Last updated: 04/19/2020

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Summer is just around the corner, and many people are looking to get their tan on. If you love to have a tanned body and bask in the sun, it is important to note that sun rays can be harmful to you and your health if you do not use the correct protection. You may be wondering what you should do.

A wonderful solution to this problem is tanning lotion. Although this item used to not be designed to protect you from the sun but, instead, to magnify its effects. There is now sun tanning lotion on the market that will get you your desired look while keeping you from harming your skin. Interested? In the following article, we will go over everything you need to know about tanning lotion. Let’s go.

Key Facts

  • Tanning lotion stimulates the production of melanin.
  • There are tanning lotions on the market that also include sun protection in their formulas. Others do not include this factor and need to be used with sunscreen.
  • When purchasing sun tanning lotion there are certain criteria that you need to keep in mind when picking out the best model for you. We will go over these aspects in the section titled “Shopping Criteria” at the end of this article. Stay tuned.

Our Selection: Best Tanning Lotion on the U.S. Market

Many people get confused when purchasing tanning lotion. It is important to make an intelligent choice, especially when it comes to your skin. It is normal if you have questions, doubts, or concerns. In the following section, we will dive deeper into what this product is, how to use it and more.

Best Overall Tanning Lotion

In our opinion, this is the best sun tanning lotion currently available on the U.S. market. See for yourself; it won its place as Amazon’s Choice as it is extremely popular and has tons of positive ratings and reviews. Keep in mind that this lotion does not have SPF. Therefore, you need to use sunscreen with it. We will talk about this more later on in the article.

Best Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Lotion

You may have heard of the brand “Hawaiian Tropic,” seen its logo, or even bought its products before. This brand is popular on the U.S. market, and if you like its other products, you will enjoy this tanning lotion. Keep in mind that this lotion also does not have SPF and you need to wear sunscreen too. 

Cutest Tanning Lotion

Are you looking for a cute tanning lotion? Look no more! This sun tanning lotion comes in an adorable pink bottle that you will love. Note that this product also does not contain sunscreen. Make sure to put sunscreen on as well when tanning with this product.

Best Tanning Lotion with SPF

Finally, a tanning lotion that includes SPF. As we will explain later on in the article, this tanning lotion contains an SPF of 50. That means that you do not need to use a sunscreen with it. If you desire a higher SPF, and it never hurts to protect your skin from the sun, you can always use this product along with a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Tanning Lotion

As we have mentioned earlier in the article, many people misuse tanning lotion or do not understand how it works. Some tanning lotion also protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and others must be used along with sunscreen. It all depends on the type you purchase. After reading about our favorite tanning lotion on the U.S. market you may have some doubts. We are here to help. In the following section, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions from buyers like you.

Tanning lotion, also known as sun tanning lotion, can come in different texture and various containers.
(Source: Kaspars Grinvalds: 94076760/ 123rf.com)

What is tanning lotion?

Tanning lotion, as its name suggests, is a cosmetic product that is made to help you tan your skin. This product is an excellent option for people who take a long time to tan or do not have enough time to do so.
You can put tanning lotion on any part of your body that you want to get darker faster.

Tanning lotion, also known as sun tanning oil, can come in different texture and various containers, but it is most common to find them in the form of oil and in a spray bottle or a bottle that allows you to drip the oil onto your skin. Although we go deeper into this later in the article, you need to purchase tanning lotion with SPF. If the product you purchase does not have SPF, make sure to use a sunscreen with the oil.

What are the pros and cons of using tanning lotion?

As we mention in all of our articles, almost all products have pros and cons, and it is important to understand both. Tanning lotion is not an exception. Knowing both the pros and cons of using tanning lotion will help you get a better idea of if this product is right for you. However, if you use this product correctly, the pros outweigh the cons.

Advantages
  • Helps you tan quickly.
  • Your tan will last you a long time.
  • Hydrates the skin.
  • Your skin will feel softer than before.
  • Many have antibacterial factors that will eliminate any bad smell that your sweat may produce.
Disadvantages
  • Can cause acne or irritation if you have very sensitive skin.
  • If you buy an oil that does not contain SPF, it can hurt the skin or cause it to age faster, or lead to skin cancer.

The last con on our list may have shocked you, but we want to reiterate. If you buy an oil that does not contain SPF (or you do not use a good-quality sunscreen along with your tanning lotion) it can cause skin cancer. This is not meant to scare you. Instead, this con is meant to help you to make the correct decision. SPF is important, use products that contain protection from the sun.

How does tanning lotion work?

Remember; you need to be under the sun for tanning lotion to work. It will not tan you like a spray tan. Tanning lotion stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment in the skin that synthesizes when exposed to the sun. This pigment also protects your skin from the harmful, ultraviolet rays of the sun. The more melanin your produce, the darker your skin will become.

Keep in mind that there are people that tan easier than others, no matter if they use tanning lotion or not. This is because everyone’s natural levels of melanin are different, and you cannot change this with oil. Someone with naturally darker skin will have different results as someone with lighter skin. That’s just how it is.

