When looking for which indoor tanning lotion is best, it may seem overwhelming because of all the different products available. Each indoor tanning lotion claims to be the “best for your skin” and “give you the darkest tan”, but are these claims true?
We’ve picked out five of the best indoor tanning lotions available and provided some expert tips as well to make sure you get a glowing, dark, golden tan in no time.
About Indoor Tanning Lotions
The main purpose of indoor tanning lotion is to help your tan to develop faster and darker by intensifying UV rays. Indoor tanning lotion for tanning beds is different than self-tanners which develop a tan by dyeing your skin. The color on your skin can vary from a golden tan to an orange that lasts a couple of days to a few weeks. Some indoor tanning lotions contain bronzers that add an extra golden glow to your skin. This color can last for a few days or wash off in the shower following your tanning session.
Indoor tanning lotion helps your skin to be stay moisturized and hydrated. This allows your tan to last longer and keeps your skin from drying out or peeling, because the UV light can make your skin very dry.
Using indoor tanning lotion helps your skin from burning under the UV lights. The ageing effects of the lights, such as wrinkles, are reduced as well. Your tan continues to develop even after you finish your tanning session when using a quality lotion.
Indoor tanning lotions have developed to provide more than just the basics. Now tanning lotions provide optimal hydration, some help to firm your skin, and others contain extra anti-ageing ingredients. These bonus features are great when looking at tanning lotions because it helps fight some of the undesirable side effects of indoor tanning.
Different Types of Indoor Tanning Lotion
With all of the indoor tanning lotions available, there are two categories that most fall into, bronzing lotions and tingling lotions.
Bronzing indoor tanning lotions contain ingredients like DHA which works to give your skin a beautiful, golden tan. These lotions are best used after a base tan is already achieved to darken the tan and give a tropical glow. Keep in mind that not all bronzing lotions will work the same on everyone. Testing out the product on a small patch of skin is best to ensure that it produces a color that is flattering to your skin tone.
Tingling indoor tanning lotions work by increasing blood flow and providing a tingling sensation. The purpose of this is to develop a tan faster. The first few minutes of using this product may result in a feeling of heat and you may notice redness after your tanning session. This redness will quickly be replaced with a beautiful tan. Experiment with different tingling tanners to find which lotion is the most comfortable for you.
What to Look for When Choosing an Indoor Tanning Lotion
When looking for an indoor tanning lotion there are a few things that you want to consider to make sure you are choosing the best product for you. Making sure that the product is hydrating is a must. The more moisturized the skin is, the longer your tan will last and the less damage will be done to your skin.
You also want to look at the formulation and ingredients. Ingredients like Aloe Vera, antioxidants, vitamins, and oils are great for giving your skin extra nourishment. Also, formulations that are meant to be anti-wrinkle or anti-ageing are great add-ons.
Best Indoor Tanning Lotions – 2021
Ed Hardy Peace & Harmony Tanning Intensifier Bronzing Moisturizer Lotion$16.28Shop Now
- Dark tanning activators give skin a natural, sun kissed glow.
- MelanoBronze – Stimulates melanin activity to allow for longer lasting, darker tanning results.
- Wheat Proteins – tighten the skin instantly.
- Caffeine and Green Tea Extracts – Energize, firm and tighten the skin.
- Cotton & Rice Extract – Soothe and soften the skin without irritation.
KAT VON D Signature Brow Precision PencilShop Now
long-wear, waterproof brow pencil that has a super-precise tip for a microblade look you control.
In fact we recommend the whole range of JWOWW products.
Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion$34.95Shop Now
- ✅ BLACK BRONZER TANNING LOTION: The world’s first 100% natural tanning lotion self tanner treatment with full skin care benefits. Dark DHA, Natural & Cosmetic self tanning bronzers provide deep, dark and long-lasting bronzed results. Superior soft silicone formula allows results to last days longer.
- ✅ ANTI-WRINKLE & ANTI-AGING: This lightweight tanning lotion delivers an instant bronze glow that is fast drying and develops in just 2 hours to a long-lasting tan. Indoor tanning lotion with bronzers & a powerful anti-aging and skin firming peptide that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for long-lasting youthful results.
Jwoww Shore Love Intensifier Tanning Lotion$46.98Shop Now
- Jwoww Shore Love by Australian Gold. (Bottle Size: 13.5 ounces)
- BUYERS PLEASE NOTE: Numbers on bottom of bottle are batch numbers not expiration dates. Lotion is good for 18 Months once opened. Period After opening date is located next to UPC as a jar symbol with months of use inside jar.
