Best Tanning Lotion

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Tanning enthusiasts often reach for tanning lotions to help enhance and accelerate the tanning process. Whether you prefer outdoor tanning or indoor tanning beds, these handy lotions can help you develop your tan faster while extending its lifespan. Many of these lotions can also nourish, rejuvenate, and protect your skin with the inclusion of vitamins, antioxidants, and natural extracts such as hemp seed or green tea. With so many tanning lotions available, it’s important to choose one suitable for your skin type and tanning needs. Refer to our buyer’s guide listed below to determine which of these products is ideal for you.

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion:

Outdoor tanning is the most traditional method of developing a bronzed glow. However, baking in the sun can be a slow, painful, and exhausting process for attaining your desired color. Outdoor tanning lotions can help you achieve deeper, darker color in less time while enriching your skin with oils, vitamins, and other skin-nourishing ingredients. Keep in mind outdoor tanning lotions do not usually provide protection against damaging UV rays and therefore should not replace broad spectrum sunscreen. The outdoor tanning lotions featured below were selected because they have the most effective darkening qualities and the highest user ratings.

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Maui Babe Browning Lotion is a natural Hawaiian tanning lotion that delivers a quick, natural tan while protecting your skin from sun-related burns. This formula also smells wonderful and works great on all skin types and both newbie and experienced tanners. Read Full Review

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    Maui Babe Browning Lotion

    Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

    Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator Plus Bronzer transforms pale skin into glowing bronzed skin using natural bronzers, native Australian oils, and vitamins. It also develops existing color and leaves skin very moisturized. Expect your tan to last when you use this formula. Read Full Review

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      Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

      Banana Boat Deep Tanning Lotion with Green Tea

      This tanning lotion contains antioxidants and green tea that protect and enrich your skin during tanning. It also features SPF 8 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, which helps prevent your skin from burning. This product also dries quickly and is water resistant. Read Full Review

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        Banana Boat Deep Tanning Lotion with Green Tea

        Hawaiian Tropic Sun Tanning Sunscreen Lotion

        Hawaiian Tropic is a leader in tanning products, and this formula won't disappoint. It provides the darkening results you desire, plus SPF 4 sun protection and water resistance. In addition, nourishing botanicals, aloe vera, and antioxidants condition and protect your skin. Read Full Review

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          Hawaiian Tropic Sun Tanning Sunscreen Lotion

          NO-AD Dark Tanning Lotion - SPF 4

          NO-AD Dark Tanning Lotion features carrot extract and natural skin conditioners that promote skin darkening and softening. It goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly for easy application. This formula is also more affordable than brand-name tanning lotions and works just as well. Read Full Review

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            NO-AD Dark Tanning Lotion - SPF 4

            Best Indoor Tanning Lotion:

            Indoor tanning offers the convenience of developing a bronzed glow at any time, in any weather, and during any season. While indoor tanning lotions won't protect your skin against damaging UV rays, they will enhance and accelerate your tan. Some indoor tanning lotions also provide skin nourishment and protection through antioxidants, vitamins, and oils. The indoor tanning lotions listed below were chosen because they deliver the best bronzing results and boast the best user reviews. These lotion all vary in price, suiting any budget.

            Australian Gold Accelerator Lotion

            This formula works well on all skin types and all stages of tanning. It's very conditioning and prevents your skin from burning as you develop a gorgeous, authentic tan. No bronzers are included in this product, so you're getting real bronzed color and skin nourishment. Read Full Review

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              Australian Gold Accelerator Lotion

              Designer Skin Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion

              Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion by Designer Skin is suitable for all skin types and produces instant darkening results after just one use. It's very moisturizing and really softens skin, even long after you tan. This lotion is never greasy and it won't make your skin orange. Read Full Review

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                Designer Skin Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                Designer Skin Conceited 10X Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                This indoor tanning lotion gives you a bronzed glow while enhancing your natural beauty with Photo Ready Airbrush Technology and Illuminating Opal Extracts. It also continues darkening your skin after tanning and helps your color last longer. Read Full Review

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                  Designer Skin Conceited 10X Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                  Millennium Tanning Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion

                  Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion is an advanced tanning formula that contains extreme silicone bronzers and Auto-Darkening Tan Technology. It quickly makes your skin visibly darker without any unsightly orange streaks. Read Full Review

