Oh my, look at how you glow! Have you been out in the sun? Or maybe you’ve been using a self-tanning lotion? Well, whatever you’ve been doing, your tan looks great.
But now – how do you make sure you can keep that sun-kissed look healthy and vibrant for more than just a few days? Well, an after-tanning lotion of course!
Tans were never meant to be permanent, but you can at least extend the life of your tan with the correct product! The first most important thing you want to look for is moisturizing action. Tanned skin needs hydration to keep looking fresh. When skin is properly moisturized, tans can be prolonged for extra days, and will also fade more evenly.
How is an after-tanning lotion different from any old moisturizer, though?
Well, it comes down to the ingredients! Certain ingredients such as DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) work to reduce tan break-up, extending the life of a tan, and improving fade. Products with these kinds of ingredients are therefore more effective at maintaining tans than regular moisturizers tend to be.
But what is the best lotion for after tanning? SimplySunSafe is here to tell you!
After a lot of research into different lotions on the market, I recommend Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender Body Lotion as the best moisturizer for after tanning. Keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 lotions to find the best after tanning lotion for your needs.
To make sure that you get the most out of your after-tanning lotion, here are a few factors that you should consider when buying a product:
Regular Moisturizer vs. Tan Extender
The most important thing to think about when buying an after-tanning product is what you want to get out of the product.
If you are just looking for a moisturizer to hydrate your skin and keep your tan looking healthy, you can widen your search to include general moisturizers even if they are not specifically for after tanning. One example is Hempz Pomegranate Herbal Body Moisturizer, listed below.
However, if you are searching for a product that is specifically formulated to extend your tan and prevent fading, then you’ll want to look for products marked as ‘tan extenders’ or ‘after tanning lotions’.
These products have special ingredients that lock in moisture within the skin to prevent that beautiful glowing tan from going away too soon.
The next most important factor is to check the ingredients so that you know what’s in your lotion.
SimplySunSafe acknowledges that it can be hard to know what’s good and what’s not with so many different opinions floating around in magazines, books, or on the internet. Here’s a brief description of two such examples of ingredients that are commonly found in tan extending lotions and moisturizers:
DHA: DHA is a widely used ingredient in tanning lotions and tan extenders. It is naturally derived from sugar beets or cane sugar and interacts non-toxically with amino acids on the skin’s surface, effectively browning the skin.
While this is an FDA-approved ingredient for cosmetic use and is widely-used to maintain tans and reduce fade, caution must be taken to wash the lotion off hands after application, since it can darken palms.
Its effects are also unknown when ingested or inhaled or when used around mucous membranes such as the mouth, nose, and eyes, so it is best to avoid using it in these areas. You can find out more about DHA on the FDA website.
Parabens: Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes in a wide range of cosmetics. While not directly harmful and almost always present in very low quantities, parabens have been linked to various health risks after prolonged use.
You can find out more about parabens using the Safe Cosmetics factsheet.
Lastly, scent is a very important factor when searching for a good product. Even if you found a product that would extend your tan for life, if it had an unappealing smell, you still probably wouldn’t use it!
For this reason, it’s key to find a product that has a smell you love. Make sure to read about the scent of the product before buying to ensure that it’s a scent you believe you’ll enjoy.
Best After-Tanning Lotion Comparison
|Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender||Hempz Herbal Moisturizer||Maui Babe After Browning Lotion||Australian Gold Moisture Lock Lotion||Devoted Creations So Naughty Moisturizer|
|Moisturizer or Tan Extender?||Tan Extender||Moisturizer||Tan Extender||Tan Extender||Tan Extender|
|Scent||Natural and pleasant scent||Pomegranate||Light, refreshing, slightly ‘flowery’||Coconut, Orange, and Vanilla||Pink Sugar|
5 Best After-Tanning Lotions
After thorough research into the different after-tanning products on the market, which included analyzing product reviews, examining manufacturing details, and partaking in skin care forums, SimplySunSafe has chosen Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender Body Lotion as the top option.
Each recommended product moisturizes very well, works in some way to enhance your tan, and each one also has very high customer approval ratings.
Golden Star Beauty’s Tan Extender Body Lotion is our pick for the best after tanning lotion.
We love it because it’s made with pure, organic, natural ingredients and is curated specifically to extend the life of your tan. It has all that you dreamed of in a after-tanning lotion while being ethically responsible to boot!
This lotion extends tans at least three days longer, and skin is left silky smooth.
A non-comedogenic and non-sticky product, it works for all skin types and all kinds of tans, even very sensitive ones. It’s also made with no chemicals, parabens, or formaldehyde, and is gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Its natural ingredients will not only extend your tan, but will work to make sure it fades evenly.
Among the ingredients you can find in a bottle are the following:
- Organic Aloe Vera
- Organic Oils (Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, Argan oils)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Vitamins B2, B5, and B12
- Coffee Seed Extract
One downside to our favourite lotion is that it contains DHA, so caution should be taken to wash the lotion off of hands immediately after application. Unless you want your palms to turn a few shades darker, that is!
- Free of parabens and dyes
- Made with Organic ingredients
- Contains DHA so caution must be taken to wash hands after application
Another excellent product for after-tan lotions on the market is Hempz Pomegranate Herbal Body Moisturizer.