- Double Intensifier: Tyrosine and Erythrulose promote a dark tan with Intense moisturizers that hydrate and seal in moisture.
- Caffeine and Coffee Seed for toning and firming skin. After Tan Odor Eliminators
- Fragrance: Sparkling Kiwi. (Bold Mandarin, Pear & Kiwi Blossom, Mild scents Jasmine, Water Lilly & Frangipani, with light scents of Tahitian Vanilla Musk, Amber & Sandalwood
Supre – Snooki Ultra Dark 70X Black Bronzer w/ Skin Firm & Toning$32.89Shop Now
- Snooki Ultra Dark 70x Black Bronzer with Skin Firming and Toning Tanning Lotion. 70X Black Bronzing Blend of Black Walnut, Henna and DHA allows skin to continue to darken after UV exposure, for the deepest, darkest tan imaginable.
- HyperDark Tanning technology immediately prepares your skin for deep, rich golden color.
- Vitamin enriched skin conditioner blend helps skin fight against environmental stress for a more radiant and healthier looking glow.
Tan Asz U ALOHA BLACK Advanced 200X Black Bronzer$25.00Shop Now
- Advanced 200X Black Bronzers for ultra dark color
- EverBlackTM Anti-Fade Tech ensures a long lasting bronze
- Monoi de Tahiti & Coconut Butters condition, hydrate your skin
- Max Silicones provide a super-touchable softness
Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer, HypoallergenicShop Now
- 1.Natural calming extracts including Oatmeal to comfort and soothe.
- 2.Blended with rich Mango Seed Butter to help hydrate and smooth gentle skin.
- 3.Non-greasy, lighweight formula absorbs quickly into the skin.
- 4.Paraben Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, 100% Vegan, THC-Free.
Super Sunnies UV Eye Protection FDA compliant Tanning Goggles Eyeshields$5.95Shop Now
- Made in USA
- Neon lens
- 2 Super Sunnies in Random Color
- Bright Neon Colors
- The original and world’s best selling UV eye protection
- Blocks over 99.9% of the UV-B rays and over 99% of the UVA rays while allowing vision
Expert Tips to Achieve a Flawless Indoor Tan
First-time tanners or even those you have been tanning for years will want to follow these simple expert tips to make sure that they get a flawless indoor tan.
- If you are switching your tanning lotion to one that contains a bronzer, perform a patch test on a small area of skin to ensure that the color will compliment your skin tone.
- If trying a new indoor tanning lotion, try a patch test to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. You don’t want to have beautiful golden skin with an allergic reaction, like hives.
- Make sure to exfoliate your skin before your tanning session. This will remove any dead skin, giving you a smooth and even base to apply your lotion. Your lotion will absorb better and smooth skin helps to ensure a more even tan.
- Be sure to not over tan. This means you should not go more than three times a week and your sessions should last no longer than thirty minutes while trying to achieve a base tan. Over tanning can lead to skin damage that can cause your skin to age prematurely. Too much exposure to UV rays can eventually lead to cancer. Make sure you are taking care of your skin and breaking between tanning sessions.
- Always be sure to thoroughly wash and scrub your hands after applying lotions that contain bronzer. This will prevent your hands from turning orange.
- To allow your tan to sink in and develop the best it can. Avoid showering for a few hours following your tanning session.
- Always be careful when using an indoor lotion for outdoor tanning. They intensify UV rays and can become very dangerous outdoors. Use an added SPF with these lotions to avoid damaging your skin.
- If you are more susceptible to burning, but still want to give indoor tanning a try, tan in a high-pressure bed, as they emit more UVA rays reducing your risk of burning.
- Remember to take care of your skin with an after tanning bed lotion. After tan lotions help to moisturize your skin, prevent dry spots forming, and help your tan improve over the next few days between sessions.
With all of this information and expert tips, you can have a golden tan quickly. Using the top five indoor tanning lotions available will give you a glowing tan without having to spend hours laying out under the harsh sun. These tanning lotions will keep your skin nourished and moisturized while you develop your tan. Follow the expert tips and you will get the most out of your tanning sessions and indoor tanning lotions while staying safe.
If you prefer a spray tan (perhaps you don’t tan easily, indoors or outdoors?), check out our article on home spray tanning and home spray tan machines.