Before we move onto which are the best outdoor tanning lotions, we need to know what exactly a tanning lotion is, and why is it used, so let us get to it right away.
What is an outdoor tanning lotion and why is it used?
An outdoor tanning lotion is usually created using SPF and Vitamin D, to help your skin remain protected against harmful UVB and UVA rays from the sun. The SPF of the lotion helps to prevent the skin from absorbing the harmful rays of the sun (UVA and UVB), as those can lead to severe skin reactions and might also cause adverse health effects.
With this idea in mind, it is clear as to why one might require an outdoor tanning lotion, especially when stepping out in the scorching heat, irrespective of whether it is for day-to-day activities or a beach rendezvous. Not only will it create a protective layer over your skin but will also ensure that no harmful radiations from the sun can penetrate through to it, thereby protecting your overall health as well.
As is well known, the harmful rays of the sun can have devastating properties on the skin thanks to various properties in the rays that are emitted. Sometimes, these rays can also lead to long term devastating effects such as cancer, which is why having a proper precaution in place is an absolute necessity.
Also, barring these benefits, having a good tanning lotion ensures that your skin gets a beautiful brown glow when you step out, making your friends envious of you, every time you set foot out in the sun!
How to apply a tanning lotion?
Once you’ve purchased the best outdoor tanning lotion of your choice, follow the steps given below –
- You must keep in mind that, try to keep your tan to moderation because any form of exposure to ultra-violet rays of the sun can become extremely harmful to the skin
- If your tanning lotion doesn’t have sunscreen or SPF in it, then apply one before applying the tanning lotion
- It is often suggested that you apply a layer of sunscreen before opting to apply a layer of tanning lotion
- Try to opt for an SPF 30+ sunscreen lotion. Anything lesser won’t be harmful either but choose a sunscreen depending on the heat intensity of the sun
- Keep in mind that if you are opting to go for a dip in a water body, then you will have to reapply both your sunscreen as well as your tanning lotion
- If you are planning to get into the water, remember to opt for waterproof sunscreen lotion. If your tanning lotion has SPF or sunscreen in it, then ensure that your tanning lotion is waterproof so that it doesn’t get washed away
- You must keep in mind the fact that most tanning lotions recommend that you apply it at least 15 minutes before exposure to the sun (whether it is for a dip in the pool or simply to venture out for any purpose)
- If you intend on getting the tan done quickly or darker, then you could opt for a tan accelerator
- Most tanning lotions contain moisturizers in them so you needn’t apply it again, separately.
Different Types Of Tanning Lotions –
- Bronzers – These contain certain bronzer compounds which help to enhance as well as darken your tan. This is especially an ideal choice when your skin is left uneven. Using a bronzer fixer will ensure that you have an enriched tan color. Also, the more bronzer content in your tanning lotion, the longer will your tan last. However, it is important to keep in mind that the effects of a bronzer usually fade within a week.
- Accelerators – Accelerators are ideal for those looking to keep their skin hydrated with your tan for long hours. These tanning lotions have no bronzer content in them and its ingredients work on your melanin present in them, which is why the color you eventually see is that which is produced by your melanin.
- Coolants – These are the complete opposite of accelerators, as they provide you with a cooling effect that leaves you feeling refreshed for long. Also, this works well to cool down the skin after your tanning session is over.
- Tinglers – Like its name, these lotions tend to make your skin tingle! This kind of tanning lotion usually consists of ingredients that have the ability to bring your blood right up to your skin, giving out a tingling sensation. The increase in blood flow ensures a deeper tan outcome. However, if you feel a little too uncomfortable with the tingling feeling, you could always opt to mix it with a little bronzer or accelerator.
Having said this, let us now consider certain key factors to keep in mind when looking to buy the best outdoor tanning lotion, that is currently being opted for, by most.
