Special events like spring break, proms and weddings cause us to search out ways to freshen up our appearance. It is likely tanning sessions will be a major factor in our overall plan. A golden tan gives us that healthy sun-kissed look that adds sparkle and eliminates our “office drab”. Many people prepare for tropical vacations and summers at the beach with a few tanning sessions at their favorite tanning salon.
In order to make the most of those tanning sessions you might want to use a tanning lotion or tan accelerator. But what is a tanning lotion and which are the best ones to use for a better tanning process? Based on many people and reviews, read on as I show you my purchasing guide for the best indoor tanning lotions to help you out!
Best Indoor Tanning Lotions Comparison Table
What Is an Indoor Tanning Lotion?
As the name suggests, and tanning lotions are skin products used to help achieve a dark tan and quicken the tanning process. You simply rub the tanning lotion before getting into tanning beds for the Australian gold cheeky brown complexion!
It works by protecting your skin’s moisture levels and allows your pores to open up, magnifying the UV exposure to get a nice and tan look. The reason why we use indoor tanning lotions is when we get into tanning beds. Because using a tanning bed dehydrates and leads to dry skin, the right lotion can help you achieve the golden tan without looking burnt or experience any irritation.
The ingredients in tanning lotion are melanin for pigmentation, and various oils for skin protection and conditioning.
Why indoor tanning, though? Sunless tanning gives you the tan you want without the excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Using a tanning bed doesn’t only make it convenient, but it still gives you the tan look with fewer risks of dry skin, among other conditions.
Type of Indoor Tanning Lotions
There are three common categories of tanning lotions. All contain moisturizers for supple skin. Keep in mind that these products will not protect your skin in outdoor sun and outdoor suntan lotions will not be effective with indoor tanning beds. To protect the tanning beds in a salon, do not use any product containing mineral oil. Mineral oil is found in many cosmetic moisturizing products, including baby oil. Quality tanning lotions will not have mineral oil as an ingredient.
Products containing ingredients that increase blood flow to the skin creating a tingling sensation. The purpose of the product is to accelerate the tanning process.
During the first few sessions, you may experience a burning sensation on your skin for the first few minutes. The intensity will gradually decrease during the session and with subsequent sessions becoming less intense.
Your skin may be red after tanning with an accelerator and stay red for several hours, depending if you have sensitive skin. Gradually, over the few hours, you will notice a nice tan shade replacing the red. Some products produce more “heat” than others. Some people tolerate the burning sensation very well but others do not. Whether you have sensitive skin or not, you will have to experiment to find what level of tingle, if any, you are comfortable with.
These products generally contain DHA that works with the skin to produce a golden tan. They work best when used over a base tan. A bronzer helps darken a tan and add a glow to the color. They will keep on darkening after you leave the tanning salon. Hands must be washed immediately after application to prevent orange stains. The better quality the bronzer is the better the result. The bronzer contains skin conditioners so the skin is left soft and smooth after tanning. Keeping the skin supple is important to maintain the appearance of a smooth even color.
A bronzer requires experimentation just as tinglers do, particularly for those with sensitive skin. After all, skin chemistry and pigment is different for everyone. How your skin reacts to bronzers may be different than the person in the tanning bed next to you. While others turn golden brown, you may turn orange and yellow using the same product.
Patch tests will lead you to the right product for you, especially when you have sensitive skin.. Patch tests will also save you a lot of grief from unsightly orange streaks, skin rashes and painful burns.
Accelerators / Intensifier / Maximizer
An accelerator tanning lotion is a melanin producer, which stimulates melanin production. Melanin is a brown pigment in our skin, which helps us tan. When applying accelerator tanning lotion, it would trigger melanocytes, producing more melanin so we can get a dark tan complexion.
This is great to pair with a tanning bed, as it doesn’t only moisturize, the lotion will also quicken the tanning process and get you the dark skin you want immediately, compared to using other lotion types (or not at all).
However, you have to be wary about what the accelerator tanning lotion includes, as there may be lotion brands that have questionable ingredients.
Just like testing out any other lotion, be sure to do a patch test before applying it on your body, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Also, read the ingredient list to ensure there is no dangerous component included in this indoor tanning lotion.
Also you can read about This guides:
Top 15 Best Indoor Tanning Lotions Reviews
Given short reviews of each of the top 15 top sunbed creams & bed tanning lotions for 2023 that can help you determine what is best for you.
