I love having a tan. But tans don’t come easily to me.
I also want to tan as safely as possible.
Because of my concerns, I’ve done plenty of research regarding the best way to obtain a tan.
One method that has stuck out to me is indoor tanning.
So come with me as I track down the best indoor tanning lotion!
In my blog post you will discover the pros and cons of several brands in my indoor tanning lotion reviews.
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1. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning
This is heaven in a bottle. It’s filled with coconut milk and coconut oil to keep skin moisturized and healthy.
I experienced real results with this tanning lotion, even though there are no bronzing agents. It’s the best indoor tanning lotion without bronzer by far.
The active ingredients stimulate and increase melanin production, leaving you with darker and longer-lasting results. And here’s a great bonus: It also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite and promote skin firmness!
2. Australian Gold Jwoww Black Bronzer Dark Tanning Lotion
If you’re looking for a solid black tanning lotion, this one is for you. It features caramel, Monoi de Tahiti, walnut shell extract, and dark natural bronzers to give you the deepest tan you’ve ever had.
You don’t have to worry about this product drying out your skin. The hemp seed and black currant oil work in tandem to provide superior moisture that other lotions just can’t match.
I loved all the added ingredients in this lotion, and my tan was one of the darkest I’ve ever had in my life. The smell is also amazing. I felt like I was on a mini-vacation every time I used it.
3. Luminary Bronzer
Luminary tanning lotion is one of my favorites. The price isn’t bad once you start comparing it with the crazy-high price tags salons use.
The smell is nice but not overwhelming, so if you’re sensitive to fragrances, you won’t be put off by this one.
I didn’t notice an immediate difference, but after using this bronzer a couple times, the glow seemed to pop pretty quickly. There was nothing unnatural about the color, either.
My skin really seemed to glow and I felt incredibly confident. I also looked forward to using this lotion during my trial period because it was easy to apply, and I enjoyed the shimmer.
4. Millenium Black & Tan 75x Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer
A lot of indoor tanning lotions have a tingle sensation. I personally enjoy the tingling feeling, but if you don’t, try this lotion. You might notice a little tingling, but it’s nothing like other brands.
You can also expect results after the first application. This lotion made me a couple shades darker, but it does have its limits.
It’s great to use for a big weekend coming up when you want to deepen your tan quickly, but it might not be the best indoor tanning lotion to use for an entire summer.
5. Supre Snooki Skinny Dark Black Bronzer Firming Indoor Tanning Bed Lotion
This indoor tanning lotion really goes above and beyond. It’s paraben free, nut free, and gluten free. It also has special ingredients to help protect tattoos. It’s made for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
But here’s where it gets really good. You’ll enjoy instant results, but the lotion also keeps working for up to 12 hours. When I used it, I noticed a hint of gold right after my tanning session in the afternoon.
But by the next morning, I had a seriously noticeable tan. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for a subtler change. But if you’re looking for more ongoing results, this is the best lotion to try.
6. Just Natural Tanning Indoor Lotion
Here’s another great indoor tanning lotion without bronzers. You won’t experience temporary results. Your tan will be deeper, and last longer.
You can even use the lotion on days that you don’t tan to keep your skin moisturized and hold your tan even longer.
There are no chemical fragrances, artificial colors, or parabens. Instead, you’ll find Kokum butter, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, coffee, and papaya extracts.
Your skin will be drenched in vitamins and minerals that lock in moisture and keep your skin looking great.
7. Hawaiian Tropic Tan Max Indoor Tanning Deep Tanning Salon Lotion
Have sensitive skin? I understand how difficult it can be to find products that won’t irritate your skin. So here’s an indoor tanning lotion that’s hypoallergenic and safe for just about everyone to use.
I loved the non-greasy and oil free formula. It absorbed quickly, which is great when you’re applying it over your entire body.
I also loved the addition of vitamins A and E. With their antioxidant properties, I felt like I was doing my part to keep my skin healthy, even while tanning.
8. ProTan Beautifully Dark Bronzer Indoor Tan Lotion
This was one of my favorite bronzers. I liked to use it during my Friday afternoon tan so that I would have a nice bronze hue for Friday night. My tan seemed to darken throughout the weekend.
