10 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions Reviewed 2021

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions
best outdoor tanning lotion

Getting a tan is a popular trend these days as it makes one’s skin look more beautiful, which explains why there are those who are desperately in search of the best outdoor tanning lotion. Aside from adding a warm glow to your skin, a good tan is also a huge help in masking blemishes and ensuring that your colorful outfits stand out.

However, take note that getting the perfect tan is somehow tricky as there are several things to think and worry about, including the damaging sun rays, tan lines, and the awkward and uncomfortable orange colors.

Fortunately, it is now possible for you to overcome some of the common obstacles and worries linked to getting a perfect tan with the help of the best outdoor tanning lotion. 

Learn about what an outdoor tanning lotion is, how it differs from a tanning oil, what its most popular brands are, how to choose the best one, and other relevant information that you can use in the selection process through this article.

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions Comparison Table

PictureProductFeaturesOveral ReviewBuy
Millennium Tanning Lotion Review1. Millennium Tanning LotionAuto-Darkening Tan Technology ★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Australian Gold Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion Review2. Australian Gold Tan Extender Moisturizer LotionContains Panthenol and Aloe ★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Maui Babe Browning Lotion Review3. Maui Babe Browning LotionContains
★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch Sunscreen Review4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen
Contains Aloe Vera, Argan Oil &  Coconut Oil★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Review5. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SunscreenInstant Tan★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Sun Bum Tanning Sunscreen Moisturizing Review6. Sun Bum Tanning Sunscreen MoisturizingContains Acid Organic Oils & Vitamin B5★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Coppertone Tanning Lotion Sunscreen Review7. Coppertone Tanning Lotion SunscreenWater resistant, antioxidant-enriched with Vitamin  ★★★★★ (5)Check Price
Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Review8. Banana Boat Sport Performance SunscreenNon GMO Ingredients★★★★ (4.5)Check Price
Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion Review9. Somewhere on a Beach Tanning LotionNon Sticky and Dries Quickly★★★★ (4.5)Check Price
Ed Hardy #Beachtime Dark Indoor Outdoor Coconut Infused Tanning Review10. Ed Hardy #Beachtime Dark Indoor Outdoor Coconut Infused TanningNon Sticky and Dries Quickly★★★★ (4.5)Check Price

What is an Outdoor Tanning Lotion?

An outdoor tanning lotion is a type of natural tanning lotion that is intended for outdoor use. You can use this product by massaging it into your skin before heading outside so you can catch some sun to give you that base tan you are hoping for. Applying it before going outdoors is also a huge help if your goal is to deepen your tan at a quicker rate.

One important thing that you have to be aware of about outdoor tanning lotions is that they work in accelerating the process of tanning your skin while ensuring that it stays healthy and fully moisturized. With that in mind, it is no longer surprising to see people using outdoor tanning lotion to get dark fast.

It should be noted, though, that this product is available in various forms and performs its functions in different ways. Each tanning lotion made for outdoor use even utilizes its own formula. However, take note that most of them use the following common ingredients: tea tree oil, melanin, copper, L-tyrosine, hemp seed oil, Kukui nut oil, mineral oil, and green tea.

What you have to do is to look for the safest outdoor tanning lotion with SPF so you can really give your skin protection from the harmful UV rays. With a reliable product in your hands, it is possible for you to accelerate the process of toning your skin in a beautiful cheeky brown shade instantly.

Note that even the best tanning lotions and oils are different. Tanning oils give a deep dark tan and have no SPF protection in them. Whereas with bronzer tanning lotion, you still get good results with less of a greasy appearance. You can also avail a spray gel, which offers easy application and less of a greasy feel.

If you’re planning to tan outdoors, I recommend getting a browning lotion, which can absorb to your skin quickly. Tanning oils still have good effects, but I would rather use the best outdoor tanning lotions for its sun protection. Besides that, I prefer using a tanning oil for its less greasy feeling and natural-looking results!

Benefits of Outdoor Tanning Lotions

There are many benefits that you will definitely enjoy from deciding to use an outdoor tanning lotion for pale skin compared to other products like tanning oils or a spray gel. Most of these products now come with natural bronzers, further boosting their ability to tan your skin based on your own preferences. The lotion also contains SPF, making it effective in protecting your skin from sunburns. It is a moisturizing product that can aid to keep your skin feel hydrated the entire day.

