Best Indoor Tanning Lotion 2020 – Buying Guide

You probably are thinking of getting that great look of sun-kissed skin for the summer months, or maybe you want to leave people impressed at a major function.

There are various ways too great tan like spending hours in sun. But it comes with risk of getting sun burned.

Fortunately, there is other option called indoor tanning. Its also one of the fastest way to get tanned.

Market is filled with various indoor tanning lotion. But not all of them deserve to get used on your skin.

Here, we have a list of the best indoor tanning lotion.

Lets get started.

List of the Best Indoor Tanning Lotion

Maui Babe - Tanning Salon Formula 8oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion 8.5 oz
Maui Babe - Tanning Salon Formula 8oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion 8.5 oz
Maui Babe - Tanning Salon Formula 8oz
Maui Babe - Tanning Salon Formula 8oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion 8.5 oz
Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion 8.5 oz

1) Maui Babe tanning formula

Maui Babe - Tanning Salon Formula 8oz
  • TANNING BED LOVERS: Our tanning salon formula will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated.
  • TANNING BED SAFE : Our salon formula is made with light sunflower oil to preserve the acrylic on your tanning bed!
  • A LOCAL SECRET : Our indoor tanning bed lotion is enriched with vitamins and Kona coffee extract leaving your skin smooth and radiant

If you have never heard of this brand before, then you will find it interesting to know that its beginnings are due to a certain fear: homelessness. The founder of the product itself made it in a bid to make some money and save his family from becoming refugees in their own hometown, and it actually worked. The formula contains ingredients that help your skin to bronze immediately, and your skin develops a natural tan over time.

These ingredients include Kona coffee extract (originating from Hawaii, and known for its rich flavor and is among the most expensive coffees globally). This particular coffee type has high levels of caffeine, and this stimulates the flow of blood to the skin. There is also a famous traditional Polynesian solution for sunburn, The Kukui nut oil.

To help your skin fight against aging, the formula contains Vitamins A, C and E. the good news is that it does not have mineral oil in it, making it good for use on a tanning bed (the acrylic on tanning beds tends to suffer damage from mineral oils).


  • Has a great aroma and very good consistency
  • Due to the high amounts of natural oils, you do not need to use much
  • Contains no artificial colors that leave the skin orange


  • It has a greasy feel and tends to smear on your clothes

Click here for full review 

2) Ed Hardy’s coconut kisses

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz
  • Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion for Age Defying and Intense Skin Hydration 400ml
  • Gold

If you happen to have tattoos and need a tanning lotion that prevents their erasure from your skin (since tattoos are instantly affected by UV rays) then, consider this a great pick. It also contains melanin and tyrosine that help to increase the speed of tanning, while continuing to work on your skin even hours after a tanning session.

The amazing fragrance it has comes from the cocoa butter and coconut oil, which increase the lifespan of the tan and soften your skin. One unique aspect of this lotion is the inclusion of Body Fit, a proprietary blend of ingredients that help the body reduce the appearance of cellulite.

In fact, this makes it perfect if you have pale skin, as it does not have a tingling effect even though it contains tanning intensifiers.


  • It does not have bronzers, so no risk of staining your skin
  • Has a longer lasting effect due to melanin synthesizer
  • Gives the skin intense levels of hydration
  • Reduces cellulite appearance in the skin


  • It contains parabens

Click here for full review

3) Australian Gold Cheeky brown accelerator

Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion 8.5 oz
  • The No. 1 dark tanning lotion Now with Bronzer!
  • Native Australian oils, Vitamins A and E create a skin-hydrating formula for a maximum tanning experience.
  • For Indoor and Outdoor Use

If you are a fan of the tingling sensation that comes with some tanning lotions, then the Cheeky Brown Accelerator is right up your alley. This is due to the inclusion of tea tree oil, although you will need to be careful if you happen to be allergic to the substance.

That is not necessarily the best feature though; it is the tanning intensifiers and instant bronzers. This makes sit perfect if you have fair skin and want to give it a warm glow. It also contains caramel and henna, two ingredients that are best for creating that sun-kissed appearance on you from the moment you apply it.

The tan you get will look natural, so you do not need to worry about streaks. As the lotion also contains a Biosine Complex, this enhances the skin’s production of pigment that helps achieve this end result. There is also the inclusion of great natural moisturizers that maintain the health of your skin, such as pantheol and aloe vera.