This product spreads easily, and I enjoyed the smell. It had a nice fragrance, but didn’t make it obvious that I had been at the tanning salon.
If you’re looking for a great weekend tanning lotion that you can rely on, this is the perfect option.
9. Millenium Tanning Indoor Tanning Bed Lotion, Insanely Black & Solid Black
One of the best ways to keep your tan dark is to switch up your lotions. You’ll get two separate formulas with this deal, so you’ll be able to easily keep your skin guessing and get the most out of your tan.
You will feel tingle with both of them, but it’s not unbearable by any means. Both of these lotions are the real deal.
Make sure you evenly apply them and rinse any excess off your hands or you’ll end up with a few unwanted streaks. A nice even application will leave you several shades darker than you would have been without it.
10 . Supre Indoor Tanning Bronzer Lotion Packets
Not sure which indoor tanning option will work best or you? Why not try them all?
This sample of different lotions will allow you to affordably try a variety of options to see which works best for your skin. You’ll have 10 to choose from.
Just be sure to wait several days between trying a new lotion so that you can tell which ones are working best for you. Keep track of which ones work best and check the ingredients.
This should help you figure out which active ingredients work best with your natural skin shade and skin type.
11 . Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion
If you’re tired of buying more than one type of tanning lotion, this option can be used both indoors and out.
It’s a tanning lotion, but also includes bronzer so that your skin gets as dark as possible in a shorter amount of time. The lotion has a great cocoa scent and contains vitamins A and E to keep skin healthy and moisturized.
I found this lotion to be affordable and easy to spread. I never had an issue with streaks, and the smell was subtle enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to rinse it off right away.
I keep this lotion in my summer bag at all times, so that I’m always prepared for a day at the beach.
What Is a Tanning Lotion?
Tanning lotions are solutions that can provide us with the glow of a tan in a shorter amount of time. They work to increase blood flow to the skin and stimulate the production of melanin, leading to darker, golden skin.
Tanning lotions do not protect you from the sun and usually contain no SPF, so don’t confuse them with any sort of sunscreen.
How Does It Work?
Tanning lotions are designed to enhance your body’s natural tanning process. You rub the lotion onto all areas of your exposed skin before entering an indoor tanning bed.
They shouldn’t be confused with sunless tanner. They won’t do anything unless you expose your skin to UV rays. Ideally, the top tanning lotions should give you more even coverage and a more intense tan.
Types of Indoor Tanning Lotion
There are several types of indoor tanning lotions. Here are some of the most popular:
Just as the name suggests, these indoor tanning lotions don’t have any extras. They’re the best indoor tanning lotion for fair skin because they’re made for those new to tanning.
There are also many made for dry skin. Look for any with hemp seed oil.
You’ll find plenty of these tanning lotions on the market. They include bronzers in their formulas, which help you earn an instant tan.
Bronzed skin doesn’t last as long as truly tanned skin though, so don’t be concerned if your glow begins to fade.
You’ll hear this term a lot while looking for indoor tanning lotions. Their formulas include ingredients that stimulate the skin, increase blood flow, and deepen your tan.
Some people do not enjoy the sensation of tingle lotions. If you try one, make sure you’re able to shower quickly in case the sensation is too strong for you.
What Are the Key Ingredients of an Effective Indoor Tanning Lotion?
Tanning lotions aren’t short on ingredients. You’ll find moisturizers, vitamins, and fragrances along with aloe, shimmer, and even caffeine. But one of the main ingredients is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA.
This ingredient is a colorless sugar that creates a chemical reaction with dead skin cells. The color changes, lasting up to a week, and can extend the depth and longevity of your tan. However, DHA has also been linked to skin cell damage over time.
Most lotions also contain menthol, which makes the skin tingle and increases blood flow, another factor that can help deepen your tan. Some people are sensitive to this ingredient. If you find that your indoor lotion stings more than tingles, look for one without menthol.
How Do Bronzers in Tanning Lotions Work?
