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What are the Best Indoor Tanning Lotions to Buy in 2022?


If you read our spring fashion trends breakdown, you probably know that the 2000s fashion trends are back in style. Everything from low-rise jeans to thin eyebrows is trending, and that includes indoor tanning lotions.

In recent years, society turned towards self-care, and looking after our skin has become more important than the trendy (and harmful) suntans. There is enough research out there to prove that the worst thing you can do for your skin is sun exposure. Research shows that harmful UV rays are the primary reason for wrinkles and skin aging. And yet, people still adore the tan – we all love looking sun-kissed, don’t we? For many people, tans create an optical illusion and make their bodies appear skinnier, so you can understand the great appeal behind caramel skin.

So what happens when we want the best of both worlds – an even tan without skin damage? We turn to tanning lotions. They keep our skin hydrated, soft, and smooth with a perfect tan. But how do you choose the best indoor tanning lotion with all the variety? Where is the guarantee you won't put it on and instantly turn into an Oompa Loompa?

That's what I'm here to help with today! Allow me to introduce you to 13 reliable lotions for various skin types. I'll also answer some of the most famously asked questions on the subject of indoor tanning sessions. By the time we're done, you'll have the tanning lotion of your dreams! Now get ready to exfoliate!

Contents

13 Best Indoor Tanning Lotions Reviews

1. Best Indoor Tanning Lotion for Light Tan – Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self Tanner, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Fair to Medium Skin Tone

Sale
18,897 Reviews
  • SELF TANNER BODY LOTION - Create a flawless light bronze tan with gradual, natural-looking color while nourishing and hydrating dry and extra dry...
  • GRADUAL SUNLESS TANNING - Our Jergens Natural Glow & FIRMING moisturizer will gradually enhance and deepen your natural skin tone to provide...
  • CELLULITE REMOVER - Infused with collagen, elastin, and green tea infusions, our fast-acting, anti cellulite formula will help reduce cellulite...

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Jergens Natural Glow self-tanner is an excellent and affordable first choice for people looking to get a light bronze tan. The lotion is infused with Vitamin E, antioxidants, collagen, elastin, and green tea. These ingredients help reduce the appearance of cellulite, so expect to notice a change within seven days of using the lotion. You can see a tan developing after the first two days of use, even if you have ultra fair skin. It's perfect for people who find it difficult to tan naturally. The Jergens indoor tanning lotion will leave your skin soft and moisturized, and it’s easy to use, so we recommend it to beginner users. 

2. Best Indoor Tanning Lotion With Fresh Scent – NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturizer

17 Reviews
  • Gradually builds up a natural looking tan for a sun-kissed, radiant glow
  • The firming formula with Q10 improves skin elasticity in 10 days
  • Fresh, summery scent

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can't go wrong choosing Nivea – their timeless indoor tanning formula was an absolute classic – a golden tanning lotion in the early 2000s (and in the 60s before that), withholds its reputation to this day. The Nivea Q10 tanning lotion is infused with anti-age coenzyme Q10 leaving your skin plump and hydrated! A disclaimer for people with sensitive skin, this product includes perfume in its ingredients, so it might not be suitable for acne-prone skin or skin prone to allergies. The scent is summery fresh, and you will notice hints of jasmine, rose, peach, and plum mixed with notes of violet and bergamot. This can be a huge plus for people that dread the self-tan smell! It’s also dirt cheap, so get your credit card at the ready!

3. Best Indoor Tanning Lotion for a Rich and Dark Tan – Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

27,816 Reviews
  • Ultra-Darkening Skin Hydrating Intensifier: Contains coconut milk, coconut oil, and cocoa butter to improve skin hydration. Delivers a dark golden tan...
  • Tattoo Fade Protecting Formula: Helps prolong the life and radiance of your tattoos and tanning results.
  • Quad Tyrosine Blend & Melano Bronze: Stimulates and increases melanin formation to accelerate the tanning process.

