Are you getting ready to up your tanning game?
What you need to know is that an important part of getting a good tan is to use a good sun tanning lotion – a product that will help you get the golden-brown tan you’ve been waiting for all while protecting your skin from drying out! These lotions will enhance tans, and increase skin’s melanin production.
But there are a lot of things to consider when shopping for the best sun tanning lotion for your needs. For example:
- Are you going to be tanning outside in the sun, or inside in tanning salons?
- Does your skin darken easily or is it more prone to burning?
- Are you looking for something that will help you naturally tan, or something that will also give you some extra color with a bronzer?
- Are you looking for something totally natural, or just looking for a product that gets the job done?
There is a huge variety of products on the market, all for different needs based on what you are looking for. In this article, I will discuss some of the best options out there taking into account a variety of different factors and individual preferences.
But what’s the best sun tanning lotion? SimplySunSafe is here to help!
After researching many of the most best sun tanning products today and narrowing them down to five lotions, I recommend Maui Babe Browning Lotion as the best option. Continue reading to see why it’s been named the #1 best-selling tanning oil and why SimplySunSafe agrees! Below you will also find a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top five tanning lotions on the market.
To make sure that you buy the best tanning lotion for the sun as suitable to your needs, here are a few factors that you should consider when buying a product:
Indoor, Outdoor, or Sunless?
Where are you planning on soaking up the rays? Out in the sun, in a tanning bed, or with a self-tanning sunless product? Or maybe a bit of all of the above?
There are certain lotions that are specifically designed for these different purposes.
Sunless lotions are lotions that, upon application, will give you a slight bronzing right away that deepens over time. They work by using ingredients such as DHA that cause chemical reactions with amino acids on the skin’s surface, causing skin to darken.
Sunless or self-tanning products do not require you to go out in the sun or to a tanning salon. You can get that sun-kissed glow within the comfort of your own home, and without exposing yourself to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
They have become increasingly popular due to fears over skin cancer, but users must be cautious when using it to avoid streaking or staining skin when applying it.
Indoor lotions are products intended for use in tanning beds, or with tanning lamps. They do not usually contain sunscreen and are formulated to block artificial UV rays, not the natural rays from the sun.
Additionally, they have ingredients that protect tanning beds, unlike outdoor tanning lotions which can damage them. Among indoor lotions are tanning accelerators, which boost skin’s melanin production to quickly form a base tan, and bronzers, which are meant to really bring out and deepen the dark pigments of the skin.
And finally, outdoor lotions are products that are meant for use out in the sun. To protect yourself from cancer-causing rays, it is advisable to find a product that contains sunscreen, or to use sunscreen underneath the outdoor lotion.
You want to consider your skin color and skin type, where you will be tanning, and your desired outcome when looking for a product. Depending on these factors, you may choose a product with more or less SPF, and one that is suited to your skin type.
In the comparison chart below, you will find our five recommended products listed as indoor or outdoor lotions. All are appropriate for outdoor use, but there are a few that can be used indoors as well. Keep reading to find out which is the best lotion for sun tanning for you.
Another important factor to take into consideration when purchasing a sun tanning lotion is the scent of the product. Tanning implies sunshine and summer so many people love a product that smells tropical, fresh, and summery. However, some users may prefer something a bit lighter or even something with no fragrance at all.
SimplySunSafe has taken this into account and you will find below in the comparison chart that each product has a distinct smell from the other options, and there is even one that is scent-free.
Take a look to see which ones you think you would enjoy the most!
Best Sun Tanning Lotion Comparison
|Maui Babe Browning Lotion||Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil||SunGodZ Tanning Lotion||Sun Bum Browning Lotion||Sky Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil|
|Indoor or Outdoor use?||Indoor / Outdoor||Outdoor||Indoor / Outdoor||Outdoor||Indoor / Outdoor|
|Scent||Coffee||Coconut||Light berries / floral scent||Chocolate||Scent-Free|
5 Best Sun Tanning Lotions
After thorough research into the different tanning products on the market, which included analyzing product reviews, examining manufacturing details, and participating in skin care forums, SimplySunSafe has chosen Maui Babe Browning Lotion as the best lotion to get a tan in the sun.
Each recommended product is highly moisturizing, works in some way to help you get the dark tan you want, and each one also has very high customer approval ratings.
SimplySunSafe picks Maui Babe Browning Lotion as the best sun tanning lotion on the market. It’s all-natural, and made from a secret Hawaiian formula. It is extremely popular among tanners because it produces a beautiful dark tan by accelerating the tanning process. It is designed for all skin types and tones and is even good for sensitive and fair skin.
In addition to all that, we love it because it comes in both indoor and outdoor versions to suit your needs. The classic formula is the outdoor lotion, but if you are only looking to tan indoors, opt for the salon version since it is specially formulated with sunflower oil instead of mineral oil to avoid damage on tanning beds.
Its natural ingredients include the following:
- Light mineral oil
- Kukui nut oil
- Antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E
- Kona coffee plant extract
- Potassium Iodide
One thing to note is that this lotion does not contain any SPF protection so sunscreen should be applied at least 10 minutes prior to slathering on the Maui Babe formula to ensure you are protected from the sun while you tan.
- Comes in indoor and outdoor formulas
- Outdoor formula contains sunscreen
- Free of parabens
- Soy and gluten-free
- May be too greasy for very oily skin
Another great option is the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. This is a highly-moisturizing oil that pampers and soothes skin, while producing a dark and even tan.
It contains a rich blend of oils, exotic island botanicals, and smells deliciously coconutty. SimplySunSafe loves this formula because not only is it great for skin, but since it’s designated as reef-safe, it’s great for the ocean too!