  • The fragrance is mild
  • It contains caramel and henna extracts for a bronzing finish
  • Formula has plenty of moisturizers
  • It contains Vitamins B5 and A for a healthy complexion


  • It contains parabens

Click here for full review 

4) Millennium Tanning Products Dark tanning lotion

Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion, 100x, 13.5 Fl Oz
  • Ultra Advanced 100X Silicone Bronzer ;
  • Auto-Darkening Tan Technology ;
  • Product Action: Tan Enhancer, Silicone Bronzer ;

This is specifically for the indoor tanning procedure, and fits in well if you are a heavy-duty user. In fact, its results are impressively dark, so you can use it if you want an intense result the entire summer. However, the instant result it gives means that you need to be extra careful when using it.

It has a double working mechanism. When you use it, it improves the reaction of your skin to the UV rays, while also coloring the skin thanks to the ingredients it contains. This makes it work as a dual tanning accelerator as well as a bronzer, and makes it quite impressive in its results.

The ingredients are also in high quantities, especially the coloring agents. This makes your skin develop a tan almost immediately after application, while also leaving the skin very smooth and supple.


  • Great smell
  • Long lasting results
  • It leaves the skin very smooth and soft


  • You need to be very careful when applying it, as the results are instant and can result in streaks
  • You cannot use it on fair or pale skin

5) Sun Bum moisturizing lotion with sunscreen

Sun Bum Original SPF 15 Sunscreen Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free)...
  • ORIGINAL SPF 15 SUNSCREEN LOTION . This is the stuff we use every day. It’s the formula that started it all. People say it smells like summer. We like that....
  • MOISTURIZING SUN PROTECTION. Dermatologist and Sonny approved, this non-comedogenic sunscreen delivers UVA/UVB protection and is packed with Vitamin E. Our...
  • HOW TO USE. 15 minutes before sun exposure, apply liberally to all areas of the skin and avoid the eye area. For best results, reapply after 80 minutes of...

This is the perfect low-protection, all-purpose tan lotion that is versatile enough for everyday use – especially on cold days or when the sun is not very hot. The protection factor is quite low, so this is a great choice for the autumn and spring seasons, a cloudy summer day, or when you want to head to the beach during the off-seasons.

The ingredients of this lotion are meant to become great for general use, even for individuals who have sensitive skin that is prone to irritation from chemicals. The formula is entirely all-natural and vegan, which makes it hypoallergenic and friendly for all skin types.

In addition it protects you from premature aging due to the guarding against UVA rays – therefore, you no longer need to worry about the occurrence of dangerous chemicals even when you go swimming or surfing. It also happens to double up as moisturizing lotion, which is great news if you are looking for a sunscreen that does not dry out your skin.


  • The sun protection factor and addition of moisturizing agents
  • The formula is hypoallergenic, as the ingredients are environmentally-friendly and gentle
  • Does not have parabens
  • Does not clog the pores
  • You can use it on kids as well


  • You need to be careful to avoid your eye area when applying it

6) Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach

Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion 12.25 Ounce
  • 1.DHA Free bronzers provide streak free/stain free results.
  • 2.Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6, Powerful anti-aging peptide that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for long lasting results.
  • 3.Coconut & Walnut Oils provide skin softening and hydration properties.

This is among the best lotions you can ever get for multi-purpose use. It functions as a bronzer, an outdoor and indoor lotion, and a moisturizer. However, the formula does not include sunscreen, so you need to include sunscreen application if you are heading out.

You can use it to intensify the process of tanning, whether you are going out into the sunshine or spreading out on a tanning bed, and it works very well as a fake tan. You will not see the immediate effect of the application on the skin, but the results will appear as you continue to use it over time. This makes its results are long lasting as well, since it gets deep in the skin to achieve an evenly bronzed look.

This product is generally better for a darker skin tone, although it works for fair skin in some cases. At the end of the day, the effects of this lotion build up over time, which means the results are streak-free and even.


  • Does not have a sticky effect and does not leave stains
  • The effect is gradual
  • Works as a bronzer and accelerator
  • It promotes anti-aging thanks to vitamins and peptides
  • The results are even


  • The results might be slower than you want, so it may not work for you if you want instant effects

7) Australian Gold dark tanning accelerator

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion, 8 Fluid Ounce
  • Australian Natural: Tea Tree Oil, a powerful antioxidant, works to gently cleanse for smooth skin.
  • Vitamins A and E: Work to deeply moisturize and provide superior benefits to skin
  • Natural Oils: Supply important nutrients to the skin while moisturizing to help hydrate for soft, smooth skin.

