Tanning Lotions 101

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

PinkDiamondTingle 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.

LuminaryBronzer 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.

Phoenician Tanning LotionAccelerator & 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.

68 comments... leave yours here.
  1. Frank Rogers says:

    The first thing I look for is moisture. How good does your skin feel after several applications? What is the main moisturizing ingredient? The second is the level of bronzer… I prefer the darker the better but beware of too much orange in the bronzer… I want to look bronzed not dried out. I also do not care for a tingle as it irritates my skin and leaves me blotchy looking. If you’re a man beware of smells, I do not want to smell like a fruit drink or perfumed flowers. If you are a woman, great. If you are a guy either no smell or perhaps a cologne or fresh soap smell is good.

  2. Virginia says:

    I have tried several different types of tanning lotions. I have tried a lotion called true love which was a good lotion. I actually have my mom tanning now and that’s what she is using. I have also tried sinfully black which is also a good lotion. Right now I am using extreme black and it is also a good lotion. I love the way it smells ( like blueberries ) and it leaves your skin so soft and moisturized. I definitely recommend this product. It is also reasonably priced. The best advice to anyone who tans is to use a good lotion before hand because cheap lotions do not cut it. You get what you pay for.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I am very fortunate because I’m italian with good olive skin. I rarely burn. I associate “tan” skin with an overall “healthy” look. Because of this I start tanning by April…then tan thru the end of September. I change my lotions over the course of April to September according to what stage my tan is at. I NEVER buy my tanning products at the salon. They are over priced and you can get better deals on line. Packets are a good place to start when you aren’t sure what direction your tan is going to take. No matter your skin type, female or male…MOISTURE is the key. Before, during and after each tanning session.I also chose not to use any lotion with a CHEMICAL bronzer in it…they all streak, especially if you are a woman who will be shaving her legs frequently. I prefer natural bronzers, and tingles work really well for me. This year I am using Devoted Creations “Trinity 3”, Novell “Firestorm” and Pro Tans “Pyronic Blaze” for my legs. And always use a moisturizer…day, night and in the shower, a moisturizing body wash.

  4. Emiley says:

    Although I already have semi-dark skin, I LOVE to tan, therefore I look for a good tanning lotion. My skin is very sensitive and dries out easily. I personally do not like like tingling tanning lotions because of a bad experience I had. Maybe one day I will use another one, but as for not I will stick with moisturizers and bronzers. Right now, I am using a tanning lotion that is somewhat “jelly-like” and I do not like it at all. Also, it does not smell good. So, I am looking for a good lotion that will make me dark fast! My legs are hard to tan, so I need to find something that will work and that smells good. I’ve read reviews on “White 2 Black” and it seems like a good one. We will see.

  5. Bohneyyy says:

    I am 19 years old and I had never gone tanning until last week. I used this lotion called twilight. It’s an accelerator and or bronzer… It works amazing. I’m usually very white, like white as snow and within a few days I was at the tan I’ve always wanted! I love it, it’s absolutely amazing!

  6. Mika says:

    I have been indoor tanning for many years now and have used a countless number of different lotions. I particularly love the lotions that have triple bronzers and Hemp in them. I’ve never had an issue with the better quality ones turning my skin a weird color …just the opposite actually! I get a deep , natural looking tan in just a few visits. I even apply the lotion on the days I’m not going tanning to enrich and maintain my color. I agree with Suzanne also…would never again buy tanning lotions at the salons!! They charge three times or more as much as they do online! I have a basketful of different lotions that I like to use…depending on where my tan level is.

  7. April says:

    I have been tanning for at least 24 years on and off. I have tried lots of tanning lotions indoor and out door. My favorite are the ones that have hemp and bronzing as well as a accelerator. I don’t too much care for the tingle ones because sometimes it makes you itch. I just bought a lotion from the tanning salon where I use to tan at and pd 2xs the amount for it as to what was quoted on the web. I could kick myself for doing that but didn’t want to wait for it in the mail. Next time I will be ordering off here. I work outside landscaping and cutting grass and when it is raining I use the tanning bed. Lotion is the key.