1. Millenium Tanning New Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion
“Best Dark Tanning Bed Lotions”
✔ High-quality bronzer with a pleasant scent
✔ Good consistency to leave skin soft and smooth
✔ The lotion has no oil consistency
✘ Some may experience orange or yellow streaks
✘ Need to wash hands immediately and use quickly to prevent orange-y colors
New Solid Black Bronzer Millenium Tanning New Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion, 100x, 13.5-Ounceer is an advanced tan darkening lotion containing silicon and bronzers to accelerate darkening. The silicone emollient leaves skin soft and supple. Some experience an improvement in the appearance and texture of their skin as the result of the silicone.
As with most bronzers, this product becomes more effective after acquiring a base tan. Bronzer X 100 means you get darker more quickly. Many report Solid Black Bronzer to be the best product for them because results are quick, even after one use. The product has a light Orchid Blush scent that is pleasing during and after application.
The bronzer does work quickly so remember to thoroughly wash your hands immediately after application to prevent stains. While most people found the product useful a very few experienced orange or yellow streaks.
2 . Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
“Best Tanning Lotion for Tattoo”
✔ Feels great on the skin without the oil residue
✔ You can get tattoo protection against color fading
✔ Promotes a longer-lasting tan and great look after tanning beds
✘ Some people don’t see any results other than good smell on the skin
✘ No results when used alone without tanning beds
Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion gets its name from the skin loving coconut milk and coconut oil contained in the ingredients. The scent will transport your imagination to the tropics.
The tanning intensifiers give you the golden tan you want without bronzers by increasing the formation of melanin and promoting a darker, longer lasting tan. You will notice it keeps working even after you leave the tanning salon. In addition Body Fit firms the skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite. (read more about Best Tanning Oil Reviews).
Tattoo protection often requires the use of an additional product, Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion acts alone to give you the deep dark tan you want as well as protecting and extending the life of your tattoos. Also the lotion protects against color fade as well.
For moisturizing cocoa butter is combined with coconut oil and coconut milk to hydrate and protect the skin from dryness. The lotion is lightweight and quickly absorbed for smooth skin.
This product works well indoors or out for the majority of users, however there are about 10% of users for whom this product produced no results other than smooth nice smelling skin.
3. Millenium Tanning New Paint It Black Auto-darkening Dark Tanning Lotion
✔ Great for all skin types and people get the look they want
✔ Leaves the skin feeling smooth and hydrated all day after tanning
✔ The bronzer shows no orange streaks after use
✘ A few complaints of no results showing from the bronzer
✘ You need to use the lotion frequently or the color fades
Paint It Black auto-darkening dark tanning lotion gets rave reviews from fair skinned tanners. For use with tanning beds or outdoor sun, the results are smooth and even with no orange streaks.
As with other Millenium tanning products, the silicone blend of Paint It Black moisturizers leaves skin smooth and conditioned all day, long after tanning. It has a nice fresh scent called Clean Cotton Blossom that does not overpower the senses. If you have experienced that “tanning bed smell” after tanning then you will be pleased to know the Cotton Blossom scent remains after tanning.
While the product seems to work especially well for fair skinned tanners, good results were reported by all skin types. There are no “tinglers” in this product which appeals to some but not others. For those who loved this product, they really got the results they wanted.
There are a few who saw no results at all and others whose results were short lived. For them, the product had to be frequently used or their color faded quickly.
4. Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Accelerator Plus Bronzer
“Best Indoor Tanning Accelerator”
✔ It’s best suited for those with fair skin
✔ There is no oil residue on the skin
✔ The tanning bed lotion quickly absorbs to the skin
✘ Some users may not like the scent
✘ Australian Gold isn’t highly available worldwide
The Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion, always a tanning favourite now has a bronzer. Australian Gold has a loyal following who appreciate the quality products at reasonable prices. Many are certain this product is equal or superior to much higher priced products.
Fair skinned tanners have experienced excellent results using this product. Generally, results were visible after two tanning sessions. The Cocoa dreams scent, a light cocoa vanilla, is pleasing to most. The product is quickly absorbed with no oily residue on the skin. The ingredients include native Australian oils and vitamins A and E for maximum skin hydration. The formula protects and softens skin during tanning providing a nice even color.
Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Tanning Lotion accelerator plus bronze can be used indoors with tanning beds or outdoors under the sun. The primary complaint about this product is the smell. A small number of users felt such an aversion to the scent they threw the product away even though they otherwise got good results. Read Full Review
5. Tan Asz U Luau Island Black Bronzer, 13.5 Ounce tanning bed lotion
✔ Not too thick or sticky consistency with a pleasant smell
✔ Island extracts for better conditioning without stains
✔ Excellent results that show immediately, great for darker tans
✘ Some complaints of seeing orange streaks when overused
✘ Not suitable for those who have hormonal medical conditions
The Tan Asz U Bronzer is another effective lotion known for how it creates the golden dark tan. If you want to achieve darker shades effortlessly and have it look natural, you’ll love this product.
The formula is made with a Marula Goddess Glow Serum, having high levels of Marula Oil for tanning and healthier skin. It also has island extracts and silicone material to condition your skin for long-lasting glow and soft feel. Not to worry about the ingredients, as it is both DHA and Paraben-free to lessen risk of any reactions.
Besides that, I love its pleasant peach smell, which isn’t too strong yet stays on your skin the entire day. After using it, I notice that it never dies my skin out and there is a huge difference in my complexion almost immediately. Overall, worth the price for its effectiveness and healthier results.
6. Brown Sugar Black Chocolate Coconut Cream 200X Bronzer
“Best Smelling Tanning Lotion”
✔ Wonderful coconut cream scent that many users enjoy
✔ It can help you become up to three shades darker after tanning
✔ Keeps the skin hydrated and conditioned for extra protection
✘ Wash hands immediately or it will turn orange for a long time
✘ Some complaints of receiving a leaking bottle
The Brown Sugar Bronzer is another amazing product from the well-known brand, this time having the mix of a chocolate and coconut cream scent! It smells amazing and I’ve gotten compliments from the pleasant fragrance, I don’t even need to spray on perfume after tanning!
This is crafted with 200x black bronzers which give off one of the darkest tans, suitable for any skin type. Besides this, the double dark chocolate and Argan oils can nourish your skin and the tan, thanks to the potent antioxidants. So you can go a few shades darker while keeping your skin well-protected and taken cared for.
You do need to be careful when using it though, and wash your hands very well to prevent it from becoming orange. Other than that, you will be happy with your skin and the results.
7. Brown Sugar Black Chocolate 200X Black Bronzer
✔ Amazing chocolate smell and dark chocolate extract for suppleness
✔ Has the butter and silicone blend to feel soft on the skin
✔ Extremely effective and can have you achieve a shade darker
✘ There are a few complaints of very watery consistency
✘ It can leave your palms orange if used improperly
The Brown Sugar Bronzer is one of my favorites not only because of its effectiveness, but because of the scent! It has the double dark chocolate extract, which smells delicious AND can nourish the skin with its potent antioxidants. There is a butter and silicone blend as well, which offers the smoothest consistency and can leave your skin feeling supple and soft.
The Max Silicones have the softer feel to it, almost like velvet when applied! Furthermore, it’s DHA and paraben-free to ensure fewer risks fo adverse reactions.
As for its tanning effects, it really shows a difference, allowing your skin to become darker shades almost immediately. You get excellent value for its hydrating and well-tanning formula.
BUT, you have to make sure you apply it properly and avoid using wet towels afterward, as this can cause orange streaks. Beyond that, there are no major issues.
8. Supre – Snooki Ultra Dark 70X Black Bronzer w/ Skin Firm & Toning
✔ Multi-purpose lotion that works as a bronzer, skin conditioner, and firmer
✔ It leaves a beautiful toned look on the skin without oil residue
✔ Skin continues to darken throughout the day even after tanning
✘ Reports of allergic reactions, you need to take a patch test
✘ Need to check the ingredient list in case of allergies
For those who want it all except the preservative, Paraben, Supre-Snooki Ultra Dark 70X Black Bronzer with Skin Firm & Tone is a good choice.
The product is a bronzer, skin conditioner and firming lotion all in one, the advanced skin firming blend gives the skin a toned appearance while improving texture. The skin conditioner is vitamin enriched giving skin a healthier glow and the bronzer contains a blend of black walnut, henna and DHA for a deep dark tan with rich golden color.
The skin continues to darken even after you leave the tanning salon. Coconut and almond oil moisturize and hydrate tanned skin for a smooth look and feel. No orange stripes reported for this bronzer.
