Best Tanning Oil 2023

Most people by now know that when you lie for too long in the sun you will damage your skin. And no matter how beautiful that sun-kissed glow is, any darkening of your skin tone is considered to be skin damage.

However, this will not stop you from getting that glowing tan by lying out in the sun, but you can do this safely by using the best tanning oil that will help reduce the effects of the sun.

Whether you’re going to bask in the sun or use a tanning bed, you’ll need some UV light which means you’ll need a tanning oil to get a tan. You can use tanning oil, cream, or lotion to keep your skin moisturized to absorb the sun and give you a tan.

Many tan lovers use the best tanning oil because it helps to reduce the intensity of the UV rays on your skin while still allowing the sun to gently tan your skin.

However, you should always be careful when you’re out in the sun, but when you have a protective layer on your skin,

it’s much safer. Lack of proper skin care can harm your health and overexposure to the sun could have serious long-term effects. No matter how much you want to get a tan, you must take care of your skin which means using the tanning oil that will provide you will enough protection.

List of the Best Tanning Oil 

Hawaiian tropic dark tanning oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil Original 8 oz
  • Reef safe Sunscreen, made without oxybenzone and octinoxate
  • A rare blend of nature's rich tanning oils
  • Formulated with exotic moisturizing ingredients

This is a tanning oil that will not only help you tan, it will also keep your skin well hydrated leaving your skin looking great and feeling better. This is because it’s formulated with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamins A, C, and E, cocoa butter, and papaya extracts. The papaya extract helps to cleanse our pores by ensuring the tanning oil doesn’t clog your skin’s surface while the aloe and cocoa butter keep your skin moisturized and hydrated to prevent your skin from burning. The antioxidant vitamins ensure that your skin isn’t damaged by free radicals in the environment.

This oil has a very classic coconut fragrance that will leave your skin smelling great during and even after your tanning session. It tans fast which makes it perfect if you don’t have time to spend in the sun. You can swim with it on the beach as it’s safe for marine life, but it doesn’t contain SPF so you need to apply sunscreen to protect your skin.


  • Uses all-natural ingredients
  • Moisturizes and hydrates your skin
  • Contains antioxidants that protect your skin from free radicals
  • Has an amazing scent


  • It’s a bit thick to apply


This is the perfect tanning oil to give you a darker more radiant tan with only natural ingredients that will not harm your skin.

Sun bum moisturizing tanning oil

Sun Bum SPF 15 Moisturizing Tanning Oil | Vegan and Hawaii 104 Reef Act Compliant (Octinoxate &...
  • SPF 15 DARK TANNING OIL . For those of us who love to get golden brown but still want our skin to be...
  • MOISTURIZING SUN PROTECTION. Our water resistant and Hawaii 104 Reef Act Compliant sun protection is...
  • HOW TO USE. Spray, rub in, and then bask in those sunny rays to achieve your ultimate golden glow!...

This is a dark tanning oil that has an SPF of 15. It’s formulated to give your skin a beautiful color while still keeping it nourished and protected. It’s a perfect match for people with sensitive skin because it’s hypoallergenic and also a moisturizing lotion that is enriched with aloe vera, avocado oil, marula oil, coconut oil, green tea butter, and argan oil. Because it doesn’t have a very high SPF level, you can use it as a tanning oil during spring and autumn or on cloudy days when the sun isn’t so intense on your skin.

The SPF protects your skin while the oil prevents it from being washed away, so you can swim with it with no problems. The antioxidants in the oil provide your skin with nutrients that it needs to quickly repair itself even if you spend long periods in the sun and also keep it from damage from overexposure.


  • It’s hypoallergenic so it’s safe for people with sensitive skin
  • Helps you to tan faster
  • Leaves your skin with a nice smell
  • Keeps your skin well moisturized


  • The spray pump breaks


A tanning lotion with very effective hydrating and moisturizing ingredients and a low SPF of 15 that provides some protection for your skin when you’re out in the sun.