  8. Chelsea says:

    Ive only been tanning for a couple years now, and i’m still not too sure what kind of lotion to use. Of course I want a lotion that will achieve the darkest tan for my skin, but how do you choose? I have fair skin with freckles, and to even get a base tan take about ten times of tanning in a level 2 bed for twenty minutes. I currently use Bronze Voyage by Swedish Beauty, and it does not bronze as well as I thought it would… Does anyone know of any exxxceelllllent bronzers ? 😀

  9. sheila says:

    i love tanning in tanning beds and really enjoyed your product the darker i can get the better i feel about my self my husband says i look really good when i get dark. i used a sample of your lotion the one called risque ritual and love the feeling it gives me thank you

  10. Spcluvsu1 says:

    I have worked at a tanning salon for two and a half years and have went through many trainings on tanning lotions. A great start out lotion to get your base tan would be an accelerator or an intensifier. Once you get your base tan usually within two weeks, i recommend switching up your lotions to a natural bronzer or a low number of bronzers. The natural bronzer lotions will have something on them that says bio bronze blend or just natural bronzers. Once you continue to get a little darker many people then find that using a higher number of bronzers and even trying out a tingle will continue to make their tan grow and not plateau (which means get your darkest color and not be able to expand.) Trying different lotions is the way to go. Always switch it up so your skin doesn’t get immune to one lotion, but can continue to get darker!

  11. kiriath jovet says:

    I love tanning lotions! designer skin are my favorite lotions. they all smell so good and make my skin feel and look amazing. half the reason i tan indoors is because of the fact that the lotions are amazing:)) my favorite lotion by far is made for love! My skin is super sensitive and i love this because my skin reacts amazing to it. i don’t get a rash at all and to top it all its paraben free! My advice is NEVER going tanning without a lotion not only does it make your tan last longer but it always makes your tanning experience worth its while :))

  12. Abigail Avalos says:

    *I’ve been tanning for 4yrs now, I luv tanning lotions…i’m still not sure of what’s the good tanning lotion 4 Me still trying some out, I want a lotion that will help me tan from the sun plus give me a little darker shinny shade… 🙂

  13. Bella Porter says:

    Well without totally aging myself…I will say that I have been an avid tanner for about 15 years, working in salons and as a client. I am a huge fan of ANY lotions that contain Olive Oil. I get amazing results from them. I am also a big fan and advocate of Paraben-Free lotions. I am a big accelerator junkie but I do love GOOD natural bronzers while I am getting a good base started. I LOVE shimmers. I’m allergic to tingles but really adore warming lotions and blushers. I have used and tried just about every popular lotion on the market and even some odd balls. I love fruity and floral scented lotions or fresh scented, I can’t do the sugary sweet smelling scents, they make me gag and heave. Bums me out too cuz there are some awesome lotions I wanna try that are sugar scented. Oh well.

  14. Alice Reese says:

    I have been tanning for about 4 years now and I been trying all kinds of lotions, since I am very pale its hard. I love white 2 black but it has a horrible smoke like smell. I just upgraded to a tingle lotion and so far it is really working on bringing me to a great color. I read up on the stages of tanning and now I know where I stand and what I have to do to reach a nice color:)

  15. Andrea Royer says:

    I am a 25 yr old who’s been tanning as far back as 17! I actually have worked in a tanning salon, and am a true believer in using tanning lotion!! Even if its a store brand version as says its ok to use in a bed , then its worth using! I personally am a fan of “spellbound.”any product with a good bronzer will really help you!

  16. Melissa Melissa says:

    I am a 39 year old women living in the Phoenix, Az. area. I have been tanning for several years. Do to how hot it can get in Phx. I personally like to get a good tan indoors. I have tried “all” kinds of tanning products over the years. My skin is sensitive to certain accelerator”s and bronzing products. Leaving me with bumps for a couple of days. I have found certain products that work amazing leaving me bump FREE such as “Love Monkey”. Maybe it help’s to use products with HEMP~to be bump FREE! FYI: Worship Me and Smile Your Darker are 2 Great Products!!

  17. Michelle says:

    I tan indoors during the summer for 3 or 4 months and go about 3 times a week on average. I don’t like tanning outside because it is so hot and takes too long. Indoor tanning is quick and I can tan anytime. It is especially great for special occasions. The spray tans are a nice treat (if you prepare your hands and feet first–learned my lesson from that!) I have sensitive skin and will develop heat rashes from the beds or the products used to clean the beds. TIP-if this is you too, try cleaning the bed with water first then laying. Most good salons have no problem with this, it means you will return to their salon and not someone else’s.