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                    Millennium Tanning Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion

                    Black & Tan Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer

                    Black & Tan Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer quickly delivers darkening results that look natural and never orange. It features energizing warming beads and luxurious silicone emulsion to leave your skin dark and moisturized. Read Full Review

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                      Black & Tan Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer

                      Best Bronzing Tanning Lotion:

                      Bronzing tanning lotions accelerate the tanning process, helping you achieve darker color in less time. Since less sun exposure is needed, you can actually lower your risk for skin damage. However, most bronzing tanning lotions don't provide sun protection, so you should not substitute them for sunscreen. The bronzing tanning lotions listed below were chosen because they all deepen your skin tone quickly and boast the highest user ratings. Some of these lotions also nourish your skin with antioxidants and essential minerals.

                      Australian Gold Precious Metals Tanning Lotion

                      Australian Gold Precious Metals Tanning Lotion provides instant, ultra-dark color using Mahakanni extract, DHA, and natural bronzers. It also features gold, platinum, and 92 essential minerals that make your skin soft and glowing. You won't have to experience that awful after-tan odor, either. Read Full Review

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                        Australian Gold Precious Metals Tanning Lotion

                        Designer Skin Conceited 10X Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                        Designer Skin Conceited 10x Bronzer Tanning Lotion instantly darkens your skin and then develops your tan overtime. This lotion also improves your skin's radiance and provides an airbrushed finish that you'll love. Read Full Review

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                          Designer Skin Conceited 10X Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                          Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

                          Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion provides a natural-looking tan while nourishing your skin with vitamins and oils. It helps prepare your skin for a deeper tan with a more intense tanning product. However, this lotion does provide long-lasting color that looks authentic on fair skin. Read Full Review

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                            Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

                            Designer Skin Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                            Designer Skin Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion provides deep, rich color using effective ingredients and bronzers. It also moisturizes your skin and improves its tone, elasticity, and appearance. This lotion is suited for all skin types. Read Full Review

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                              Designer Skin Luminary Bronzer Tanning Lotion

                              Millenium Tanning Black Storm Premium Tanning Lotion

                              This bronzing tanning lotion quickly deepens your skin tone while moisturizing your skin with acai oil. Your skin won't look orange or streaky, but naturally deepened. This lotion also has a fruity fragrance that's more tolerable than most. Read Full Review

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                                Millenium Tanning Black Storm Premium Tanning Lotion

                                Best Tanning Accelerator:

                                Tanning accelerators stimulate the melanin production in your pigment cells, causing your skin to become darker very quickly. You can use tanning accelerator lotions in tanning beds and outdoors while soaking up the sun, depending on your preference. While the best tanning accelerators also enriched with vitamins and moisturizers that nourish your skin, these lotions provide no protection against harmful UV rays and should never replace sunscreen. The tanning accelerators featured below were selected because they deliver superior tanning results and have received the best user reviews.

                                Maui Babe Browning Lotion

                                Maui Babe Browning Lotion contains pure, Hawaiian ingredients that nourish and protect your skin, accelerate your tan, and ward off insects. This formula suits all skin types and works very quickly, even on beginners! It also prevents your skin from burning as you tan. Read Full Review

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                                  Maui Babe Browning Lotion

                                  Australian Gold Accelerator Lotion

                                  This tanning accelerator naturally intensifies your tan while nourishing and conditioning your skin with native oils and vitamins. It doesn't contain bronzer, but rather ingredients that accelerate your natural tan. This lotion is very affordable, as well, and also suits sensitive skin. Read Full Review

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                                    Australian Gold Accelerator Lotion

                                    Designer Skin Phoenician Tanning Accelerator

                                    This tanning accelerator promotes a luxurious, glowing tan while making your skin softer and more youthful. It doesn't contain bronzer, so you'll never have to worry about orange, streaky skin. Read Full Review

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                                      Designer Skin Phoenician Tanning Accelerator

                                      Designer Skin Pretty & Reckless Extreme Tanning Intensifier

                                      Designer Skin Pretty & Reckless Extreme Tanning Intensifier protects your tattoos while enhancing and darkening your skin. It also protects and rejuvenates your skin with antioxidants, shea butter, and vitamin E. Read Full Review

