Is your pale, white skin the reason you fear switching to summer attire even if it is obviously the time? Well, many of us struggle with extremely fair skin, which tends to get all red and irritated the moment it is touched by the sun. And we all know that a little bit of tan always makes our skin look so much better.
The good news is that now you don’t have to rely solely on the sun to get that beautiful skin glow, you can choose tanning lotions that can do the job just as well, if not better!
Best Indoor Tanning Lotions: Guide & FAQ
Why choose a tanning lotion?
If you love to have a tan but would rather avoid excessive sun exposure, the tanning lotions are the best way to go. These products can help you have a glowing, beautifully tanned skin in no time and without the risks associated with being too long in the sun.
Some of us only use the tanning products in summer; others do it all the time and few just for special occasions. The only downside of using this type of product is that the wrong type can give your skin an unpleasant, unnatural looking orange hue. At the same, if you don’t know how to apply the product correctly, you can also end up with stains, dark spots, and an uneven skin tone.
Let’s see how to prepare your skin for a tan!
How to prepare your skin for tanning
All beauty experts agree on this topic – a lovely tan starts with exfoliation. This means that before applying the tanning lotion, you should use a scrub and exfoliate thoroughly. Make sure to use skincare products that are suitable for your skin type.
If we mentioned exfoliation, then you should also consider waxing or shaving before applying the cream, lotion, or spray. Otherwise, you might be disappointed to lose some of your lovely tan next time you get a hair removal procedure.
Use gloves when applying the bronzer. It is safer than complaining about staining afterward. And since we mentioned staining, you should also know that it might take some time for the tanning product to dry on the skin. Allow it to dry completely before putting on clothes.
When it comes to skin application, this can be different from one product to the other, so you should read the labels before starting. If you want a whole body tan, you should start with the ankles, then continue with the legs, body, arms, and face. You might need a different product for the face, especially if your skin is sensitive.
Apply a thin layer of product all over the body, and don’t forget about areas such as behind the knees, the armpits, or the elbows.
Avoid showering for at least six to eight hours after using tanning lotion. If you want to achieve a darker color, you can apply another layer, but wait until the next day.
Keep in mind that it might be difficult to apply the product on your back, so you might want to call a friend or ask your partner for help. If possible, apply the tanning product during the day as the light is better and gives you the opportunity to evaluate the results.
What to consider when buying a tanning product
The first thing you need to think about is how dramatic is the change you are looking for. There are progressive tanning products that you need to apply at specific intervals to get a tan in time. At the same time, there are other options if you want an instant golden glow.
You will notice that most products claim that they can be used on the body and the face too. However, if you know you break out in hives every time you apply a new product, better test on a patch a skin before applying it all over your face.
Color is also important. If you have fair skin, choose a light to medium shade. But if your skin is dark, you can try a darker bronzer. To achieve natural results, always try a bronzer with just one or two shades darker than your skin tone.
If you want to use the tanning lotion both indoors and outdoors, make sure to check for SPF. Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin outside. Already having a tan is no guarantee that the sun won’t damage the skin if excessive exposure occurs.
The consistency of the lotion is another factor that you might be interested in checking. For the face, you could try a rich, creamy texture. However, for the body, you might want a more fluid consistency for a quick application.
The tanning lotions could give you a matte finish or a natural glow, and it is up to you to choose your favorite. If you have oily skin, you might want to give the matte finish a try. Otherwise, most people prefer that golden glow that is often achieved with illuminating particles.
Best Indoor Tanning Lotions: Our Top 10 Picks
1. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner for Face with Organic & Natural Ingredients
- The best lotion for tanning that is cruelty-free and all-natural
- No orange tan or dark spots
- Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive or fair skin
- Thick consistency
- Golden tan
If you want a black bronzer or dark tanning and you have sensitive skin, we have good news for you – Beauty by Earth Self Tanner for Face with organic and natural ingredients is one of the best indoor tanning lotions available nowadays. This is that kind of product with a simple ingredients list, so you won’t have to worry about the health of your skin while getting a tan.
