Indoor tanning lotion is an essential if you’re looking for the perfect golden glow in a tanning bed. With so many on the market, it’s hard to know which one is best for you.
We’ve made the decision easier for you.
We have spent days researching all of the best indoor tanning lotions on the market to break down the top accelerators and bronzing lotions to suit different needs. Are you on a budget, do you want a lotion with anti-ageing benefits, or maybe you’re looking for an indoor tanning lotion for men?
Keep reading to find out which tanning bed lotion is best for you!
New to indoor tanning? Got a lot of questions? Check out our indoor tanning for newbies section at the end of the post!
Looking for the best tanning lotion for outdoor use? All of the lotions listed below are suitable for sun tanning too, but we also have a separate list of lotions, gels, and oils with SPF (great for the outdoors!). Check out that list here.
♥ Best Indoor Tanning Lotions
Best accelerators without bronzer
#1. Best Value Accelerator Tanning Lotion: Immoral Black Market 200X Private Reserve Tanning Lotion (No SPF)
- 11 ounces.
- Fuss Free
- Made in the USA
- No ATO (After Tan Odor)
- High quality ingredients
- Indoor and outdoor tanning
- Suitable for those who find it hard to tan
- Don’t apply too much
- Can stain jewelry – be clear to wipe off
- Mixed reviews on the smell
A Cult Classic – high quality ingredients, good value for money
This accelerator earned the number one spot for its high quality ingredients and value for money. A range of natural, organic ingredients are included to the lotion – nourishing your skin while you tan. There’s 11 ounces in each bottle, and each bottle lasts a long time. A little goes a long way with this accelerator!
It also works better than other accelerators for people who find it hard to tan.
Immoral promises a streak free tan with this silicone tanning lotion designed to accelerate the natural tanning process. Made in the USA, the Immoral Tanning lotions brand offers a range of luxury tanning products. A cult favorite, it’s not as well known as the Australian Gold or Supree brand.
High Quality Moisturizing Ingredients
A luxury lotion – the high quality ingredients match up with the higher price tag.
A combination of vitamins, natural oils, caffeine, and fruit extracts combine with the tan accelerating agents to provide a quicker, deeper tan without drying out the skin.
The ingredients include: aloe vera, caffeine (white tea, green tea), hemp seed oil, macadamia seed oil, jojoba seed oil, rosemary, rose hip, ginger and ginseng extracts, moisture rich shea butter, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
We apply so many products to our skin day to day – from body washes, moisturizers, to perfumes, it’s important to give your skin a break from all the harsh chemicals. The high quality, naturally occurring ingredients in the Black Market lotion pamper the skin while accelerating your tan and help to counteract the dry, flaky skin that tanning can cause. The ingredients are safe to use over tattoos, so it’s a great option for any tattooed ladies.
Overall, customers are impressed with the no streaks, natural looking tan that the lotion helps provide. Reviewers said that while it is a thick lotion, it’s not greasy, easy to apply and absorbs into the skin quickly.
Is it for me?
Looking for a high quality, no fuss tanning accelerator? This cult fave is packed with organic, and high quality hydrating ingredients, to provide a streak free, natural looking deeper tan.
Although it’s not cheap, it provides good value for money with a lot of product in each bottle, and only a small amount of product is needed for each application. It’s a great option if you find it difficult to build up a tan, or those who have reached a tanning plateau.
#2. Best Luxury Accelerator Tanning Lotion: Australian Gold Hot Maximum Intensifier (No SPF)
- 8.5 ounces
- Indoor and outdoor tanning
- No fuss accelerator
- No After Tanning Odor (ATO)
- Anti-ageing antioxidants and vitamins
- High quality ingredients
- Works well for fair skin
- Moisturizing, not sticky
- Contain 2 parabens
- Mixed reviews on the scent
A best selling tan accelerator from a reputable brand
High Quality, Anti-Ageing Ingredients
Just like the previous entry, the lotion is packed with high quality, moisturizing and conditioning ingredients,including:Macadamia, kukui, olive, omega and tea tree oils. The pure aloe vera aids your skin in developing a natural tan as fast as possible. To help build a deeper, darker color, the tanning lotion contains liposomes and amino acids.
The lotion is fragranced with the classic Australian Gold Cocoa Dreams scent.
Tip: If there is a little on your hands after applying it, run fingers through your hair!
Is it for me?
#3. Best Budget Accelerator Tanning Lotion: Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator (No SPF)
- 8.5 ounces
- Biosine Complex – includes Tea Tree Oil, Olive Oil and Panthenol to soothe, soften and moisturise.
- Quinoa Extract – provides powerful antioxidants for nourished, healthy color.
- No Animal Testing
- No Mineral Oil
- 2 in 1: For Indoor or Outdoor Tanning
- Vitamin A + E
- No sticky residue
- Mixed reviews on the effectiveness
- Mixed reviews on the cocoa ‘creamsicle’ smell
- Doesn’t protect tattoos from fading
Great lotion for the price
Made in the USA and a leader in tanning lotion for over 30 years, Australia Gold’s accelerator lotion is an award winning tanning lotion. It earns the third place on our list for its affordable price – it’s a great option if you’re on a budget.
Vitamin E works to provide some antioxidant protection to help reduce damage from UV rays – which is important considering tanning does damage to the skin. The Vitamin A helps protect against damage from UV rays, and also reduces the signs of ageing.
