The UVA rays from tanning beds dry out your skin. This can result in a blotchy and uneven tan. That’s why you need a lot of moisturization during the tanning process.
An indoor tanning lotion can help. It not only moisturizes your skin and helps you develop a dark tan but also protects you from the damaging effects of the UVA rays. The problem is that there are several brands and products to choose from, so finding the best indoor tanning lotion can be a challenging task.
Some tanning bed lotions do not protect you from harmful UV rays while others are not moisturizing enough. Many of them are harsh on your skin. Luckily, my team and I tested 50+ tanning bed lotions to find you the best ones.
Read on to learn more about our top picks!
Best Indoor Tanning Lotions of 2022
1. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
Reach for Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion for a deep, natural tan. The formula features Quad Tyrosine Blend & Melano Bronze to increase melanin production and speed up the tanning process. That way, you can get tanned faster even if you have pale skin.
It’s loaded with super hydrating ingredients such as coconut milk, cocoa butter, and coconut oil to moisturize and nourish your skin. Since moisturization is key to a beautiful even tan, you’ll be able to achieve that golden glow without any problems. In addition, you’ll have soft and smooth skin post-application.
Repeated use of tanning beds can lead to premature aging. However, this product features an age-defying formula, thanks to ingredients like coconut oil. Research says that coconut oil can increase collagen production, which improves elasticity and strengthens your skin. This means that this lotion will also help fight premature aging.
I liked its sweet coconut-y smell. It’s not overpowering, so you won’t have any problem even if you have fragrance sensitivity.
Although it’s not the fastest absorbing lotion on the market, it absorbs fairly quickly. Plus, it won’t leave behind a greasy residue or stain your clothes.
The only problem with this lotion is that it’s a bit expensive. There are definitely cheaper options available out there. However, it’s long-lasting since you only need a small amount, and it’s worth every penny.
2. Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator Plus Bronzer
This tanning lotion from Australian Gold has a cult-like following, and for good reasons. It’s packed with ingredients such as native Australian oils and Vitamin A and E to hydrate your skin. Vitamin E also has antioxidants properties — it can help repair UV damage and nourish your skin.
The formula also contains natural bronzing agents to give you a darker tan. Moreover, it also adds a natural golden glow to your tan so that it doesn’t look fake. What I loved the most about it is that it’s also suitable to build a base tan even if you’re super fair or pale. And from there, you can use it to build a darker and more advanced tan.
It has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. While testing this product, I found that it dried fairly quickly, and there was no greasy feeling post-application. Plus, it didn’t stain my clothes.
The best part? You can use it for both indoor and outdoor tanning. The result will be an even tan — no orange streaks. The only thing to keep in mind is that if you’re getting tanned in the sun, it’s important to wear sunscreen because this lotion doesn’t have SPF.
Some users did not like its fruity smell. However, I found the smell pretty sweet — it’s fresh and subtle.
3. Millennium Tanning Paint It Black, 50X
If you’re all about a very dark tan and you want quick results, Millennium Tanning Paint It Black is for you. This lotion will give you the darkest tanning results you can achieve. It features 50X Auto-Darkening Tan Technology that gives you a dark bronze color without any orange streaks.
It also contains a unique silicone emulsion to moisturize and condition your skin. This leaves your skin feeling smooth and silky. Your skin will look healthy, energized, and so full of life. What’s even more, you won’t have to worry about dryness as it keeps your skin moisturized all day long.
What I liked the most about this lotion is that it’s a multi-purpose product. In addition to helping you with tanning, it also firms your skin. This is helpful because repeated use of tanning beds can lead to loss of skin firmness. However, this product will help you combat those effects.
It goes on like a dream, and you’re never left with a sticky residue. It even makes your skin glow. Moreover, there’s no gross tanning smell, and I appreciate that it gives you a darker tan than Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Lotion.
That being said, if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, this might not be the right product for you. Silicone emulsion blend may trap oil and dirt, and that can freak out your skin. In that case, you should avoid putting it on your face.
4. Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer
Fortified with natural hemp seed oil, this tan maximizer is an excellent choice for someone with sensitive skin. Hemp seed oil provides intense moisturization and promotes a long-lasting tan. It also has mango seed butter to smooth and hydrate your skin, which results in an even, streak-free tan.
It combines the power of several natural tan enhancers to give a nice brown tan. Additionally, it also contains oatmeal extracts to soothe and calm easily irritated skin.
The formula is super lightweight — it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy at all. Once it dries, you won’t even notice it’s there.
Unlike most products, it’s paraben-free, gluten-free, and 100% vegan. Plus, it’s never been tested on animals. This means that you can use it guilt-free.
Above all, it doesn’t have any smell. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t like scented products — no more worrying about fragrance sensitivities.
While it won’t give you as dark a tan as Millenium Tanning Paint It Black, the end result is still pretty dark. And it’s a perfect choice for someone who is all about vegan products.
5. Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Leg Bronzer
For someone who is fair and doesn’t tan easily, grab Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Leg Bronzer. It’s designed specifically for those “hard-to-tan” areas. The formula incorporates HyperDark Tanning technology to give your skin a beautiful, golden tan.
As the name suggests, this one has bronzers in it. These bronzers enhance the base tan and accelerate the tanning process by increasing melanin production when you’re exposed to UV rays.
The highlight of this product is that it inhibits hair growth. This means that you won’t have to shave your legs every other day. During my tests, it actually minimized the need to shave my legs, which is great because it saves you much time and hassle.
Moreover, the Advanced Skin Firming Blend smooths your skin and improves the texture, so your legs appear tighter and more toned. As a result, you get an even, healthy, and natural-looking tan.
The only problem I found with this product is that it’s formulated only for legs. Since it has hair inhibitors, I didn’t use it on sensitive areas because my skin freaks out fairly easily.
6. Brown Sugar Black Chocolate Coconut Cream
This indoor tanning lotion is another great pick for a deeper bronze. It’s packed with powerful antioxidants — like dark chocolate extracts and argan extracts that protect your skin while you’re tanning. The formula not only gives you a dark tan but also makes it last longer.
The blend of triple coconut cocktail and max silicone softens your skin and adds a beautiful glow. In addition, it also delivers chock full of moisturization. Your skin will be left feeling silky smooth.
The secret is dark bronzers that work hard to give you your darkest tan yet. While it won’t give you as dark a tan as Millenium Tanning Paint It Black, the tan I got was still pretty deep and looked natural.
As packed as it is with powerful ingredients, the formula is super light on the skin. During my tests, it absorbed quickly into the skin, and there was no stickiness.
Also nice: The formula is paraben- and DHA-free. Meaning, you won’t have to put harmful or harsh ingredients on your skin because there are none.
Some users complained about this lotion leaving streaks. However, you shouldn’t face this problem when you completely rub it in. Also, make sure to apply evenly.
7. Jwoww Black Bronzer Dark Tanning Lotion
If you have dry skin, reach for Jwoww Black Bronzer Dark Tanning Lotion. It’s loaded with the goodness of sunflower oil and kukui nut oil. Sunflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, so it helps quench your skin’s thirst and strengthen the skin barrier due to its excellent emollient benefits.
Kukui nut oil is absorbed well by the deep layer of your skin, so it forms a protective barrier and alleviates dryness. This means you can get the perfect tan even if you have dry skin.
Thanks to the inclusion of powerful and natural bronzers, you can expect a deep bronze tan with this tanning bed lotion. After a few tanning sessions, you’ll have the darkest tan that will turn heads.
This product is very easy to use — it absorbs quickly and doesn’t transfer. Best of all, it doesn’t leave any streaks. The smell is also pretty nice — like berries.
The only downside is that the product is only suitable for you if you have developed a base tan already. If you’re yet to build a base tan, I recommend something that doesn’t contain bronzers, like Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer.