The bronzer is suitable to be used on the body, as well as the face, so you don’t need to get another indoor tanning product for the face only. You can apply it for everyday wear, but also if you want your skin to be at its best before a special event.
The recommendation is to use a gentle scrub on the areas where you want to apply the indoor tanning lotion. Apply the bronzer evenly in a thin layer. When applying to skin areas such as the elbows and knees, use an even thinner layer. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after the application or wear gloves when you use the bronzer to avoid skin stains.
You can apply the product again the following day in case you want to achieve dark tanning. To keep the tan, apply a new layer every week.
2. Botanic Tree Self Tanner Best Bronzer + Gold Tan
- Best indoor tanning lotion for a gold tan
- 100% organic extracts
- No oily sensation on the skin
- It takes a short time to apply it
- Gold tan
If you are tired of all that orangey hue on the skin after using a bed lotion or a black bronzer, it is time to finally see your indoor tanning dreams come true. It is easy, it is affordable, and you get the golden tan you want, whatever your skin type is.
People with sensitive skin tend to avoid tanning lotions or tanning bed products as they can lead to skin irritation, and the acne can be accentuated. However, this is not the case when you use the Botanic Tree Self Tanner Best Bronzer and Gold Tan.
No parabens, no harsh chemical ingredients, and no more white, ghostly skin! Ah, we should also mention that unlike other indoor tanning lotions, it doesn’t take all day to apply it and to get your tan. You might be done with this bronzer in less than 20 minutes, so a great product for your skin if you are on the run.
3. Australian Gold Sinfully Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
- Best tanning bed lotion, suitable for indoor and outdoor tanning
- A bottle is enough for up to 7 tanning sessions
- Slides smoothly on the skin
- Pleasant smell
- Lightweight consistency
If you want to get just one product for your tanning bed and for outside tanning, the Australian Gold Sinfully Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion is a good option. This bronzer is perfect for people who don’t want to get an overly dark tan instantly.
It is a very affordable product and also good for your sensitive skin, so you might want to try it if you are not looking for an expensive tanning bed lotion. The smell is fabulous if you appreciate a product with a distinctive perfume.
Apply a generous amount before indoor tanning, and make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands afterward.
4. Yes Way Rose, Champagne and Diamond Infused Matte Finish Tanning Lotion Bronzer
- Best indoor and outdoor bronzer with a matte finish
- Skin illuminating properties for a lovely tan
- Champagne fragrance tanning lotion
- A product enriched with BB cream to refine the contours of the skin
- Tattoo protection
If you want to get a tan fast and enjoy a champagne fragrance experience, this is certainly the best tanning lotion for you. But there are even more added benefits associated with this tanning bed lotion.
How would you feel about a tanning lotion that you can use indoors, as well as outdoors? Sounds good, right? This bronzer has a body fit technology included that can reduce the appearance of cellulite and even make your skin look firmer.
Keep in mind that this is one of the products that doesn’t have sunscreen included, so you would need additional sunscreen when tanning outside.
5. Hempz Dark DHA Bronzer
- Best dark tanning lotion for your skin with DHA and natural bronzer
- Instant tan that keeps on building
- Formulated with natural hemp seed oil to nourish the skin
- Lightweight texture, non-greasy
- Absorbs easily into the skin
An affordable indoor tanning bed lotion, the Hempz Dark DHA Bronzer is among those tanning products that look after your skin, while also giving it a lovely tan. This product is formulated with natural oatmeal and chamomile extracts to provide nourishment and soothe the skin.
You will also want to know that this tanning lotion doesn’t dry out the skin, but it won’t leave behind a greasy film either. If you are tired of tanning lotions that cause rashes and irritations and not a very lovely tan, you don’t have to give up indoor tanning completely. All you have to do is choose the best indoor tanning lotion that is good even for your sensitive skin.
6. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion
- Best indoor tanning lotion with vitamin A and E
- Formulated with tea tree oil to cleanse the skin gently
- Coconut, orange and vanilla fragrance for a holiday feel
- Suitable to be used as outdoor tanning lotion too
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion is one of the tanning lotions formulated with natural oils. This means that you can enjoy your tanning bed while protecting your skin at the same time.
The smell is one of the features that make this product so desirable. It is like this best indoor tanning lotion has the magic ability to transport you to the land of dreams and endless holidays. And we all want this from our bronzer, right?
The indoor tanning bed lotion is moisturizing, so your skin gets just the right amount of hydration while getting that lovely tan. The tan keeps building up in time, so don’t worry if you don’t get as dark as you’d like instantly.
7. Island Black 200X Bronzer Tanning Lotion By Tan ASZ U
- Best tanning bed bronzer
- A tanning lotion that recreates the island glow
- The product is designed to protect your skin while getting a tan
- Formulated with activated charcoal
Have you ever admired the island tan? It looks amazing, right? But it is so difficult to achieve on your tanning bed and using tanning lotions that are good for your skin… Well, not anymore!
Island Black 200X Bronzer Tanning Lotion by Tan ASZ U is one of the tanning lotions you will love to use. A tanning product with a secret – activated charcoal for a darker than ever tan! With this tanning lotion, it won’t take you more than half an hour to look like you just returned from a long holiday in an exotic location!
8. Brown Sugar Black Chocolate Coconut Cream
- Among the tanning lotions with the most divine smell
- Creamy texture for a moisturized skin
- A lush feeling when applied to the skin
- A darker tan in less time
What people like most about this tanning product is the perfume, there’s no doubt about it! Triple coconut really says a lot! So, if you are a coconut lover, you will like the Brown Sugar Black Chocolate Coconut Cream better than most tanning products.
The tanning lotion is packed with argan extracts to keep your skin smooth and hydrated and is also rich in antioxidants. This means you can get a tan that your skin will be grateful for!
No streaks and no orange tan when using the Brown Sugar Black Chocolate Coconut Cream. However, make sure to wash your hands after each use to avoid stains.
9. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
- Best tanning lotion for a golden glow
- With age-defying and skin hydrating properties
- Delicious fragrance
- Dark gold tan
Don’t have the time for a trip to get a tan in the tropics? It’s not a problem anymore, not with the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion.
The deeply nourishing formula enriched with coconut milk and oil will make your skin feel like never before. The tanning lotion provides a dark golden tan that is absolutely superb, not to mention long-lasting too.
This product was ranked as the number 1 tanning lotion without tingle a few years ago. In other words, you don’t have to worry about getting your hands or clothes stained after the application.
10. Baja Bae Caramel Lotion Tinted Moisturizer
- Tinted moisturizer for everyday use
- Three effective functions in one product
- Instant glow
Well, this is not a self-tanner, nor is it a fake tan. What Caramel Lotion from Baja Bae really is might be a bit hard to define as it is rare to see a 3-in-1 tanning product. The lotion can enhance your tan, give your skin more glow, and can even be used as a daily moisturizer.
The color is superb; it doesn’t wash off and doesn’t stain the skin on your hands or the clothes. The lotion absorbs quickly into the skin. Hence the application is easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.
Finding just the right type of tanning lotion is important if you want your skin to have a natural tan with a healthy glow. Taking into consideration all different aspects such as consistency and texture of the product, color, type of skin, and even perfume is a must.
For example, if you prefer a lush tanning experience, you can try Yes Way Rose, Champagne and Diamond Infused Matte Finish Tanning Lotion Bronzer. At the same time, for those interested in all-natural skincare products, Beauty by Earth Self Tanner for Face with Organic & Natural Ingredients might be a better choice.
And if you dream of having that island glow, then you should definitely try the Island Black 200X Bronzer Tanning Lotion By Tan ASZ U.