Most of the outdoor tanning products today also contain natural oil extracts that are helpful in nourishing your skin while keeping it supple (like Kukui nut!). So basically, your chosen tanning lotion for outdoor use makes it possible for you to enjoy the following:

  • Fully hydrated skin – Outdoor tanning lotions and oils are often created in such a way that they can replenish the lost moisture in your skin, which usually happens when you are tanning. With that, there is no need for you to worry too much about your skin getting damaged in the process. A well-hydrated skin can also improve its overall health.
  • Rapid and long-lasting results – Another good thing about outdoor tanning lotions is that they can speed up the tanning process even if there is a need for you to use SPF for outdoor use. It can produce rapid results in as little time as possible.

    While it is designed to give fast results, you still have an assurance that such will last longer than what you initially expected. It is mainly because it also moisturizes your skin, promoting a much deeper tan, which means that your skin will hold into its color much longer.
  • Soft and supple skin – One more benefit of an outdoor tanning lotion is that it softens and moisturizes your skin, keeping it as young as possible. You can even find lotions that aid in reducing cellulite while boosting your skin’s elasticity. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including green tea, hemp seed oil, Kukui nut oil, tea tree oil, and even mineral oil for excellent hydration.
  • Minimal odor – Note that there are bacteria thriving in your skin naturally. Heating your skin through the sun when you are tanning, therefore, will also heat up the bacteria, causing your skin to release a foul smell. You can prevent this from happening if you are using an outdoor tanning lotion as it usually contains antibacterial properties designed to get rid or just minimize the smell.
  • SPF component – You will also find this tanning lotion beneficial because it contains SPF, which will protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It can also prevent skin damage due to too much sun exposure, compared to a tanning oil that has no SPF. In addition, it works in minimizing your risk of experiencing sunburns and skin cancer.
  • Uniform and beautiful, bronzed skin – Outdoor tanning lotions are formulated in a way that they can improve the dark natural tan of your skin tone. That said, expect the resulting bronzed skin to be uniform and beautiful.
  • No oil and grease – You will also enjoy this tanning product considering the fact that it isn’t greasy, compared to a tanning oil. Because it is neither greasy or oily, you will have an easier time applying it. It is possible for the product to give you a healthy and dark tan while ensuring that you can apply it instantly.

Top 10 Outdoor Tanning Lotions Reviews

Millennium Tanning Lotion

✔ Excellent results for all skin types, gives a bronze golden tan
✔ Gives off results quickly with its efficient formula, making your skin look tan
✔ You can use the lotion indoors and outdoors, similar to Australian Gold

✘ Apply only a LITTLE bit on fair skin to avoid a fake tan look
✘ Your hands end up looking very orange after application

Millennium Tanning Lotion Review

This is also used as a self tanning lotion, similar to products like Australian Gold. When applied for tanning beds or sun use, you’ll definitely see the results! Whether you have fair or dark skin, you get a clean, bronze tan that looks natural. This is because it has a 100x bronzer formula in it, working instantly after staying under the sun for less than half an hour.

Be wary, as this is a strong product that may make or break your tan! Only add a small amount during your first few sessions, spreading it evenly across your entire body. For those who plan to go sunless tanning while going under the sun every few days, you’ll appreciate this product.

What Is It Best For?

This is best for those who want to achieve a deep dark tan for both indoor and outdoor tan sessions.


Because it is made with an ultra-advanced silicone bronzer and the auto-darkening tan technology that gets triggered when under UV rays. This helps give even fair-skinned complexions a dark tan.

Australian Gold Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion

✔ Australian Gold has panthenol, aloe, and vitamin E for skin nourishment
✔ Extends the lifespan of a tan with better moisture sealing for dry skin
✔ Smoother and glowing complexion to help improve skin
✔ It can be used as a sunless tanning lotion with its quality bronzer

✘ Some people may not like the Australian Gold scent
✘ The consistency is a bit too thin and watery for some

Australian Gold Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion Review

The first thing I like about the Australian Gold Dark Tanning product is its excellent formula. It is made with the right amount of nutrients to improve your skin while giving off a good tan.

