Wow, looking good! You’ve achieved that beautiful dark tan you were hoping for. But now you are faced with a new challenge – how to make it last.
You know that tans often fade quite quickly if gone uncared for, so it’s crucial to use a tan extender to help nourish your skin and keep your tan glowing for longer.
A tan extender is important for a variety of reasons besides the obvious, though. Not only does it help prolong your tan’s life, but by keeping skin moisturized and nourished, it can also help to develop your tan ever further. Here’s why: when your skin is dry, it reflects light which causes a shallow tan that fades quickly when skin cells come off. On the other hand, if your skin is moisturized, it absorbs light, so tans develop faster and last longer.
But how do you know which tan extender to use, with so many options on the market? What’s the best tan extender out there? SimplySunSafe is here to help!
After researching the variety of tan extenders available today and narrowing them down to five lotions, I recommend Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender Body Lotion as the best option. Continue reading to see why SimplySunSafe loves this product, and why you will too! Below you will also find a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top five tan extenders on the market.
Here are some factors that you should keep in mind when considering which tan extender is right for you:
SimplySunSafe believes that the most important factor to consider when looking for a tan extender is the ingredients list. Always make sure your product comes with a complete ingredients list so you can be fully aware of what you are putting on your skin.
Tan extenders in particular are specially formulated to target different skin issues. While any good tan extender should contain moisturizing ingredients, you may want to look for a product that also provides anti-aging benefits, or that promotes healing of damaged skin, or that provides extra moisture for very dry skin.
SimplySunSafe especially loves products that contain mostly natural ingredients, but of course, not all chemicals are necessarily harmful and may actually be doing good as well. When in doubt, you can use an ingredients analyzer such as the one provided by Skin Carisma. Just copy and paste any ingredients list and it will generate an analysis of each ingredient so that you know exactly what the purpose of each one is and whether it is good for your skin or not.
Some tan extenders also come with bronzers to add extra color, but it is worthy to note that the only FDA-approved color additive in tan extenders is DHA (dihydroxyacetone) so you should steer clear of any product that has other ingredients listed as color additives.
Another factor to take into consideration when buying a tan extending lotion is the smell. You want to make sure you’re getting a product with a smell you like, because it does not matter how great a product works; if you can’t stand the smell, it won’t be of any use to you!
Make sure to look at the bottle and read through the product description to see if the product lists a specific scent. Otherwise, read through reviews to see what other product users have said about it. And of course, if you are sensitive to smells, then try to find a product that is either scentless or one that has a very light, neutral smell that won’t bother you.
Best Tan Extender Comparison
|Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender||Australian Gold Hemp Nation Tan Extender||Devoted Creations So Naughty Tan Extender||Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender||Ed Hardy Ink Moisturizer & Tan Extender|
|Ingredient Features||Organic, natural, vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free, anti-aging, promotes healing||Anti-aging, promotes healing, paraben-free, sulfate-free, alcohol-free||Anti-aging, promotes healing, bronzer, silicone, diamond dust||Anti-aging, promotes healing, fights acne, alcohol-free, sulfate-free||Anti-aging, promotes healing, brightening, vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free|
|Scent||Light, natural||Light, clean||Pink Sugar||Coconut, orange, vanilla||Bourbon & Honey|
5 Best Tan Extenders
After thorough research into different tanning extension products, which included analyzing product reviews, examining manufacturing details, and participating in skin care forums, SimplySunSafe has chosen one tan extender to rule them all.
Each recommended product uses safe and gentle ingredients in its formulation and has a pleasant scent. They also have very high customer approval ratings as a bonus.
Golden Star Beauty’s Tan Extender Body Lotion is SimplySunSafe’s pick for the best tan extender. We love it because it’s made with pure, organic, natural ingredients and is specifically formulated to extend the life of your tan. It has all that you need from a tan extender, while being ethically responsible to boot! This lotion extends tans for at least three days longer, and skin is left feeling 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 too.
Among the ingredients you can find in a bottle are the following:
- Organic Aloe Vera
- Organic Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, and Argan oils
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Vitamins B2, B5, and B12
- Coffee Seed Extract
One precaution to take into account is that since this Golden Star product contains DHA, you should let skin dry before putting clothes on, and you should wash the lotion off of your hands with soap and water immediately after application. Unless you want your palms to turn a few shades darker, of course!
- Made with organic ingredients
- Free of parabens and dyes
- Caution must be taken to wash hands after application due to small amount of DHA present
Australian Gold’s Hemp Nation Tan Extender is a lightweight, moisture-rich formula that will leave your skin feeling silky smooth. It contains hemp seed oil which has essential fatty and amino acids which help to repair damaged skin, and shea butter, jojoba, and glycerin hydrate and lock in skin’s moisture.
