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 Dark Tanning Intensifier$17.95Buy Now!
The perfect blend for flawless dark color and perfectly complected skin. This dark tanning blend is Gluten-free, Oil-free, Paraben-free, and Nut-free, and also VEGAN. The main ingredient MelanoBronze™ stimulates melanin activity to allow for longer-lasting, darker tanning results. This lotion contains a special formula of cotton and rice extracts that soothes, softens, and hydrates the skin. There are no dyes in this lotion so it is great for those with tattoos as they do not have to worry about the bronzer fading into their ink. We award Ed Hardy Peace & Harmony MOST VERSATILE as it can also be used for outdoor tanning, although the addition of a sunblock is recommended to avoid sun damage. It also contains bonus ingredients that fight cellulite and help skin to become firmer.
JWOWW Fit Life Dynamic Dark Intensifier Tanning Lotion$59.99Buy Now!
A favorite at tanning salons! You may have been offered a sample of this wonderful lotion before at your local tanning salon. It is extremely popular as it really works FAST! This hydrating blend of silicone and emollients smooth and promote healthy skin. The proprietary Fitness Formula with caffeine energizes, tones, and tightens skin. Added calming Stevia rejuvenates skin while anti-oxidating green tea slows environmental damage and moisturizes the skin. There are lots of additional vitamins that improve skin texture. This formula contains Shea Butter, Vitamin A, and E, prolong your tan while raspberry protects from color damage so it is also a good option for tattooed skin. Additional beeswax soothes and hydrates your skin keeping your artwork looking sharp.
As an extra bonus, it is around $20 cheaper to buy it here than at your salon!
In fact we recommend the whole range of JWOWW products.
Supre – Snooki Ultra Dark 70X Black Bronzer w/ Skin Firm & Toning$33.59Buy Now!
With nourishing ingredients like sweet almond oil, coconut, and other vitamins your skin will be soft, moisturized, and protected from environmental stressors while you use this indoor tanning lotion. Free from parabens, which can disrupt the endocrine system, this lotion is meant to leave your skin silky smooth while helping you get a deep, dark tan. With a bronzing blend of black walnut, henna, and DHA, your tan continues to deepen even after you have left the tanning bed. The Snookie Ultra Dark Black Bronzer will leave you with a rich, dark, golden, glow. We also love the extra bling bottle!
Tan Asz U Luau Island Black Bronzer, 13.5 Ounce Tanning Bed Lotion$22.04Buy Now!
Paradise in a bottle! If you could capture a moment trapped in time; perfect sun, surf, & scents- this is it. Your irresistible island glow, that gorgeous bronze that has reached its peak by sunset for a come-hither color, has been recreated in this 200X Black Bronzer. This level of color begs to be admired, and skin this soft beckons for touch. Nothing this good lasts forever, but lucky for you Luau is never far away. This is by far the best smelling indoor tanning lotion! If you only have time to tan during your lunch break and worry about that after tanning smell when you return to work fear not with this delicious smelling lotion. This deep bronzer will have you glowing & moisturized and smelling fantastic all day!
Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer, Hypoallergenic, 9 Ounce$18.31Buy Now!
Those with sensitive skin rave about this wonderful tan maximizer. It is not only Paraben Free but also Gluten Free, Nut Free, 100% Vegan, and THC-Free! It also contains natural calming extracts including Oatmeal to comfort and soothe sensitive skin and is blended with rich Mango Seed Butter to help hydrate and smooth. A very popular tan enhancer for people with very fair skin. This non-greasy, non- tingle, lightweight formula absorbs quickly into the skin and gives a lovely golden, natural glow.
Super Sunnies UV Eye Protection FDA compliant Tanning Goggles Eyeshields$6.20Buy Now!
- 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.