Another excellent feature is how Australian Gold can extend the life of a successful tan, as it can seal in moisture for the smoother, glowing golden complexion. And you won’t have to worry about sunburns, as it offers broad-spectrum protection, keeping your skin from harm, whether you’re taking indoors or outdoors. In fact, Australian Gold can also be used as a sunless tanning lotion, as it comes with a bronzer.

Overall, I believe Australian Gold Dark Tan Lotion is a great bronzer tanning lotion to help give you a golden tan that lasts longer. Make sure that you apply about one fl. oz 15 minutes before your outdoor tanning session, and you’re good to go!

What Is It Best For?

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Lotion is best for those who want a longer-lasting tan that locks in color while providing skin nourishment for a smoother complexion


Because Australian Gold Dark Tanning Lotion is made with a mix of natural ingredients such as vitamin E, pantheon, and aloe to seal in moisture while conditioning your skin

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

✔ Versatile and works for all types of skin for outdoor use and self tanning
✔ It can be used as a sunless tanning lotion with its browning effects
✔ The Maui Babe browning lotion doesn’t stain and is fairly easy to apply on skin
✔ Has a good smell and smooth consistency for comfort

✘ It doesn’t stain skin, but it may stain your towels
✘ You need to put on sunscreen before using it

Maui Babe Browning Lotion Review

I appreciate the Maui Babe Browning Lotion for its ease of application for self tanning. It’s easy to open and has a non-greasy consistency, leaving my skin feeling smooth and comfortable. 

It’s made with a “secret” Hawaiian formula, ensuring a dark natural tan from its browning effects. What makes it one of the best is by how it works for most, if not all, skin types and tones. Even if you have sensitive skin or are fair-skinned, the bronzer tanning lotion will give you results, whether you’re self tanning indoors or outdoors.

However, you will need to be a bit careful when applying it, as the Maui Babe browning lotion may stain your towels. It won’t stain your skin though, nor does it leave streaks, making it a good option.

What Is It Best For?

Maui Babe is best for those who want the natural tan with instant results after your first few outdoor tanning sessions. 


Because the Maui Babe browning lotion contains a secret Hawaiian formula made for any skin tone and types, from sensitive to fair-skinned.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen

✔ Has no oily or greasy consistency, feels lightweight when applies
✔ Lotion contains a waterproof formula and absorbs to the skin quickly
✔ Excellent sun protection with SPF 70 to protect your skin well

✘ May leave white cast if you apply too much
✘ Not sweat-proof and may start running down your skin

Neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch Sunscreen Review

The first product in this article is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. It is a great choice considering the fact that it has an SPF of 70. Such high SPF makes it powerful when it comes to preventing not only sun damage but also skin cancer. What is more remarkable about this sunscreen lotion is that it leaves a weightless and invisible feel even after you applied it on your skin. The SPF used in this product also helps prevent and deal with sunburn.

Your skin can also quickly absorb it, which means that it won’t cause any discomfort. The lotion contains Helioplex Technology, which is known for providing superior broad spectrum protection whenever you get exposed to the burning UVB rays and the aging UVA rays. With the Dry-Touch technology used in this product, there is also an assurance that it can deliver a shine-free and lightweight finish.

In addition, this lotion is known for being waterproof as well as for its fast-absorbing nature. It makes use of a non-oily formula enriched with plenty of antioxidants – all of which can help you fight the damage often caused by the environment. You also have an assurance that this lotion will not irritate those with sensitive skin. The smell is not overpowering while also being unable to linger for too long.

Furthermore, the product is made in such a way that it does not cause your skin to have an oily and greasy glow. It is easy to apply plus it is available at a really affordable price, making it one of the best lotions you can use if you plan to try outdoor tanning, comparable to other big brand names like Paint It Black!

What is it Best For?

It is the best waterproof tanning lotion, good for those who are looking for a non-greasy sunscreen lotion, which will protect your skin.


