Outdoor Tanning Lotion Buyer’s Guide: How to Get a Perfectly Healthy Tan

The summer is here and we all want to get the tan we deserve. But, with so many dangers of direct sun exposure and tanning salons being so bad for our skin, we are not left with too many options. However, the endless pursuit of sun-kissed skin can very well come to an end with a unique outdoor tanning lotion.

The tanning industry is a multi-billion business of skin tone correction, and there is a powerful reason behind it. People want to appear more attractive and, what is a better way to look slimmer, fresher, and more exotic than putting a bit of summer color on your body. Not to mention special events such as weddings, reunions, and proms, where it is practically an obligatory to look more beautiful than ever before.

Therefore, the simplest, fastest, and healthiest solution to get what you need is located in a bottle of tanning lotion. Still, it is not recommendable to purchase the first lotion you see, so get more informed about tanning products to make the most of your skin type and protect the skin from any tanning faults.

What are Tanning Lotions and how do They Work?

What are Tanning Lotions and how do They Work

Tanning lotion is used to emphasize the process of tanning and melatonin production in our skin. You already know the skin has layers and that the epidermis is the most important part of the skin. But what you didn’t suspect is the tanning lotion ingredients work on those amino acids of dead skin cells in order to influence the change of color by externally accelerating the production of melanoidin.    

It is that simple because more melatonin means a darker skin tone. Then again, it all depends on the used product, as there is a difference between creams, tanning lotions, and even sun tan lotions. And the award for the most effective choice goes to outdoor tanning lotions since they are packed with skin protective ingredients that act like:

  • Moisturizers – Tanning lotions moisturize the skin to reduce the risk of skin dryness, which leads to wrinkles and premature aging. While increasing the skin’s softness, they also speed-up the process of tanning, as your tan faster when the skin is moisturized.
  • Conditioners – These lotions provide a base for the skin to maximize your tan levels as soon as possible.
  • Vitamins & Nutrients Suppliers – In order to make your tan last longer and to keep the skin healthy and smooth, tanning lotions contain nutrients and vitamins to better nurture the skin.
  • Sunburn Protectants – Whether tanning outdoors or indoors, tanning lotions protect and prevent burning and skin peeling.
  • Even Tan Fighters – The number one scare of tanning are uneven tan spots. Tanning lotions yet again act to fight imperfections and make your tan look natural without flaws.
  • Long-Lasting Intermediator – Contrary to other means of tanning, tan lotions will maintain the color longer. Since they take extra care of moisture, skin peeling and tan shredding is reduced to a minimum for long-lasting perfection.

Although this sounds amazing, the true strength of the finest tanning lotion is in the ingredients involved in skin tanning development. Some of the most important lotion features are:

  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – Sounds a bit scary, but it’s only a colorless sugar that reacts with the skin. On the other hand, this ingredient has the most value due to its ability to interact with dead skin cells and actually change the skin color.  
  • Erythrulose – This ingredient works as a DHA supporter, helping it to boost its performance and quickly show visible results.
  • Tyrosine – The majority of tanning lotions contain this ingredient because it stimulates melatonin production for a faster and more even darker complexion.

Types of Tanning Lotion

Types of Outdoor Tanning Lotion

As we mentioned in the beginning, outdoor tanning lotions are the best of the best sun tanning oils can provide when it comes safely, yet rapidly gaining the color you desire. So the first type of tanning lotions are precisely outdoor lotions but be sure to use products containing sunscreen. Given that they are used for outdoor adventures, it is important to watch out and avoid sun overexposure.

Nonetheless, finding a proper SPF factor highly depends on your skin type the same way an ideal portion of moisturizers and other additives such as accelerators and bronzers are correctly determined between fair, olive/medium, and dark skin options.  

The second type of tanning lotions is indoor tanning lotions. Their use is intended for tanning beds and lamps creating artificial UV rays. However, they don’t protect the skin from sunburns but are specially designed not to damage the tanning bed which is an additional characteristic of some outdoor tanning lotions.

Moreover, indoor tanning lotions belong to a larger group of tanning products. They are mostly called tanning accelerator lotions and, while they don’t protect from UV rays, they can accelerate the tanning progress.     

What is an Accelerator in Tanning Lotions?

Once you start to research and get more informed about the best suntan lotion for a deep tan, you will notice the variety of products with the word “accelerator” in them. It simply means “speed up tanning”, but still, it always comes down to the type of your skin, so let’s take a look at the product’s range to find what suits your skin the most.

Accelerators & Skin       

Accelerator lotions are a basic and quite common type of lotions. Their purpose is to provide a base to beginner tanners, therefore they are jammed with moisturizing properties ideal for the sensitive and pale skin type, as well as for those who want the ashy looking skin.

Maximizer Lotions    

First, comes the ashy, then comes the darker tan. Maximizer lotions are for those who want to continue with indoor tanning, however, they don’t contain enough moisture to keep the skin safe from burns. Whatever your skin type might be, be careful and use a moisturizer (hemp seed oil recommended). This especially applies to extremely dry skin.


This is a special type of lotions due to its ingredients which can be usually found in maximizers as well. What it does is that it increases the blood flow to the skin which causes the reddening. They accelerate the tanning but many people don’t build up a tolerance. Not in any circumstances should this be used on sensitive skin.


The next tanning step comes with bronzers and they are divided by immediate and delayed results. They combine DHA and active ingredients for a darker tan and they are like so-called sunless self-tanners combined with the powers of a lotion. So, bronzers are safe for use, but they work by “faking the tan” until the skin darkens via bed tanning.

Outdoor Tanning Results and Usage

After all, indoor or outdoor tanning is your choice to make. That said, indoor lotions are designed to enhance the UV effects for a small period of time and can’t be used outside. But, if you choose to go out and enjoy tanning with the best tanning lotion for the beach, then follow some basic rules of outdoor tanning and read the lotion label to find the best suntan lotion for a deep tan. You can quickly see the results, especially if recognizing the sun exposure limits. Meaning, don’t tan every day but every other day to notice the beauty of a darker, burn free, even complexion.  

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion for Pale/Fair Skin

With so many outdoor tanning solutions, it will be easy to find the perfect fit for fair skin. Since the secret of tanning is in the lotion ingredients, be sure to buy a healthy dose of sunscreen SPF factor 30 and above, fruit and nut extracts, and natural oils such as olive, coconut, and carrot oil.

It will all be fine as long as long as you always carry extra protection for the best outdoor lotion moisture and don’t expose your skin to the sun more than a couple of minutes per day, with regular breaks in the shade.

Outdoor Tanning Lotion for Tattoos & Oils for a Darker Tan

The same rules apply for those who want a darker tan with or without exposing tattoos. The key ingredients that will provide protection from the skin or tattoo damage and still assist in getting the darker tan are:

  • Natural Seed Oils – For a nurtured and smooth skin;
  • Vitamins – Vitamins contain anti-aging properties to prevent premature aging caused by tanning;
  • Silicone – A mineral with a moisturizing effect;
  • Beta Carotene – Vitamin A to enhance the pigment coloration of the skin;
  • DHA
  • Aloe Vera – Calms the skin;
  • Caffeine – Energizes the skin;
  • SPF 15+


Take good care of your skin, especially during hot summer seasons. The risks of skin damages are higher than ever, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay protected. Buying an outdoor tanning lotion means that you are ready to nurture your skin while you get the beautiful bronze tan of a winner. After all, looking gorgeous requires only the best and natural products which are precisely what the best tanning oil for a dark tan has to offer.


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