Outdoor tanning is one of the ways to achieve that darker skin tone you crave. It involves exposing your skin to sun rays until your body takes that golden summer glow tone. This method of tanning comes with its reservations, which is why you need a tanning lotion or oil, to reduce this effect, while keeping your skin protected.
Tanning lotion and oil are formulated to speed up the tanning rate, thereby reducing your duration in the sun. Beyond this, they help keep the skin smooth and hydrated, while protecting the skin from harmful UV radiation that may cause damage or skin cancer. These lotions and oils help nourish, protect, moisturize, and also make tan lasts longer.
There are lots of great tanning lotions and tanning oils in the market, with each of them differing in features and functionality. This makes it difficult for you to make a choice. Another thing is that it’s not a brand that delivers on their promises, and some compromises skin’s health to achieve optimal functionality.
This is why you need a guide like this. We’ve researched the best lotion and oil in the market, and curated a list of the ones with the best features. We’ve also included additional information that might be of help to you when it comes to choosing and using outdoor tanners.
Tanning Lotion Vs Tanning Oil
Outdoor tanners (lotion or oil) are substances used to build, maximize, accelerate, or prolong tan on the body. They’re highly beneficial and provide you with optimal satisfaction if you pick the best.
A lot of people keep asking the question of Lotion or Oil without getting a concrete response. However, this section of our guide will provide you with the needed answer. Choosing to use either oil or lotion is mostly based on your choice and discretion, as both substances will deliver the optimal satisfaction you seek.
Both substances are quick-absorbing and highly efficient to give you that flawless sun-kissed glow you want for your skin. Albeit, individuals with dry skin types, can use both without worries, oily skin types should opt for tanning lotions rather than oil.
Beyond this, there are other several factors to consider when it comes to choosing a tanning oil or lotion for outdoor purposes. From the source of the ingredients involved in formulating the substances to the purpose they serve, every detail proves vital to ensure optimal functionality.
We’ve highlighted some of these factors below, they include:
They’re different options of tanning lotion and oil to pick from, and they perform various functions. Your purpose of wanting an outdoor tanner becomes a vital factor to consider when making a choice.
Some outdoor tanner helps maximize your already existing base tan. Sunbathers mostly use these types. There’s also a tanning accelerator that speeds up the tanning process, thereby reducing the time you spend in the sun. These types are the best option for individuals with skin types that burn easily under the sun.
If you’re looking to maintain a youthful look during and after tanning, you’d like to consider tanners with anti-ageing properties. Another one is tanners that protect tattoos from fading, and outdoor bronzers that give you an instant browning effect.
While some tanners serve one or two purposes at once, others act based on what they’re formulated for. This makes it essential for you to be definite about your goal before making a choice.
The features the outdoor tanner you’d be choosing boasts of is also essential. Tanning lotions or oils with more than one function and components are the best. Your tanner must be able to hydrate the skin, make it smoother, and protect it from sunburn in addition to its tan building or maximizing function.
Always look out for SPF protection in your tanner, to prevent sunburn, and protect your skin from other UV radiation damage. However, not having an SPF doesn’t make a tanner less effective, but it’s a big plus if your choicest tanner has got it.
The ingredients used in formulating the tanner are also vital. You can worry less if the tanning lotion or oil is organic. However, if it’s not organic or prepared from natural sources, make sure that it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals, and you’re not allergic to any of its constituents.
Most times, your go-to tanner should be eco-friendly, organic and natural-based, cruelty-free, and vegan if possible. In the absence of this, you can now go for inorganic tanners with non-toxic chemicals.
Reading through this would make the process of selecting an effective outdoor tanner seems complicated, but online reviews and guides like ours make it easy. To save you stress, and make your selection process easier, below are our top picks for tanning lotion and oil.
Best Outdoor Tanning Oil & Lotion in 2024
Lancaster Sun Beauty Melting lotion
This outdoor tanner is formulated with Tan activator complex that helps create a flawless, radiant, and long-lasting golden tan on your skin. It features an advanced infrared technology which ensures that it effectively protects your skin from infrared rays, thereby preventing sunburn, redness, or other skin cancer in the worst case.