Because it has a sun protection factor of up to 70. In addition, it makes use of a non-oily and non-greasy formula while also leaving a weightless and invisible feel after application

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen

Offers excellent hydration with mineral oil, keeping your skin feel soft and smooth
Lightweight and doesn’t feel oily or heavy compared to the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil
Easy to apply and can moisturize your skin, made for outdoor use

✘ Some users may not like the tropical fragrance, as it’s quite strong
✘ You will need to reapply the lotion every now and then

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Review

It is also advisable to check out the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Lotion if you are looking for an outdoor tanning lotion to get dark fast. It is a tanning lotion, which offers a sun protection factor of 12. It also has hydrating ribbons that show how effective it is in hydrating your skin. Such ribbons contain Shea butter and silk protein – both of which aid in providing users with consistent moisture.

The lotion boasts of its broad UVA or UVB spectrum, thereby keeping you fully protected. It has a lightweight feel, which means that you will never experience any discomfort once you apply it on your skin. The tropical fragrance delivered by the lotion also means that you will not end up complaining about a foul smell once you wear it.

It has the similar effects to the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil, but I prefer this for its effective results but less-greasy feeling for outdoor use.

Aside from the already mentioned benefits, this sunscreen lotion designed to darken your skin is also rich in antioxidants, helping remove any toxins from your body that have a negative impact on your skin. With that, expect your skin to be fully nourished, resulting in a radiant-looking and beautiful skin. It also has exotic botanicals designed to pamper your skin. What’s more? The lotion has a water-resistant feature, which can be expected to last for as long as 80 minutes.

One possible downside of the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Lotion, though, is that while its tropical fragrance is nice, it might still be irritating for those who are sensitive to smell. There is also a need to reapply the product but it is not actually a big issue as it can result in beautiful-looking skin. Offered at an affordable price, it is also a good product to buy, comparable to the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil without the greasiness.

What is it Best For?

Hawaiian Tropic is perfect for potential users who wish to tan their skin while also moisturizing and protecting it from the damaging effects of too much sun exposure. It’s the best tanning lotion for indoor and outdoor tans for how it can protect your skin well.


Because it provides a sun protection factor of 12 and boasts of a broad UVA or UVB spectrum. It can moisturize the skin, too – thanks to the presence of Shea butter and silk protein.

Sun Bum Tanning Lotion Sunscreen Moisturizing

Beneficial for those with sensitive skin with its hydrating properties
Includes vitamin E and sun protection
Easy to apply, as it’s oil-free and water-resistant

✘ It may feel a bit slippery for a few minutes until it dries, like tanning oil
✘ Never use around the eyes, which causes burning

Another product that is worthwhile to recommend is the Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion. As the name suggests, it has sunscreen, thereby giving you protection from the harmful rays of the sun. It is possible for it to give you such protection through its SPF 30 feature.

The fact that it has SPF means that it is ideal for those who have sensitive skin, whether adults or kids. It can protect you from UVA and UVB rays even if you stay exposed to them for quite a long time.

Furthermore, this outdoor tanning lotion is very comfortable to use as it can resist sweat and water for a max of 80 minutes. It is a non-comedogenic product, which is also safe to use because it is paraben and PABA-free. It is hypoallergenic, gluten-free, and oil-free, too.

Another nice thing about this product is that it is approved for outdoor use by the Skin Cancer Foundation, which is proof that it is really safe for your skin. It is also enriched with Vitamin E, which gives some sort of assurance that it can moisturize your skin, too. It has a nice smell, which is not too overpowering as well, making it very convenient to use.

In addition, it has a consistency, which is neither greasy or oily. However, be prepared to experience a slight lotion-like feel after you put it on, which is not usually the case when you apply other dry sunscreens today. Despite that, the lotion rubs into your skin well so that feel will instantly diminish.

What is it Best For?

Ideal for those with sensitive skin who want to get the best tan without damaging their skin. It’s the best outdoor tanning lotion without bronzer, but still giving off a good tan.


Because it has sunscreen (SPF 30) that can protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays. It is designed to moisturize the skin, too.