  18. Abbey says:

    I love tanning outside, but now a days you just don’t have the time. That’s why I love indoor tanning. My in-laws have a tanning bed in their house, that’s a plus . Everybody loves to be dark and I’m so pleased when I get out of the bed with a nice glow (:

  19. Dandan Liu says:

    I am an avid tanner who likes to try out all types of tanning lotions. I have fair skin, so tingling lotion would probably not be a good idea because it might burn my sensitive skin. I have tried different kinds of bronzers also, along with accelerators. I think for fair skinned people, tanning accelerators is the way to go because it really does help achieve a nice, base tan, and can be used after achieving a base tan as well. This article is so helpful! You have helped me understand the different categories of tanning lotion that I was not very aware of.

  20. Ashley W says:

    I am pretty new to tanning, and I am still trying to find the right lotion for me.. I keep buying the packets from my tanning salon but that seems to be getting rather expensive so Ive been doing some research online trying to find cheaper places to buy. I would def. advise someone new to tanning still gettin your feel for it, to experiment with your lotions until you find one you really like. I bought a bottle of tingler the first time I laid and no I regret it because I don’t really like it.. I love that there are so many resources to get info on tanning…

  21. Lee W says:

    I am new to tanning, and have no clue about tanning lotions! I am using the Australian Gold Sol lotion right now (the lady at the tanning salon suggested it). So far it leaves my skin very soft and the smell isn’t too terrible. I am fair skinned and tan minimally. What would be the best lotion to use?

  22. ipek evoghli says:

    When it comes to tanning lotion I’m so picky! I don’t want too much bronzer that I’ll become orange, I never thought I would find one I really liked. Then I came across this lotion called Beyond Black. It’s completely amazing. However it does have a very high intense tingle. But you get dark your first visit! It’s incredible how tan this lotion gets you. The tingle takes some time getting used to. At first it burns for about the first 1-4 minutes but after you become very used to it. It’s honestly the only lotion I use.

  23. Carol J says:

    I have been tanning for years. I haven’t use to used tanning lotions regularly, but recently have started using them more. Currently I am using one called tempt. I have found that it has made me tan better. I am thinking about changing to a tingle tanner soon. I have been doing some research on them and thinking about ordering some soon. I however don’t like bronzers that turn you orange. Can anyone recommend one that will not turn me orange.

  24. Julie W says:

    I have only recently started tanning. I am not convinced yet that tanning lotions really make a difference. Of course the shop owner says the your tan is 60% better if you use the lotion, but she also sells the packet for $7. I bought the one she recommended (Hot Mess) and will continue to use it until the packet is gone. After that I will probably tan without for a while and see if I think there is any difference. Has anyone else experimented this way?

  25. Honey says:

    I have been tanning on and off for many years. I love trying different lotions and have found that the better ones are usually the ones that work best for me. I love bronzers and hate tingle factors. My number one has always been California Tan, John Abate, Australian Gold, but now I am going to try Supre, Designer Skin and Brown Sugar. I always try packets first – because sometimes these run into a lot of money – better to be safe than sorry!

  26. Jessica Sanchez says:

    This advice is great! Now I’ll know exactly what to look for when I go shopping for tanning lotions. I was worried at first because I wasn’t sure what to look for or even what exactly I wanted in a tanning lotion. I am a new tanner, and when they explain this stuff to you at the tanning shop it is so confusing. The associates just give a lot of information all at once. This article really breaks it downs nice and simple! Thank you!

  27. Jenniferfuentes says:

    Tanning lotion is a great addition to anyone. It helps makes that glow that you see on celebrities all the time. To achieve this you should research reviews and make sure the lotion you are buying will work well. Hawaiian Tropic has good tanning lotion, which I personally love. Self-tanner is a way better alternative than UV rays or tanning beds. There are not as many risks! Good luck on your tanning and enjoy that healthy glow!:)

  28. LaNae Gladden says:

    I love using a tanning lotion when tanning. It gives you a deeper and darker tan. It also makes my skin feel so soft. The lotion also keeps me from burning as much as I do without the lotion. Another important lotion is the after tanning lotion. This lotion keeps my skin feeling hydrated and soft. My tan lasts longer and if I burn I’m less likely to peel! My favorite lotions have a bronzer because it gives a glowing look to your skin within a few days.

