisturizer because there are lighter options out there, but it would certainly do an excellent job if you didn’t have any others on hand.
What sets apart Hawaiian Tropic from other tanning oils are the fruit extracts they put in their products. Yes, it makes them smell nice but papaya extract in their tanning oil helps keep your pores clean while guava extract is packed with vitamins A, C, and E to help fight free radicals.
If you want their other option with SPF in it you can find it here:
Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil
Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil has that sweet banana scent to it that reminds you of the beach. The spray bottle makes it easy to apply, and the ingredients are healthy for your skin.
One of the most important ingredients to banana boat’s tanning oil (as well as some of their other products) is banana fruit extract.
Banana fruit extract is very high in potassium and vitamin A which is great for dry or even slightly sunburned skin.
Mexitan Tropical Sands Tanning Oil
Mexitan Tropical Sands Dark Tanning Oil is a great if you want only all-natural ingredients. That’s something they are proud of, and the all-natural ingredients give you a good looking healthy glow in the sun.
The formula itself has been around for 18+ years. That should tell you something.
Many people who have used this claim they tan better than any other oil they’ve tried. We’re thinking it’s not only the ingredients, but the formula itself that makes this tanning oil so great.
Panama Jack Tanning Oil
Panama Jack Tanning Oil has many exotic oils within the formula to keep your skin looking healthy after you’re done in the sun.
One of the important ingredients to mention in the formula is the (olive) fruit extract which is great for all its antioxidant properties. The formula also hits the SPF scale at a 4 to make sure you’re keeping the harmful rays away.
The Ultimate Tanning Oil Buyer’s Guide
Please be sure to take care of your skin in the sun as best you can.
Skin care is one of the most common types of cancer, and can always be prevented if you keep it ‘front of mind’ when going outside.
Finding which tanning oil is best for YOU depends on a few things like..
- How long will you be spending time in the sun?
- What time of the day?
- What type of skin do you have?
- What color is your skin?
- Do you have any skin conditions?
What Is Tanning Oil?
Tanning oil is different than sunscreen, sunblock, and self-tanners.
After application the active ingredients allow the blood to flow more and speed up melanin production.
When melanin production speeds up you get sun-kissed faster.
Tanning oils also allow the ultraviolet light (UV light) to refract and intensify the rays to your skin as well.
Don’t mistake tanning oils with tanning lotions though.
Typically, tanning lotions are self-tanners which means you don’t need any sun exposure to get tan.
Also, not to be confused with sunscreen.
Some of the options available today contain sunscreen, but are lower on the SPF scale (besides Sun Bum).
Combining a tanning oil with a separate sunscreen is a different story however.
When you apply sunscreen, you are obviously protecting your skin, and applying tanning oil allows your skin to be more receptive to the sun’s UV rays.
We found this process of applying both to be counterintuitive.
If you’re looking to intensify the sun’s affect to your skin then you’re wasting your time with putting sunscreen on underneath.
What Is Tanning Oil Made Of?
Here are some of the most common ingredients found in tanning oils, and specifically what their purpose is.
How to Apply Tanning Oil
Here’s the best way that we found to apply tanning oil.
- Step 1: Make sure you shave your bikini line, and moisturize. Shaving will allow you to apply the tanning oil more evenly, and moisturizing will prevent razor bumps.
- Step 2: Try and find a shady spot to do this in. If you can’t it’s not a huge issue.
- Step 3: Make sure that your body is free of sweat and sand. If you’re not use a beach towel to dust off the sand and wipe off the sweat. If you can’t get completely dry that’s okay. Our goal is to get most of the sand and the sweat off your skin for the tanning oil.
- Step 4: Pour a small amount of tanning oil into the palm of your hand, and rub both of your hands together.
- Step 5: Start with your upper body, and work your way down to your legs.
- Step 6: If more tanning oil is needed make sure you repeat steps 3 and 4 until your whole body is entirely covered. For your face it’s entirely optional. Some would recommend to NOT put tanning oil on your face, but the ingredients in the ones we listed above all have great antioxidant properties. Look for non-comedogenic tanning oils if you’re worried about your pores getting clogged.
- Step 7: Let the tanning oil soak into your skin for a good 10 minutes or so before stepping back out into the sun. This will also allow it to dry a little more and the sand will stick less to it.
- Step 8: Tan each side of your body for 10-15 minutes. After you’re done we recommend washing off the tanning oil and reapplying a good sunscreen that will protect you from UV rays and has moisturizing properties that your skin will need after tanning with the tanning oil.
What Skin Type Do You Have?
What skin type you have directly affects how long you can stay outside before seeing the effects of sunburn or skin damage. You can even get a sunburn on a cloudy day – even if you have dark skin tone.
If you have fair skin, and burn easy (Type 1) then using a good tanning oil probably isn’t in your best interest. But if you’re more of a type 3 or 4 then it could be beneficial if you’re looking to get a good tan because you don’t burn as easily.
Keep this in mind not only for using tanning oil, but also using sunscreen when you’re at the beach. Even though there isn’t a significant difference in actual protection between SPF 15, 30, 50, 70, and 100 if you’re more on the pale side using a stronger SPF (50+) can mean the difference in you getting a burn or walking away slightly pink to tan.
And if your skin is deep brown to black you can get by with a lower SPF because your naturally dark skin acts as a barrier to UV light (to an extent). Tanning oil may not be a good option for you if you have darker skin and you’re looking to deepen the color as well.
By using a tanning oil and reflecting all that sun you can work on evening it out.
Tanning Oil Recap
The 2 most important things to consider for choosing the tanning oil is your skin type, and the ingredients within the tanning oil itself. Make sure you choose one that agrees with your skin color, and your skin type (oily, non-oily, dry, irritates easily etc.).
Make sure you apply before sun exposure and remember that tanning oils are not meant to replace your sunscreen application when you’re out in the sun.
If you only stick to short periods of time with tanning oil to intensify the rays and reapply sunscreen you’ll have great looking skin for many years to come if you take care of it.