Factors to look for in the best outdoor tanning lotion
Given below is a list of certain key factors to keep in mind, when you set out to shop for a good outdoor tanning lotion –
- Its SPF content –As we’ve already mentioned SPF in a lotion helps to protect the skin against harmful UVA rays. Thus, when you choose an outdoor tanning lotion make sure that you consider this always, as excess rays of the sun can possess a serious health hazard such as skin cancer. So, always choose a tanning lotion which has a good SPF content in it.
- Whether it contains sunscreen – An ideal outdoor tanning lotion would be one that has the ability to provide you with the perfect tan but is also able to protect your skin from harmful UV rays of the sun, and that is something a tanning lotion with sunscreen can provide. It will ensure that your skin stays protected from severe skin issues such as skin cancer. People often tend to let go of the sunscreen bit and opt for tanning oil, which is a rather dangerous choice to make because your skin is left defenseless against harmful rays of the sun.
However, more often than not, most tanning products that are sunless tend to not contain sunscreen in them, so remember to make sure that you check your tanning lotion for sunscreen in it, because since you’ll be using it outside, having sunscreen is an absolute essential.
- Ingredients present in the lotion – Most accelerators contain ingredients that help to produce melanin under sunlight. Usually, bronzers and maximizers tend to contain less moisturization content but more SPF. There are a few lotions which come with anti-aging benefits too and those which help to keep tattoos protected as well, so choose as per your needs.
- Plans behind using the tanning lotion outdoors – The purpose of your tanning lotion should be in sync with the strength of the sun. If you’re opting to go out from morning to noon, then opt for a lotion which provides a quicker tan and provides extra care under the sun. If you intend on getting a slow and gradual tan that spans over a couple of days under milder rays of the sun, then you could opt for a mild tanning lotion.
- Your skin type and complexion – Always opt for a tanning lotion that compliments your skin tone. A tanning lotion that is similar to your skin will blend well and provide you with an even skin tone. Avoid tanning lotions which might come with skin lightening benefits because that tends to make the skin no-uniform.
- The fragrance of the lotion – Like most lotions, suntan lotions to come with beautiful fragrances. Some of the most common fragrances include coconut and chocolate. However, if you aren’t a fan of fragrances, there is an option to choose for non-fragrant ones as well, so choose accordingly.
- The timeline of your desired result – It is important to take into consideration the timeline within which your skin begins to show the effects of the tan. This also includes the complete depth of the self-tanner. Usually, all tanning lotions irrespective of its ingredients, tend to have different depths, which is why the time taken to show complete effectiveness varies between each. So, remember to check that factor too.
With all the factors ready at our disposal, now let us have a quick look at some of the best outdoor tanning lotions currently being sold in the market!
10 of the best outdoor tanning lotions
The comprehensive list which we have provided below consists of some of the best lotions in the market and we wholeheartedly believe, you will surely find one that suits your needs and requirements, so read on!
Somewhere on a Beach is considered one of the best outdoor tanning lotions for a dark tan, and rightfully so, thanks to its tropical formula which ensures that your skin stays well hydrated and toned. Also, it has a beautiful tropical tantini fragrance. Some of its other key features include –
- It comes in a 12. 25-ounce pack
- It is a DHA free bronzer which ensures both strains free and streaks free results every time!
- It contains advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6, which is a strong and powerful anti-aging peptide that ensures the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles and also ensures long-lasting results always
- It contains coconut as well as walnut oils which helps to keep the skin soft and well hydrated
- It is suitable for use both indoors as well as outdoors
- It has a tropical tantini fragrance
- It acts as a bronzer
- It is free from parabens
If you’re on the lookout for one of the best outdoor tanning lotion to get dark fast, then this is it! The Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion ensures a beautiful dark golden tan every time you use it, that too without having a bronzer agent in it! Some of its other key features include –
- It has a Tattoo Fade Protect Formula that helps to ensure your tattoo remains radiant and has a long life, similar to your tanning results!