There were enough people reporting allergic reactions to this product that a warning to patch test is in order. Most users do not have a reaction to the ingredients but it is better to test first to be sure.
9. Ed Hardy Hollywood Bronze Bronzer Tanning Lotion
✔ Gives off a nice, tan color that doesn’t look fake at all
✔ Medium amount of bronzer suitable for all skin types
✔ Has no weird consistency and feels like regular lotion
✘ Some users may not like the scent at first
✘ There are complaints about the lotion clumping and staining
I love this tanning lotion because it has the unique blowout dark bronzing formula, which ensures effective results! After applying the lotion on my skin, I experienced NO tingling or burning sensation at all, and it had a nice smell to it, nothing artificial.
After application, you can feel that there is no oil residue and feels smooth, just like any oil-free body lotion. Give it a few hours, and you’ll notice a natural golden tan, especially when you apply it indoors. It also leaves me skin feeling soft and moisturized, with the enhanced and even tan that isn’t too deeply dark.
However, not everyone will love the scent, and have complained about it staining and clumping, ruining its consistency. But when you rub it properly and ensure even application, you won’t have any problems with it. I believe that for its brand and results, it’s worth the investment!
10. Designer Skin BombShell, 100XX Bronzer
✔ Best suited for experienced tanners as you get exceptional results
✔ Get the perfect tan look without the oil residue
✔ Same consistency as hand lotion and dries quickly
✘ It feels too hot for some users, especially when applied for long periods
✘ Do not put on sensitive skin because of the burn
The name says it all. Recommended for experienced tanners, this bronzer is enhanced with an accelerator that has quite a tingle. Fans describe exceptional tanning results.
Bombshell is full of “good for your skin” nutrients like white tea extract, CoQ10 and soy. The kiwi watermelon fragrance lingers after tanning. When tanners hit a plateau and cannot seem to tan any darker, Bombshell is often the solution.
With a good base tan, you can break that plateau with just one tanning session and of course more sessions mean a darker tan. Fair skinned tanners just starting out will want to get a good base tan before using Bombshell.
The consistency is the same as a good hand lotion, not watery or sticky thick. It dries quickly after application so you are not waiting around before using the tanning bed. This product will definitely shorten the time it takes to get your darkest tan possible.
As with other strong tingle lotions, some found the heat too much to bear. They stayed red for long periods and felt it was too strong to use on faces or other sensitive areas.
11. Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion
✔ Nice and smooth consistency that doesn’t streak or stain
✔ Keeps the skin protected from dryness or fine lines
✔ Wonderful scent that lasts the entire day
✘ More suitable for fair skin, only gives a light to medium bronze
✘ Good to apply as maintenance tan lotion for darker skin tones
Somewhere on a Beach is an instant tan lotion that can be used for both indoor and outdoor tanning sessions. It’s made without any DHA ingredients, instead using advanced matrixyl synthe with coconut and walnut oils. These are powerful anti-aging peptides which reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as soften and hydrate your skin.
The bronzer formula doesn’t only help with overall skin health, but it also ensures longer-lasting results without any orange or reddish streaks and stains. After application before or after tanning, you can see the results, leaving a natural-looking tan. You can achieve a darker shade quicker and have a smoother tan while your skin stays hydrated and free from fine lines, which are the typical side effects to tanning.
However, the effects vary, depending on your skin tone. This is best made for those with fairer skin and just beginning to tan indoors or outdoors.
12. Ed Hardy Peace & Harmony Tanning Intensifier Bronzing Moisturizer Lotion
✔ Amazing smell that many users love, the scent stays for long
✔ Effective and doesn’t affect qualities of any tattoos, if any
✔ You get the golden glow without any other product required
✘ It’s better to use after tanning, not prior
✘ The lotion bottle doesn’t come in bigger sizes
The Ed Hardy Peace and Harmony Tanning Intensifier Bronzer is free from oil and has no sticky or watery residue at all.
It contains dark tanning activators to give your skin the natural and sun-kissed glow! The lotion does this through stimulating melanin activity, without any gluten, oil, paragon, or nuts to avoid allergic reactions and weird consistencies. Because of this, the lotion is suitable for any skin type, also having a pleasant fragrance, something you don’t get from most tanners.
One can apply the Ed Hardy tanning lotion under the sun or indoors, and you still get the awesome tanned skin. If you want to look amazing and smell great without any worry of allergens, you will like this lotion.