  29. Lauren Breen says:

    I was very skeptical about using tanning lotions at first because of the price. I figured I could just use my regular lotions and they would work the same as the indoor tanning lotions. I was wrong. I finally switched over and bought a tanning lotion ( I use little bronze B!@tch) and I am in love!! I noticed a difference after the first use of it. I also love the fact that the bronzing agent in this lotion does not wash off in the shower. I would high recommend this lotion to anyone out there. I also recommend switching from any old lotion to a specific tanning lotion, you will see a huge difference!

  30. Lisa Potts says:

    This article has been very helpful to me. I used to buy tanning lotions based on how good they smelled and never actually took the time to research the differences between them. I now know which type of lotion I should be using and also which lotion works best for my skin type. Tomorrow I will be going to my tanning salon and purchase Australian Gold’s Eternal Twilight because of a review I read on this website.

  31. brian y says:

    It’s interesting that because I’m sensitive to caffeine, I actually felt the buzz when I rubbed in a few square inches of caffeine containing products like green tea in Mexitan products, and cocoa butter in Badger’s sunscreens. In addition, I could not sleep for a few hours.

    The amount of caffeine used was probably 1/4 milligrams. In contrast, a cup of coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine. I actually have to make my own or find one that’s stimulant free.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I have used tanning lotions since I was a teenager it is hard to find the right tanning lotion I have used different ones all these years as I will be 64 next month. I have worked all my life so this was the best way for me to get a quick tan in the summer and stay out of the suns rays but do not get me wrong I love going to the beach I am close to the Atlantic ocean Jones beach is my favorite but I always settle for Rockaway beach it is not far from my home and I still use the sunless tanning lotion as long as it is 30 and above it helps the tan along. thank you for sharing this with me Elizabeth Colavito

  33. Terri H says:

    I love trying new tanning lotions out. Every year I start with an accelerator and then work my way up to a bronzer and then tingle. I also like to mix bronzing lotions with tingles and play around with different combinations. There are soooooo many lotions these days that it can be confusing. You just have to keep sampling until you find the lotion that is right for you and your skin. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa. I just wish I had an endless supply of money so I could try every lotion I read about.

  34. Erik N says:

    I’m new to indoor tanning and although I have been doing it for several months, I just now decided to start using an indoor tanning lotion. I’m the kind of person that likes to do some research before I buy something but this has been more difficult that what I was expecting. I have a base tan but went with an accelerator lotion because I had no idea what I was buying or what it really was for and the one maximizing-bronzer that kept be recommended was way to expensive for me to buy without someone being able to actually tell me why I should use it over the less expensive accelerator. That being said I’m glad I found this site because I have learned more here in 5 minutes than I have in the past few weeks talking to people at the gym who tan or sell the lotions.

  35. Mashum says:

    I’ve just started my tanning experience. I used to do air-brush tanning and use self-tanning lotions, but it turned out I’m allergic to DHA so I develop a pretty uncomfortable rush that turns into eczema later right after 1 day I use the self-tanning lotion. So I decided to try indoor bed tanning and right away I had to say no to any type of bronzer lotions. I’m currently using a moisturizing “Shea No More”, and I think it helps my eczema together with UV-rays, so for now I feel good about it even though I didn’t develop a good base tan yet. They have charged me $45 for the bottle of lotion at the salon (I live in NYC), so next time since I’m not a newbie anymore, I’ll go shopping for the lotion online. I also want to try something with tingling effect but not sure if I’ll be allergic to it; so for now I stick to my moisturizer.