You need to be under the sun for tanning lotion to work.
(Source: Antonio Guillem: 100044115/ 123rf.com)

How to apply tanning lotion?

At this point in the article, you should already understand that the way you apply your tanning lotion is important to avoid damaging your skin. The main tips that we want to give you are that you should only sunbathe at the recommended times of the day, you need to cover all the parts of your body, and you need to protect your skin from the sun with a strong SPF. In the following section, we will include other important tips:

  1. Put the tanning lotion on all parts of your body that you want to tan, and do so before leaving your house.
  2. After around 10 or 15 minutes or whenever the oil has absorbed into your skin completely, put on a sunscreen high in SPF. You can skip this step if your tanning lotion already contains an SPF of 30 or higher.
  3. After tanning, wash your body off and apply an aftersun lotion or any hydrating or calming lotion.

Is tanning lotion safe?

Many people ask this question. So, it is important to give you an honest answer. First of all, it can be harmful to people that have very light skin to tan, as they burn easily. However, tanning lotion itself is not harmful. The problem is the sun. Remember that tanning lotion is not a substitute for sunscreen. To tan as safely as possible, make sure that the oil has an SPF of at least 30 and, if it does not, use a high-quality sunscreen.

Tanning lotion stimulates the production of melanin in the skin.
(Source: Maridav: 57342437/ 123rf.com)

Can you use tanning lotion and sunscreen at the same time?

Although sunscreen blocks harmful sun rays, it does not stop the production of melanin.

As we have already mentioned throughout this article, yes you can and you should. Do not make the terrible mistake that sunscreen keeps you from tanning. Sunscreen only protects you from the harmful rays of the sun. You do not have to combine your tanning lotion with sunscreen if it contains an SPF of at least 30.

What if I don’t use a sunscreen with my tanning lotion?

Do not do this. If you do this it can be extremely dangerous and you may burn instead of tan. When you burn, your skin will dry out and will peel. So, you will have to start all over again. Remember, that you risk skin cancer if you do not use a sunscreen or oil that contains an SPF of at least 30. We cannot stress this enough.

SPF is one of the most important criteria to keep in mind when purchasing tanning lotion.
(Source: Maridav: 36864968/ 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

There is so much that you may not have known about tanning lotion, and, remember: knowledge is power. Now that you understand much more about this product than you did before, it is almost time to choose an oil for you and your skin, but first, let’s go over some important factors that will help you choose the best product for you. Are you ready?

SPF

Although we have mentioned it before, we want to make sure that this is completely clear to anyone that is purchasing tanning lotion. SPF is one of the most important criteria to keep in mind when purchasing one of these products. There is tanning lotion on the market that includes SPF, and others that do not or have a very low SPF.

You can choose either of these options depending on your preferences, but we want you to know that if you get a tanning lotion that does not contain SPF or has an SPF lower than 30, you will need to use it with a good-quality sunscreen. To use both of these products, apply the oil first and let it absorb into the skin. After that, apply your sunscreen of choice.

Your skin type is also an extremely important factor to consider when choosing the best sun tanning lotion for you.
(Source: Marko Misic: 39801432/ 123rf.com)

Skin Type

Your skin type is also an extremely important factor to consider when choosing the best sun tanning lotion for you. Dermatologists have identified 6 different skin types (I to VI). Medium to dark skin types will tan much easier and do not need much help, while lighter skin types may need help speeding up the process.

If you have lighter skin, you should look for a tanning lotion made especially for your skin type. They will have a higher SPF. However, even if you have darker skin, you will still need plenty of SPF. As we have mentioned before, using a sunscreen with your tanning lotion or purchasing a tanning lotion will not keep you from tanning, it will only protect you from the harmful rays of the sun.

Ingredients

The quality of every suntan lotion is determined by its ingredients. You should look for the ingredients tyrosine y la riboflavin, as they stimulate the production of melanin. Almost all tanning lotions include at least one of these two important ingredients and combine them with:

  • Shea butter, which hydrates the skin.
  • Argan oil, which contains moisturizers and antioxidants.
  • Allantoin, which heals and regenerates the skin.
  • Carrot, coconut, or acacia extracts, which provide nutrients to the skin while tanning it faster.
  • Green nutshell extract, which makes your tan last longer.
  • Vitamin A, C, and E, which make your skin flexible and are anti-aging.

Container

Although most tanning lotions come in a bottle and can either be sprayed or poured on, this is not always the case. Sun tanning lotion can come in many different types of containers. Choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Summary

When it comes to sun tanning lotion, there is a variety of options on the U.S. market. This is great but can be frustrating. We are now confident that you have the necessary knowledge that will help you pick the best lotion for you. Now, it is up to you. So, what are you waiting for?

We hope that you have enjoyed our article about tanning lotion. If you liked this shopping guide and review, don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media. Have you tried using this item? Tell us about your experience; we want to hear from you. Thank you so much.

(Source of featured image: Veronastudio: 120882817/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Charlotte Steward Beauty Expert & Cosmetologist
Charlotte became interested in the subject of beauty at an early age. It is her passion to improve the beauty industry. She now has her own small beauty salon and many regular customers who appreciate Charlotte's expertise.