The Best Indoor Tan Lotions

Updated July 20, 2017

Every person tans differently, whether they tan instantly or it takes a little help doing so. Many indoor tanning salons recommend using lotions to enhance that glow. Choosing the best tan lotion for you depends on your skin type, the lotion's ingredients, and what type of indoor tanning you are doing--a bed or sunless tanning. These factors can help each tanner determine what the best lotion is for their individual tanning style.

Best Combination for Skin Types

Many tanning lotions will include on the labels what skin types the product works best for. Indoor tanning salons label skin types from Type I to Type VI. This range starts from Type I being very pale and does not tan well to Type VI, which is very dark and easily tans. For Type I, most salons and lotions recommend to not use indoor tanning because it is very difficult to benefit from it. However, they can choose to go with a sunless tanning option or spray tan. For Types II to VI, a lotion with a bronzer, moisturiser or tingle effect would work best.

Better Ingredients Equal Better Tan

Many lotions ingredients are beneficial for skin as far as moisturising and boosting collagen production. Some main ingredients that help the skin tan better include aloe vera, hemp seed oil, and CoQ-10. They help nourish the skin and prevent dryness. Moisturised skin tans better and prevents dry skin from flaking. Since tanned skin is on the topmost layers of the skin, any flaking will lighten the tan and cause that golden glow to quickly disappear. Using these ingredients helps keep that from happening and also accelerates the skin's ability to tan.

Bronzer vs. Tingle

Most lotions either contain bronzers or provide a tingle effect. Bronzers, when applied, give the skin an instant brownish and gold tint or if it's a delayed bronzer provides this colour after several hours. Tingle effect is the most effective, but it can be irritating to the skin, causing itchiness and burning and causes an immediate reddish tint to the skin. However it does leave the best tan overall. A bronzer must be applied as evenly as possible to prevent streaking and it must also be wiped from hands and feet to not cause an uneven colour. Both types are extremely helpful in getting the best tan possible. Tingle is recommended for only the more experienced tanners to prevent burning.

Brands and Prices

Salons sell various brands, some well known and others company owned. Many well-known and commonly used brands include Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, Black, Luminary, JWOWW, Hempz and Designer Skin, just to name a few. Each of these includes anywhere from 1 to 50 different bronzers and come in a variety of scents and combination of ingredients. Prices range from £6 to £58 a bottle. Checking with a local tanning salon can help you find sales and discounts on specific brands. Also, speaking with a tanning consultant can help provide you information on which brands and types would be best for your specific tanning experience. Many consultants will also recommend reading various reviews on what has worked best for other tanners. This is a great way to know what worked best for others with the same skin type.

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About the Author

Rachel Towns specializes in topics related to politics and law. She holds a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies from the University of South Florida.