What’s the first thing on your mind when you think of summer? Most likely, it’s a beautiful picture of yourself enjoying the wind, the sun, and the turquoise-colored waters of the beach. Wait, aren’t we forgetting something? Yes, an outdoor tanning lotion.
But, when you’re already headed to the beach to soak up the sun, do you need a lotion for tanning? Well, summer and outdoor tanning lotions are seemingly inseparable.
It’s important to use a self tanning lotion and to choose from among the best outdoor tanning lotions and tanning oils available based on your skin type and needs.
Not only do they protect and nourish your skin, but they also help accelerate the tanning process by stimulating pigment production. Some of them even shield your skin against photo-aging while some can give you that sun-kissed look even before you hit the beach. Now, who wouldn’t want a golden tan instantly? We certainly do!
In this buying guide, we review some of the best outdoor tanning lotions and oils in the market right now. Have a look, and choose the perfect companion for that tropical holiday around the corner.
Top 10 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions
#1) Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion – Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion to Get Dark Fast
What happens when a celebrated artist like Ed Hardy gets into cosmetics? You get a product with an edgy-looking bottle that promises to prolong your tan and tattoos.
The coconut milk, coconut oil, and cocoa butter keep your skin hydrated while the quad tyrosine blend and Anti-aging bronze speed up the tanning process by promoting melanin production. This Ed Hardy product contains no bronzing agents and has a tropical coconut and vanilla-inspired fragrance.
One of the best-rated outdoor tanning lotions, the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion is great for dialing up your base tan by several notches and helping you maintain your tan and tattoos for longer.
We think this may be the best tanning lotion for outside use if you want to get dark fast. You can also use it indoors with a tanning bed. Since it does not rely on bronzers, you can work on your tan without having to worry about getting streaks or stains on your skin.
- Great tropical aroma
- Moisturizing lotion filled with coconut fruit extracts suitable for sensitive skin
- Prolongs and preserves the life of your tans and tattoos
- Anti-aging ingredients aid in removing cellulite
- Instant darkening lotion with top-quality ingredients that stimulates melanin production, contains no bronzing agents
- Offers no SPF
#2) Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion – Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion with Bronzer
This Dark Tanning Lotion from Millennium Tanning boasts of an “auto-darkening tan technology,” bronzers, and moisturizers that deliver a dark deep tan. It is a self tanning product that can be used with a tanning bed but can also be used on its own outdoors. Millennium Tanning is a fragrance-free solution that comes in a striking black bottle.
This is a bronzer tanning lotion with a noticeably long list of ingredients which includes walnut seed oil, extracts of willow bark, and sunflower seed oil. Apart from these ingredients, we couldn’t identify any of the other things they listed. They don’t seem to have a lot of clean ingredients, but if you’re not one to obsess over what goes into your self tanning lotion, then this product may be a viable option.
If you’re more concerned with results than what goes into your tanning lotion, Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion is a product you’ll want to consider. It has accelerating agents that help to improve melanin formation while giving you a golden glow within an hour or two of use.
We should mention that this product has a deep bronzer in it. If you are fair-skinned, you will want to apply this carefully and in small amounts to prevent orange streaks and ensure an even-looking application.
- Accelerates melanin creation and improves skin texture
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Immediate results within an hour or two after application
- Can be used with a tanning bed or on its own
- Needs to be applied carefully to prevent streaking
- Not suitable for very fair-skinned consumers
#3) Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray – Best Cheap Outdoor Tanning Lotion
Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier is a dark tanning oil that comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle. It contains natural bronzers like melanin, carrot oil, walnut shell, and caramel. Australian Gold’s formula is lightweight and non-greasy with a fast-absorbing oil that helps you achieve your tan faster.
This company boasts of infusing their products with Kakadu plum, a fruit that contains more vitamin C than any fruit. Kakadu plum is recognized for helping promote collagen production and protecting skin from free radicals. Also, Australian Gold’s formulation is filled with antioxidants and infused with natural tea tree oil and aloe vera which nourishes your skin and leaves it fresh, and soft.
This is made by the same company behind the Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator. Both products have the same coconut, orange, and vanilla fragrance.