This product is a classic tanning oil that’s been around for a long time, which should prove how effective it is! However, it has no UV protection so users who do not have a base tan already should make sure to apply sunscreen before applying the oil.
Some users complain it is a greasy formula that it hard to get off afterwards, but this is also something that is natural considering it is an oil. Make sure you don’t mind a bit of a greasy feeling if you are considering this product!
- Contains skin conditioners
- Reef safe; no oxybenzone or octinoxate
- Contains skin-nourishing antioxidants
- Only to be used by those who already have a good base tan
If you are looking for an excellent indoor tanning lotion – you have found it! This SunGodZ formula is a luxurious, premium silicone tanning lotion that includes bronzer to help make your dark tan even darker. It is also designed to accelerate the tanning process so you can get darker faster. It’s paraben-free and cruelty-free so you can enjoy the product guilt-free.
It also has a silky and durable design that is waterproof and shower-proof. With its anti-run-off and anti-fade ingredients, you can shower for longer without worrying about streaking or fading, and can be sure to have a longer-lasting tan.
SimplySunSafe also loves this product because it’s versatile. While it’s marketed principally as an indoor lotion since it is safe for tanning beds, it can be used outside as well! Infused with agave extract, argan oil, and coconut oil, the SunGodZ Apollo/Artemis tanning lotion will also leave your skin moisturized and nourished.
In addition, if you have tattoos, you don’t have to worry because this product will protect them.
- Shower Proof
- Contains bronzer
- Ingredients won’t damage tanning beds
- Tattoo protectant
- No animal testing
- Some users complain that the bronzer is not as effective as they expected
Sun Bum’s Moisturizing Browning Lotion is another great choice for a sun tanning lotion. It’s hypoallergenic and vegan, and is formulated with a variety of moisturizing ingredients that won’t clog pores. Here are just a few of them:
- Certified organic coconut oil
- Argan Oil
- Kukui Nut Oil
- Marula oil
- Avocado oil
- Aloe Vera
- Green Tea Butter
- Kona Coffee Plant Extract
These ingredients work to moisturize and tan skin without irritating it, and are also paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. All that, and with a yummy chocolate smell!
Some things to keep in mind are that this product can be a bit messy and get on towels and swimsuits. It is also non-waterproof so shouldn’t be used for water sports or if you are prone to heavy sweating unless you are ready to re-apply frequently. It also doesn’t contain any SPF protection so it should be used on top of sunscreen if you do not have a strong base tan.
Another downside is that some users have also complained about packaging issues and say the product is prone to spillage.
- Paraben-free, gluten-free
- Won’t clog pores
- Packaging issues
- Can be messy and get on towels and swimsuits
Our last product is a little bit different, for those who may be interested in an all-natural alternative. Coconut oil is a gift from the Earth – it is incredibly multi-functional and can be used for a variety of different things, including as a tanning oil!
OK maybe you’re a bit skeptical; coconut oil, to tan? Well here are some reasons why coconut oil is great for tanning. Among a variety of factors, it is:
- Super-hydrating; it reduces peeling and dryness
- Nutritive; medium-chain fatty acids (capric, caprylic, and lauric) nourish and protect skin by creating a protective layer to shield it from sun damage and UV radiation.
- Helpful for helping to absorb natural vitamin D
- A shield against infections that can be attained in public places
- Soothing for irritation
This product by Sky Organics is an excellent option to try out tanning with coconut oil. It is 100% pure and natural fractionated coconut oil, which means it is a fraction of a coconut oil where long-chain fatty acids are removed and mainly the medium-chain fatty acids remain. This makes it a liquid oil that is odorless, clear, and non-greasy.
SimplySunSafe loves it because after tanning, you can keep using it for your hair as a conditioner, as a massage oil, as an antiseptic, or as a general skin moisturizer, among other uses.
To use it for tanning, scoop a tablespoon of the oil before tanning and spread it on your body. If you do not have a good base tan, put on some sunscreen first to protect from UV radiation. If you go swimming, make sure to reapply more after about 30 minutes. And, finally, enjoy the beautiful dark tan that you get as a result!
Some problems with the product include their pumps, which some users complain about for not working well, and that it may cause sensitivities in those with very oily skin.
- Multi-purpose uses
- Non-staining tanning oil
- Some users complain about pumps that do not work very well
- Those with very oily skin may find the product too oily for their skin.
I wrote this guide for people searching for the best product for tanning in the sun. I hope you have learned a bit about the different tanning lotion options on the market by reading this article, and that you are now ready to make a decision on which is the best sun tanning lotion for your needs!
While all listed products are great for different purposes, SimplySunSafe recommends Maui Babe Browning Lotion as the overall best sun lotion for tanning thanks to its natural ingredients, and due to the fact that it is paraben-free, and soy- and gluten-free as well. I also love it because it comes in both an indoor and outdoor formula so that you can choose which is best based on your needs.
Our other recommended options, however, offer a variety of other benefits.
- Hawaiian Tropic’s Dark Tanning Oil is a classic that ensures a deep, dark tan in the sun while protecting the ocean’s reefs.
- Sun Godz’ Artemis/Apollo lotion is one of the best options out there for indoor tanning, and also contains bronzer and will protect tattoos.
- Sun Bum’s Browning Lotion is a vegan option that contains many natural ingredients that are hypoallergenic.
- And finally, Sky Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil is an all-natural alternative for those looking to try something a bit different.
I love learning about other great products out there and to hear about your experiences with the ones listed so if you have any comments or recommendations, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!