Coppertone Tanning Lotion Sunscreen

It comes with SPF sunscreen lotion for extra protection
Lightweight formula that doesn’t feel greasy when applying
Water-resistant and god absorption, good for beach tanning

✘ There are some complaints of the lotion being too thin
✘ The browning lotions’ scent isn’t as pleasing as it was before

Coppertone Tanning Lotion Sunscreen Review

The Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion works as a tanner while keeping your skin protected from the sun. It shouldn’t be solely used as a sunscreen because of its lower SPF, but as you use it for tanning, you can get a deep and cheeky brown complexion without worrying about sunburns and the like.

I like its lightweight formula, though a bit on the thin and runny side. However, when rubbed on properly, it absorbs to your skin well and doesn’t feel greasy at all. Plus, it’s water-resistant and filled with vitamin E, along with other antioxidants, keeping your skin smooth and healthy.

What Is It Best For?

Best for those who are on a budget but still want to achieve a good tan with added sun protection. 


Because it’s made with a lightweight formula enriched with vitamins and ingredients that promote efficient tanning while protecting your skin from the sun.

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen

Excellent sun protection that keeps your skin from sunburns
Made of hypoallergenic formula, great for kids and adults alike
Non-greasy and water-resistant, it doesn’t feel like tanning oil

✘ Has a thick consistency, requires more rubbing for absorption
✘ May not be the best for tanning, more for sun protection

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Review

It is also safe to say that Banana Boat gave those who wish to achieve a nice tan a great product to try after it manufactured its Sport Performance Lotion Sunscreen with PowerStay Technology SPF. This is a fragrance-free outdoor tanning lotion, which is a big advantage if you are too sensitive to smell. It is non-greasy, too, which makes it really comfortable to apply on the skin. It is also made in such a way that it does not run into your eyes.

This lotion also makes use of a hypoallergenic formula. With that, there is no need for you to worry about it causing skin irritation. It is also a sweat and water-resistant product, which is the reason why it is a good product for active sun lovers and sport enthusiasts who want to make sure that putting an outdoor tanning lotion will not slow them down while they are doing some outdoor activities.

It also offers heavy-duty protection. No need to worry about the sun damaging your skin if you get exposed to its rays for too long because the lotion can protect you. The fact that your skin can quickly absorb it also means that it can help you get a nice tan while spending less time. The quick absorption also means that you will not be facing all sorts of discomfort after you applied it.

The good thing about this product is that it also makes use of a patented formula designed to protect you from skin damage and sunburns. There is also an Active Dry Protect formula used in it, which is the reason behind its non-greasy feel and fast absorption. Since there is an easy to use pump dispenser included in the product, you have an assurance that applying it to your skin is easy and quick. The texture of the lotion is quite thick, though, so it might require a lot of rubbing in.

What is it Best For?

Best for those who are extremely active in various sports and for other outdoor use


Because of its non-greasy feel, water-resistant and sweat-resistant nature, and quick absorption

Somewhere on a Beach Tanning Lotion

Has an extra feature that helps repair wrinkles and fine lines
Comes with walnut oils for extra skin softening and hydration
Streak and stain-free when applied for a more even tan

✘ Some users complain of how difficult it is to spread evenly
✘ It’s more effective for those with very light skin

Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion Review

One product that is gaining a lot of attention in the outdoor browning lotion industry is the Somewhere on a Beach Instant Browning Lotion. The goal of this product is to provide users with a dark tan in an instant. What makes this a good product is that it does not only give you a tan but also hydrates and moisturizes your skin with the help of the sea buckthorn berries and coconut oil present in it.

It is perfect for outdoor use. This outdoor tanning lotion also contains DHA-free bronzers, meaning there is no need for you to think or worry too much about it causing streaks and stains. The fact that it is DHA-free also means that you can avoid some negative effects associated with tanning, like accidental ingestion of chemicals. Another positive thing about this product is that it has natural oils designed to make your skin soft and fully hydrated.

Unlike other tanning oil or similar products, it has a pleasant and nice smell. It is light when applied to the skin, too. With that, expect to be able to enjoy wearing it under the heat of the sun without feeling any discomfort. The pleasant smell and the light feeling provided by the lotion also makes it possible for you to continue doing what you have to do for the day after the tanning process even without having to shower right away.