We love the Australian Gold range of products. They always highlight the natural ingredients that their products contain and they’re effective. This Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray works whether you are dark or fair-skinned, and, because you know that it’s full of ingredients that are good for the skin, we’re not afraid to lather it on.
- Moisturizing and fast-acting tanning oil
- Filled with nutrient-rich, natural ingredients that make skin soft, smooth, and supple
- We enjoy its coconut, orange, and vanilla fragrance
- Contains nourishing Australian oils, banana extracts, and antioxidants like Vitamin-E
- Not water resistant
- A few of the spray nozzles are faulty and tend to break easily
#4) Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor-Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion – Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin
Somewhere on a beach is a modern classic creation from Devoted Creations.
Suitable as an indoor and outdoor tanning lotion, Devoted Creations’ lotion helps you absorb those melanin pigments and lets you have a carefree time absorbing that well-deserved Vitamin-D.
You don’t even have to worry about ruining your sunbed as the lotion contains no mineral oil. It contains bronzers which help accelerate melanin production giving you instant dark skin.
Filled with anti-aging peptides that shield your skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation, on a Beach, Indoor-Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion’s formula consists of tyrosine and walnut oil.
And unlike a few other dark tanning oils, it doesn’t leave any streaks and doesn’t contain DHA. With a delicate fragrance that’s sure to invoke some curious, eager questions, we feel this could be the best suntan lotion for dark tan out there.
- Helps in protecting your skin from UV rays
- Contains natural bronzers that give an instant tan without the need for DHA
- Contains coconut oils along with sea buckthorn berry
- Moisturizing tanning lotion
- Ingredients are not completely natural
#5) Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil- Best Moisturizing Tanning Lotion with SPF
Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oils live up to its claims of giving you smooth and polished skin. Their formulation contains aloe vera, cocoa butter, and passionflower to provide your skin with moisture.
The solution is rich in vitamins and infused with a classic tropical fragrance. You can put this on at night after a shower and the scent will still linger in the morning.
With just a single application, this product gives your skin an instant and intense dark tan.
The product also features an SPF but due to its comparatively low strength, you may need to reapply the solution after a while to avoid getting a sunburn.
Though the product works like a wonder to give you a gorgeous tan, you may need to take care of the fact that it is a Sun Care Moisturizing Oil and hence is bound to be a little greasy. If you’re in search of a lotion that gives a more matte finish, this may not be your best option.
- A moisturizing formula rich in vitamins and natural oils
- Provides SPF protection though it is low strength
- Instant darkening indoor tanning lotion
- Classic coconut fragrance
- Can make your skin greasy
- Some people complained of dry skin
#6) Sun Bum SPF 15 Moisturizing Tanning Oil – Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion with SPF
The Sun Bum SPF 15 Moisturizing Tanning Oil is one of the products we’ve reviewed that has a lot to offer. They boldly proposition potential customers to “trust the bum.” This is a brand promise that refers to the developers of the product who live on the beach and are therefore intimately acquainted with what people need for a day under the sun.
First off, it comes with a lot of natural ingredients like aloe vera, green tea butter, marula, argan oil, coconut, and avocado oil. If you’re in search of an oil that produces a gorgeous golden tan, this may well be your go-to product.
This is the first oil for outdoor tanning we’ve reviewed that comes with a sun protection factor. Sun Bum provides broad-spectrum SPF 15 UVA/UVB protection. That’s a fairly high number for a tanning lotion.
Sun Bum is also hypoallergenic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, contains a minimal number of chemicals and mineral oils, and is sweat-resistant for up to an hour. As if that weren’t enough, this moisturizing tropic dark tanning oil is suitable for all skin types and is reef-friendly.
- Hypoallergenic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and reef-friendly
- Best suited for sensitive skin, good for all skin types
- Provides broad-spectrum SPF 15 UVA/UVB protection
- Packed with natural and moisturizing ingredients
- Some users experienced streaks when using it
#7) Devoted Creations #TANLIFE Hydrating Tanning Butter- Best Moisturizing Tanning Lotion
Devoted Creations #TANLIFE Hydrating Tanning Butter is a tattoo and color fade protector that ensures that the pain you went through in getting your tattoo doesn’t go to waste.