Dr. Mercola natural tanning oil

If you’re looking for a tanning oil with all-natural ingredients that focuses on giving you a rich golden sun-kissed glow, then you have found the right choice. This tanning oil is formulated with 9 natural ingredients that include sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, camellia leaf extract, cocoa butter, coconut oil, lanolin, and eucalyptus oil. These organic ingredients help to give you a healthy dark tan while providing your skin with nourishment and the fact that it’s hypoallergenic makes it perfect for all skin types.

It gets naturally absorbed into your skin so there is no greasy residue left on your skin and it’s waterproof so you can take a swim without worrying about it getting washed away. Although it doesn’t contain SPF, it keeps your skin moisturized to give you an amazing tan and also maximize on vitamin D intake and still protect your skin from getting dehydrated.


  • Helps to give you a deep golden tan
  • Formulated with all-natural ingredients that are safe to use
  • Perfect for all types of skin
  • Keeps your skin smooth and hydrated


  • The spray bottle pump can get clogged
  • Doesn’t contain SPF


A completely natural and organic tanning oil that contains nourishing and moisturizing ingredients that not only help to give you a beautiful golden tan, it’s also safe to use on all types of skin.

Panama jack tanning oil

Panama Jack Sunscreen Tanning Oil - SPF 4, PABA, Paraben, Gluten & Cruelty Free, Antioxidant Formula...
  • MULTI-ACTION FORMULA: Delicately combines fruit & nut extracts with moisturizing oils and a tropical...
  • DESIGNED FOR SUN LOVERS: Helping to achieve a deep, dark, luxurious tan, this multi-functional...
  • CONTAINS MINIMAL SUNSCREEN: With SPF 4 (Sun Protection Factor), this Panama Jack sunscreen oil is...

This is an accelerator tanning oil that is formulated with fruits and nut extracts with exotic oils and a nice tropical scent that will leave your body smelling nice even after your tanning session is over. It intensifies your tanning experience to give you a deep dark tan. It has a lightweight formula that has been infused with exotic natural oils that conditions and moisturizes your skin throughout your tanning process.

However, this oil doesn’t contain any SPF, so you have to be careful when you’re out in the sun to avoid getting sunburnt from too much exposure. It’s also advisable that you should keep reapplying the oil at least every 2 hours if you plan on spending your time swimming. It will also be more effective to use after you’ve achieved a base tan or for skin types that rarely or never burn.


  • Leaves your skin with a sweet tropical smell
  • Gives you a dark tan in a short time
  • Contains aloe vera that keeps your skin moisturized
  • Very easy to apply on your skin


  • Contains no SPF


This is an intensifying tanning oil that is perfect if you already have an established base tan. However, if you have fair skin, you should be careful when using this tanning oil.

Ed Hardy coconut kisses golden tanning oil

This tanning lotion is formulated with coconut milk, oil, and tanning intensifiers that reduce the time you’ll spend out in the sun and give you a nice sun-kissed glow. This tanning oil leaves your skin feeling, soft, supple, and smooth with your skin having a golden glaze and a sweet smell. It contains coconut milk and oil that keeps your skin well hydrated while melanobronze and quad tyrosine stimulate your skin’s production of melanin to help speed up your tanning process.

This tanning oil is said to even tone your skin and treat the appearance of cellulite. If you have a tattoo, you don’t want it to fade while you’re getting your tan, but with the help of the cocoa butter, coconut butter, and coconut milk, your skin will stay moisturized while helping you to get the tan you’ve always wanted in a very short time.


  • Doesn’t stain your clothes
  • Doesn’t leave your body greasy
  • Has a velvety smooth texture that absorbs quickly into your skin
  • Gives you a deep dark tan in a short time


  • The smell might be too strong for some people


An excellent tanning oil if you don’t have enough time to spend in the sun and you want to get a beautiful tan. It contains tanning intensifiers that speed up your tanning process to give you a deep, dark tan.