The Tan activator complex in this tanning lotion enhances melanin production for a darker and deeper tan. The water-resistant outdoor tanner also contains SPF 15 protection, enabling it to provide optimal sun protection. It allows you to stay in the sun for a longer duration and gives your skin a long-lasting golden tan.
It also hydrates the skin excellently, leaving no white mark or orange tint residue behind. The high-performing tanning lotion is one of the best outdoors; it contains no toxic chemicals and comes with a pleasant fragrance.
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator lotion
Australian Gold is a brand known for the production of highly efficient and functional tanning lotion. This outdoor accelerator tanner is no exception. It comes in a silky, smooth, and refreshing texture that is gentle and safe on the skin.
It is formulated to help speed up the tanning process, thereby allowing you to tan faster and reducing your duration under the sun. It is made of high-quality ingredients, including essential Australian oils, and Vit E. These ingredients enable it to keep the skin hydrated, nourished, and protected. It keeps the skin hydrated, and conditions it to permit maximum UV stimulated tanning production.
It also features a unique Biosine complex, which aids optimal skin conditioning to ensure optimal results. It is paraben-free, contains no mineral oils, and free of toxic additives. It contains Aloe Vera and other essential oils that enrich it with soothing and antioxidant properties. It is indeed an excellent choice of outdoor tanning lotion, as it offers nothing but optimal satisfaction.
NO-AD Protective Tanning lotion
NO-AD might not be a famous brand when it comes to tanner production, but their product is just as effective as others. The quick-absorbing tanning lotion is formulated with Aloe Vera and Vit E, making it highly beneficial to your skin. It is lightweight, non-sticky, and comes with a pleasant smell.
The tanning lotion contains carrot extract that enhances melanin production, thereby enabling it to speed up the tanning process. It comes with an SPF 8 sunscreen that ensures you can stay longer under the sun without the fear of sunburn or UV radiation damage.
It contains ingredients that enable it to leave the skin softer, moisturized, and protected. It excellently promotes dark tan, leaving you with a radiant sun-kissed glow. It is paraben-free, prevents dehydration, and ensures long-lasting tan.
Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil Spray with coconut oil
This deep tanning spray oil provides you with the sun-kissed glow your skin deserves. It is silky, smooth, and richly dark on the skin. It comes in various SPF levels, giving you the option to pick the range that best suits your skin. It is lightweight and offers you quick and easy coverage.
It is formulated with Argan oil and got its fragrance from extracts & oils of banana, carrot, and coconut. It helps moisturize the skin efficiently while seamlessly providing the skin with a heavy bronze tan.
It ensures you’re protected from harmful UV radiation, keeps the skin hydrated, and ensures flawless tan. It contains no toxic substances, and it is suitable for all skin types and tones. It is indeed an excellent choice of outdoor tanning oil.
Supre Snooki My Beaches Dark Bronzing lotion
This outdoor bronzing lotion is formulated with ingredients like Aloe Vera, Green tea, and antioxidants, making it highly beneficial to your skin. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor tanning. It effectively builds and extends tan life, thereby making it an excellent tanner.
It nurtures, nourishes, and protects the skin, thereby leaving it smooth and refreshed. It is a very dark bronzing lotion that provides your skin darker tan, thereby giving your skin a golden glow appearance. It comes with a pleasant Pina Colada fragrance and helps hydrate the skin. It contains no DHA and offers optimal functionality without compromising on users’ health.
Panama Jack Sunscreen Tanning Lotion
This tanning lotion comes with SPF 4 that ensures it protects you from UV radiation. The fast-absorbing tanning lotion formula offers you a quick tan, thereby reducing the duration you spend under the sun.
The hypoallergenic tanning lotion comes with a light, fresh, and pleasant scent. It is reel-safe, contains no toxic additives, and it’s free of substances like PABA, Paraben, and gluten.
It contains CoQ10 vitamins and antioxidants. Both of which ensures it leaves the skin supple, moisturized, and youthful. It boasts of 80 minutes water resistance and comes in various SPF levels.