  36. jesse king says:

    I have used tanning lotions since I was a teenager it is hard to find the right tanning lotion I have used different ones I have worked all my life so this was the best way for me to get a quick tan in the summer and stay out of the suns rays but do not get me wrong I love going to the beach I am close to the Atlantic ocean Jones beach is my favorite but I always settle for Rockaway beach it is not far from my home and I still use the sunless tanning lotion as long as it is 30 and above it helps the tan along. thank you for sharing this with me -jesse king

  37. Aaron says:

    I have used indoor tanning beds and bronzing lotions for about 3 years on and off now. I have also tried many different brands and types of lotions, from bronzers to accelerators to tingles. My favorites are from designer skin though. I really enjoy how quickly I get dark from their products. I have used their lotions called Black, Phoenician and Luminary. I was wondering though about the set time to apply the lotion. I came across another user’s comment that said she achieved much better results by applying her bronzer 30 minutes before heading to the tanning salon. I was curious if anybody knew whether or not that would make any difference. Anyone who might know please share with me.

  38. shannon dietz says:

    i have always used indoor tanning lotions, as wel as outdoor tanning lotions when tanning outside. Bronzers are the best for immediate results. I believe it is important to use lotions in general when tanning because if the skin is dry prior to tanning the first 7 minutes of tanning is wasted because there is no moisture in the skin, so essential your drying to skin more and wasting your tanning sessions. So always use a tanning lotion whether your tanning indoors or outdoors. Never use tingle lotions on the face though! they can potential damage the skin and cells. My all time favorite lotions are bronzers and tingle lotions because you receieve quicker results and your tan will last longer. they also make tingle lotions that are cooling which are so nice in the hot summer days.

  39. amy says:

    hey i use indoor tanning lotions only ever use out door tanning lotions when on holiday i much prefer to use a fake tan as i do not like burning my skin i have not tried any of your products so when i try the sample i will be sure to leave a comment on how good they are 🙂

  40. Krysta says:

    As an employee in the indoor tanning industry, I would NEVER recommend anyone to tan without the use of proper lotions. Doing so causes premature aging, after-tan odor, and you will not achieve results you are looking for without lotion. Also, although lotions can get a bit pricey, NEVER buy lotions online. Designer Skin, Australian Skin, and many other brands DO NOT sell their lotions online. so if you buy one, its almost guaranteed to be a fake. If look on the back of any authentic tanning lotion bottle, it will actually tell you that they only sell in “the finest tanning salons.” i have had so many clients bring in fake bottles of tanning lotions that we sell just to save some money but actually end up spending more in the end to replace it! Buyer beware. 😉 that being said, my all time favorite tanning lotion is Obsidian. Designer Skin had made their best product so far, in my opinion. =]

  41. Jess says:

    Hey Krysta – Buying tanning lotions online is definitely a debatable topic, but to say that all lotions sold online are fake is simply untrue. Realistically, it is often salon owners themselves that turn to selling lotions online for extra revenue. Even though salons and lotion manufacturers lead you to believe that if you don’t buy your product from a salon it is fake, this really isn’t the case. If it is true then hundreds of thousands of people are getting duped and the people who make the “fake” lotions just so happen to make every lotion imaginable, which is quite a long shot. When you buy lotions on eBay and Amazon for instance you have the ability to leave feedback on your purchase after you receive your products. Would thousands and thousands of people really be leaving positive reviews for lotion sellers on these sites if they were all receiving fake lotions? Sure there might be a few deadbeat sellers online trying to pass off one product for another, but in actuality you have a very small chance of buying a fake product online if you choose a reputable seller. As I mentioned above you are most likely buying the lotions online from a salon owner, they just don’t say that because they could get in trouble with the manufacturers for doing that. The huge retail markup in lotions is what really drives the “fake” propaganda, because lotion sales are big business for everyone involved. It is understandable for salon owners to defend their livelihoods but they must accept that people turn to the internet for lotions because of exorbitant retail prices. Most consumers feel it is unfair to have to buy a bottle of lotion at 300% markup after already paying a premium for a tanning package.

  42. Anonymous says:

    hi i have exzema in small patches on my legs and arms and normal tanning lotions arnt good for my skin they leave horible dark patches which looks terrible and im ridiculasly pale which i hate can you suggest anything???

  43. steve says:

    Anonymous – Have you ever tried a lotion like Pure Karma? It is a hypoallergenic base-tan tanning lotion that is made for people with sensitive fair skin. It also does not contain any bronzer ingredients which is usually what could cause any skin discoloration. I would say that if there is any lotion other there that would work for you it would probably be this one, or one like it. If a sensitive lotion like that still causes bad reactions on your skin then you may have to tan au-natural and apply a good moisturizer after.