Devoted Creations’ formulation includes bronzers and tan enhancers that make your skin darker faster. You can use it with a tanning bed indoors, but it works even faster outdoors. Within 15 minutes, you can achieve a sun-kissed golden tan from the sun. You can use it for longer if you prefer a darker color.
This lotion says that it has hypoallergenic shea butter, coconut oil, and walnut oil which should make it safe for sensitive skin. However, we have heard reports from some users who broke out in rashes while using this.
It also contains matrixyl synthe 6, a synthetic peptide that helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Its DHA-free bronzers provide streak-free results.
We recommend Devoted Creations #TANLIFE Hydrating Tanning Butter for people who want to work on their tans and moisturize their skin at the same time. It has a nice formulation that quickly dissolves into the skin while giving you an even tan that doesn’t stain.
- Contains lots of hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and walnut oil
- Maintains the natural glow of your skin
- Matrixyl synthe 6 has anti-aging properties that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- DHA-free bronzers keep your skin streak-free and stain-free
- Contains tattoo and color fade protectors
- Provides no sun protection
- Has a smell that some might find overpowering
- Some users reported rashes after using this product
#8) COCOSOLIS CHOCO Sun Tan & Body Oil – Best All-Natural Tanning Oil
A brand is known for organic and natural cosmetics, COCOSOLIS CHOCO Sun Tan & Body Oil is the perfect body oil to cleanse your dry skin while providing the gentle nourishment it deserves. You can use this as a tanning bed lotion or while basking under the sun. According to the COCOSOLIS website, you can even use this product purely as a hydrating oil for your skin.
Made from bio-certified raw, cold-pressed ingredients, it nourishes the skin making it soft, shiny, and silky smooth. COCOSOLIS CHOCO Sun Tan & Body Oil is a natural moisturizer containing coconut oil, sweet almonds, cocoa butter, and avocado oils. Additionally, it also has Vitamin-E and antioxidants containing anti-aging properties to make your skin look young, supple, and deeply hydrated.
Its combination of bio-active ingredients and antioxidants help speed up the tanning process and prolong your golden glow.
This product does not have sunblock for UV rays hence, we recommend you use it in combination with sunscreen.
We love COCOSOLIS CHOCO Sun Tan & Body Oil for its delicious chocolate smell and all its natural ingredients. Since it’s very natural and is made up of organic oils, it can solidify, but this is quickly remedied by running it under a steam bath.
- Hydrates and nourishes the skin and is suitable for daily use
- Made from bio-certified raw, cold-pressed ingredients
- Good for delicate and sensitive skin
- Provides an instant tan along with soft, smooth skin
- Has a unique and delicious chocolate fragrance
- Does not contain sunscreen
- Can be hard to dispense due to its tendency to solidify under certain temperatures
- Not everyone wants to smell like chocolate
#9) Millennium Tanning Solid Black FACIAL BRONZER Anti-aging Firming Dark Tanning Lotion – Best Tanning Lotion for Outside
The name of this product is a mouthful. Millennium Tanning Solid Black FACIAL BRONZER Anti-aging Firming Dark Tanning Lotion makes use of the following ingredients to help you get a golden tan and keep it:
- CC crème color correctors
- Instant and Delayed Facial Bronzer
- Anti-aging and firming melanin stimulators
With the help of bronzing agents, Millennium Tanning Solid Black FACIAL BRONZER ensures pigment production at an accelerated rate while also helping firm up your skin and disguise cellulite. Its mattifying airbrush helps correct color flaws while masking the skin’s red tones.
The Solid Black Facial Bronzer maintains your tan while reducing the appearance of fine lines on your skin. It also makes use of black tea extracts to nurture and prevent skin damage as well as antioxidant-rich acai berry to cleanse your skin and ward off pollution and stress.
Despite the long name, we love this facial bronzer for its lightweight solution that doesn’t leave an oily or heavy residue behind. It is very easy to apply, works quickly, doesn’t streak, and is fragrance-free.
Overall, we feel this could be one of the best outdoor tanning lotions out there.
- Lightweight formula, great for indoor and outdoor use
- Doesn’t leave behind streaks or stains on the skin
- Contains color correctors and has anti-aging properties
- Fragrance-free, ideal for sensitive skin
- Contains DHA facial bronzer which can irritate the skin
#10) Maui Island Secret Browning Formula – Best Drugstore Outdoor Tanning Lotion
The Maui Island Secret Browning Formula tanning oils pack a nutrient-filled punch. It’s infused with passionflower oil, aloe vera, Maui coffee bean extract, kukui nut oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea extract, macadamia nut oil, and aloe barbadensis extract to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
This oil promises to give the quickest and darkest tan that lasts even with minimal sun exposure.
Despite claims that boast of a lightweight solution without any residue, our experience was to the contrary. The Browning Formula is quite sticky and oily. The consistency was close to that of baby oil. It was so heavy that we feared using it with a tanning bed because it tended to get smeared over any surface that we lay on after applying it to our skin. It was also hard to wash off.
On the plus side, this is a product that can be used even by fair-skinned people without a base tan. It works quickly and evenly providing the deep tan that was promised. It even left our skin feeling nourished and moisturized. Just be careful where you sit down.
- Provides an even, fast tan that leaves skin feeling nourished and moisturized
- Has a lot of natural ingredients like passionflower oil, aloe vera, Maui coffee bean extract, and kukui nut oil
- Smells like brown sugar
- The texture and consistency of the oil is very heavy, oily, and hard to wash off
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to review all the tanning lotions and oils that we wanted. A few which we weren’t able to mention here, but you may want to look at on your own are Maui Babe Browning Lotion, Millennium Tanning Paint It Black, Australian Gold Sinfully Black, and Australian Gold Jwoww Black Bronzer, Maui Babe Browning Lotion being one of the best.
What Outdoor Tanning Lotion Gets You the Darkest?
You can achieve a dark tan by using a base tan along with a maximizer. By doing this, you can intensify your tan color and obtain a darker color on your skin.
Consider using Devoted Creations’ Somewhere on a Beach for this. However, exercise caution in using this for you to make sure that you don’t overdo it and cause damage to your skin.
Can You Use Tanning Lotions Outside?
Absolutely. There are several indoor and outdoor tanning lotions that you can use outside. By using the best sun tanning lotion, you can hasten the tanning process while you’re under the sun. However, if the lotion does not contain an SPF, always make sure to use sunscreen to prevent sunburns and skin cancer.
What is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Tanning Lotions?
Although there are a few tanning lotions that can be used for outdoor use as well as indoor tanning lotions, most lotions are very different from one another.
Outdoor suntan lotions can protect your skin from long exposure outdoors while indoor lotions are created for shorter and stronger indoor tanning sessions to get a deep, instant tan.
The UVA rays in an indoor controlled environment are very different from the natural UVB and UVA rays found outside. Because of these different conditions, you need to use different tanning lotions for inside and outside.
Also, most suntan lotions come with a basic sunscreen while indoor tanning lotions don’t since they are specially created to increase the effect of UV rays.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion?
There are several outdoor tanning lotions to help you get that golden tan. One of the best options would be Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion. It is infused with coconut extracts and we liked its effect on our skin. However, we have provided you with a list of the ten best options and we recommend you go through them and make your own choice.
How Can I Get A Fast Tan?
To get an instant, super-fast tan, you will need to use a tanning lotion that contains bronzers. Bronzers help brings out color quickly.
While it’s always a great idea to get yourself a gorgeous tan, it doesn’t hurt to use a tanning lotion when you do. There are many products for you to choose from to give yourself a quick tan. If you can pamper your skin while doing it, all the better.
Out of the ten products we’ve reviewed, the Sun Bum SPF 15 Moisturizing Tanning Oil is our winner. We love that it comes with SPF-15 to help protect your skin while giving all the benefits of tanning lotion.
The final decision of course lies with you. Carefully consider all the options and the most appropriate lotion for yourself.
Armed with all this information, you can now plan that summer vacation with confidence and come back with a wonderful tan.