However, do take note that this lotion may be better used AFTER tanning rather than before doing so. It shows better effects when you use the lotion right after, and you benefit from it as you’ll stay moisturized and smell great after.
13. Millenium Tanning Insanely Black Ultra Dark Bronzer Tanning Lotion Beyond Blaque
✔ One of the best in terms of its quick results
✔ The lotion has a pleasant blueberry citrus scent
✔ Best used on the body’s skin to get the darker tan
✘ People complained of reddish skin and tingling after application
✘ There is a bit of oil residue after applying on the skin
This is not a tanning lotion for sissies. It works fast, looks awesome but there is an initial price to pay. The first time you use it you may notice the burn before you ever approach the tanning bed. Within minutes you will be hot and red. Gradually, you will cool down and the red will turn to tan.
The second time will be less uncomfortable and by the third time you will probably not notice much discomfort at all. You will notice results from the first use. If you like a dark and golden tan and you are prepared to deal with the initial discomfort then this product will tan darker and quicker than most any other sunless tanning product.
You will appreciate the nice blackberry citrus scent. Using tan enhancers, tingle, bronzer and skin firming silicone the product delivers what it promises. It is suggested to use a different product on your face when using Insanely Black on the rest of your body. However, if you choose to use it on your face, apply lightly.
Dark tanners who like the tingle will love this tanning accelerator and bronzer combination. The objections are the same as the raves. It is hot! Some people love the tingles others are more sensitive and find it unbearable. Some complained of red skin for hours after application. Others actually felt faint.
14. The Sicilian 200X Double Dark Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
✔ Contains nut oils and Co-Q10 to promote
collagen production and better skin
✔ It makes the skin three shades darker quickly
✔ Leaves your skin feeling very soft and smooth after
✘ Has a weird perfume smell that
can trigger allergies for sensitive people
✘ Contains DHA and can stain the hands very easily
The Sicilian Double Dark Black Bronzer is an excellent tan enhancer that goes beyond promoting a darker complexion. This is a DHA-Infused bronzer that has a silicone formula with walnut and Macadamia nut oils to promote the natural bronzed results while keeping your skin healthy and soft.
It contains Co-Q10 as well, which is what stimulates collagen production to have your skin protected and looking young even after numerous tans. I can see the results immediately and there is a huge change after tanning, leaving me at least two shades darker after just using the lotion twice.
Just be prepared for your hands to stain from the DHA and be wary of the smell!
15. Hempz, Hydro Max, Ultra Dark Maximizer Indoor Tanning Salon Lotion
✔ Contains hemp seed oil and other
nutrients for excellent hydration
✔ It has an amazing scent that many love
✔ There is no trace of orange on the skin after application
✘ Not as effective tanning results compared to other tanning lotions
✘ Better used after tanning than before and during tanning sessions
As the name suggests, Hempz Hydro Max is made of hemp seed and Yangu Oil! But how does hemp seed and Yangu oil help in the tanning process? The pure and natural hemp seed oil can hydrate, nourish, and condition your skin, ensuring that it stays moist, soft, and smooth. As for the Yangu Oil, it’s rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, which protect and ensure that your skin stays firm and moisturized.
It also contains vitamin C and apple fruit extract for further conditioning and hydration, which is suitable for dry and mature skin. Beyond tanning, it also renews and revives your skin to better health.
This tanning lotion is great, though it may not be as effective compared to others. When applied, don’t expect to have a very noticeable tan from it, but it’s great to apply after your tanning session to ensure your skin is protected and moisturized.
The Benefits of Using a Tanning Bed Lotion
What makes tanning bed lotion so beneficial in the first place? Isn’t it alright to simply get into a tanning bed without lotion or oil? Here are the benefits using the best indoor tanning lotion to achieve the perfect tan:
How to Use the Best Bed Tanning Lotions
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of tanning lotions and its benefits, how can you use them properly? Here are some helpful tips to follow to use the indoor tanning lotion safely, ensuring successful results and tan skin:
Armed with good information and the best tanning lotion, you will be flaunting your gorgeous Australian gold tan and turning heads wherever you go. I hope that my purchasing guide on the best indoor tanning lotions gave you an idea on what to invest in!
Whether you need a bronzer, want tanning oil, or need to get the best indoor tanning lotions made of Shea Butter, you can do so by checking my reviews above. So start looking into investing in any of these best tanning lotions before you get into a tanning bed now.
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on how you got the dark tan look, comment below!