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion is one of the most popular best-selling indoor tanning lotions, largely because it creates such a rich and dark tan after just a few uses. The Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses is famous for creating the deep I-live-on-the-beach-in-Hawaii tan everyone dreams of having! It's a little pricier than our previous suggestions, but its blend includes many moisturizing ingredients, such as coconut oil, coconut milk, and cocoa butter, which greatly boost skin hydration. The Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses lotion is totally safe to use over your ink and will do a great job moisturizing and deeply hydrating your tattoos. There is a considerable debate whether or not this is an authentic product by Ed Hardy – relax, customers have confirmed it's authentic numerous times. What are you waiting for?

4. Best Tanning Bed Lotion – Australian Gold CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzer

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3,054 Reviews
  • The No. 1 dark tanning lotion Now with Bronzer!
  • Native Australian oils, Vitamins A and E create a skin-hydrating formula for a maximum tanning experience.
  • For Indoor and Outdoor Use

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Australian Gold Cheeky Brown bronzer and accelerator combo are perfect for starting your base tan and gradually darkening to your desired hue. But the Australian Gold Cheeky Brown tanning lotion is more than a regular tanning product – it's one of the top tanning bed lotions and can be used outdoors as well! You won't notice the horrible tanning bed smell, which is a great plus – your skin will smell of bubble gum and fruity freshness. Another great plus is that this Australian Gold Cheeky Brown tanning lotion doesn't streak and won't stain your clothes or create a mess. What's not to like?

5. Best Multi-Use Tanning Lotion Without Bronzer – That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion Accelerator For Outdoor & Indoor UV Skin Tanning Beds

4,748 Reviews
  • A DEEP TAN; That’s What Sea Said tanning lotion is specially formulated for a rich, dark tan; Our outdoor and indoor tanning lotion contains a...
  • SAFE; Ideal for outdoor use as well as tanning lotion for tanning beds, That’s What Sea Said tan lotion has undergone stringent quality inspection...
  • TATTOO PROTECTION; It’s time to say goodbye to tanning bed lotion that doesn't prevent your tattoos from fading; Our advanced tan and tattoo lotion...

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another multi-use tanning lotion is the That's What Sea Said accelerator! If you're looking for a universal product for your indoor tanning session and something to use in a tanning bed, this is it! Wondering how it's any different from the Australian Gold Cheeky Brown product? That's What Sea Said tanning lotions use different ingredients in their formula: seaweed, hibiscus, passion fruit, and coconut for ultimate skin nourishment. Hibiscus provides your skin with a natural glow and shine and has some awesome anti-aging properties! That's What Sea Said also doesn't use bronzer in their formula, which is great for people who want to achieve an authentic tan without the bronze glow.

6. Best Multipack Tanning Lotion – Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning Lotion

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557 Reviews
  • 6.7-fluid ounce of Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning Body Lotion for a buildable tan you can control
  • Create a deep tan or a healthy-looking glow with this fast-drying gradual self-tanning body lotion that is clinically proven to provide...
  • Sheer sunless tanning lotion allows you to control your tan for a shade that's uniquely your own by applying more often for a deeper tan or less often...

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Neutrogena Build-A-Tan is a great value for money-saving options – you get three tubes for under $30. This is a quick-drying formula for a deep tan, so I wouldn't recommend it for beginners – you shouldn’t work fast to achieve the results you want. For people that have already had a go at self-tanning, this might be your new favorite. It is quick to build up if you want a last-minute tanning solution, and the results are powerful. People are bound to start asking where you went to get this kind of tan!

7. Best Tanning Lotion for Sensitive Skin – Beauty By Earth Organic & Natural Self Tanner – Sunless Tanning Lotion

Sale
19,539 Reviews
  • SUN-KISSED SKIN, NOT ORANGE: Picking the right color fake tan will ensure no orange color on your skin. For fair or pale skin, use fair to medium. For...
  • CLEAN INGREDIENTS, NO JUNK: Beauty by Earth has been in the Self Tanners Best Sellers category for years. It's formulated with organic aloe vera, shea...
  • BODY LOTION, CAN BE USED ON FACE: This sunless tanning lotion was formulated for the body, however it can be used as a face tanner. If you are prone...