Another nice feature used in this product is the Advance Matrixyl Synthe 6. It refers to a powerful agent designed to fight aging. With this feature, you can use the tanning lotion to get a quick tan while also repairing wrinkles and fine lines that are present in your skin. However, take note that some users complained that this lotion is a bit hard to spread on evenly. Despite that, its many benefits and nice features tend to overpower such minor flaws.

What is it Best For?

Ideal for those who would like to get a nice and dark tan fast while also moisturizing and hydrating their skin. It’s similar to tanning oil with a deeper brown tan, but no greasy feeling!


Because it contains moisturizing, hydrating, and anti-aging ingredients, like the sea buckthorn berries, coconut oil, and Advance Matrixyl Synthe

Ed Hardy Tanning Lotion #Beachtime Coconut

Made with healthy vitamins and nutrients to keep your skin healthy
Protects the skin from free radical damage while tanning
Has a tattoo fade protector to keep an even tan without removing tattoos
Almost similar to Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses with its hydrating benefits

✘ There is no bronzer included and may not be as effective compared to other lotions and oils
✘ The smell might be too strong for some users

Ed Hardy #Beachtime Dark Indoor Outdoor Coconut Infused Tanning Review

One great thing about Ed Hardy #BeachLife, Coconut Infused is that you can use it not only outdoors but also indoors. Among its main ingredients are coconut oil and coconut milk – both of which are extremely useful in moisturizing and softening your skin while you are basking in the sun. These ingredients are also known for their intense effect when it comes to softening and hydrating your skin, thereby resulting in a long-lasting tan.

Another benefit of this golden tanning lotion is that it has seaweed extract, an ingredient designed to get rid of toxins from your body, allowing your skin to be as clean and clear as ever after you finish tanning. Expect a faster tanning process, too, as this product has hibiscus and passion fruit skin darkening agents known to speed things up. It’s comparable to the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses because of its ingredients and awesome scent.

Another remarkable feature in this product is the BodyFit, which you wouldn’t find in the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses version. Such a feature is a big advantage as it firms up your skin with repeated use. This specific BodyFit feature is also known for minimizing cellulite. The tanning intensifiers used in the lotion are also effective in delivering a dark golden result even if there are no bronzing agents around. Since it does not contain bronzing agents, it is a good choice for you, especially if what you are looking for is a plain tanning lotion for outdoor use.

Furthermore, this product has a built-in tattoo fade protector. That said, you do not need to worry about your tattoo diminishing after tanning in case you have one. Also, the lotion has high Vitamin A and C content, so rest assured that your skin will be protected from free radical damage. It does not have a black bronzer (unlike Paint It Black products), though, which is a drawback for those who are actually looking for a golden tanning lotion with bronzing agents.

If you are looking for something similar to the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses but for outdoor use and dry skin, you’ll love this option.

What is it Best For?

Best for those who want a plain outdoor tanning lotion without a bronzer that can still deliver a long-lasting tan while also providing a softening and moisturizing effect


Because it does not contain a bronzer but still gives you a dark golden tan. It has properties designed to soften and moisturize the skin, too.

What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Tanning Lotions?

The major difference between indoor and outdoor tanning lotions is that an outdoor tanning lotion would include sunscreen in its formula, while indoor versions do not. 

The reason why indoor tanning lotions have no SPF or sunscreen formula is because tanning beds use UVA light rather than UVB light. Sunscreens don’t protect you from UVA radiation, and SPF only refers to protection against UVB rays.

However, you are best using tanning lotions that are labeled with broad-spectrum protection, which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays during the tanning process. Besides this, there are other differences, such as:

  • Indoor tanning lotions aren’t usually water-resistant, so it washes off when sweating or swimming
  • Indoor tanning lotions feel greasier and won’t look or feel great on any skin type when outside and under the sun

Now that you know the answer, you’re probably wondering if you can use indoor tanning lotions and oils outside, or vice versa. It’s possible, but you may not reap the similar benefits you hoped, compared to if you used the appropriate product for your tanning situation. Besides this, indoor tanning lotions may not come with any form of protection, which causes you to be more at risk to certain conditions.

