Every indoor tanning lotion is different. Some are tanning accelerators. Some are bronzers. Some contain special ingredients to make the surface of your skin feel warm or cool. However, most indoor lotions do not contain sunscreen and don’t offer protection from UV rays, because they are designed to harness those rays and enhance your tan.
Types of Indoor Tanning Lotions
Tingle and Hot Action Lotions: These products can be fun to try in your search for the ultimate tan, but are not recommended for first-time tanners. Hot action lotions contain an active ingredient like benzyl or methyl nicotinate, which promotes micro-circulation. More plainly, it increases blood flow and brings oxygen to the cells in your skin. This process of oxygenation will improve your tanning results. When you use these products you will experience a mild tingling, reddening and warming sensation on the skin’s surface. You might want to test these tanning lotions on a small area at first, because they can cause reactions for people with delicate or highly sensitive skin. One example of an excellent tingle lotion is Pink Diamond by Swedish Beauty.
Bronzer Lotions: Some people are confused by indoor tanning lotions and self-tanning products. What’s the difference? Self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical that changes the cells of the skin. This chemical is also found in bronzing lotions. The nice thing about a bronzer is it gives you an instant tan, so you achieve that sun-kissed look immediately, and you continue to darken for hours after your session. With bronzers you typically wait a few hours after tanning before taking a shower, but it is recommended to wash your hands right away to avoid discoloration. The skin on your hands reacts differently to bronzers than the rest of your body and can sometimes get splotchy if they are not washed as soon as you’re done. The current best-selling bronzer lotion is Luminary by Designer Skin.
Accelerator & Maximizer Lotions: Accelerators and maximizers are great for beginning indoor tanners. They are formulated to help you quickly achieve a base tan, but normally don’t contain any added bronzers. They usually contain a large amount of moisturizers that allow the skin to tan more quickly and retain your color for a longer time. Once you build up a good base tan you can try a more intense bronzer or tingle lotion to give you that extra boost. Designer Skin Phoenician is a great example of a good accelerator lotion.
What’s In Your Tanning Lotion?
With so many options available, carefully read product labels to find the lotion that’s right for your skin type and your level of tanning. Knowing the following terms will give you an advantage:
- Hemp Seed Oil: Its nourishing and moisturizing properties make it a popular ingredient.
- Body Blush: A type of product made for those who want a tingling effect but have sensitive skin.
- Anti-Aging: These lotions contain added vitamins that help protect against premature signs of aging.
- Shimmer: Glimmering additives in these projects have reflective properties that give your skin an added glow.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is often added to reduce puffiness and energize your skin. Caffeine will absorb into the body, so if you are sensitive to caffeine or have eliminated it from your diet, steer clear of these lotions.
- Silicon: Silicon is a mineral with moisturizing benefits. It’s used to help condition your skin.
- Beta Carotene: Also called vitamin A. It enhances pigment coloration in your skin.
- Vitamin E: Makes skin softer and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.