How do guys get the perfect tan?
It’s easy when they use the best tanning lotion for men.
Lotion is essential for avoiding sunburn and dry, peeling skin.
Whether they tan indoors or out, all guys need to moisturize. It’s not a girly thing – it’s a fact.
Why it’s crucial to use a tanning lotion
Exposure to UV rays harms the skin in two ways.
First, it dehydrates the tissue, which slows down the healing process and makes it look old.
And second, it sets loose free radicals that damage DNA and cause premature aging and possibly skin cancer down the road.
If that doesn’t put you off tanning, it’s because you really want to be bronzed. Therefore, it’s necessary to tan as safely as possible.
It helps to limit the time you spend in the tanning bed or out in the sun. Not only does it prevent sunburn, but it also mitigates the adverse effects.
You’ll also be smart to protect against premature aging with tanning lotion. It’s a moisturizer on steroids.
Tanning lotions are fortified with antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that damage skin cells. They contain humectants and emollients to lock in moisture as well.
If your skin is well-hydrated, it will tan easier and retain the color for longer.
But tanning lotions are not sunscreen, however. If you are going to tan outdoors, you can apply sunscreen first, then put tanning lotion over the top. This technique extends the amount of time you can stay out without burning.
The different kinds of tanning lotion
There’s more than one type of tanning lotion. For instance, there are lotions with and without bronzer, tingle lotions, cooling lotions, and so on. Most contain tanning accelerators, too.
What is a tanning accelerator? It’s an ingredient like melanin, carrot oil, or L-tyrosine. It stimulates pigment production in the skin to speed up the development of a tan.
What’s a bronzer? Well, there are two kinds of bronzer. One is cosmetic and washes off. It provides instant color, so that pale winter skin looks like it has a base tan already.
The other type of bronzer takes anywhere from an hour to overnight to work. Generally, it’s DHA, also known as dihydroxyacetone. (Some bronzing lotions also contain erythrulose, which works in a similar manner).
DHA is the active ingredient in self-tanning products. It interacts with the protein in the skin and turns it brown. It doesn’t provide a real tan, but you’ll still look naturally bronzed (1).
In the early days after its discovery, DHA got a bad rap for turning people orange. But modern formulas rarely have this problem.
Here’s an important tip for you. If you use a tanning lotion with any kind of bronzer, be sure to clean your hands after applying it. Also, it tends to stain knuckles, elbows, knees, and ankles if you put on too much.
What is a tingle lotion? If you’ve ever used Vicks VapoRub, you understand the concept of tingle. Some tanning lotions include methyl or benzyl nicotinate to increase circulation to the surface of the skin. The theory is that it will speed up pigment production. The side effect is a burning or warming sensation.
What is the best indoor tanning lotion that gets you the darkest? If you’re looking for maximum results with minimum effort, choose an indoor tanning lotion with bronzer. You’ll cover all the bases as it will help you deepen your tan naturally and chemically.
You’ll end up darker than you ever could by merely laying out in the sun.
What is the best tanning lotion for beginners? Definitely avoid tingle lotions if you’ve never gone tanning before. Start with a lotion like Coconut Kisses (see the reviews below) and keep the session short. When you skip the bronzer, you can see how well your skin tans naturally.
Best Tanning Lotion for Men in 2023
Now, let’s check out the best men’s indoor tanning lotions.
Devoted Creations H.I.M. Gold Edition
Devoted Creations is one of the top brands of tanning lotions. They make the H.I.M series just for guys. Let’s start with the Gold Edition. It’s like the Mercedes of moisturizers.
Unlike many lotions, the base ingredient isn’t water. It’s aloe juice to refresh and regenerate the skin.
Next, this is a tanning lotion without bronzer. However, it’s packed with tanning accelerators like tyrosine and erythrulose.
Then, there are proprietary components that smooth fine lines and reduce wrinkles. They include AcquaCell and Matrixyl Synthe 6. The latter ingredient is clinically proven to improve the skin’s appearance.
Of course, there are plenty of antioxidants like vitamins C and E. These prevent the skin from aging, and they also help protect tattoos from fading.
SunXtend is the next ingredient that helps maintain the tan for longer.
Finally, there’s FreshTek that eliminates the after-tan odor. That’s actually a crucial part of the lotion, as you shouldn’t shower for a few hours after applying it. It needs that time to work on your tan.
Devoted Creations H.I.M. Black Edition
The H.I.M. Black Edition differs from the Gold Edition in that it contains bronzers. Some instantly add color while other sunless tanning ingredients work behind the scenes.
Like other lotions in the series, it contains tattoo fade protection. It also has anti-aging components like Matrixyl Synthe 6 and antioxidants.
DEVOTED CREATIONS H.I.M Chrome
What sets the Chrome Edition apart from the others? It takes care of the shine.
No, really, it soaks up excess oil to keep you fresh and clean.
Plus, it deodorizes, moisturizes, and protects tattoos.
Yes, it contains instant cosmetic bronzer, but no DHA. In other words, it immediately makes you look like you have a base tan. Then, that tan washes off in the shower. Anything left over is what you achieved from actual tanning.
Devoted Creations – H.I.M. TITANIUM Bronzer
The Titanium lotion has a unique fragrance called Oriental Black Cashmere.
It has both cosmetic bronzer and DHA plus tanning accelerators.
If you tan outdoors, it has avocado extract to reduce redness.
Lastly, it prevents the after-tanning odor and defends tattoos against fading.
Devoted Creations CAMO KING
Camo King is an indoor tanning lotion with potent natural and cosmetic bronzers. You’ll be surprised at how dark it helps you get.