Furthermore, it has a weird feeling when used outside and has no resistance to water, making it greasier and less absorbent.  You should stick to using outdoor tanning lotions when outdoors, and indoor tanning lotions when inside. Do NOT mix both, as it won’t blend or absorb to the skin as well.

Types of Outdoor Tanning Lotions

To help you decide on the best outdoor tanning lotion for you, you have to familiarize yourself about its different types. Note that this product is available in different types and formulas so you need to determine which one can benefit you the most based on the kind of tan that you wish to attain.

Dark Tanning Accelerator

A dark tanning accelerator is ideal for you, especially if you are still a beginner when it comes to gold dark tanning. It also works for anyone who already sports his/her desired tan but wishes to keep such color for a long time. The goal of the dark tanning accelerator is to create a base tan, which you can build on by spending more time under the sun.

Think of it as an instant dark tanning solution solution to achieve sun-kissed skin. You can use this for self tanning because of its unique formula of natural bronzers.


This type is perfect for you if you are already sporting a base tan but just wish to make it much deeper. Expect a high-quality maximizer lotion to be designed in a way that it can provide you the deepest tan possible. It still offers the natural tanning look, as if you were sun-kissed from a good vacation!

You can choose different types of maximizers, whether you have sensitive skin or dry skin. These aren’t self tanning, but it’s a great tanning solution for a deeper tan similar to using a dark tanning oil. This is different compared to a dark tanning accelerator, which has quicker results that last a bit longer, if cared for properly.


You can also find the best tanning lotion with bronzer. In most cases, this type is a combination of either maximizers or accelerators. Take note that the bronzer featured in this product actually refers to the self tanning added to it, which is combined with other ingredients that work in giving you a darker look right away. The goal of the bronzer is to give you your desired color while darkening the skin beneath it.

There is even a black bronzer rolled out recently, made with a tanning solution that will have your skin feel and look much darker compared to using the regular tanning lotions and oils. You don’t just get sun-kissed skin, but a cheeky brown complexion to last.

Tattoo Protection

Note that the sun’s UV rays have the tendency of damaging and fading your tattoos, so you need a specific type of tanning lotion for it to ensure that it stays protected and vibrant for a long time.

Fortunately, there is an outdoor browning tanning lotion that offers tattoo protection, which is perfect for those who have tattoos. This is because the sun, when combined with certain tanning lotions, can result in your tattoos from fading. If ever, your tattoos will end up looking messy, or even disappear over time, which you won’t like!

With added tattoo protection, your skin will achieve a good base tan without your tattoos from fading. It’s made with a special formula to protect your ink, so it still stays amazing with your base tan.


If you are maturing, then you may have noticed that your skin is starting to form wrinkles, fine lines, or even sag a bit. This is a natural part of aging, which is perfectly fine. However, no one likes seeing those fine lines, especially if you’re still at a younger age!

This is caused by various things other than age, such as poor skincare routines, frowning too much, as well as lack of sleep and poor lifestyle habits. There are various skin products you can use to prevent and treat such fine lines, and you can also find the best outdoor tanning lotions that offer anti-aging products as well.

These anti-aging tanning lotions are filled with vitamins and nutrients that fight off free radical damage, keeping your skin smooth and looking younger. So while you get a base tan, you can also have better-looking skin with fewer wrinkles and fine lines. They fight off free radicals with nutrients such as hemp seed oil, Kukui nut oil, green tea or mineral oil, also treating various skin types such as sensitive or dry skin. 

I also recommend this type of browning lotion on sensitive skin, as it offers natural ingredients to avoid breakouts and burning sensations. These can come in tanning oil or spray gel form and still give the cheeky brown skin, too!

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion?

Now that you know some of the benefits of the best outdoor tanning lotions and its different types, maybe it is time to move on to the process of selecting the best product for your case. With the following factors in mind, picking the best outdoor tanning lotion for you will definitely be easier.