Banana boat deep tanning oil spray

Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil, Pump Sunscreen Spray with Coconut Oil, SPF 0, 8oz. (Pack of 3)
  • Locks in MOISTURE and leaves skin feeling SILKY SOFT

This is a pocket-friendly tanning oil spray that promises to give you a deep and it comes packed in 3s so you’ll always have an extra before you can restock. It’s formulated with unique ingredients that include carrot root extract, cocoa seed butter, coconut oil, and banana fruit extracts that accelerate your natural tanning time, give your skin a good dose of moisture, and leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

This tanning oil is water-resistant, so you can take a swim in the ocean or pool without worrying about the need to keep reapplying the oil. It quickly absorbs into your skin so you don’t have to deal with a greasy feel on your skin all day. Since it doesn’t contain any SPF, it’s advisable to carry sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.


  • Gives you a great tan color
  • Doesn’t leave your skin with a greasy or slimy feel
  • The 3 packs are very convenient
  • Absorbs very well into your skin


  • Contains no SPF


A tanning oil that helps to moisturize your skin to ensure that you get a dark and rich tan with a great smell and feel.

Alba botanica coconut dry tanning oil

This is a tanning oil that will add that tropical paradise feel to your vacation. It’s formulated with botanical and plant extracts that will moisturize and hydrate your skin while still protecting it from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays.  This lightweight sunscreen has an SPF of 15 and a silky blend that quickly absorbs into your skin to give you a smooth feel without that greasy or heavy feel.

This means it can provide some sun protection while you get your tan, but you shouldn’t stay out in the sun for too long to avoid getting sunburnt. It contains botanical ingredients like safflower seed oil, coconut oil, and shea butter that nourishes and moisturizes your skin. It’s reef-friendly so you can take a swim without harming the ocean environment and it contains 100% vegetarian ingredients.


  • It contains an SPF of 15 that provides some sun protection
  • Has a nice scent that isn’t overwhelming
  • Keeps your skin moisturized so that you don’t get burnt
  • Doesn’t make your skin feel itchy or irritated


  • The oil can be a bit greasy


A lightweight tanning oil with an SPF of 15 that absorbs quickly into your skin leaving it feeling smooth and silky. The formulation protects you from getting sunburnt and also keeps your skin moisturized while you tan.

Banana boat sunscreen ultra mist dry tanning oil

Banana Boat Ultra Mist Dry Oil, Reef Friendly, Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 8, 6oz. - Pack of 3
  • REEF FRIENDLY - made without oxybenzone or octinoxate

If you love spending time in the water, this is the perfect tanning oil for you because it’s extremely water-resistant and you only need to keep reapplying it after every 80 minutes. It contains a low SPF of 8 which provides you with mild sun protection. However, if you’re going to spend long hours in the water, the sun’s rays can get more intense, so you need to wear a sunscreen with a higher SPF to protect your skin from burns and make sure it’s waterproof. It’s a non-greasy clear spray that dries quickly after rubbing it on your skin.

This tanning oil is formulated with extracts from banana, coconut, and carrot to moisturize and hydrate your skin as you tan while leaving you with a banana coconut fragrance that lingers on your skin even after tanning. It also contains grape seed oil which is a great antioxidant that will nourish your skin, protect it, and help it to heal.


  • The oil dries quickly
  • Give you a great tan without getting burnt
  • It has a pleasant smell
  • People with fair skin can also use it without getting burnt


  • The SPF is very low


A moisturizing and hydrating tanning oil that dries quickly so it doesn’t stain your clothes. You get a great tan and a pleasant smell on your skin.

ArtNaturals protective body tanning oil

Art Naturals Protective Body Tanning Oil / Lotion 10.0 oz Spray Serum Also for tanning Bed - With...
  • ArtNaturalsSoleil Protective Body Tanning Oil combines multiple botanical oils to help create a deep...
  • Safflower, avocado, kukui nut, rice bran, and apricot kernel oils condition and hydrate skin.
  • Free:radical:fighting green tea and sea algae extracts guard skin against everyday environmental...

A tanning oil that will give you a beautiful golden color while leaving your skin with a glow and radiance. It will help accelerate your tan and also help to tone and tighten lax skin. It contains conditioning natural oils that include avocado, rice bran, kukui nut, safflower, apricot kernel, antioxidants from green tea and sea algae to protect your skin from free radicals, and coconut oil to tone your skin.