It’s also formulated with an age-defying blend; vitamins A, E, and B5 protect against aging while soft-focus microspheres help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It has a soft, clean smell suitable for those with scent sensitivities, and is free of parabens and the THC drug.
Some users complain that since it is a thick lotion, the product runs out quickly. However, others assert that you don’t need to use much to cover your body.
- Promotes healing
- Paraben- and THC-free
- Thick so product can run out quickly
Devoted Creations’ So Naughty Nude Tan Extending Moisturizer is another great product that moisturizes skin, prolongs tans, and prevents fading. In addition to all that, though, it also gives skin an extra boost; it’s a bronzer, and has anti-aging and skin-firming properties so that skin appears younger and feels tighter, silkier, softer, and smoother.
Additionally, it will leave your skin illuminated and glowing due to the presence of silicone and diamond dust. And all with a delicious pink sugar smell!
Some further benefits of the product’s technologies are the following:
- Dead Sea Mineral Complex: repairs skin damage, improves skin tone, texture, and elasticity, and reverses signs of aging.
- Argan Oil: prevents premature skin aging
- SunxTend™: prevents color fading and prolongs tan
- Ideal Lift™ Technology: improves skin elasticity and tightness and fights against sagging
- Body Fit™ Technology: reduces the appearance of cellulite and improves firmness
- Renovage™ Technology: firms, hydrates, and plumps the skin
Users loves that it’s a light lotion that soaks in quickly, but some downsides to this Devoted Creations product is that it contains parabens and alcohol. Additionally, due to some of the fragrant ingredients, it may cause irritation to sensitive 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
- Contains parabens
- Contains alcohol
This lotion by Australian Gold is excellent for hydrating skin and for helping to extend the life of your tan. It uses a unique blend of ingredients which lock in moisture for smooth and silky skin, leaving you with a beautiful, soft, glowing complexion. Additionally, it’s non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and has properties that help to tighten skin.
It is also 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 that gently cleanses for smooth skin.
- Sunflower Seed and Olive Fruit Oils: these moisturizing oils 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 test out just a small amount first, as the smell may be slightly too strong.
Other downsides to this product is that it contains parabens, and some users complain about issues with the pump mechanism on the bottle.
- Extends tan by locking in moisture
- Non-greasy, fast-absorbing moisturizer
- PABA-free; dye-free; alcohol-free
- Skin-tightening properties
- Buyers sensitive to scents may find the smell a bit too strong.
- Contains parabens
- Some pump issues
SimplySunSafe’s final pick for some of the best tan extending lotions on the market is a special formula for those with tattoos. But that doesn’t mean you need to have tattoos to use it! Ed Hardy’s INK is a super-moisturizing formula highly concentrated with shea butter, vitamins, and essential skin nutrients, and leaves all types of skin super soft and hydrated.
It’s a long-lasting, luxurious cream that nourishes, protects, and helps to restore skin’s moisture levels. Its rich, whipped texture is easy to apply and quickly absorbed, without leaving a greasy feel.
Its Tattoo & Color Fade technology protects your tattoos and makes them shine, while also improving your tanning results.
Some of its key features are the following:
- Shea butter: softens skin with no greasy residue
- Body Fit formula: reduces appearance of cellulite and promotes firmness
- Lotus extract: anti-aging benefits and lots of antioxidants
- Vitamins E & C: boost skin’s radiance and fight skin damage
Additionally, it’s a hypoallergenic product free of oil and wheat, and is vegan and paraben-free.
Some downsides are that it contains alcohol, and added fragrances may cause irritation to sensitive skin. Also, while the majority of users – both men and women – love the smell, some complain that it’s a bit too strong, and some women think it’s a bit manly,
- Protects and brightens tattoos
- Fragrance can cause irritation to sensitive skin
- Contains alcohol
- Some users find scent too strong and/or manly
I wrote this guide for people looking for the best tan extender. Hopefully you have gained more knowledge about different products on the market by reading this article, and you are now equipped with the tools to make a decision on which is the best tan prolonger 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 it since it’s an ethically conscious company that is proudly cruelty-free, vegan, and free of dyes and parabens.
Other options listed are also great for other needs. Ed Hardy’s INK is a great option for those who want to protect their tattoos when they tan, while Australian Gold’s Moisture Lock and Devoted Creations’ So Naughty Nude are formulated with a lot of anti-aging properties for those looking to firm up their skin in addition to extend their tan. Australian Gold’s Hemp Nation is also great for those looking for a product with a light smell.
I always love to learn about other new products and to hear about your experiences with the ones listed so if you have any feedback or further recommendations of other great tan extenders, please leave me a comment below and I will see about featuring them in another article!