8. Devoted Creations Somewhere On A Beach Tanning Lotion
If you’re looking for a DHA-free tanning bed lotion, this is an excellent pick. It’s infused with all-natural tanning intensifiers that give you streak-free tanning results. The formula also has multiple tan accelerators to increase melanin production and give you a dark brown color.
It’s enriched with coconut oil that softens your skin and protects your tan. Sea buckthorn berry fights radical damage so that your skin appears youthful. Moreover, it contains Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6, a potent anti-aging peptide, that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This means that you’ll not only get a flawless tan, but you’ll also look younger.
I also liked that the formula is tattoo-safe. It protects your tattoos while helping you get tanned. Even better? It can be used both indoors and outdoors. No need to buy a separate lotion for outdoor tanning.
The scent is also amazing — there’s no awful after-tan smell, thanks to FreshTek technology that eliminates the foul smell. Plus, it’s quick-absorbing and doesn’t transfer.
The problem with this product is that it will only give you a light to medium level of bronze. However, if you want a natural-looking tan and don’t really care much for dark bronze results, this is just the product for you.
Benefits of Using Indoor Tanning Lotions
There are several benefits of using indoor tanning lotions. Let’s take a look:
Prevents UV Damage
Tanning beds emit UV rays to help you get tanned. However, these rays can be harmful to your skin. They can cause hyperpigmentation and premature aging. However, you can prevent that by using an indoor tanning lotion. These lotions are formulated to minimize UV damage during the tanning process.
Moisturizes Your Skin
If you’re an avid tanner, you know that tanning can leave your skin dry. And the tan doesn’t turn out beautifully on dry skin. Thankfully, indoor tanning lotions contain moisturizing ingredients to overcome this problem, so you don’t have to worry about skin dryness.
Keeps Your Skin Cool
Indoor tanning sessions can get pretty hot, and you may start to feel uncomfortable after a while. Some indoor tanning lotions contain cooling ingredients to prevent this. Moreover, the lotions speed up the tanning process, so you end up spending less time on tanning beds. This means you’ll be out before it starts to get really hot.
Helps You Tan Faster
Indoor tanning lotions give fast results. They contain skin-darkening agents to give you a sun-kissed glow. All the products on the list above have bronzing agents of some sort to speed up the tanning process and give you a flawless dark tan. Moreover, you’ll get an even tan that doesn’t look fake.
FAQs on the Best Indoor Tanning Lotion
What indoor tanning lotion gets you the darkest the fastest?
During my tests, I found that Millenium Paint It Black, 50x gives you the darkest tan in the shortest amount of time possible. It features 50x auto-darkening tan technology that works hard to give you a deep brown bronze. It also has extreme silicone blend, which softens your skin so your tan will look even more beautiful and natural.
That said, it doesn’t contain natural ingredients. Although side effects are rare, they can occur if you have sensitive skin.
Which tanning bed lotion should I use if I have sensitive skin?
In case you have sensitive skin, I recommend using an indoor tanning lotion that is made up of natural ingredients. Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer is an excellent choice because it has natural tan maximizers that give you a natural and long-lasting golden glow while nourishing and softening your skin.
Since it doesn’t have any harsh ingredients, you can use it without worrying about skin allergies.
What is the best tanning lotion with SPF?
If you’re looking for a tanning lotion that contains SPF, Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 4 is an excellent choice. It will protect you from the UV rays of the sun all while helping you get tanned. It’s packed with powerful antioxidants such as Kakadu plum and tea tree oil, which protect your skin from free radicals.
However, it’s important to note that it’s meant for outdoor tanning only.
Tanning beds definitely help you get tanned faster. However, in order to prevent skin damage and get a dark tan, it’s important to pick a good indoor tanning lotion. But with so many options at our disposal, finding the right product is not always easy.
Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and found the best indoor tanning lotions. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion is our favorite because it checks all the boxes. It’s fast-absorbing, gives a dark tan, and never streaks.