Most bronzers include natural pigments. These are safe for the skin and essentially dye the top layer of skin. It’s always advised to test bronzers before applying them all over your body in case your skin reacts strangely.
Bronzers can be a great way to get a bit of a glow without spending the day at the beach. When included in tanning lotions, they give you more instant results and a better overall result.
What Are the Differences Between Outdoor, Indoor, and Regular Tanning Lotions?
You might think that tanning lotions are all the same, but it’s important to only use an outdoor tanning lotion while outdoors and only an indoor tanning lotion at a tanning salon. This is because outdoor tanning lotions usually contain SPF, which is necessary when tanning outdoors.
Remember, you can still tan, even with SPF included in your lotion.
Indoor tanning lotions do not contain SPF, which is why they should never be used outdoors. They are great for moisturizing skin when tanning indoors, though.
If you come across a tanning lotion that’s not marked as indoor or outdoor, read the ingredients to determine which scenario it’s best for. I’ve found that most unlabeled or regular tanning lotions are ideal for outdoor tanning.
Is Indoor Tanning More Harmful Than Outdoor Tanning?
The truth to this question is that both are dangerous. A tan is essentially the result of skin damage from UV rays.
While outdoor tanning is natural, your skin is still being damaged, especially if you’re exposed to midday sun. Tanning beds are typically marketed to be safer, but the average tanning bed actually emits nearly 12 times more UVA light than what you would be exposed to outdoors.
If you want to do your best to prevent skin cancer and other serious health conditions, both indoor and outdoor tanning should be avoided. Moderation is key. Do everything you can to keep your skin healthy otherwise.
You can also find the best self tanning lotion and avoid rays all together, but I love my time in the sun! Use common sense when tanning and you’ll be a step ahead in preventing serious medical conditions.
How to Apply Indoor Tanning Lotion
To get the most out of your indoor tanning lotion, follow these directions:
1. Before applying your indoor tanning lotion, exfoliate your skin. If possible, you should also shave. Otherwise, lotion can pool near hair follicles and lead to spots.
2. To apply your lotion, apply a generous amount to your hand. Rub it over your skin, making sure to apply it evenly. Avoid dark patches, like knees and elbows.
3. You can apply lotion to your face, but very lightly. Use a lighted makeup mirror to make sure you’re evenly applying the lotion.
4. Before hopping into the tanning bed, remove excess lotion from your hands and in between fingers.
5. Once you’re done tanning, wait a few hours before showering, especially if your lotion includes a bronzer. Avoid exfoliating until you’re ready for another tanning session.
You should also always wear clothing to the tanning salon that you’re okay with becoming stained. Not all lotions stain, but there’s always a chance.
Tips on How to Get a Consistent Tan
The tanning technique you use will have an effect on how long your tan lasts. To get the most out of your tan, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t avoid sunscreen. You can still tan when using sunscreen, it will just happen more slowly. But a slow and steady tan will last longer than one you rush.
- Moisturize continuously. A tan can seriously dry out your skin, and no matter how golden your glow, dry skin never looks good. So moisturize before and after tanning to keep skin smooth and looking great.
- Tan while moving. Even if you use an indoor tanning bed, move your arms and legs every few minutes for a more natural look. When your tan is more even, you can go longer between tanning since you won’t be trying to fix last session’s mistakes.
- Exfoliate before tanning. This will give you a smooth base to work with. By tanning your newest skin cells, you’ll enjoy a healthier and longer-lasting tan.
Do You Have to Use a Tanning Lotion While Using a Tanning Bed?
No, you don’t have to. But using the best indoor tanning lotion helps deepen your glow, keeps your skin moisturized, and lengthens the life of your tan. Some people need tanning lotions more than others.
I always recommend using one, simply because of the added moisture it brings.
I’m so happy I took the time to put together some indoor tanning lotion reviews. It made it easier to find the best indoor tanning lotion for me.
Now I get the most out of each of my tanning sessions, and I know I’m doing what I can to protect my skin.
If you want to make your time in the tanning salon count more, it’s time to embrace one of the top tanning lotions. You’ll love your glow!