Complete Guide on Bronzer Tanning Lotions

When you start looking for a tanning lotion, you are bound to find dozens of products claiming to provide a superior tanning experience and drive tan into darkness. Bronzer tanning lotions are a popular choice for tanners who want to achieve a natural sun-kissed look immediately and a great solution for those who can barely stand the discomfort caused by tingling lotions. They’re accessible, provide beautiful results, and keep your skin properly moisturized.

What is so special about bronzer lotions – and most importantly, are they a good choice for you?

Types of Bronzer Tanning Lotions

Not all bronzer lotions are created equally, and the main difference between them is the ingredient or ingredients that they’re formulated with. There are two main types of bronzer lotions:

  1. DHA Bronzers: Also known as self-tanners, these bronzers contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a carbohydrate that reacts with the amino acids in the dead layer of your skin to form brown-colored melaninoids. This occurs via the Maillard reaction – the same type of reaction that occurs in baking and roasting of foods. However, using a DHA bronzer only gives the illusion that your skin is tanned due to its golden color. Normal tanning is a result of the production of melanin in the body via melanogenesis, and since DHA bronzers do not impact melanin production, the outcome is what most individuals call “fake tan.” Moreover, DHA affects dead skin cells only, which are gradually shed in 7 up to 10 days, thus requiring reapplication.The effect of DHA bronzers is not instantaneous. It takes about 2-4 hours for the results to show up, and your skin may continue darkening for as much as 72 hours. Choosing the right percentage of DHA in your bronzer based on your skin type will largely impact the results:
    • 5-8% – skin types I and II (pale and fair skin)
    • 10% – skin types III and IV (light medium and medium skin)
    • 12% – skin type V (brownish skin)
  2. Natural Bronzers: Natural bronzers contain specifically plant and herbal extracts instead of DHA or chemicals. Common ingredients include caramel and riboflavin, which give an instant boost of color. Higher quality natural bronzer lotions may be formulated with organic ingredients and exotic extracts that aid in the tanning process by increasing oxygen circulation in the epidermis and boosting melanin production. Many of the ingredients found in natural bronzers are moisturizers that support healthy tanning by providing proper moisture to the skin and evening the color, thus preventing streaks and splotches.Due to their nature, natural bronzers last for 3-4 days only, requiring very consistent application.

Other Ingredients in Bronzer Lotions

  • Caffeine and Coffee Extract: When applied externally, coffee extract has a firming effect on the skin, keeping it looking youthful and more toned.
  • Hemp Seed Oil: As the most potent moisturizer in bronzer lotions, hemp seed oil nourishes and deeply conditions the skin, minimizing the drying effect of indoor tanning beds.
  • Silicone Emulsion: Provides additional hydration to the skin and sustains the color for much longer.
  • Psoralen: Extracted from citrus oils, psoralen is a type of amino acid that reacts with the skin’s pigment cells when exposed to UV radiation.
  • Tyrosine: Also an amino acid, tyrosine acts very similar to psoralen.


  • They provide faster results as compared to tingle tanning lotions.
  • They are absolutely safe to use and do not pose any health risks to users.
  • They do not cause any discomfort (tingling) after application.
  • They are rich in moisturizers that produce an even tan and keep the skin moisturized.


  • Very few products provide an appropriate level of UV protection to the skin, meaning you risk getting sunburns if you go out after application.
  • They require careful application, otherwise you risk getting streaks, splotchy areas and orange palms.
  • They are not suitable for beginner tanners.
  • They wash off too quickly.

Final Word

If you cannot stand the tingling sensation of tingle tanning lotions, then a bronzing lotion may be the perfect solution for you. For the best results, we recommend that you get a base tan before using a bronzer; otherwise results will not be as spectacular. Also, make sure not to get the darkest tanner out there if you have pale, fair, light medium or medium skin. A color that’s just one or two shades darker than your skin tone will create a natural-looking golden glow that will turn heads!

» Click here to find all the bronzer tanning lotions with user reviews in Amazon.

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