All these ingredients work wonders on your skin to give you the best luxury tan all around. Since it doesn’t contain SPF, you should combine your tanning oil with some sunscreen to ensure your skin is well protected from the harmful UV rays to prevent premature aging and other serious skin problems like skin cancer.


  • Contains quality non-toxic ingredients
  • Helps you achieve a darker and long-lasting tan
  • Keeps your skin moisturized
  • Its scent isn’t overpowering


  • Doesn’t contain SPF


A quality tanning oil that is formulated with natural ingredients that moisturize your skin and also give you a dark rich tan.

Maui babe browning tanning lotion

This is a very popular tanning lotion that will give you a beautiful sun-kissed and long-lasting tan while still maintaining your skin’s natural moisture balance. It contains 2 main oil ingredients that include kukui nut oil and light mineral oil and aloe vera that keeps your skin well moisturized during your tanning process. Other ingredients include vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, Kona coffee extracts, and potassium iodine. The coffee extract gives it a very pleasant coffee scent.

These ingredients help to protect and rejuvenate your skin while the aloe vera soothes your skin from burns. This browning lotion helps to accelerate your tanning process to give you an amazing golden shade of your tan. You can wear sunscreen together with this tanning lotion to ensure your skin is well protected from the UV rays.


  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Gives you a beautiful golden tan
  • It has a pleasant coffee smell
  • It’s water-resistant


  • It’s very greasy
  • Discolors your clothes


A browning lotion that contains natural Hawaiian ingredients that will protect, soothe, and help to improve your tan.

What is a Tanning Oil?

Tanning oils are very different from self-tanners or sunscreen. They’re designed to help accelerate your tanning process by intensifying the UV rays on your skin. The UVA and UVB rays are responsible for tanning your skin.

They penetrate your skin and stimulate the melanocytes to produce melanin which is the pigment that gives your skin color. When your skin produces more melanin, your tan will appear darker and you get a sun-kissed tan faster.

Tanning oils contain different ingredients that help to accelerate the tanning process, but they aren’t the same as tanning lotions. With tanning lotions and self-tanners, you don’t need to expose yourself to the sun to get a tan.

It’s also not a sunscreen because sunscreen protects your skin and a tanning oil allows your skin to be more receptive to the UV rays.

How Does Tanning Oil Work?

If you want to get a great tan, you can use a tanning oil whether you’re tanning in a tanning bed or outside because the oil will help to promote the development of a great tan. Your skin type will also help in determining the results you get.

Tanning oil helps your skin in the natural production of melanin in your body which helps to give your skin a tan color. Bronzers use DHA which is a chemical that helps to speed up the tanning process by reacting with the amino acids in your skin to give you the bronzing color effect.

Exposure to UV light or the sun will tan your skin in different levels regardless of whether you use a tanning oil or not. However, tanning oils help to increase the speed of your tan and they also keep your skin moisturized which helps in absorbing the UV rays.

The natural level of melanin in your skin will vary from one person to the next, so some people will tan more than others.

Different people can handle different levels of sun exposure for different results which means a lighter person will not have the same tanning results as a darker person.

Common Ingredients in a Tanning Oil

As earlier mentioned, a tanning oil contains different ingredients that help to accelerate the tanning process. These are some of the common ingredients you will find in most tanning oils.

Coconut oil

This is a very common oil in most tanning oils. It’s all-natural so it’s great if you have sensitive skin and most people use it for tanning. It prevents your skin from getting dry by reducing the amount of water your skin loses when you overexpose yourself to the sun.

It’s a very good natural moisturizer with natural fatty acids that keep your skin hydrated and moisturized and with an SPF of 4 it can provide some protection to your skin.

Almond oil

Rich in antioxidants that keep away free radicals that can harm your skin. It’s also very good at keeping your skin moisturized and enhance your skin tone and complexion.

Avocado oil

Avocado is rich in healthy fats that help your body absorb essential nutrients. It’s rich in antioxidants and acts as a healing agent for your skin and helps your skin stay hydrated for longer.

Hazelnut oil

This is also a very popular oil that you will find in tanning oils. It’s loaded with vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids that are quickly absorbed into your skin. It also contains antioxidants that protect your skin.