  44. SonjaJackson says:

    I have sensitive skin which I never had before the age of 30. I have tried different brand products claiming to be natural but for some reason gave me a bad rash around my mouth and chin area. I decided to try Shielo’s Complexion Moisturizer and immediately I felt the results. It is not oily and makes my skin feel soft and hydrated.

  45. Jordan says:

    Hopefully someone can help me out on here!

    I’m looking for a tanning lotion to help me get a nice dark tan. Originally I looked into Australian Gold tanning products but then I was hearing from people that it’s a great lotion and gets you very tan but it clogs many peoples pores because they can be oily. I absolutely hate tingles so I moved away from that option as well. So then I was left trying to find a good bronzer or body blush. As far as blush lotions go I’ve only tried “Body Rush Blush bronzer” and I like it alot due to the fact that it goes on so smooth and makes my skin super soft with no after oily feeling BUT I’ve noticed that the whole two days afterwards I smell like one of those fake tanners you buy at a store and that if I forget to wipe my hands then it turns bright orange. I was told to try “Melt” or “ghost skull” for blushes but because I don’t feel like buying sample packets all of the time I wanted some opinions on these lotions or if anyone has suggestions for body blushes that work better! Only problem is that I heard “Melt” gets you very very warm which I’m not a huge fan of. Lastly, I wanted to look at bronzers which I’ve always tended to use because I like the look of immediate color. I’ve tried Designer skin: Masquerade, Luminary, & Obsidian. I LOVE the color I’ve gotten from Obsidian but like I said above I really don’t like that constant warming effect, it stays with me an hour after I’m done tanning and because I get warm easily I don’t like it too much. Luminary I liked because it’s similar to Obsidian but without the warming effect BUT the bronzers aren’t as high. Then finally I tried Masquerade and I absolutely loved the smell and the way it was creamy and always made my skin super soft but the bronzers were even less than in Luminary. Now that I’ve hit a plateau I’m also looking for a good maximizer. Also I’ve heard of “derma dark” bronzers which can last up to 8 days so I’m very curious about these but haven’t sampled any with it yet so I’d be open to suggestions for lotions containing these. So basically just looking for your opinions on a good bronzer (non warming preferably but just as powerful), a good body blush, a good maximizer, and a nice lotion containing the derma dark. I’m looking for something that preferably does not warm, smells good and has a strong smell so there’s no after tan odor, has high bronzers, does not leave you oily after tanning because that’d make me break out, and I’d love if it could be creamy and smooth so it leaves my skin smooth, and hopefully contains silicone, hemp seed oil for moisturizer, some kind of anti aging, caffeine, shimmer, vitamin E, and beta caratene. The most important thing to me out of these last things listed would be the anti aging, strong moisturizer, and the vitamin e/silicone to have smooth skin. Price is not an issue so what ever you guys think let me know! 🙂

  46. Hayley says:

    would it be best to start out with a hot tingly accelerator or a regular accelerator ; Im wondering which would be best ta get the darkest tan?

  47. Jess says:

    Hey Hayley – Generally it is advised to start off with a lotion that is free of any bronzers or tingle ingredients. A little bronzer is probably ok but tingle lotions are usually for people who have a base tan or more advanced tanners. They are a little more intense on the skin and if you’re not ready for it you might not like it (and you might get red or itchy). Phoenician is a good example of an excellent lotion that does not contain any of these in its formula.

  48. Hayley says:

    thanks jess(:

  49. Haylee says:

    The first time I ever went tanning I started off with a tingle lotion. VERY BAD MISTAKE. it left me burnt so bad and veryyyyyy itchy. I stopped tanning. Now I go again and I use a basic olive oil lotion that doesnt make me burn and im getting really tan. Im buying white to black because I hear its really good!

  50. meliSsa.G. says:

    Hey umm I’m already kinda tan but its light and I want to get darker a honey kind of color but I’ve never gone tanning before so what do I start with and what’s a good brand that that won’t burn a hole in my pocket ($)?