- It consists of Quad Tyrosine Blend as well as Melano Bronze that helps to stimulate and also helps to increase melanin formation to help accelerate the whole tanning process
- It is an Ultra-Darkening and Skin Hydrating intensifier
- It contains coconut oil, coconut milk, as well as cocoa butter that helps to maintain skin hydration
- It ensures a dark tan even without having elements of bronzing agents, making it one of the best outdoor tanning lotions without bronzer
- It has a light and intoxicating coconut paradise fragrance, with a hint of vanilla
The Sun Bum Browning Lotion is one of the best climate-friendly tanning lotions there is, thanks to its Octinoxate and Oxybenzone free qualities. Some of its other key features which makes it feature in our list are as follows –
- It is a completely natural tanning lotion, which is why it is considered one of the best outdoor tanning lotion to get dark fast!
- It has been developed to ensure that the sun can trigger the tanning process in your skin – making it completely harmless and natural!
- It is both water-resistant and reef-friendly
- It is suitable for all skin types
- It contains aloe vera, avocado oil, argan oil, Kona coffee plant extract, and marula
- It has the scent of tropical coffee
- It helps to maintain moisturization of the skin
- It is hypoallergenic, paraben and cruelty-free
The Millennium Dark Tanning Lotion is one of the best outdoor tanning lotions for dark tan thanks to its ingredients which include cannabis Sativa, sunflower seed oil, and fruit extracts. However, other than some of its key ingredients, there are a few other advantages of this tanning lotion, which are –
- It comes in a 400 ml bottle pack
- It is suitable for combination skin type
- It is an ultra-advanced 100X silicone bronzer
- It has auto-darkening tan technology
- It works both as a tan enhancer as well as a silicone bronzer
- It has an orchid blush fragrance
- It works well for a tanning bed
The Australian Gold Dark Tanning Lotion is considered one of the best outdoor tanning lotions for fair skin as its ingredients such as tea tree and Vitamins A and E ensure that the moisturization of the skin remains intact and the tone remains smooth. Some of its other key features include –
- It helps to keep the skin well hydrated and supple thanks to its many nutrients
- It contains Vitamins A and E that helps maintain the moisture content of the skin
- Its signature fragrance is that of cocoa dreams along with a combined smell of vanilla, coconut, and orange
- It contains tea tree oil which acts as a strong and powerful antioxidant that helps to cleanse the skin and leave it smooth
- It is also one of the best outdoor tanning lotions with SPF thanks to its SPF 15 content
The Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion provides the user with a beautifully supple and dark tone thanks to some of its key ingredients, which include – caramel. It also leaves your skin feeling fresh and hydrated thanks to the aloe vera present in it. Some of its other key features include –
- It is suitable for both indoor tanning in salons as well as for outdoor tanning in the sun
- It ensures a darker and deeper tan, faster than most other tanning lotions
- Its ingredients consist of several plants such as aloe vera, tea as well as certain necessary vitamins such as A, E, and C
- It contains tea oil which helps to nourish the skin cells, ensuring an extended tan life
- It promotes instant tanning by activating the sun’s heating intensity, providing you with a dark tone quickly
- Glycerin present in it keeps the skin well moisturized always
If you’re on the lookout for one of the best outdoor tanning lotion for fair skin then this might just be your answer. This tanning lotion has ultra-advanced darkening agents that ensure that your skin sees a smooth transition to a dark and supple skin tone. Some of its key features which make it stand out from the rest are –
- It doesn’t contain bronzing agents and works equally well both indoors and outdoors
- It contains both coconut milk and coconut oil that helps to keep the skin soft and well-hydrated so that the tan lasts long
- It contains seaweed extracts which help to draw out toxins present in your body
- It helps to reduce the presence and appearance of cellulite, in turn, promoting firmness of the skin
- It acts as a tattoo fade protector, helping it to stay fresh and new longer
- It contains hibiscus extracts which help to provide elasticity to the skin and gives it a natural and youthful look
- It helps to even out the skin tone and helps it remain well hydrated
- It contains passion fruit extracts and is also rich in vitamins A and C which prevents any unnecessary radical damages to the skin
The Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion ensures that the skin stays supple and well-hydrated thanks to the presence of natural oils in it. Barring that, it also has some really interesting features, which include –
- It contains tea tree oil which works as a powerful oxidant and helps to cleanse the skin leaving it smooth
- It contains biosin complexes which is basically an advanced combination of different ingredients that soothes, moisturizes and softens the skin, providing maximum results
- It contains vitamins A and E that ensures a deeply moisturized skin, along with several other benefits
- It contains natural oils which help to provide the skin with necessary minerals to help maintain smoothness and hydration
- It has the fragrance of cocoa dreams
- It comes in an 8-ounce bottle pack
- It includes a bronzer in it, ensuring an added finesse to your tan
The Hawaiian Tropic SPF 4 dark tanning sunscreen lotion usually comes in packs of two and works both as a sunscreen as well as a tanning lotion. It is both fast-absorbing as well as water-resistant. Some of its other key features include –
- As it contains SPF 4, it protects the skin but also gives it a natural dark tan glow
- It stays resistant to water for up to 80 minutes!
