Best Indoor Tanning Lotion for Tanning Bed

With the upsurge of tanning lotion on the market these days, it is clearer than ever there is a trend toward healthy, glowing, tanned skin.  Winter, spring, summer or fall, a golden tan exudes health and youth.  But what exactly makes the best indoor tanning lotion, and where do you find it?  Let’s find out.

Product NameProduct TypeFeaturesAmazon RatingAmazon ReviewsPrice
Ed Hardy Hollywood Bronze Bronzer Tanning LotionImmediate deep bronzer, tan enhancerDHA free, targeted anti-aging, firming4/5349Check Price
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning LotionTan enhancer, tan intensifierTattoo color fade protector, intense hydration, firming4/51,142Check Price
Millennium Tanning New Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed LotionTan enhancer, bronzerContains silicone, walnut, pecan, sunflower, and carrot seed oil4/53,959Check Price
Black and Tan 75X Indoor Tanning Bed BronzerTan enhancer, silicone bronzer, skin firming, tingle lotionAuto darkening tan technology, energizing warming beads4/5362Check Price
Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50XAccelerator, bronzer, skin firming lotionAuto-darkening technology, silicone emulsion blend4/52060Check Price
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator LotionTanning lotion and accelerator in oneVitamins A, B, silicone, glycerine, botanical oils4.5/5482Check Price
Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tanning LotionTingle lotion, tanning lotionTingle, carat complex combo, caffeine4/5326Check Price
Australian Gold JWoww Black Bronzer Dark Tanning LotionBronzer and tan enhancerBlack bronzer technology, vitamins and hemp seed extract4/5969Check Price
Designer Skin Luminary BronzerIndoor/Outdoor Tanning LotionTherapeutic L.E.D. complex, silicone emulsion4/5950Check Price
Designer Skin Elusive 50X Bronzer Indoor Tanning Bed Sun Tan LotionAccelerator, bronzer, anti-aging3 tanning processes, time release fragrance, TanEntice Elixir4/545Check Price

How to Pick the Best Indoor Tanning Lotion

As our relationship to the sun changes with our understanding of its damaging effects, so to has our tanning behaviour changed.  More and more people now a days are choosing to forgo regular sun-worshipping for tanning beds.  Some people do this in order to get some color before vacation, some just love the way they look with a deep, dark tan year-round, but as the number of people utilizing tanning beds increase, so does the number of tanning lotions available to help you achieve that perfect, deep, dark, golden tan you desire.

Indoor tanning lotions differ from regular sunscreen lotions in a number of ways.  First, indoor tanning lotion is usually SPF free, and not for use outside due to its lack of protection from the suns harmful UV rays.  Tanning lotion for tanning bed is not designed to prevent sunburn and only blocks fake UV rays, like those found in tanning beds.   Secondly, indoor tanning lotions are formulated so they do NOT cause damage to tanning beds.  Tanning beds are constructed with acrylic hoods, which will expand when heated.  Because acrylic is also porous, sunscreen can cause damage to tanning beds, and will also settle into a film over the inside of the bed, restricting the amount of UV rays a tanner will receive.  The best indoor tanning lotion is created without these harmful ingredients.

When skin is bombarded with UV rays, it is damaged, and the body responds to this damage by prompting its melanocytes to increase the melanin in our body.  When the melanin joins with oxygen, this is what creates the tan color that we all love so much.  The best tanning bed lotion will stimulate melanin production in the skin in order to increase the rate at which you tan, the darkness of your tan, and the length your tan will last.  In addition, you will find your tanning bed lotion will make your skill feel softer than ever before, because the best tanning lotion will provide your skin with every possible type of oil, extract, vitamin, nutrient, and moisturizer possible in order to help your skin be as supple, hydrated and firm as it can be.  The healthier your skin is, the deeper and faster you will tan, and the longer it will last.

There are many different types of tanning lotion, the most popular of which are bronzers, which are engineered so they highlight the pigments in the skin, either immediately, organically through increasing melanin production, or through the use of a chemical called DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which uses the amino acids of the skin to stimulate its pigmentation.

Next there are tan accelerators and enhancers, which is often what people new to indoor tanning start with. Accelerators protect the skin by hydrating and conditioning it and increasing the intensity of the UV light to promote quicker tanning. Accelerators are also formulated to keep the color deepening even after the tanner is done with their tanning session.