This serves to make the tanning experience more intense, regardless of whether you do it in the sun or in a tanning salon. You only need to rub it in evenly, and allow it to do its job – you might even start noticing differences in your complexion within two weeks. The only thing you need to note is its lack of SPF, which means you will need extra protection if you are tanning in the sun.

The ingredient list includes vitamins and natural oils, as well as a caramel Popsicle perfume that makes it smell really nice. After your application, it leaves you with incredibly good-smelling skin that is highly moisturized and feels supple. While it is a major hit among outdoor tanning fans, it serves indoor tanning sessions very well.


  • It is great for both outdoor and indoor use
  • Has a dry oil finish to it, which means the skin does not feel clogged
  • Has a great caramel Popsicle smell
  • Plenty of natural oils to soften the skin


  • Many users complain about the lack of instant results, especially when doing the tanning indoors

8) New Sunshine designer bronzer

New Sunshine Designer Skin Bronzer, 14 Karat Gold Rush, 13.5 Ounce
  • New Sunshine Designer Skin Bronzer, 14 Karat Gold Rush, 13.5 Ounce
  • 13.5 Ounces

Like the name suggests, this is a high-end bronzer lotion that makes you look good even when you are going out to the beach. It allows you to achieve deep tanning results as much as you want, and you have the choice of using it throughout the summer or just before an important event in your life.

The ingredient formula has something interesting going for it: the use of real liquid gold (which explains its name). It gives a very luxurious feel and appearance to your skin, and also has hyaluronic acid and omega-3 acids that moisturize your skin and reduce signs of aging. The bronzing ingredient list is also quite impressive, as it features erythrulose and DHA (a very important component of many bronzers), and all will help to enhance the tan your skin already has.

As you apply it more frequently, your skin gains a golden tan. It smells good as well, as the gilded citrus smell makes it really appealing.

One thing to keep in mind though: do not go for this lotion if you are searching for suntan lotions that also function as tan accelerators. It also lacks sunscreen, so you cannot use it for outdoor tanning unless you also apply sunscreen.


  • It adds a gold color to the skin, as it is a bronzer
  • The effects are gradual
  • The formula includes anti-aging ingredients
  • It gives your skin golden highlights


  • It does not smell good after a few hours of application
  • It tends to leave orange streaks on your hands

9) Brown Sugar Black chocolate coconut cream bronzer

Brown Sugar BLACK CHOCOLATE COCONUT CREAM 200X Bronzer - 13.5 oz.
  • 200X Black Bronzers are artisan crafted for your darkest tan yet Double Dark Chocolate & Argan extracts nourish your tan with potent antioxidants.

If you are a person that prefers a bronzer lotion that has a good scent (and believe us, you are not alone), then this is a perfect fit for you and among the best you can use on the market. The scent is primarily coconut cream, which lasts as long as possible and changes your tanning bed to a space that smells good.

The formula is also gentle, and can be used on multiple skin types as it does not have parabens. The lack of DHA though means that you should not expect instant results – especially if you have a slightly darker skin tone, but it also prevents that sight of developing orange skin. The other ingredients include plenty of natural oils and anti-aging nutrients, leaving your skin looking good after a tanning session.


  • Leaves your skin feeling moisturized due to the coconut oil
  • Very good for people with sensitive skin types
  • It smells very good, even after a few hours of application
  • The result looks natural
  • Is not very greasy or thick, so you can wash it off easily


  • It can leave the hands streaky if you fail to wash them

10) Designer Skin Luminary bronzer

The packaging of this specific bronzer makes it stand out instantly – it is really beautiful. However, when compared to other bronzers you would get in the market, it does tend to come off as a little weak compared to them. That alone will make it best for you if you want to see subtle changes in your skin tone, but the good news is that it does not leave you with a sticky or greasy feel after application.

Some of the benefits it gives you are the anti-aging ingredients, and its ability to eliminate free radicals and impurities on the skin – resulting in a younger look. The tanning process can leave your skin damaged if you are not careful, but this lotion prevents that from happening. Even after application, your skin will remain noticeably luminous after the session.