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you're like me and you have sensitive skin, adding a new product to your skincare routine can have some pretty troubling consequences. If you're careful to select each and every product you choose in order to avoid skin irritation, don't worry, I have found the real tanning lotion of your dreams! The Beauty By Earth Organic & Natural Self Tanner has carefully mixed their formula to select natural ingredients such as tea extract, shea butter, coconut oil, cranberry fruit extract… the list goes on! It won't streak or stain, and creating a natural-looking tan is dead simple with this lotion! Whether you want a sun-kissed glow or a darker tan, this indoor tanning lotion works for all skin types!

8. Best Tanning Lotion for Darkest Tan – Millenium Tanning Solid Black Tanning Lotion

Millenium Tanning Solid Black Tanning Lotion
Millennium Tanning Solid Black Tanning Lotion:
  • Ultra advanced 100X silicone bronzer
  • Auto-Darkening Tan Technology
  • Tan enhancer
  • Orchid Blush fragrance
  • 13.5 fl oz (400mL) bottle
 
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Do you want to go ultra-dark ultra-quick? The Millennium tanning lotion is guaranteed to give you a deep, dark tan as soon as you put it on. The accelerator formula works super fast, and it's actually stronger than the Millenium Tanning Paint. A word of caution – use the product exactly as described and don't overuse it, or it can cause some unwanted skin issues. The powerful Millenium Solid Black Tanning Lotion formula is enriched with natural moisturizers and oils for ultimate skin hydration. I say go hard or go home, right?

9. Best Value for Money Indoor Tanning Lotion – b.tan Darker Self Tanner | Love At First Tan – 100% Natural

Sale
26,419 Reviews
  • i'm perfect for anyone looking for a dark, dark tan with absolutely no orange tones
  • no gimmicks, no fake tan smell just the most awesome, rich warm dark tan on the planet
  • 1 hour development time, leave on for 4+ hours for darker results

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The b.tan best-selling indoor tanning lotion is the perfect choice if you're looking for a 100% natural tan accelerator. It's cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, and made of recyclable materials. It has violet undertones that contribute to a darker tan, so if a stark change is what you’re after, this will be a great option for you! The b.tan Darker Self Tanner is your savior if you have previously used a tanner and turned orange. The violet base knocks out orange tones and works ultra-fast – you'll see a change develop in an hour, and a full tan will develop in eight hours. Another obvious perk is the price, which is incredibly low for such a great product with natural ingredients. If you're paper-white and want to get 10 times darker, this is an excellent choice for you. Be tan with b.tan!

10. Best Hydrating Tanning Lotion for a Sun-Kissed Glow – L'Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse

6,894 Reviews
  • L'Oreal Paris Hydrating Lightweight Bronzing Self-Tanning Water Mousse - Instantly gives skin a natural-looking tan with a sunkissed glow and even...
  • Ultra lightweight water mousse disappears into your skin for an easy to apply, streak-free quick drying tan
  • Formula enriched with real coconut water and Vitamin E - allows for hydration and softer, smoother skin

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The L'Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Water Mousse simply had to make it to the list. This is primarily a bronzer, so don't expect to get a wildly dark tan. Instead, this bronzer mousse will leave you with smooth skin and a healthy glow with a brown sugar effect. The water-like translucent formula makes it incredibly easy to spread and leaves your skin moisturized and healthy. The fresh coconut scent will leave your soft skin smelling like a sunny beach day! Yes, please!

11. Best Professional Tanning Lotion – Devoted Creations WOKE UP LIKE THIS Bronzing Lotion

1,396 Reviews
  • Flawlessly smooth DHA and Natural Bronzers
  • Stimulates Melanin Production for darker long lasting results
  • Provides superior skin firming and tightening benefits with RevitaFit, Body Fit and Ideal Lift

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This DHA Devoted Creations Bronzing Lotion is often found in the tanning salon, as many professionals tend to choose it as one of the best tanning bed lotions. You can get it, too, straight from Amazon without contacting a distributor. It smells divine, especially if you enjoy a feminine yet musky scent. Expect long-lasting results and say goodbye to orangeness – the formula includes some blue tansy oil to help balance out colors. The unique formula inside – Bodyfit, Advanced Matryxil Synth, and Ideal Lift – will leave your skin firm and tight. You will also notice it helps fight wrinkles and cellulite. There's nothing to point the finger at when it comes to Devoted Creations!