Finally, when searching for the best indoor tanning lotion, you will also find tingling tanning lotions.  Unless you are comfortable with the feeling of wearing a wool sweater against your hot, sweaty skin, I would recommend these only for experienced sun…er…tanning bed worshippers. Usually containing active ingredients such as nicotinate or benzyl, these lotions stimulate the capillaries in the skin and promote oxygenation.  This causes redness, tingling and sometimes a burning sensation. The effect of the tingling indoor tanning lotion is to allow the user to achieve a much deeper color when they tan.  While effective, tingling tanning lotion may not be the best tanning lotion for sensitive skin, and it is always recommended to do a patch test.

The best self tanning lotion will be the ones that pamper your skin WHILE also allowing you to achieve a DEEPER tan, at a FASTER, rate, which will LAST longer.  Some of the best ingredients to keep an eye out for are: silicone, which will moisturize skin, refract light, and prevent water loss from the skins surface, caffeine, which will act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce puffiness and redness, vitamins to nourish the skin, such as A and E, and botanical oils which nourish, hydrate, soothe and smooth the skin. Lastly, it is wise to apply indoor tanning lotion carefully, making sure to rub in evenly, and taking care around areas like the ankles, knees, and elbows.  Always make sure to wash your hands carefully after applying tanning bed lotion.

 

Best Indoor Tanning Lotions

There are so many indoor tanning lotions on the market, it is always difficult to pick the best tanning lotion for you.  After reviewing many different tanning bed lotions, we have narrowed it down to ten of our favourites to share with you.  Starting from the least expensive, and working our way to most expensive, here are our recommendations for best tanning lotion.

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This tanning lotion is simply the best bang for your buck you will find anywhere. Users loved the Candy Kisses fragrance, along with the instant color it provided along with, are you ready for it….NO hand stains! Chalk full of anti-oxidants supplied by cranberry seed oil, and with the hydrating powers of cocoa butter and hemp seed oil, this indoor tanning lotion is a great tanning be lotion for the price point. DHA free, with targeted anti-aging and patented Melano Bronze to stir up the melanin activity in your skin, this sunless tanning lotion has it all.  If you are looking for an immediate deep bronzer, than look no further.  Check out this best tanning lotion on Amazon. Our rating?  8.5/10

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This comprehensive tanning lotion offers some pretty hard-core skin hydration with a one-two coconut milk, coconut oil punch. Coconut Kisses is one of the best tanning bed lotions for kick starting the amino acid tyrosine into increasing melanin production.  When combined with a melanin synthesizer called Melactiva, which promotes an even darker tan, Ed Hardy delivers a potent tanning lotion at an amazing price. When you take into consideration that Coconut Kisses increases the firmness of the skin AND blurs the look of cellulite, you’ve got a real winner.  Check out Coconut Kisses on Amazon. Our Rating? 8.6/10

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Complete with the light but heady fragrance of orchid blush, Solid Black is a tan enhancer and bronzer that is considered the best tanning lotion for achieving maximum color at maximum speed. With its moderate price and silicone base, this best indoor tanning lotion will make you look years younger by filling in those fine lines and wrinkles, all the while softening and moisturizing your skin and preventing water loss. Even men loved the scent, claiming it wasn’t too feminine to make them uncomfortable to use it, but be warned, you need to shake the bottle well before applying, and apply carefully, remembering to wash your hands after ward. With walnut, pecan, sunflower seed and carrot oil, you can be assured your skin will never be so soft.  Check out Solid Black on Amazon. Our Rating?  9/10

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Black and Tan tanning bed lotion offers an extremely deep tan through its auto darkening technology.  This tanning lotion contains a silicone emulsion to protect and hydrate the skin, all the while providing a gentle tingle with its warming beads designed to energize the skin and promote melanin production. Users reported they LOVED the fresh pomegranate smell, and were amazed at their fast results Most users only felt a slight tingle from the warming beads, so Black and Tan tanning lotion would be a great indoor tanning lotion for those who are itching (see what I did there?) to try a tingling tanning lotion but are worried it will be too uncomfortable.  Check out Black and Tan sunless tanning lotion on Amazon. Our Rating? 8.9/10

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Paint it Black is a tanning accelerator, bronzer, and skin-firming tanning lotion complete with auto darkening technology.  With the crisp scent of fresh cotton, Paint it Black indoor tanning lotion is ultra-moisturizing.  Your skin will love the lavish silicone emulsion blend and will be soft, smooth and well hydrated because of it. For use as an indoor AND outdoor tanning lotion, this tanning bed lotion is so gentle that many people described using it on their face with no ill effects.  While Paint it Black is a best outdoor tanning lotion, it does NOT contain sunscreen, so use caution.  To find out more about Paint it Black tanning lotion, check out Amazon. Our rating?  9.1/10