- It contains several botanical extracts as well as botanicals
- It has a moisturizing formula that keeps the skin supple and well-hydrated throughout
- It contains aloe vera which ensures that the skin stays fresh always
- It has the fragrance of classic coconut
- It comes in two 8 ounce packs
- It contains cocoa butter that helps to rejuvenate the skin
Last but not the least, the Hempz Beach Bud instant bronzer and tanning lotion are one of the best outdoor tanning lotions because it contains a blend of both delayed and instant bronzer. However, other than that, there are a few other key factors to it, which are –
- It has a quick absorption formula that ensures a smooth, quick, and hassles free dark color every time you use it
- It continues to work and develop even after exposure to UV rays
- It contains exotic botanical extracts that help maintain softness and smoothness
- It contains 100 pure natural hemp seed oil that ensures long-lasting color and also helps to maintain hydration in the skin
- It contains both natural as well as DHA bronzers that provide instant color
- It contains agave, sunflower oil, and coconut oil that helps to condition and moisturize the skin making it soft and smooth with a bronzer finish
- It has a sunkissed coconut fragrance
- It is both THC and Paraben free
Finding the best outdoor tanning lotion might not always be easy, but it surely isn’t impossible. If you look for it based on your exact requirements, you are sure to find something. Most tanning lotions have SPF in which is why they tend to work well as sunscreen lotions too, thus ensuring that you don’t require putting two lotions unnecessarily.
Also, all the outdoor tanning lotions we have mentioned above are not only some of the best but authentic reviews seem to suggest they do exactly what they promise! You must keep in mind the fact that there are a few lotions that don’t have SPF in them which is why they might not help protect the skin against the harsh rays of the sun.
Especially if the sun is a scorcher and might lead to sunburns, which is why you might have to apply sunscreen separately. Having said that, feel free to choose any of the tanning lotions mentioned above and enjoy a beautiful brown and dark tan, every time you step out from your home!
Frequently Asked Questions
What outdoor tanning lotion gets you the darkest?
Ans. While all tanning lotions provide a dark tan, the ones which provide you with the darkest tan (from among the ones mentioned above) are – Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sunscreen Lotion, Australian Gold Dark Tanning Bronzer and Ed Hardy Beachtime Dark Indoor-Outdoor Coconut Infused Tanning Lotion.
What is the best tanning lotion for outdoors?
Ans. While every tanning lotion having SPF can be considered the best, two from those mentioned above, would be – Hawaiian Tropic SPF 4 Dark Tanning Sunscreen Lotion (with SPF) and Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion with Bronzer (without SPF).
Can you use tanning bed lotion for outside?
Ans. Yes, it is definitely possible to use an indoor tanning lotion outside, but you will have to ensure that you have counteracted any problem that may be associated with using an indoor tanning lotion outside. There are a few lotions which are equally suitable both indoors and outdoors, as has been mentioned above. Also, certain outdoor tanning lotions explicitly mention that they can’t be used outside, so remember to check that out before opting to use it both indoors and outdoors.