Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Tanning Lotions

Some might argue that this isn’t the case, but beauty is a subjective thing, and the fact remains that a lot of people today love tanned skin. Some people even believe that they look healthier and thinner when they are tanned. On the other hand, there are those who want to get tanned for special occasions such as summer trips, cruises, weddings, and so on.

If you are looking for tanning lotions, you were probably stunned by the number of products you can find on the market. You might find a shelf with hundreds of products, each of them being different in the way they work, the way they are applied, and how they are used. I know I was overwhelmed by all of the products and it took years before I learned what is what and as able to find the best indoor tanning lotion.

This is why, today, I will try to be as simple as possible and explain all of the things that took me so long to understand. The things I will share with you today will help you make the right decision and purchase the best indoor tanning lotion for yourself. So first, let’s start from the basics.

What are indoor tanning lotions?

f you read “tanning lotion” somewhere, remember that this is a very broad term that can mean various products which are used to improve the whole tanning process by enhancing melanin production within our skin. There are various creams, lotions, oils, gels, sprays, and so on.

This is why you need to be careful what you are choosing and read what it says on the label so that you don’t make a mistake. Tanning can be divided into three categories: sunless, outdoor, and indoor tanning, and what you are looking for are indoor lotions meant for indoor tanning. You cannot combine different tanning products, as they are exclusive.

A tanning lotion is an important part of getting the darkest and deepest tan, as it has a lot of important ingredients that can keep your skin healthy and hydrated. The first important thing you absolutely need to know is that indoor tanning lotions are meant for indoor tanning and nothing else. Finding the best indoor tanning lotion will do you no good if you are tanning outdoors.

How are indoor tanning lotions used?

Indoor tanning lotions are specific types of tanning products which are only meant to be used with tanning lamps or tanning beds. Their formula almost always has no sunscreen whatsoever as they are designed to block artificial UV light only.

You should never use indoor tanning lotions to try and protect yourself from sun exposure or sunburns. They have specific formulas which only allow them to prevent any potential damage from tanning beds or lamps and when you go outside with these lotions on, they will have no effect.

Learning how tanning beds work

how do tanning beds work

Before you can learn how to use indoor tanning lotions, you will first have to learn how tanning beds work. If you don’t use a tanning bed properly, you won’t be able to get any results and you might even harm yourself. Before finding the best indoor tanning lotion, learn how to use the tanning bed properly.

Talk with your tanning salon staff

When you’ve chosen a tanning salon, you should first talk to the people who work there before everything else. See what kind of a bed you are going to use and for how long you will be laying in it.

If your skin is pale, then you should take small steps and go for two to three minutes at the start. After that, you can gradually increase the time. This is how you will avoid burning and hurting your skin.

Use tanning goggles and remove your clothes

When you lay on the tanning bed, it’s important that you take off your clothes and pull your hair all the way up (if you have long hair) so that you don’t block any areas. In most cases, tanning salons will give you goggles that you should also wear.

When they start the machine, lay on the bed and then turn on the fans. Make sure that you lay down flat on your back and keep your eyes closed during the whole tanning process while remaining as still as possible.

How to tan your whole body

Good tanning bed lotions are important, but It’s also important that you cover your whole body evenly when getting tanned. This is why you need to lift your arms to make sure that the rays hit your armpits as well. Also, make sure to lift your back a bit from the bad so that your lower back is also hit by the rays. This can happen if your back and bottom are both pressed down on the bed. In order to get your neck tanned, make sure that you lift your chin a bit as well.

Moisturize after every tan

When you are done with tanning, make sure that you moisturize really well and wait for your shower. It’s important to give time for the tan to develop. In case you feel itchy, make an oatmeal bath in which you should lay down for around twenty minutes.

How to use indoor tanning lotions with tanning beds

Now when you’ve learned how a tanning bed works, it’s time to learn how indoor tanning lotions can be combined with them. First of all, when using indoor tanning lotions in tanning beds, you need to bear in mind what your type skin is. There are 6 types of skin:

  1. Light
  2. Fair
  3. Medium
  4. Dark
  5. Olive
  6. Deep

Make sure that you get the right product for your skin type so that the tanning is effective. It is also important to make sure that your whole body is evenly covered with the lotion. You can also exfoliate before you put on the lotion to improve the effect.

Also, apply it on your back and, if you have excessive amounts of lotion in your hands, wipe it off with a towel. Indoor tanning lotions should be applied around thirty to sixty minutes before your tanning session starts if you want to have the best effect.  

Types of indoor tanning lotion products

Basic accelerators

If you are a beginner who wants to establish a tan, this is the right product for you. Accelerators can help you get an even, nice tan for a short period of time. Still, you will have to find a lotion that softens, smoothes, and hydrates your skin, while at the same time making it darker. With accelerators, your body can quickly get a starting tan and help your skin get used to the tanning process in no time. It’s a perfect solution for the starting phase.


Bronzers are the most popular types of indoor lotions at the moment. This is because they help you get that deep tone with natural pigmentation. You can find 3 types of bronzers:

  1. Instant – they wash away easily
  2. DHA bronzers – they work by interacting with the amino acids
  3. Natural – they increase melanin production

A lot of people are worried that bronzers might turn them orange, and although this was a realistic concern when these products first appeared, today there is no risk of such a thing happening. Still, keep it safe and make sure that you pick a reliable brand for your bronzer tanning lotion.


After tanning, moisturizers are very important, because they can make up for the important nutrients that get lost in the process. Moisturizers can help you avoid itchy and dry skin that can occur after tanning. Some of the best indoor tanning lotions can be quite potent and you need to protect your skin.

A lot of people remember to put on lotion before they lay on the tanning bed but they forget that keeping your skin hydrated after is equally important for a long lasting tan. Without moisturizers, you will be left with a layer of skin that’s dry and that blocks your new tan and its glow.

Facial tanners

These products are specifically made for the skin on your face. The skin on our face is different, and typical lotions don’t work well when applied on these areas. Make sure that you get a facial tanner as well, and apply it the same way you do with your regular lotion. This is how you will avoid damaging the skin on your face or making it look older than it is.

How often should you tan?

how often should you use a tanning bed

If you want to build a tan, you will have to be regular in the tanning salon. You shouldn’t make a lot of breaks between tanning or it will start fading. You can tan every day, but overall, the best way is to do it every two days. It doesn’t matter if you have the best indoor tanning lotion, stick to the rules.

This is how you will make sure that nothing happens to your skin and that it has time to fully develop a beautiful tan. When you develop a good tan, you can reduce the visits to your tanning salon to twice per week.

How long does it take to develop a tan safely?

In most cases, people start to see noticeable results after just a couple of tanning session, however getting a full blown tan might take a couple of weeks. After 3 to 4 weeks, you will get the good color that you were looking for. By keeping with the schedule and applying the best indoor tanning lotion regularly, you will get what you want in no time.

Remember that building a tan doesn’t protect your skin from sun rays. A lot of people think that this is true and they tan for their summer vacation on the beach and harm their skin by not applying any sunscreen or staying for too long in the sun. Don’t do this.

Remember all of the things that we mentioned today and choose products that suit your skin. Avoid mixing indoor tanning with outdoor tanning, despite the fact that the rays are different, your skin will be extra sensitive and you will have to nourish it to get the good healthy tan you always dreamed of. Do a bit of research online and check indoor tanning lotion reviews to find the right product for you.

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