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Widely recognized as a staple in the industry, this moderately priced tanning bed lotion can boast an impressive list of ingredients.  Containing a biosine complex comprised of vitamins A and E, along with sunflower oil and aloe vera to protect and nourish the skin, and finally, silicone AND glycerine, for hydration and ease of application, this comprehensive tanning lotion may come in an unassuming bottle, but there is nothing unassuming about it. Users reported they loved the scent of classic cocoa dreams, and their skin had never felt so good. Because the skin is primed and conditioned, users get maximum UV rays and a deeper, darker tan.  To find out about Australian Gold best tanning bed lotion check out Amazon. Our rating? 9.5/10

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The Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion is one of the few tingling lotions on our list.  Listed on the ingredients as T2, the tingle is produced by increasing the oxygen levels in the skin, which creates a faster, darker and longer lasting tan. Also formulated with a carat complex, which is a bronzing combination of a dark tan “undercoat” to emphasize the color created by the tingling mechanisms.  Topped off with caffeine and allantoins to re-energize and firm the skin, Pink Diamond indoor tanning lotion heats and soothes skin simultaneously.  Users report the tingle is light, and the cream is thick but not greasy, with a light fruity smell. When using this tanning lotion for tanning bed, be prepared to be quite read, which will then fade to a dark tan, and expect to feel more tingling AFTER the session than during.  Find out more on Amazon. Our rating? 9.2/10

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With Black Bronzer technology, JWoww Dark Tanning Lotion is good for fast base tans and is a best tanning lotion if you like to sport an extreme dark tan.  With no after-tan smell and non-greasy, this indoor tanning lotion contains black currant and kukui oil, along with vitamins and hempseed extract, all guaranteed to soften and condition skin for the darkest color possible.  With a lively Flirty Berry scent, the aloe vera in this best indoor tanning bed lotion works to heal and soothe the damage done to skin from the UV rays. For more info, click on Amazon. Our rating? 9/10

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With its therapeutic L.E.D. complex, this indoor tanning lotion utilizes the elements of light to illuminate skin with rejuvenating properties.  The best bet tanning bed lotion for all skin types, Luminary self tanning lotion is for indoor, but also a best outdoor tanning lotion. Luminary goes on smooth, and users claim to not even need to wash hands afterwards. This fabulous lotion produces a deep, rich glowing tan, and the silicone emulsion protects the layers of the skin from becoming dehydrated while that happens.  You shouldn’t shower for at least 4-8 hours after using this indoor tanning lotion, for your tan will still be developing long after your session ends.  It may be  pricey, but you get what you pay for.  Check it out on Amazon. Our rating? 9.5/10

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With no tingle, and no SPF, Elusive is an accelerator, bronzer and anti-aging potion with chronoreset, that when used with a UV light promotes anti- aging and can even restore our circadian clock.  With a fragrance of dewy ozone lily working on a time release, you will smell wonderful for as long as you wear this tanning lotion. The TanEntice Elixir uses amino acids to promote melanin production, and you get a dark tan through a three-pronged process.  You get an immediate bronze tan, a melanin activated tan, and finally a delayed tan after your session is over. There is a reason this product gets rave reviews from all users.  And seriously, LOOK at that beautiful bottle.  Check out this fantastic, best tanning lotion on Amazon. Our rating? 9.7/10

Final Word

We hope you try out some of our suggestions for best tanning lotion and treat yourself to baby-soft skin and a glowing dark tan.  Whether a newbie to tanning or a seasoned sun worshipper (cough) tanning bed worshipper, remember that tanning, while relaxing and beautiful, is ultimately about damaging your skin to produce pigmentation.  Take care when tanning, whether indoors or out, nourish your skin, and don’t over do it.  When using indoor tanning lotions, remember they do NOT protect against sunburns from natural UV rays. We hope you found our review of the ten best tanning lotions informative and fun.  Happy tanning!

Jill Wismer

Jill Wismer is a freelance writer, national figure skating coach, choreographer, single mom and entrepreneur.  With her degree in Kinesiology and a lifetime of experience developing and guiding young athletes, Jill loves sharing her passion for health, fitness and lifelong learning with others through her writing.  When not teaching double axels at the rink, you can find Jill spending time with her very bright and very quirky daughter as she desperately attempts to answer her endless questions about the world around her.

Last updated on October 18th, 2018

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Academic Association of Medicine is the go to resource for all health related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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