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                                        Designer Skin Pretty & Reckless Extreme Tanning Intensifier

                                        Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

                                        Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion and Accelerator contains bronzer to intensify your tan. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor tanning, and contains hydrating vitamins and oils. Read Full Review

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                                          Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion And Accelerator

                                          Best Tingle Lotion:

                                          Tingle lotions are intense, potent tanning products that essentially intensify the effects of UV rays. These lotions work by bringing more blood to your skin's surface, exposing skin's melanin to more oxygen and subsequently darkening your skin. Expect your skin to tingle and possibly burn or redden after applying tingle lotions. Also, remember that tingle lotions are unsuitable for sensitive skin and facial use, plus they should never be used around children. The tingle lotions featured below were chosen because they provide deep color, deliver fast results, and are the most effective overall. They also boast the highest user ratings.

                                          Swedish Beauty Stunning Pure Tingle Lotion

                                          This high-quality tingle lotion provides extreme heat and tingle, melanin enhancer, and antioxidants that fight aging. There are no bronzers in this product, so you won't experience streaks or blotches. The lotion is very long lasting and spreads evenly over your body. Read Full Review

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                                            Swedish Beauty Stunning Pure Tingle Lotion

                                            Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tingle

                                            Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tingle is an effective tingle lotion that provides instantly results. It also has anti-aging, slimming, and firming benefits. This lotion works best if you already have a base tan. Read Full Review

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                                              Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tingle

                                              Ed Hardy Body Shots Tingle Lotion

                                              This tingle lotion provides instant darkening results that are intended for experienced tanners. It also has a very strong tingle and features a fresh citrus fragrance. Read Full Review

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                                                Ed Hardy Body Shots Tingle Lotion

                                                Brown Sugar Original Dark Advanced 45 Bronzer

                                                This bronzing lotion provides an extreme tingle that results in extreme skin darkening. It's very moisturizing and smells pleasant without the after-tan odor. This lotion won't leave your hands orange after application. Read Full Review

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                                                  Brown Sugar Original Dark Advanced 45 Bronzer

                                                  Pro Tan Seriously Hot Extreme Sizzle Bronzer

                                                  Pro Tan Seriously Hot Extreme Sizzle Bronzer is designed to help experienced tanners propel their color to higher levels. It immediately makes your skin color richer, darker, and more even. Read Full Review

                                                  Pro Tan Seriously Hot Extreme Sizzle Bronzer

                                                  Best After Tan Lotion:

                                                  Tanning may give you a healthy glow, but it can leave your skin parched and damaged. After tan lotions replenish and condition your skin with hydration and nourishment lost during the tanning process. Regular use of these lotions after tanning also helps protects your skin from visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sun spots, caused by UV exposure. Furthermore, after tan lotions preserve the appearance and longevity of your tan, ensuring your glow stays vibrant between tanning sessions. The after tan lotions featured below were chosen because they nourish your skin, maintain your tan, and are rated the highest by users.

                                                  California Tan Expose Luxe Body Lotion

                                                  California Tan Expose Luxe Body Lotion protects your skin against aging using Renovage Age Reversing Technology and age-defying antioxidants from coconut water. This lotion does a great job of protecting and extending your glow while softening your skin. It's very lightweight, never sticky or heavy. Read Full Review

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                                                    California Tan Expose Luxe Body Lotion

                                                    Australian Gold Body Kisses After Tan Moisturizer

                                                    Australian Gold Body Kisses After Tan Moisturizer conditions, moisturizes, and softens your skin using hemp seed extract. It features Lipocare Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Formula, which helps tighten, contour, and firm your body. The light fragrance isn't overwhelming, but rather smells subtly sweet. Read Full Review

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                                                      Australian Gold Body Kisses After Tan Moisturizer

                                                      Swedish Beauty Aloe There Color Boosting Moisturizer

                                                      Swedish Beauty Aloe There Color Boosting Moisturizer is a paraben-free lotion that contains 95 percent natural-based ingredients. It's very moisturizing and never feels greasy or heavy on your skin. The scent is light, pleasant, and not overbearing. Read Full Review

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                                                        Swedish Beauty Aloe There Color Boosting Moisturizer

