Do Tanning Lotions Work?

The sun is out, and summer is just around the corner. Your pale winter complexion is starting to look baleful and sad. It’s that time of the year when you should start looking a healthy golden-brown color and step out with a gorgeous tan. Unfortunately, the beautiful tan comes with a host of issues like sunburn, aging of the skin, wrinkles, and fine lines. Excessive sun exposure can also cause skin complications and may also eventually lead to skin cancer. How then is one supposed to get that beautiful tan while being safe from the sun?

The answer to this question is a self-tan. Self-tanning lotions, gels, creams, sprays, and oils are available in the market today. Indoor and outdoor tanning lotions are a fantastic way to enhance the color of your skin while remaining safe from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Tanning lotions, also known as sunless tanning lotions can give your skin a tan color without the exposure to the sun. Outdoor tanning lotions require sun or UV light to activate, but not in the same quantity as actually taking weeks to tan in the sun.

There are plenty of options available in the market today, and it can be slightly confusing while making a selection. Deciding which cream, gel, spray, or lotion to use can be excessively complicated. It’s best to make an informed choice before you pick a tanning lotion off the shelves.

What are tanning lotions?

Tanning lotions enhance the color of the skin and help in activating melanin already present in our skin. Tanning lotions help elongate the tan to stay for longer times while ensuring that the skin becomes darker with exposure to the sun. Tanning without the help of a tanning lotion might burn your skin or severely dehydrate. It can also cause allergies, rashes, and skin complications due to prolonged exposure to UV rays emitted by the sun.

Tanning lotions contain beneficial ingredients and oils that help protect your skin and keep it hydrated, moisturized, soft, and healthy looking. There are different types of tanning lotions. These lotions are broadly classified into three categories – sunless, indoor and outdoor. While selecting your tanning lotion, it is essential to keep in mind your skin type and how you plan to self-tan.


Indoor Tanning Lotions:

Indoor tanning lotions are ones that are activated indoors with the use of UV lamps or tanning beds. Indoor lotions help in tanning safely without requiring the sunlight. They are safe to use in tanning beds and do not harm the skin or the tanning beds.

Tanning accelerators help achieve a nice even tan that gives an accelerated golden hue to the skin. Beginners trying tanning lotions for the first time should opt for tanning accelerator lotions. Accelerators help by providing the skin time to adjust to the tanning process before moving on to darker tans.

Bronzer helps bring out a deep, yet natural tan look to the skin. Bronzers come in three varieties. Instant bronzers that wash off, DHA bronzers that work with amino acids already present in your skin, and natural bronzers that increase melanin production for a longer lasting tan.


Outdoor Tanning Lotions:

Outdoor tanning lotions require the sun to activate. These are ideal for people who still wish to experience the natural tanning process under the sun. All outdoor tanning lotions contain SPF to help protect the skin from harmful effects of sun exposure. Sunscreen present in these lotions helps keep the skin healthy, prevent sunburns, block UV rays, and help protect against premature skin aging.

People wishing to use outdoor tanning lotions should be aware of their skin type, how much time they plan to spend outdoors, personal skin tone, and how dark they want their skin to tan. Outdoor tanning options are available in fair, olive, medium, and dark tones to get you a perfect tan experience. You can find great designs at


Sunless Tanning Lotions:

Sunless tanners are the safest option available today. The only drawback with sunless tanners is that they fade away within a few days of application. Reapplication is a must within a week. Sunless tanners need care before use, and the skin should be exfoliated and moisturized regularly to remain hydrated. Sunless tanners do not protect the skin against sunburn and cannot protect the skin against UV rays of the sun. Remember if you’re in an inflatable hot tub the chemicals can affect this lotion.

While there are many tanners available in the market, it is essential to be aware of which product you would be comfortable choosing. Always choose a self-tanning lotion that contains moisturizing, protecting, and hydrating properties. Additionally, the smell of the creams, nutrients present, and SPF also matter while making an informed decision.

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