The nice scent it has is due to the inclusion of sandalwood, and you can even wear this for a whole day after leaving from a session. In addition, remember to apply sunscreen if you will use it outside, as it does not have SPF.


  • Good smell, whether you use it outdoors or indoors
  • Does not leave a greasy feel after application
  • It does not leave streaks (although it leaves spots if you fail to wash it off well)
  • Moisturizes the skin very well


  • If you are very sensitive to strong smells, it is best to avoid it

11) Millennium Paint it Black indoor tan lotion

Paint It Black Hemp Indoor Tanning Bed Lotion w/Dark Bronzer By Millennium Tans
  • Paint It Black Hemp w/ Bronzer Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products
  • Auto Darkening Tan Technology delivers extreme dark bronzing tanning results
  • Extreme Silicone Emulsion Blend leaves your skin silky soft and smooth

The packaging of this specific bronzer makes it stand out instantly – it is really beautiful. It is sufficient enough to give you the dark color you want while leaving your skin incredibly moisturized – thanks to the silicone emulsion meld.

It works on the skin in two ways – firming the skin, as well as accelerating the process. The silicone emulsion is responsible for this, as it is a mix of tan enhancers and natural ingredients. The good news is that any skin types can work well with it, as it does not have side effects.

It features auto-darkening tan technology that is 50 times more powerful compared to other lotions, giving you instant results when you leave the tanning bed. However, it does not leave the skin orange or leaving streaks, which is good news if you want to use it in generous amounts. The smell is also good, and the aftereffects will not smear on your clothes afterwards.

The results are impressive and long-lasting, which means you will not require re-application after the process is over. Just ensure to rub the lotion thoroughly on the skin before starting the tanning process to ensure the results are great.


  • The fragrance is very good
  • Does not dry out the skin
  • Has a silicone emulsion blend that enhances the process
  • The application is smooth
  • Has a moisturizing effect


  • It contains artificial color

Indoor tanning lotion buying guide

Working with an indoor tanning lotion to achieve the results you have dreamt of is great – but that does not mean the selection process is easy. With so many options to choose from, you might even wonder what to go for or why you should choose one lotion over the other. As we will see, the final decision you make will depend on what you are going for.

For instance, are you planning to go for an indoor tanning session alone or planning to use it on the beach? What is the condition of your skin? Have you ever used a tanning lotion before?

If these questions and many more confuse you, then you are not alone. Read on for our guide to making the best choice for your skin.

What to consider

There are certain questions you need to answer before getting your tanning lotion. These are:

  • Are you planning to go exclusively to indoor tanning salons, or are you planning to use the product outside, for instance on the beach? This will help you choose whether you want an outdoors or indoors lotion (although you will need to use sunscreen with both so as to reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation).
  • Do you prefer using a tanning accelerator or a bronzer? If you are okay with having just a general tanned appearance or having a fake tan (this does not mean the tan looks fake though), then the bronzer is the best pick. However, if you want faster and darker results, then the accelerator is best.
  • The type of formula you want. Many tanning lotions today are a combination of accelerating and tanning effects, and some have some sunblock in them (which can work if your skin is pale).

Keep in mind that sunblock lotion and indoor tanning lotion are different from each other, as indoor tanning lotions mostly do not have any SPF factor – which means your skin remains unprotected even on the tanning bed.

What is your skin type?

You need to keep your skin type in mind when choosing a lotion, as not everything will work well for everyone. The lighter your skin is, the more vulnerable it is to sun damage and other negative effects of UV rays, which means you will need higher protection.

In addition, sensitive skin types need adjustment in the UV rays levels they receive, as well as the timing. If your skin is prone to breakouts, you will need to reduce the exposure you experience, and avoid going out when the sun is very strong. If doing the process indoors, you might find it easier to adjust the UV rays levels, so inform the staff of the tanning salon to give you the ideal settings for your skin type.