                                                        Hempz Age Defying Body Moisturizer

                                                        Hempz Age Defying Herbal Body Moisturizer is the perfect after tan lotion because it contains key amino acids and essential fatty acids that condition and hydrate your skin. It visibly improves the appearance of your skin, causing it to become firmer and younger-looking. Read Full Review

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                                                          Hempz Age Defying Body Moisturizer

                                                          Smooth Ocean Potion Moisturizing Aloe After Sun Lotion, 20.5 fl oz

                                                          This after tan lotion contains pure ingredients that repair and replenish your skin cells after sun exposure. It also helps extend your tan and promote smoother, softer skin due to added hydration. Read Full Review

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                                                            Smooth Ocean Potion Moisturizing Aloe After Sun Lotion, 20.5 fl oz
                                                             

                                                            Tanning Lotion Buyer's Guide

                                                            Sunbathing can be harmful to bare, unprotected skin so a quality tanning lotion is essential to have. When paired with a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen, tanning lotion allows you to experience the bronzed glow achieved by lying out in the sun for hours. There are many different types of tanning lotions with some designed for just indoor use in tanning beds, while others are formulated for tanning outdoors. There are also tanning accelerators and tingle lotions allowing for faster tanning, while after-tan lotions help simultaneously preserve your tan and restore skin.

                                                            A tanning lotions effectiveness is a primary factor to consider before choosing a specific product. The darkening quality and amount of time required to achieve that level of skin bronzing is key. Quality tanning lotions allow you to become more bronzed in less time while keeping skin healthy moisturized. They also provide lasting glows to prevent the need for constant application.

                                                            Keep in mind you should never substitute a tanning lotion for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Tanning lotions are only designed to intensify the effects of ultraviolet rays, not protect against them. Using a high-numbered, broad spectrum sunscreen along with a tanning lotion significantly prevents the risk of developing skin cancers.

                                                            Natural-Looking Appearance
                                                            The whole point of tanning is for a healthy glow and enhance your overall appearance. The best tanning lotions deliver an even, bronzed glow that’s never mistaken for a “fake” tan. Conversely, using a low-quality tanning lotion can result in ugly orange streaks or an unnatural-looking tan.

                                                            Skin Nourishment
                                                            Quality tanning lotions go beyond simply bronzing by moisturizing and conditioning skin with nourishing ingredients such as green tea, aloe vera, and hemp seed. Some tanning lotions also provide age-defying benefits such as skin firming and wrinkle prevention use antioxidants and amino acids.

                                                            Tanning Lotion Types

                                                            Outdoor Tanning Lotion
                                                            Outdoor tanning lotions typically contain natural oils and bronzers that when exposed to the sun, help darken skin pigments. Some outdoor tanning lotions may also contain low levels of broad spectrum SPF sunscreen, but typically not enough to protect skin against sun-related skin damage.

                                                            Indoor Tanning Lotion
                                                            Indoor tanning lotions allow you to develop your tan without the need for natural sunlight exposure. These tanning lotions typically work more quickly than outdoor tanning lotions and are known to help extend the lifespan of your tan. 

                                                            Bronzing Tanning Lotion
                                                            Similar to indoor tanning lotions, bronzing tanning lotions help you achieve deeper skin color in less time. They usually contain natural bronzers along with vitamins, minerals, and oils to provide rich, long-lasting color. Many bronzing tanning lotions also moisturize skin and help improve its radiance.

                                                            Tanning Accelerator
                                                            Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, tanning accelerators rapidly darken skin by activating the melanin production in pigment cells. Tanning accelerators may also contain nourishing ingredients such as vitamins and hydrating oils to help protect and rejuvenate skin Certain accelerators contain bronzers, as well.

                                                            Tingle Lotion
                                                            Tingle lotions quickly deepen your skin tone by drawing more blood to your skin’s surface. When the melanin in your skin is exposed to more oxygen, the effects of ultraviolet rays are intensified. Tingle lotions are meant for use experienced tanners and not suitable for use by individuals with sensitive skin. 

                                                            After Tan Lotion
                                                            After tan lotions help replenish moisture and nutrients lost during tanning. They may contain nourishing ingredients such as antioxidants, hemp seed extract, or amino acids to condition your skin and improve its texture, tone, and overall appearance. After tan lotions can also help extend the longevity of your tan.

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