Green tea oil and aloe vera

Green tea is packed with antioxidants that protect your skin and still give your skin a healthy glow, while aloe vera is a natural moisturizer is also rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E that you can use to soothe your skin after staying in the sun for too long.

Lemon peel oil

This oil is found in different tanning oils and has a fruity or floral scent. Limonene is the ingredient found in this oil that helps to soften your skin and give it a healthy glow.

Eucalyptus oil

This oil has great healing properties. You can use it as a tanning oil even if you have cuts and sores on your skin. It will also help in speeding up your tanning process.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tanning Oil

Type of tanning oil

Tanning oils come in different forms that include sprays, serums, and lotions. They’re better on your skin and attract the UV rays more than the other forms of oil.

However, they can stain your clothes and get messy if they don’t have enough time to get absorbed into your skin.


Most tanning oils aren’t formulated with SPF protection, but that doesn’t mean you should go without it. Some contain the basic level of SPF 5 while others have a higher SPF of 15 which is high for a tanning oil. You should always remember to take care of your skin and provide adequate protection when tanning.

Make sure you get an SPF level that is right for your skin type because you don’t want to get a great tan and damage your skin in the process.


The best tanning oil should contain natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut, or aloe vera. This helps the oil to blend well with your skin and allow for easy absorption so that you’re not left with a greasy look.

Your skin is less likely to react with natural products or cause any breakouts.

Skin type

Different tanning oils are designed for different skin types. If you have dry skin, you need an oil that will keep your skin hydrated throughout your tanning process, but if you have oily skin, you’re better of using a cream.

Light and fair-skinned people get burned easily and take longer to tan so an oil with a higher SPF will create more time for a tan. For dark-skinned people, a lower SPF as you don’t get burned easily.

Skin condition

There are different skin conditions that can affect your choice of oil, and different ingredients will react differently with different people.

If you get allergic reactions, you need to use a more natural product that has fewer ingredients and additives. If you suffer from eczema, you want an oil that will keep your skin moisturized and hydrated.

How to Use Tanning Oils

The following tips will help you achieve the best tan using tanning oil.


Make sure to shave your legs and other areas at least 24 hours before tanning to avoid irritating your skin.

This is because when you shave, you make very tiny cuts in your skin that take about 24-36 hours to heal and if you apply tanning oil before healing, it will cause irritation and lead to rashes and itching.


Waxing helps to prepare your skin for tanning as it completely removes that hair from the roots. If you choose to wax, do it at least 1-2 days before applying a tanning oil to avoid skin irritation. Most tanning oils contain DHA that can get into your pores that can clog your pores and give you ink dots all over your body.


This is removing dead skin cells to reveal a fresh skin surface that will give you a brighter, more even tan that will last longer. Pay more attention to your elbows, knees, and feet.


This is very important in tanning. If your skin is dry, flaky, and cracked, your tan won’t last long.

Moisturize every part of your body and if you’re using a tanning oil with bronzers, use a light moisturizing lotion that is readily absorbed into your skin. If the oil forms a layer on your skin, the bronzer will not get absorbed into your skin.

Apply sunscreen

Tanning oils attract and focus the sun’s rays onto your skin, so you need to use a sunscreen with the tanning oil to protect your skin. Make sure it gets absorbed into your skin and keep reapplying every 2 hours.

Apply the tanning oil

Apply your tanning oil on your entire body but avoid the eyes when you reach the beach or pool and place a towel underneath so you don’t sit on any debris.

Wait until the oil is absorbed into your skin before lying down. Apply every 2 hours together with sunscreen.

Take a shower

After tanning takes a shower with mild soap to cleanse your skin so that there is no residue left to clog your pores.

Apply a tan extender

This will help to restore your damaged skin and prevent peeling. It will replenish the moisture your skin lost and help extend the life of your tan. It’s quickly absorbed into your skin leaving you with smooth soft skin.


Tanning oils help you to tan faster by increasing the production of melanin in your body which helps to give you a darker skin.

You can use the best tanning oil to keep your skin moisturized, hydrated, and tanned, but remember to use tanning oil with sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays.