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18 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions & Oils for a Healthy Deep Tan



by Lydia


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Tanned skin is one of the top priorities for many women and men who wish to enjoy their summer to the fullest. Besides looking good, glowing skin also protects you from harmful UV rays, so having a tan provides you with more than just aesthetics.

Some people get that darkened look quite easily, while others (usually the pale ones) cannot seem to avoid getting burned as soon as they step out into the sun. No matter which category you fall into, you could certainly benefit from using some tanning products.

In today’s article, you can read about the best tanning lotions and oils currently on the market, and get yourself ready for the upcoming summer!

Why Use an Outdoor Tanning Lotion or Oil?

Okay, before we go any further, here’s a quick break-down of how these tanning lotions and oils work:

By including ingredients such as melanin, L-tyrosine, copper, tea tree oil, and even green tea, to name a few, these products are carefully crafted to speed up your tanning process, and keep your skin healthy and moisturized along the way, which is why they’re typically aimed at those looking for a quick tanning fix.

Indoor vs. outdoor tanning lotions and oils: Is there a difference?

And no, outdoor and indoor tanning lotions are not the same thing, and you should never use them interchangeably!

I don’t have to tell you that the level of UV exposure varies drastically between indoor and outdoor tanning, right?

And without proper SPF protection (which is often non-existent in indoor tanning lotions), you can easily be left with significant skin damage – even if what you were aiming for was a flawless tan!

What are the benefits of using the best outdoor tanning lotions and oils?

As you can imagine, different lotions feature different ingredients and formulas, but there are still some benefits that all the best outdoor tanning lotions and oils have in common – and these benefits are:

Moisturized, healthy-looking skin – Tanning usually leads to dry, damaged skin, which is why most outdoor tanning lotions are formulated in a way that allows them to replenish your skin’s moisture quite easily, and keep it healthy-looking.

  • Moisturized, healthy-looking skin – Tanning usually leads to dry, damaged skin, which is why most outdoor tanning lotions are formulated in a way that allows them to replenish your skin’s moisture quite easily, and keep it healthy-looking.

  • Quick results – One of the main reasons why people reach for outdoor tanning lotions and oils is that they give you maximized results in the least amount of time possible – even with the SPF!

  • Long-lasting results – Not only will you get your tan faster, but you’ll also get to keep it longer – and that’s always a plus, right?

  • Soft and supple skin – The best outdoor tanning lotions and oils will also do wonders for keeping your skin smooth and youthful-looking. Depending on the formula, some are even capable of increasing skin elasticity, as well as reducing the appearance of cellulite.

  • Odor-free tanning experience – Outdoor tanning lotions often have anti-bacterial properties, which means they’ll take care of some of the bacteria that naturally reside on your skin – and no bacteria means no odors!

With this being said, you should choose a product which suits your goals. Listed below are some of the best outdoor tanning lotions and oils in their respective categories.

Tanning Lotions and Oils with Sunblock

Do you know what the fastest way to ruin your entire outdoor tanning experience is?

That’s right – getting a sunburn.

These lotions will help you get dark without getting burned first. Depending on how easy you burn, you should pick an appropriate SPF (the easier you burn, the higher the SPF should be).

Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil

Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil

Made from a mixture of oils (coconut, avocado, argan, Kukui, etc.) this oil will help you keep your skin moisturized and protected from the sun. It has an SPF 15, and it can resist water for around 80 minutes.

The addition of Kona coffee and green tea butter will protect your skin from premature aging processes.

Banana Boat Sunscreen Tanning Oil

Banana Boat Sunscreen Protective Tanning Oil

This environmentally friendly product is reef-safe so that it won’t harm the corals and sea life around them. As the name implies, it has a fragrance of banana as well as coconut, so it’s a real summer delight. Also, carrot and aloe extract protect the skin from burning.

Panama Jack Sunscreen Tanning Lotion

Panama Jack Sunscreen Lotion

This is an SPF 4 lotion which means that it’s going to be more suitable for those who tan faster naturally. Besides, it is not as greasy as tanning products usually tend to be and it gets absorbed relatively quickly.

The product is hypoallergenic and, like the previous one, reef-safe.

Maui Island Secret Browning Creme SPF 5

Maui Island Secret Browning Creme SPF5

Just like Panama Jack, Maui Islands browning cream is suitable for those who like to have a light sunscreen to let more of the sun’s rays through. A combination of Maui coffee extract, Aloe, Hawaiian ginger, and green tea will give your skin all it needs and protect it from UV rays.

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Here we have yet another light sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 50, and even though it does contain Aloe Vera for soothing your skin, I wouldn’t recommend it to those of you who tend to burn easily.

Australian Gold lotion features a formula free of mineral oils – and a fragrant one, at that.

Tanning Lotions, Oils, and Intensifiers

Even though bronzers and spray tans are all legitimate options to get the tan of your dreams, there’s one other way to achieve it – “maximizers” or intensifiers.

The idea behind these products is that they act as next-level tanning lotions, allowing you to push the limits of tanning, and go as deep as possible – something you probably wouldn’t be able to achieve by yourself.

That said, keep in mind that these types of best outdoor tanning lotions and oils do require you to have a base tan.

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion

If you want tanning results, and you want them fast, give this lotion a try:

The Dark Tanning Accelerator is packed with Aloe Vera, Panthenol, as well as vitamin E, which all work together to keep your skin tanned and moisturized.

Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about pore-clogging ingredients!

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Did you know that papaya, coconut oil, and mango are natural skin conditioners? Well, the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil has all of them, and more! It is a product with a long tradition and many satisfied users.

However, those with sensitive noses might want to try something a bit less fragrant.

Panama Jack Amplifier Oil

Panama Jack Tanning Oils

Those who already got tanned but wish to intensify it should definitely try out Panama Jack Amplifier Oil.

Its multi-action, no-sunscreen formula, complete with a variety of ingredients like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, coconut oil, Kukui oil, and many more, is there to help you get the most out of your tanning potential!

Face Sunscreen

Did you know that sun’s rays are to blame for the majority of visible skin changes related to aging, such as wrinkles, and that these are mostly found on your face and neck?

If that’s not a reason to include face sunscreen in your skin care routine – especially if you’re a fan of outdoor tanning – then I don’t know what is!

So, here are a couple of my personal favorites when it comes to facial sunscreens!

Blue Lizard Australian Face Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

The Blue Lizard company boasts that they avoid using potentially harmful chemicals in the making of their products. So, their sunscreens are based on mineral extracts such as Zinc Oxide, and most importantly, their formula doesn’t contain any fragrances and parabens.

What it does contain, though, is a combination of antioxidants like green tea, vitamin E, and caffeine.

Neutrogena Face Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Face Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Folks who’ve had skin problems such as eczema will be happy to hear that Neutrogena’s sunscreen has been approved by National Eczema Association.

It has an amazing SPF 50 for ultimate protection and doesn’t utilize any potential irritants like oils and fragrances. Also, it has a water resistance which lasts 80 minutes.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 60

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 60

If you want to make sure that your face stays protected during long swims, then check our La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen as it is water-resistant for up to 2 hours. Featuring Cell-OX Shield technology, it protects your skin and reduces signs of sun damage.

Oh, and this one gets bonus points for being easily – and quickly – absorbed into the skin, because you can use it with make-up, too!

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion

Here is an oil-free, dye-free, alcohol-free and PABA-free lotion hailing from the great Australian Gold company. It provides a broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and uses Aloe Vera and Kakadu plum as its main ingredients. Another nice thing about this product is that it is made without any cruelty whatsoever.

Tanning Lotions and Oils with Bronzer

Bronzer might be of significant help for pale individuals who don’t want to start the swimming season without a tinge of color on their bodies, as they’ll give you a nice glow, without you spending a single minute in the sun.

By combining a bronzer with either maximizers or accelerators, you’ll be looking more tanned pretty much instantly, giving your skin time to tan underneath it.

Without further ado, here are some bronzer outdoor tanning lotions and oils I figured you might like:

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Want to hear a beauty secret coming straight from Hawaii? Kukui oil and Aloe Vera are known as traditional sunburn remedies in Hawaii, and this lotion has them both.

Moreover, the vitamins and Kona coffee extract are there to feed the skin, while the bronzer will give you a natural-looking tan – and yes, it’s suitable for all skin types!

Australian Dark Gold Accelerator Lotion with Bronzer

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion With Bronzer

It’s pretty evident that the Australian Dark Gold knows how to make an excellent outdoor tanning lotion, so, if you’re ready to add a touch of bronze into the mix, you should check this one out!

Like the Maui Babe lotion, this one too contains vitamins and aloe for skin nourishment, and it’ll give you tan very quickly.

Somewhere on a Beach Indoor Outdoor Lotion

Somewhere on a Beach Indoor Outdoor Lotion

This is a 2-in-1 product that’s suitable for both indoor (Bronzer) and outdoor tanning. It will make you glow as soon as you apply it, but it’ll also protect you from the sun when you wish to get some “real” tanning done.

Unlike many other lotions from this category, Somewhere on a Beach does not include DHA, but instead uses natural ingredients to help darken the skin.

After-Tanning Lotions and Tan Extenders

Now that you’ve worked so hard on your tan (sunbathing counts as hard work, okay?). Of course, you’d want it to last as long as possible.

Enter after-tanning lotions and tan extenders.

These products are specifically created to help you keep your tan long after your vacation’s over – and if that’s something you’re interested in, you should check out the products listed below!

Hempz Hypoallergenic Dark Tan Maximizer


Hemp seed oil is known for its array of good and healthy properties, so Hempz decided to include it in a tanning product. And just in case you’re wondering, no, the lotion doesn’t contain any actual THC.

The lotion’s lightweight formula gets absorbed by the skin fairly quickly, it is 100% vegan, and allergen-free.

Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender

Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion

And here is yet another great product from Australian Gold. This one helps to moisturize the skin so that your tan stick around longer. It contains sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, tea tree oil, as well as some glycerin. If you are a fan of the Australian Gold brand, you’ll recognize their trademark fragrance in this lotion.

Sunless Tanners

Sunless tanners (also known as “fake bake”) are a somewhat controversial product in the beauty industry.

Nevertheless, they are effective and trendy as they do an excellent job in giving their users healthy-looking, tanned and glowing skin. Whatever you think about these tanners, you cannot ignore them.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

Last but not least, here is a product that requires zero sun rays to provide you with the best tan of your life. With St. Tropez bronzing mousse, you can rest assured that you will not end up with an orange and unnatural looking tan.

All you have to do is apply the mousse to your body, spread it evenly, and wait for about an hour. After that, you should have beautiful and glowing skin. Also, do not shower for at least 3 hours upon applying this product as you’ll wash it away.


As you can see, the sheer variety of tanning products enables anyone who wants to get dark this season to do so in a way that suits them the best. Getting a healthy tan has never been easier, and with some of these lotions, you’ll be able to get more tanned than ever before.

However, remember to read and follow the instructions on the labels carefully to make sure you’re using the product correctly and getting protection from the sun.


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