However, this particular SPF 4 outdoor tanning lotion doesn’t protect the skin against sunburn. Nevertheless, it provides you with a flawless and even golden glow, without compromising on skin’s health.
Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil
This is unarguably one of the best outdoor tanning oil around. It comes with a broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen that ensures optimal protection against UV radiation.
The outdoor tanner is water and sweat resistant for at least 80 minutes. It offers incredible moisturizing benefits to your skin while helping you achieve a darker tan.
It is formulated from plant-based ingredients, making it 100% vegan. Ingredients like coconut oil, Aloe Vera, and Green tea extracts help ensure it soothes, smoothes, hydrates, and nourishes the skin efficiently.
The hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist tested. It is also free of paraben, gluten, octinoxate, oxybenzone, and other irritants or additives.
It is an excellent choice of an outdoor tanner and leaves the skin with a radiant golden brown tone.
Beach Life Coconut Infused Tanning Intensifier lotion
This tanning lotion serves a dual purpose. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor tanning. It provides your skin with an immediate bronzing effect when effectively used, without any streak or orange tint.
It is formulated from natural ingredients like coconut oil and milk. These ingredients enable it to soften the skin and enhance tanning effects.
It also effectively reduces cellular appearance, eliminates toxins from the skin, and promotes skin firmness.
The highly beneficial tanning lotion is an excellent choice of outdoor tanner for individuals with tattoos because it helps prevent tattoos from fading.
It contains hibiscus and passion fruit extracts that enhances skin elasticity and protects the skin against sunlight damage.
The non-sticky tanning formula also comes with a pleasant fragrance and performs an effective darkening function on your skin. It combines functionality and safety, and it’s also excellent for all skin tones.
Bain De Soleil Mega Tanning lotion
Here’s an effective tanning lotion that offers you a faster tanning process, and a darker tan. The mega tanning lotion comes with bronzers that provide your skin with an instant browning effect.
It contains SPF 4 that blocks out 75% of harmful rays from the sun, thereby keeping you protected.
The coconut and floral-scented tanning lotion is formulated with natural ingredients that enhance a natural tan.
It contains effective moisturizing ingredients that keep your skin smooth, soft, and supple before & after tanning. It is dermatologist tested and has no irritants or artificial additives.
The sunscreen with bronzer is also tipped to prevent cancer, due to its SPF constituent.
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning lotion
Here’s another product from Ed Hardy. This brand produces some of the best tanning lotions and oils that offer you nothing but optimal satisfaction.
The Anti-aging formula helps you restore your youthful look and glow after tanning. It contains coconut milk and oil that ensures your skin stays soft, supple and hydrated.
The tropical scented tanner is indeed one of the best outdoor tanning lotions out there. It offers tattoo protection, making it an excellent choice for sunbathers with tattoos.
It contains blends of Quad tyrosine and melano Bronze, both of which stimulate and enhance melanin production.
These blends enable it to excellently enhance the tanning process, leaving you with dark tan without any bronzer. It also reduces cellulite appearance, making it highly beneficial to the skin.
Hawaiian Tropic original Dark Tanning Oil
The Hawaiian tropical tanning oil is one of the best outdoor tanning oil around, especially for sunbathers. It comes with no SPF protection but offers optimum functionality.
It is formulated with high-quality ingredients that ensure your skin stays nourished and moisturized during the tanning process.
It features a pleasant tropical coconut scent that leaves you with satisfaction. The tanning oil is reef-safe and contains antioxidants alongside Vitamins A, C, & E to ensure your skin remains healthy.
If you’re looking for that golden sun-kissed glow, this outdoor tanning oil should be your go-to. It will leave you satisfied.
Maui Secret Browning Formula
This tan accelerator Browning formula helps speed up the tanning process, thereby reducing duration spent under the sun.
It is an excellent choice of outdoor tanning oil and provides your skin with the darker skin tone it craves.
This is made possible due to its ingredients, vitamins, and other mineral extracts that promote quick dark tanning.
It contains ingredients like coffee bean extracts, passionflower oil, green tea extracts, macadamia nut oil, Aloe barbadensis extracts, etc.