  • Skin types – Find out what your skin type is as this will give you an idea on the type of outdoor tanning lotion that is perfect for you. If your skin type is pale and sensitive, then a lotion with a higher SPF is a must. Also, ensure that it is made from natural ingredients to prevent skin irritation and damage.
  • Specific place you’ll wear it – You also need to decide on where you plan to wear the tanning lotion. While you can choose to spend the entire day gold dark tanning at the beach, you also have the option to just walk under the sun for 30 minutes in the nearest park. All that you have to do is to figure out what tanning lotion is best for that location and duration. Also, remember that the amount of time you wish to spend under the sun matters a lot in choosing the perfect product.
  • Your preferred result – Choosing the perfect gold dark tan lotion for you also depends on the result that you wish to attain (your desired level of tan). While there are those who love to attain fair skin, others plan to achieve a darker tan quickly. If you want a deep and quick sun-kissed tan, then go for lotions capable of accelerating the process, like an instant dark tanning lotion.
  • Price – Another crucial factor in the selection process is the price. Note that these products are available in different prices so determine the amount you are willing to pay for your chosen lotion.
  • Brand Name – You should also consider the brand of tanning oil and lotion you get. I recommend big name brands like Australian Gold and Paint It Black, along with the other products I mentioned here. It’s best to get well-known brands with positive reviews to ensure positive results.
  • Other benefits and features – Also, figure out whether you want your chosen product to provide you other benefits and features aside from gold dark tanning results. For instance, you may want it to hydrate and protect your tanned skin. The good news is that it is now easy to find tanning products that can offer multiple benefits and natural ingredients for added skin health.

There are also certain things that make tanning lotions and oils a good buy – among them are extra moisturizing agents, such as Aloe. Also, it is important to make sure that it contains mostly natural ingredients. It is because such contributes to making the lotion blend with your skin well, thereby preventing it from producing an oily and sticky feeling while still making you look sun-kissed.

How to Get the Best Outdoor Tan

Do you want to get the best tan out of your chosen outdoor tanning lotion? Then make it a point to keep in mind these application tips:

  • Do not forget to exfoliate – Exfoliation is crucial before tanning as it prevents dry and dead skin from blocking the sun’s rays. You don’t need to exfoliate everyday, even if you’re tanning regularly, but it’s best to do this every two to three days.
  • Apply liberal amounts of the tanning oil or lotion – Make sure to apply even amounts of the lotion, though, to ensure that you get an even, perfect tan. You don’t need to add too much, but make sure that you apply it in all areas, including those that are hard to reach. Start off with a small amount especially when starting with a base tan.
  • Wear glasses or goggles – Such items can offer protection to your eyes during the tanning process, as closing your eyes or wearing a towel over your head won’t cut it. This is important when you’re using a tanning bed, and you can wear sunglasses when under the sun. You wouldn’t want to incur eye damage due to the sun.
  • Cover sensitive areas – Make sure that there is enough cover, especially in those sensitive body parts that are not often exposed to the sun. Wear a bathing suit that doesn’t have your tan look awkward but still gives your sensitive parts the protection it needs from UV rays and the surfaces you’re on.
  • Set a limit on the time you spend outdoors – This tip is important if you are still new in using tanning lotions. It’s better to stay under the sun for only 30 minutes at most, starting your first outdoor tanning session with ten minutes and increasing the duration after the next few days.
  • Do not forget to moisturize – Use a high-quality cream or lotion to moisturize your skin right after tanning. This will help your tan set and soothe your skin after spending some time under the sun. Plus, the hydration will help prepare your skin for the next tan session

Note that outdoor tanning is a bit challenging as it is difficult to control the amount of UV light your skin can absorb. Be extra careful and observe so you can immediately take action before sunburn or other forms of skin damage strike. If you do suffer from sunburn, follow the right remedies and treatment to lessen the symptoms, and avoid the sun for the next few days until you heal.


The best outdoor tanning lotion can help ensure that you will make the most out of your time when you are out in the sun. However, you have to figure out what you really need from this product, so you can choose one, which can really help you get your desired tanning results.

That’s why I hope my guide on the best tanning lotions helped you out! Don’t wait any longer and look into any of the products I reviewed to invest to achieve the amazing tan you desire now.

If you have any questions or have tried any of these lotions, share your queries and personal reviews below. I appreciate all your comments and will get to them ASAP. Happy tanning!

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