It’s enriched with 100% pure organic hemp seed oil, and also contains other natural extracts. These natural ingredients work to hydrate and nourish skin and also help to improve and maintain healthy skin, especially after tanning.
While it does not have any tan extending properties, it is an excellent way to moisturize and hydrate tanned skin due to its unique formula.
Here are some of the best natural ingredients and their functions:
- Hemp seed oil: One of the best sources of essential fatty acids and amino acids that can be found in nature; it contains natural proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals which are all key for healthy skincare.
- Pomegranate extract: Another ingredient high in antioxidants which additionally prevents free radicals and rejuvenates skin for a healthy glow.
- Shea Butter, Ginseng, and Natural Extracts: Help to calm and condition the skin.
- Vitamins A, C, and E: Fortify skin against natural and environmentally-triggered oxidants.
- Enriched with 100% pure organic hemp seed oil
- Effective hydration against dry skin
- Natural extracts provide tanned skin with nourishment it needs
- Lightweight moisturizing
- People sensitive to scents may find the pomegranate smell too strong
- Does not have tan extending properties
Maui Babe After Browning Lotion is a classic after tanning product from Maui, Hawaii.
The special formula helps to heal dry skin that’s undergone damage by the sun, salt, and wind. It prevents peeling and flaking after tanning or burning, and locks in tans while also preventing them from fading.
Additionally, it is appropriate for all-year usage as a general skin moisturizer for softer, smoother skin, especially for people living in very dry conditions.
Its most active natural ingredients are Macadamia Nut Oil and Aloe Vera, which work to soothe and moisturize skin after tanning.
The only real downside to this product is its use of parabens.
- Extends tan and prevents fade
- Appropriate as a general moisturizer
- Heals damaged skin
- Contains parabens
This lotion by Australian Gold is excellent for hydrating skin and for helping to extend the life of your beautiful summer tan!
It uses a unique blend of ingredients which lock in moisture for smooth and silky skin, leaving you with a beautiful and soft, glowing complexion. Additionally, it is non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and has properties that help to tighten skin.
Additionally, it is specially formulated to be free of PABA (Para-aminobenzoic acid), dyes, alcohol, and gluten.
Some of its enriching ingredients are the following:
- Australian Tea Tree Oil: a strong antioxidant, the oil gently cleanses to ensure smooth skin.
- Sunflower Seed and Olive Fruit Oils: these oils have moisturizing properties and work to smooth and hydrate skin.
- Aloe Vera: This natural extract naturally soothes and conditions skin.
- Panthenol: This is a non-irritating, highly moisturizing form of Vitamin B which also reduces inflammation and itching.
- Vitamin E: This ingredient works to nourish skin.
Plus, it has a delicious coconut-citrus smell that most buyers love! Those who are sensitive to scents, however, may want to try out just a bit to start, as the smell may be slightly too strong.
Like Maui Babe After Browning Lotion, the main downside to this product is that it also contains parabens.
- Extends tan by locking in moisture
- Non-greasy, fast-absorbing moisturizer
- Skin-tightening properties
- Buyers sensitive to scents may find the smell a bit too strong.
- Contains parabens
Last but not least, Devoted Creations’ So Naughty Nude Tan Extending Moisturizer is another great product that not only moisturizes skin, prolongs tans, and prevents fading, but that also gives skin an extra boost; It’s a bronzer, and also has anti-aging and skin-firming properties so that skin starts to appear younger and feel tighter, silkier, softer, and smoother.
Additionally, it will leave your skin illuminated and glowing thanks to its silicone and diamond dust. And all this, with a delicious pink sugar smell!
Some further benefits of the product’s technologies are the following:
- Dead Sea Mineral Complex: to repair skin damage, improve skin tone, texture, and elasticity, and to reverse signs of aging.
- Argan Oil: to prevent premature skin aging
- SunxTend™: to prevent color fading and prolong tan
- Ideal Lift™ Technology: to improve skin elasticity and tightness and fight against sagging
- Body Fit™ Technology: to reduce the appearance of cellulite and improve firmness
- Renovage™ Technology: to firm, hydrate, and plump the skin
- Light, silky moisturizer
- Anti-aging and skin-firming properties
- Diamond dust skin illuminators
- DHA-free bronzer
- Some fragrant ingredients may cause irritation to sensitive skin
I wrote this guide for people searching for the best after tan lotion. Hopefully you have gained more knowledge about different lotions on the market by reading this article, and you are now equipped with the tools to make a decision on which is the best after tan moisturizer for your needs!
While all listed products are great for different purposes, SimplySunSafe recommends Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender Body Lotion as the overall best option thanks to its natural, organic ingredients and its tan extending properties. We also love that it is an ethically conscious company that is proudly cruelty-free, vegan, and free of dyes and parabens.
Other options listed, however are great for other needs. Hempz Pomegranate Herbal Body Moisturizer is an excellent, and economically-priced moisturizer in case you are not interested in a tan extender, while Devoted Creations So Naughty Nude Tan Extending Moisturizer is a great example of an aesthetically boosting after tan lotion since it’s also a bronzer that works to illuminate skin.
I always love to learn about other new products and to hear about your experiences with the ones listed so if you have any further recommendations on what you believe to be the best after tanning lotion, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!