  51. kendra says:

    The first few times I went I didn’t use any loations to regulate my skin to the lights, iv also got mega white skin

  52. Jess says:

    Hey Melissa G – Normally if you’ve never been tanning before you should probably start with a “Step 1” or “Base Tan” lotion, but since you mentioned that you’re already a little tan you can probably jump right into the good stuff (bronzers). Luminary is a really great lotion that has been a best-seller for over a year. It’s an excellent bronzer lotion that smells amazing and leaves your skin soft and smooth. Out of the premium brands Supre is probably the most affordable. Designer Skin, Australian Gold, and Swedish Beauty are also very good brands.

  53. Nicole says:

    I am super pale and want to start tanning. I also burn easily, so I know to start slowly. I have NO idea as to what brand/type of lotion to use. I am tanning at my gym, so there is really no one to ask. Please help! 🙂

  54. Jess says:

    Hey Nicole!

    This page should help answer most of your questions:


  55. Rebekah says:

    I’ve never tanned before and im going to start at my gym, im fair skinned and have oily skin what would be the best to use?

  56. Jess says:

    Hey Rebekah – I would recommend a lotion like Designer Skin Phoenician. It’s an accelerator and it doesn’t contain any bronzers or tingle ingredients, so it’s great for beginners and those with fair skin. Its also been in our top 10 list for a while now.

  57. Rhea says:

    im starting at a gym tomorrow and its my first time tanning in a bed. i have an almost nude color and oily skin. also i was wondering if you should apply lotion to face and the body right before you get in?

  58. Jess says:

    Hey Rhea – Sorry for the delayed response… but yes you should apply your tanning lotion right before getting in to the tanning bed. If you need help choosing a lotion to get you started please see the page mentioned a few posts ago.

  59. Shana says:

    I need help!! I really want to tan but my skin is hard to tan.. Any ideas in how I can get the perfect summer tan?

  60. Jess says:

    Hey Shana – Do you have fair skin that burns easily or does it just take you a long time to get color?

  61. Shana says:

    I’m very fair but don’t really burn I might burn one a year. But I just can’t get any color.

  62. Jess says:

    Ok it sounds like you need a really good lotion to boost your color. I recommend you try a good bronzer lotion first, like Luminary by Designer Skin, or a good tingle lotion like Pink Diamond by Swedish Beauty.

    If you find that bronzers still don’t work for you then the tingle might do the job. Tinglers are pretty intense but many people say it helps them get that color boost they need.

  63. merry says:

    Im fair skin and really hard to tan. I only tan in tanning bed. The best i found few yrs agi the hot amaretto by swedish beauty. Omgsh i got so dark! But its discintinued now and few places found it wants $50 and thats way high. I didnt pay but $30 three yrs ago. So reviews on pink diamond are great . Little bronze b!@tch is awesome and bombshell if u like it hot. I noticed difference 1 st day. People with fair skin tho its best to start out n tanning bed with nothing 1sg few times. I start at 5 min and then go to 8 then 12 thdn 15. Iys best to get ur skin ready then get great lotion and apply every other time or can put on few times back to back. But skipping couple times n between makes lotion last and ill have awesome tan all summer. I had everyone asking the yr used the hot amaretto tho. So if wnt to spend 50 on some id grab tht on ebay.

  64. merry says:

    O and its good to get one wigh lil bronzer and lil tingle if csn take it. There r some tht doesnt get too hot. I would try the pink diamond by swedish beauty or if can find the hot amaretto. Its got bronzer t10 tingle which is not much i never felt it. Plus has awesome smell and shimmer.the pink diamind is suppose to b same just no tingle. If anyone knows ehere to get any hot amaretto cheaper please let me know.

  65. karen says:

    can u use any of the creams that i use on sunbeds on holiday as im goin away in 2 wks

  66. bea says:

    My issue is that I’m very allergic to hemp! Some of the options you mentioned have hemp. Is there anything you can suggest that’s hemp free?

  67. Shawn says:

    Don’t forget black walnut extract! It’s an amazing antioxidant and, when absorbed into the skin, gives you a more naturally dark and lustrous glow… More than beta carotene, that’s for sure. Good way to remember without using too many brain juices: Carotene sounds like carrot. Carrots are orange. Black walnut extract sounds like a black guy’s balls. And those range anywhere from caramel toffee to stealth ninja garb.

  68. Nicol says:

    great post, i think the Black & Tan 75x Indoor Tanning Bed Bronzer is also good for a lot of skiny types, thanks for sharing this helpful informtaions you are the best.

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