12. Best Vegan Tanning Lotion – St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse | Vegan Self Tanner for a Sunkissed Glow

Sale
15,613 Reviews
  • Our most iconic, fool proof and natural-looking tan. This tinted tanning mousse is easy-to-apply, streak-free and adapts to your skin tone for up to...
  • Long-lasting, lightweight and 100% clean fake tan. Providing 24 hours hydration, quick drying and non-sticky
  • Use our tan Applicator Mitt for trusted streak-free results and wait 60 seconds before getting dressed

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A little on the expensive side, this premium tanning lotion is a complete hit if you’re after a natural-looking tan. The St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse is exceptionally long-lasting and will stay on your skin for up to 10 days. It's easy to apply and leaves you with soft and smooth skin. It dries quickly, won't leave stains on your clothes, and won't transfer. After just the first application, you'll see a noticeable change in your tan. If you care about customer reviews, you'll be thrilled to learn that this is a 5-star rated indoor tanning lotion that everyone's crazy about!

13. Best Indoor Tanning Lotion for Tattoos – Supre SNOOKI GIRL BOSS Ultra Dark Black DD Bronze

Supre SNOOKI GIRL BOSS Ultra Dark Black DD Bronze
Snooki s Girl Boss Ultra Dark Black DD Bronzer is your dynamic do-all dream formula that raises the bronze bar with instant cosmetic bronzers and delayed bronzers for fierce, beautiful continuous color. Formulated to help diminish wrinkles and fine lines while providing a flawless, matte finish that will help you go the extra mile.
 
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The Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Bronzer is rich and moisturizing, infused with coconut and almond oil, and leaves your skin healthy and firm. The special Tattoo Color Shield Technology provides ultimate protection to your tattooed skin, using a blend of aloe vera, algae, and minerals to maintain your tattoos' vibrancy, color, and hydration. The mixture of lotus and hibiscus has some remarkable anti-aging properties and helps smooth out lines and wrinkles. It works super fast – a beautiful brown sugar bronzer for a perfect tan!

FAQ

Why would you use a tanning lotion indoors?

Many people tend to choose tanning lotion over sunbathing. You might think they’re crazy and point out various reasons why tanning lotions might not be suitable for you, but the truth is, suntans are probably the worst thing you can do for your skin. 

Of course, this is hardly the only reason people choose indoor tanning lotions. Many people have a hard time getting a tan, even if they spend an entire day exposing their skin to the sun. Instead, they go from paper white to crab red and suffer from harmful burns. 

It’s natural for people to find another way to get the tan of their dreams – and here is where tanning lotions come to play. They also have multiple beneficial ingredients packed inside, such as:

  • Vitamin E, which helps reduce wrinkles and lines
  • Caffeine, which helps energize the skin and minimizes puffiness
  • Beta-Carotene (vitamin A), which helps with pigmentation
  • A moisturizing oil to boost your hydration

Indoor tanning lotions are made for shorter exposure to UV rays or tanning beds, whereas outdoor lotions include sunscreen to provide you with protection against UVA and UVB rays. However, tanning lotions hardly ever contain SPF, and people tend to forget this detail. Don't try to boost your tan by applying indoor tanning lotion and getting a suntan on the same day! It’s harmful for your skin. So what is the safest way to use a tanning lotion? That’s what we’re about to answer.

How to use tanning lotion?

For best results, always read the back of the tanning lotion bottle as there might be some minor difference between products. Generally, you should follow the steps below to achieve the best results:

Step 1: Take a shower and exfoliate! Get rid of those dead skin cells. You can either use a scrub or an exfoliating brush for the best results!