The use of the Fitzpatrick scale classifies skin phenotypes into six major groups, and these will help you make a correct choice on the lotion to go for. They are:

  • Type I – this is the palest skin type. It always burns when it is exposed to the sun, and it never tans naturally. The characteristics of the person are having very pale skin, red or blonde hair, the presence of freckles, and green or blue eyes.
  • Type II – like Type I, it rarely tans and is vulnerable to burning. Physical traits are white skin, having red or blonde hair, and the eyes are hazel, green or blue.
  • Type III – it can tan slightly, and suffers mild sunburn. The skin tends to be white, while the eyes and hair can be any color
  • Type IV – tans very easy, and is not very susceptible to burns. The skin is moderately brown, and the hair and eye color can be any
  • Type V – tans very well and rarely burns. The skin is brown, and the hair and eyes are dark in color
  • Type VI – it never burns and never tans. The skin color is rich and dark, while the hair and eyes are dark in color.

If you have Type I or II skin, then the SPF sunscreen you use must have a protection of between 30 and 50, even if you are planning to go for an indoor tanning session. If your skin is Type III, you can use a sunscreen with SPF 30. If you are a Type IV, a sunblock with SPF 20 to 30 is sufficient, while types V and VI can use one with SPF 15 (although they still require some level of protection).

Regardless of your skin type, your face will require more sunblock than the rest of your body, so use it accordingly – even if you are heading for an indoor tanning session. Do not forget to wear nipple covers when tanning.

The type of lotion you want

When it comes to indoor tanning, the lotion you choose is to help the skin accelerate the tanning process (unlike outdoor tanning lotions). You will find plenty of options when you go to a tanning salon, but it is better to get your own lotion as you understand your skin best. Getting your own also allows you to control the bonuses and ingredients you get, all depending on the results you want.

Before choosing a lotion, keep these things in mind:

Criteria 1: is it a non-bronzer or a bronzer?

Not all indoor tanning lotions are bronzers. Bronzers work by boosting the natural tan you already have, and make it look more prominent after the process. As long as it is of high quality, any extras you get from it such as anti-aging features are a welcome bonus.

It will also not leave streaks or spots on the skin, as it merely acts as a light make-up that is on your body.

If you do not include bronzer in your lotion

Criteria 2: is it dark or light?

The level of color that the lotion has will determine the results you get. Some have a ‘fair’ or ‘light’ label, while others have a ‘dark’ label. These labels simply refer to the natural tone of your skin and the result you want to get.

If you happen to have very pale skin, it is best not to go for drastic changes, so avoid the dark lotions. These will only result in streaks on your skin because of the contrast, so it is better to start off with light lotions and build it up gradually as time goes by.

The types of lotions to use are:


These are the lotions that contain very small particles that are full of color, and they result in a tan-color to the skin even if you do not go through organic tan process (which makes the skin produce melanin on its own). They are best thought of as a dorm of make-up for the skin, although with prolonged use they eventually lead to a deep and permanent tan effect.

The types of bronzers you will get are:

  • Highlighting bronzers – these resemble the make-up aspect, and you can wash them off easily after your session. They only result in a temporary glow.
  • Gradual self-tanning bronzers – consider these as the best choice for an ‘actual’ tan, and they are the healthiest choice. The ingredients are all-natural, and encourage the skin to change color organically. These include cane sugar compounds and beta-carotene.
  • Indoor tanning bronzers – this is more of a combination of bronzer and accelerator. The results are instant, and prolonged use results in a natural tanned color to the skin.

Tingle tanners

Tingle tanning lotion that use a unique formula, which results in a tingling feeling on your skin after application. The active ingredients are different from the bronzers, and boost the microcirculation of the skin – resulting in the skin absorbing the rest of the ingredients faster. They also result in faster production of melanin as well.

You can find several brands of lotions also giving you a tingling effect, although there are some things you need to keep in mind if you are using them for the first time:

  • Expect a reddening and warming effect on the skin (though this does not leave long-lasting irritation on the skin)
  • The tingle sensation will be quite significant, so if you have sensitive skin, it is best to avoid them
  • As soon as you apply the lotion, you must go to the tanning bed immediately. This will maximize the tanning benefits you get, as the effects only last for a maximum of 40 minutes.
  • After application, wash the hands very well. The active ingredients will sting the skin if they stay on for too long, and are dangerous if they are on very sensitive areas like your eyes.

Final thoughts

It was a tough choice to make regarding the best pick, as all of the lotions are great in their own ways and for different purposes. However, the winner of this selection is Devoted Creations instant tan lotion. It not only works for multiple skin types as it does not contain parabens, but also moisturizes the skin without leaving an annoying sticky or greasy effect afterwards. The results it gives you will build up as time goes on, which also allows you to get streak-free results.