From the moment you apply it, it deepens your color. While you tan, accelerators stimulate melanin production. Then after your session, DHA continues to work to bronze you.
Moreover, it’s a good choice if you have tattoos. As you know, UV light breaks down the ink. But the lotion contains ingredients to keep the colors vibrant.
Lastly, it has a body deodorizing system to prevent that nasty odor. Instead, it smells like expensive masculine cologne.
Designer Skin Command Tanning Lotion
Designer Skin created this tanning lotion for men who know what they want. With a manly fragrance and a Quadruple Bronzing Blend, it will give you a commanding presence.
Imagine looking like a bronzed god with perfect skin. The Quadruple Bronzing Blend with DNA and natural bronzers will deepen your color regardless of whether you see the sun.
Moreover, the lotion is silicone-based, which means it’s never greasy or sticky. Instead, it leaves the skin sleek and supple.
Of course, the formula keeps tattoos from fading and protects the skin against free radicals with licorice and green tea.
Like many indoor tanning lotions, it neutralizes odor, too.
SunGodZ Artemis/Apollo Tanning Lotion
Guys who hate putting on moisturizer will appreciate this lotion because it’s shower-proof. The tanning accelerator won’t wash off, and your skin will still feel smooth.
Instead of DHA, the lotion uses erythrulose to deepen the color.
Several natural extracts like agave, hemp seed oil, and passionfruit keep the skin in top condition.
Thankfully, the fresh masculine fragrance is subtle and appealing.
Hempz BLACK VIPER 20X Black Tanning Bronzer
Hempz is a brand that uses THC-free hemp seed oil in their tanning lotion. It’s an excellent non-greasy skin conditioner.
The Black Viper lotion has 20X bronzer in it. That’s appropriate for men with light skin as it won’t make them unnaturally dark. (Compare that to 100X or 200X bronzers).
The instant color continues to deepen for hours after UV exposure. In the meantime, you’ll smell like coconuts.
Beach Kings 100x Black Bronzer
Just for comparison, here’s a 100x bronzer. It doesn’t contain DHA, so it has no burned odor.
The clean fragrance keeps you fresh after tanning, too.
Millennium Tanning Products – Paint It Black Hemp Bronzer
Paint It Black smells like mango citrus. It’s not specifically a lotion for guys, but rather a unisex product.
It’s a silicone-based lotion with bronzers that make you look like you already have a base tan. Meanwhile, the tanning accelerators deepen the natural tan underneath.
Silicone lotions like this one are perfect if you hate feeling sticky or greasy. They absorb quickly and leave the skin ultra-soft.
Millennium Tanning Products – Insanely Black Dark Tanning Lotion, 60x Mega-Tingle
Warning, this is a tingle lotion. If you’ve never used one before, let me describe it for you. Imagine putting VapoRub on a sunburn. That’s how it may feel once you’re in the hot tanning bed.
Also, you’ll need to avoid touching children and pets until after you’ve showered. You could irritate their skin simply by touching them.
If that hasn’t put you off tingle lotions, there are benefits beyond sadomasochism. Experienced tanners say that a tingler is what pushes them past the plateau. It helps them achieve the deepest, darkest tan.
This one smells like blackberry citrus.
Pro Tan for MEN Ultra Dark MAXIMIZER Tanning Bed Lotion
If you ever saw the Playboy for Men tanning lotion, this is the same product with the new label. It has a fresh fragrance and a lightweight texture.
Some guys like to use it as a moisturizer even when they’re not tanning.
There’s no bronzer, just tanning enhancers, plus tea tree oil to eliminate odor. It also has Tattoo Color Shield Technology with aloe, algae, and minerals to defend the ink.
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses
The best men’s tanning lotion without bronzer is Coconut Kisses. It’s the all-time favorite for both beginning and experienced tanners alike.
It has a creamy coconut scent with a hint of vanilla.
Plus, it features all of the best proprietary components that deepen the tan and improve the skin’s appearance. For example, it has Quad Tyrosine Blend and Melactiva for rapid tan development.
Next, there’s Body Fit to reduce cellulite and the Tattoo and Color Fade Protector.
Although there is no deodorizer, I rarely hear complaints about any after tan odor from users.
Ed Hardy UPGRADE TO BLACK Triple Black Bronzer
If you prefer bronzers, this lotion is basically a sunless tanner and moisturizer rolled into one. You don’t even need to catch any rays to get darker while wearing it.
But yes, you can use it for tanning indoors or outside.
It has a high concentration of DHA and cosmetic bronzers for rapid results. Take it if you go on vacation because you’ll look like you went tanning before you hit the beach.
The citrus scent is unisex.
Gentlemen G Natural Bronzer
The rugged fragrance is the first thing you’ll notice. But after you apply it, you also enjoy an instant bronze.
This lotion also protects tattoos and moisturizes without feeling greasy.
Onyx Tanning Lotion He – Dark Bronzer Accelerator
Some sunless tanning lotions like this one blend DHA with erythrulose for maximum bronzing. DHA works faster, but erythrulose maintains the color for longer.
It also has algae, pomegranate, and sesame oil to keep the skin healthy and supple.
What’s more, the Genuine Gentlemen fragrance is a tasty blend of cinnamon, grapefruit, mint, and patchouli.
St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
You don’t have to lay out or visit a salon to get a tan. Instead, try this rapid sunless tanner. It deepens color in as little as one hour, then you can shower.
It’s won awards for how well it performs.
The next time you go tanning, pick up a bottle of tanning accelerator to maximize the result. It will make every moment catching rays count.
Also, it will keep you smelling fresh and clean and leave your skin baby soft.
If you found your new favorite tanning lotion today, tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/question639.htm accessed October 15, 2020