What Does Indoor Tanning Lotion Do?

If you are reading this, you are probably thinking of doing some indoor tanning, but are confused about the variety of tanning lotions on display. You might be thinking of getting an indoor tan lotion, but are not exactly sure of what to do or why you even need it in the first place.

All these concerns are valid, and your questions are okay. However, you will soon discover that you actually need that tanning lotion when you want to go for a session, in order to leave the skin as healthy as possible afterwards.

The problem comes in when you are trying to select a lotion, since there are so many brands you will see. You also might not have any idea of what each of them contain, what the differences between them are, or how they even work. In this article, we will do a rundown of all of them.

What is an Indoor Tanning Lotion?

This is a cream that increases the rate of the process of tanning through enhancing the melanin production in the skin. They have a major difference with outdoor tanning lotions though, since they do not contain any sunscreen, and are best for usage with tanning beds or other ultraviolet sources.

Their primary purpose is moistening the skin, which helps it to tan in a better and more even way. Believe it or not, the tanning process dries out the skin and leaves the skin prone to cracking, and the lotion reduces the chances of this happening.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an indoor tanning lotion:

  • The SPF factor should be little or none at all. You do not need it anyway, since you are tanning indoors (unlike suntan lotions which you use outside)
  • Use creams that contain bronzers, because the effect on sunrays on your skin will be enhanced

What are these lotions, and what are their standout ingredients?


The main ingredient in bronzers is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. When looking at bronzer lotions, you will notice some without DHA, and others do.

DHA joins to the outer skin cells, which gives your skin a bronzed look after you finish the process. If the bronzer lacks DHA, natural extracts will be abundant and give your skin a natural glow, such as walnut extracts.


Tingle lotion use benzyl or methyl nicotinate, which gives them a ‘tingling’ effect to show you they are working. If you have low sensitivity in your skin though, you might not feel it.

These lotions might also have menthol, so they will give a cool feeling (check the ingredient list if menthol is not your thing).

How Do They Work?

They improve the natural tanning process of the body. Since they protect the levels of skin moisture, they enhance the opening of your pores and increase the exposure to UV. Since the process is done in a controlled environment, the tan also lasts longer – and the moisturizing process will determine the tanning lotions that are better than others.

Final thoughts

When you choose a tan lotion, you will eventually discover that the best choices will depend on the reaction of your skin, as well as the feel and fragrance of the lotion itself.

Related post

Best Exfoliator before Spray tan & How to Exfoliate

Best indoor tanning lotion Without bronzer

Best face self tanner for acnet prone skin