Step 2: Squeeze a small bean-sized blob from the tanning lotion, and in a circular motion, spread the mixture on your skin. Use sparingly on dry skin (like your knees and elbows).

Step 3: Once you're done applying the tanning lotion, make sure to wash your hands to avoid lotion stains.

Step 4: Continue applying the product every day until you get the desired results. You'll notice a change in your tan in the next 3-4 days.

Step 5: To maintain an even tan and avoid peeling, make sure to use moisturizer lotion.

Step 6: Reapply the tanning lotion once you notice your tan is fading!

How do they work?

Indoor tanning lotions speed up melanin production and increase blood flow. They include active ingredients such as different natural oils, copper, tea tree oil, green tea, and other ingredients that help boost tanning.

What are the types of tanning lotions?

Tanning Accelerators

Accelerator tanning lotions are great for people at the start of their indoor tanning journey. They're extremely beginner-friendly. As you can guess, accelerator tanning lotions include melanin as well as L-Tyrosine to help speed up the tanning process.

Bronzers

There are three types of bronzers you can come across: natural, cosmetic, and DHA (short for dihydroxyacetone). Of these three, the most long-lasting is the DHA variant, which sticks on the skin for around 4-5 days.

Most natural bronzers are made from plant extracts and other natural ingredients. They are next in line for longevity and tend to stay on the skin for 3-4 days.

Finally, cosmetic bronzers, which stain the most, will last for roughly 1-3 days because you can easily rinse them during a shower. They also tend to give you a darker tan. Usually, bronzers are the next product you should use after an accelerator, as they work really well with a base tan and will achieve results closest to a natural tan.

Tingle Lotions

Tingle lotions are not what you think! They're called that due to the sensation you feel when you use them. Again, not what you think! All jokes aside, tingle and hot action lotions will increase your blood flow and, as a result, promote cell oxygenation. Inside you'll find ingredients like nicotinate and benzyl, which cause the warming sensations and flushing of your skin. They're also great for beginner users and are easier to control when aiming to create an even tan.

What facts to consider before buying a tanning lotion?

Finding a lotion that matches your natural skin tone is extremely important if you don't want to end up looking like Donald Trump. Check what other buyers are saying about the lotion or look for lotions with lilac or blue undertones. Avoid skin-lightening ingredients as they can be the primary reason for an uneven tan!

The best tanning lotions include vitamin E, copper, and some form of moisturizer. Indoor tanning beds can dehydrate your skin just like a real suntan, so buying a tanning lotion with moisturizing ingredients is a must!

If you're rushing to get a tan, make sure to check how long it will take to accumulate a deep tan. This information should be readily available on the bottle. Next, make sure to check how long-lasting your tanning lotion is, so you can avoid disappointment when it starts fading and you can know when to top up.

How to make your tan last longer?

If you want your indoor tan to last longer, keep three things in mind. First, make sure your skin is clean, and you have exfoliated. Exfoliation helps eliminate dead skin, which tends to fall and peel along with your tan.

Next, make sure to use a moisturizer lotion after your tanning lotion has been dried and rinsed off. Moisturized skin won't produce as many dead skin cells and therefore will prolong your tan. Shea butter and coconut oil are great to keep your skin hydrated.

Finally, sunless tanning requires some upkeep, so applying tanning lotion once or twice won't cut it. You need to be consistent and keep topping up to achieve the golden tan of your dreams!

Before You Get the Perfect Tan…

We really hope that you managed to find the indoor tanning lotion of your dreams on our list!

We love doing reviews here on IFB, so if you're interested in more beauty tips, feel free to browse our articles! We cover many topics, from finding the best primer for large pores to answering how often you should get a pedicure!

We also write tips for influencers and social media app users, covering topics like how to stop spam comments on Instagram and many more! There’s a little bit for everyone on here. 

Let us know in the comments what your favorite tanning lotions are – we’d love to hear from you! 

Best Selling Indoor Tanning Lotions

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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