The 3 Best Indoor Tanning Lotions for Your Skin

Take it from celebrity self-tanning gurus like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston that the best way to get the most out of your tanning bed session is to apply some good quality tanning lotion to your skin.

As with anything nowadays, there are many tanning lotion brands available on the market, and to be fair this makes it difficult to know which one to pick. However, the first step to take in order to ensure that you purchase a high-quality product is to read the label to find out which ingredients are used.

Some of the more common tanning lotion ingredients include vitamin E, silicon, body blush and shimmer, to name but a few. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these and other common ingredients so that it’s easier for you to pick the best indoor tanning lotion for your needs.

For example, it might be a good idea to choose a lotion with anti-aging properties if your skin is starting to show signs of aging while a body blush based lotion is usually recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Overview: The Top Picks

Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X,13.5 Oz
Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion 8.5 oz
Our Choice
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X,13.5 Oz
Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion 8.5 oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X,13.5 Oz
Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X,13.5 Oz
Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion 8.5 oz
Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion 8.5 oz
Our Choice
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz

What to Look for in an Indoor Tanning Lotion

How does indoor tanning lotion work, you ask? Well, it basically helps to enhance the tanning process by slightly accelerating the melanin production rate. This is possible because modern-day tanning lotions feature sophisticated bronzers that are able to stimulate melanin production from the basic level of melanocytes.  

As a result, applying indoor tanning lotion leaves you with glowing skin that has a healthy and natural-looking brownish hue.

Here are a few important factors that you should take into consideration before you start shopping for an indoor tanning lotion:

  • Check SPF Inclusion - It’s essential that your indoor tanning lotion should have a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful sunrays.
  • Check Formulation - The production of a typical indoor tanning lotion usually involves a formula that consists of 95% UVA and 5% UVB, which helps to really ramp up the sun protection.
  • Natural Ingredients - It’s essential that you read the label of any indoor tanning lotion that you’re considering to make sure that it’s made from gentle yet potent ingredients like natural oils, vitamins, Aloe Vera, mineral natural herb extracts, and of course, anti-oxidants to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
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    Hydration Capacity - Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and requires proper hydration, which is why you want to pick a lotion that has moisturizing and hydrating properties. At the end of the day, you want a lotion that won’t make you feel dehydrated after spending time in the sun.
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    No After-Tan Smell - Since you’ll be smearing the lotion on your skin, you should also make sure that it smells nice. Also, anti-bacterial properties are a huge plus for preventing the odors that may occur due to the bacteria that forms as a result of sunray contact with your skin.
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    Tan Enhancers - This particular feature is important because it will give your skin a nice healthy color that won’t look “forced” (if you know what we mean). Anti-aging ingredients are also vital to keeping the skin firm and hydrated. 

Indoor Tanner Types

Indoor tanners come in a whole lot of different varieties, but the three main ones that are worth mentioning include Basic, Bronzer and Tingle.

1. Basic Lotions

As the name implies, a basic tanning lotion is just good old tanning lotion without any added bronzers or tinglers in it. Now, just because basic bronzers are simply made doesn’t mean that they are of inferior quality. On the contrary, they pack quite a punch and some of them are even pricier than lotions in the more advanced categories.

The best part about basic tanning lotions is the fact that you get to wash them off after your tanning session so that they don’t get into your clothes.

2. Tingle Lotions

Similar to basic lotion, tingle lotion can be washed off after your tanning session is over and you’ll still feel that characteristic tingling sensation even hours later. Tingle lotions are an acquired taste; some people like the tingling sensation while others don’t really care for it.

3. Bronzers

Bronzers are an ideal choice if you’re looking to get a deep, dark tan in a jiffy! The only hitch with them is that you have to leave the lotion on after your tanning session so that you can get the most out of it. For the best results, make sure to follow the instructions provided on the labeling of your particular tanning lotion. 

The Top 3 Indoor Tanning Lotions

Whether your preference is a tanning lotion that helps you gradually build up a tan or one that works almost instantly, you’re bound to find something on the market to satisfy your needs.

Below is our selection of some of the best tanning lotions on the market to help make the buying process a little bit easier for you.

1. Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X

This versatile and cost-effective lotion is all you need to get your skin summer ready, no matter what your budget is. The Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X is made from a unique formula that makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor tanning.

Meanwhile, it’s capable of tanning the skin almost instantaneously thanks to its advanced 50X darkening properties. It also continues to darken your skin gradually afterward so that you don’t suddenly lose your tan while on vacation.

Millennium Tanning Paint it Black

The end result of applying this lotion is usually a gorgeous dark bronze pigment as well as a silky smooth skin that’s as soft as a baby’s bottom.

Some of our favorite ingredients that are featured in this lotion include vitamin A, vitamin B, as well as tropical oils and extracts. These ingredients have been carefully selected to not only darken the skin but also to keep it firm and tight while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines.

Basically, the Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X is a triple-threat with the ability to bronze and restore your skin, plus it works super-fast. We also love how wonderful it smells, as it has a scent reminiscent of cotton blossom that stays long after you’ve left the tanning bed.

Things we liked

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    Affordable
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    Works fast to bronze the skin
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    Superior quality ingredients
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    Smells great

Things we didn't like

  • Although it’s advertised as fast-acting, it actually takes a considerable amount of time before you experience the full effects of this lotion

2. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion

Australian Gold is one of the most prestigious brands on the market when it comes to quality tanning lotions. Their latest product which is the Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion doesn’t disappoint either.

It definitely lives up to its reputation as a fast-acting tanning lotion that works even faster than natural tanning methods. Plus, it works just as well for indoor tanning as it does with outdoor tanning methods.

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator

However, what we really like about this product is that it provides a long-lasting tan so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of reapplying it after a short period of time.

Looking at the ingredients list you’ll find that it’s made using a biosine complex formula which includes vitamins E and A, as well as hydrating moisturizers that make your skin feel smooth and soft for a longer time.  

This formula is also responsible for accelerating melanin production on the skin to effectively darken your complexion for a natural looking tan. The best part is that this lotion smells amazing as well, with its distinctive “cocoa dreams” aroma.

Things we liked

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    Contains vitamins E and A to promote healthy skin
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    Smell amazing
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    Works to accelerate the tanning process

Things we didn't like

  • Definitely not recommended for sensitive skin

3. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses

The Coconut Kisses tanning lotion from Ed Hardy is the Rolls Royce of tanning lotions. Not only does it look and smell good, but it actually works as well as promised.

First of all, it’s made with high-quality coconut milk and coconut oil which help hydrate the skin so that it stays soft. It can be applied easily thanks to its well-balanced texture and leaves your skin looking bronzed to perfection for a long time after.

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy has even gone the extra mile to include premium-quality natural ingredients that firm the skin while reducing cellulite. This includes ingredients like lemon, safflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, banana fruit extracts etc.

The tanning intensifiers in this lotion make it a real game changer because they’ve been combined with a one-of-a-kind ‘quad tyrosine blend’ that includes melanobronze, nouritan and melactiva. As the name implies, these ingredients are aimed at stimulating melanin production for a longer lasting tan. Its aroma is reminiscent of coconut water with romantic floral notes that makes it even more fun to apply it onto your skin.

However, if you’re looking for overnight results, this is not the lotion for you as it only starts to work after at least two indoor tanning sessions. Also, you have to leave it on for at least two to four hours afterward in order to get maximum results.

Things we liked

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    Smells great
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    Features tanning intensifiers
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    Applies easily thanks to its consistency

Things we didn't like

  • Beware of unscrupulous online vendors that sell fake versions of this product, and remember that you get what you pay for

Conclusion

Applying tanning lotion to your skin is a great way to accelerate results and get a healthy-looking bronze glow with half the effort. However, with the right tanning lotion, you can hit two or even three birds with one stone and end up with perfectly tanned skin that’s firm, hydrated and soft.

That is exactly what the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses tanning lotion delivers with its ‘quad tyrosine blend’ formula, which combines high-tech skincare innovation with the intelligence of nature. The best part is that it’s easy to apply and it smells heavenly while providing long-lasting results. What more could you ask for?

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