These ingredients ensure it hydrates and nourishes the skin while providing optimal tanning function.
The non-sticky formula offers a long-lasting tan and shortens duration under the sun. This makes it a great choice.
Somewhere On a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion
This dual-purpose dark tanning lotion comes with a bronzer, but it’s free of DHA. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor tanning without any adverse effect.
It contains Matrixyl Synthe-6 which enables it to perform an anti-ageing function, thereby allowing it to reduce fine lines and wrinkles appearance.
The coconut-scented tanning lotion helps soften and hydrates the skin during the tanning process while providing your skin with an instant dark tan. It contains coconut and walnut oils, both of which ensure your tan lasts longer.
Baja Bae Bronze Tanning lotion
This is a widely known outdoor tanning lotion. The multipurpose lotion has a 3-in-1 function. It can be used as a Tan enhancer, an instant bronzer, and a daily moisturizer. This makes it highly beneficial.
It is formulated with essential oil from natural sources like Jojoba, hibiscus, and Argan plants. It provides the skin with a deep and even tan without streaking or leaving any orange tint.
The non-sticky formula may transfer, but it never stains. It can also be used for both sun and sunless tanning and comes with a pleasant fragrance.
It is an excellent choice of tanning lotion, and it will provide you with all the functionality you seek.
Cocosolis Choco Sun Tan and Body Oil
This organic tanning oil puts functionality and skin’s health into consideration. It contains no toxic chemical and causes no adverse effect whatsoever on the skin.
It provides the skin with a healthy deep chocolate tan, using naturally sourced cold-pressed oils. It is formulated with six essential oils that makes sure your skin remains glowing and revitalized.
These essential oils include — coconut oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, sweet Almond oil, Avocado oil, and Vit E. It comes with a pleasant coconut smell, and leaves the skin hydrated, firm, and nourished.
It also contains naturally sourced vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and bioactive ingredients that help maintain skin’s health. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and delicate skin.
Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier lotion
This is another dual purpose tanning lotion. It offers optimal functionality for both outdoor and indoor tanning and provides the skin with extreme tanning effect.
The potent tanner enhances instant tanning by increasing the sun’s heating intensity on your skin, without causing burn or redness.
This enables it to provide you with a deeper and darker tan within a short time frame.
It contains various plant extracts like Aloe Vera, Vitamins C & E, Tea oil, etc. These ingredients enable it to nourish the skin cells, and extend tan life, thereby making it a highly functional outdoor tanner.
Bronzo Sensuale Organic Carrot Extract Sun Tan Oil
The Bronzo Organic tanning oil is formulated from carrot extract. It contains no SPF or sunscreen protection but provides the skin with a deep golden tan.
It comes with anti-ageing properties that help you maintain a youthful look after tanning, and employs aromatherapy techniques to relieve stress.
Its stress-relieves fragrance is derived from Florida lemons & oranges, Asian geranium, Indian mint, amongst others. It is certified organic by USDA and can be used for both indoor and outdoor tanning.
It is vegan, cruelty-free, and contains skin-nourishing vitamins & antioxidants. It has no additives or irritants, and it’s suitable for all skin types (hypoallergenic).
Dr Mercola Natural tanning Oil
The hypoallergenic tanning oil provides your skin with a rich golden summer glow upon application while under the sun. It is waterproof and contains no artificial fragrance or chemical preservatives.
It is void of toxic ingredients and helps nourish, protect, and moisturize the skin while enhancing the tanning process. Some of the ingredients in this tanner include coconut oil, sunflower oil, seed oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, amongst others.
It doesn’t contain sunscreen or prevents sunburn. This makes it vital for you to streamline your duration under the sun to avoid skin damage.
It has 90-days money-back guarantee, which is enough assurance that it is highly effective.
Achieving a sun-kissed glow shouldn’t come with much stress with the right tanner. This guide will help you make the right choice, either for tanning lotion or oil.
So, when next you want to hit the beach, rummage through our guide and pick the best tanning lotion or oil that suits your taste. We’ve made it that easy.