Is it for me?
#4. Best Bronzing Tanning Lotion: Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Black Bronzer
- 12 ounces
- Indoor or outdoor tanning
- No parabens
- Contains Vitamins, Coconut and Sweet Almond Oil
- Doesn’t transfer on clothes
- Provides a nice, non-orange tan
- Scent is overwhelming for some
- Some find it only works well with a prexisting base tan
A collaboration with Snooki (of Jersey Shore fame), this Supre tanning lotion is an accelerator and bronzer in one to provide a very dark tan.
The difference between this product and the ’70x Ultra Black Bronzer’ (another tanner in the range) is the amount of bronzer in the lotion. This lotion contains less bronzer than the ’70x Ultra Black’.
Bronzer and accelerator in one
The lotion contains a combination of black walnut, henna, and DHA. The black walnut, henna and DHA work to produce the bronzy glow that appears in the initial few hours after using the lotion.
It’s important to wait 3 to 4 hours before going into the pool/shower for the DHA to develop correctly.
It’s not an instant sunless tanner that produces an immediate guide color. It takes a few hours for the bronzer to appear, but it’s visible a lot sooner than the actual tanning process will take. The color tends to be subtle as well as forgiving if you do not apply it carefully.
Ingredients – moisturizing, without parabens
This tanner has really high average reviews online. Multiple reviewers said they’ve tried many lotions and that this is their favourite. Overall, reviewers said it really works to accelerate tan and provides a nice moisturizing feel to the skin.
Customers liked that color of the deep, dark tan that the lotion provides. It doesn’t turn an orange color, and it works particularly well for red tones.
It doesn’t rub on clothing, and even though it’s also a bronzer, customers noted it didn’t turn their hands or skin orange.
#5. Best Tanning Lotion For Men: Devoted Creations Camo King Enhancer and Bronzing Lotion
This lotion is well recieved, with a very high average rating online. Customers like that lotion provides a natural looking, good coverage, tan. Reviewers can see the difference in their skin – it’s noticeably darker in the tanning booth after use.
It works well for sensitive skin. There’s mixed reviews on the manly cologne scent. It is a strong smell, and some find it too strong.
Although it’s easy to apply, some customers complain that it can stain the knuckle area of the hands. Make sure you wash your hands immediately after applying it. You also need to give it time to dry before you put clothes on to prevent staining.
Is it for me?
If you’re a man (or if you’re buying for a man) looking for a tan enhancer and bronzer in one with some great benefits, this is a good option for you.
It provides BB cream coverage, tattoo and color fade protection, skin benefits, and has added ATO prevention. However, the smell can be overpowering and it can stain the knuckles if you don’t wash it off immediately.
♥ TL;DR – Which Lotion Is Best For Me?
- Looking for a high quality, no fuss tanning accelerator lotion? The Immoral Black lotion is a cult fave is packed with organic, and high quality hydrating ingredients, to provide a streak free, natural looking deeper tan. It works especially well for those who find it hard to build up a tan.
- Australian Gold’s Hot Accelerator is a good option if you’re looking for a luxury no bronzer, heat, or tingle tanning accelerator lotion with high quality mositurizing ingredients. It works well to counteract some of the fine lines and wrinkles that can appear after tanning with its anti-ageing ingredients.
- On a budget? Check out Australian Gold’s Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion. It’s not tested on animals, and contains good ingredients considering the price. However, it doesn’t work as well as other tanning lotions for some.
- Looking for a tanning accelerator and bronzer in one? Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Black Bronzer Lotion is a good option at a great price. It’s enriched with vitamins and hydrating oils, produces a natural but deep (and not orange) color. It works best with a preexisting tan, and the scent can be overpowering.
♥ Indoor Tanning for Newbies
♥ Reduce Risks When Tanning
Indoor tanning is damaging to the skin and can increase the risk of certain cancers. Try a self tanner instead for a less risky glow (check out Clean Tan here).
Using sun beds can increase the signs of ageing to the skin. Many of the tanning lotions on this list included hydrating, anti-ageing ingredients to attempt to counteract some of the skin damage caused by tanning.
Cut down on your tanning by using a tan extender/healer to maintain a tan for longer (check out number 6 on this list).
Googles should be used for indoor tanning to prevent retinal damage, or burns to the cornea and cataracts.
♥ Any Benefits To Indoor Tanning?
Many use tanning beds to feel good, to develop a pre-vacation tan, or to get a glow before a special occasion.
Tanning can increase the feeling of wellbeing. Exposure to UV increases the production of beta-endorphins by 44% – leading to a more euphoric and relaxed feeling.
An even tan is easier to achieve in a tanning bed than sunbathing outside and can help to avoid tan lines.
Tanned skin is concerned a sign of beauty, youth, and health by many. Women in one study claimed that not only did they prefer their own appearance with tanned skin, but also that their friends and family thought they looked better with tanned skin. The women in the same study claimed that they look thinner and more toned with tanned skin, and it helps to cover and heal imperfections and acne on the skin.
Tanning beds are sometimes used to treat certain skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, and keratosis among others).
♥ Indoor Tanning Lotion Accelerators/Intensifiers/Maximizer
Accelerators typically include tyrosine (an amino acid, that is connected to the production of melanin) to help encourage the tanning process on the skin.
♥ Tanning Bed Bronzing Lotions
Some accelerating lotions include bronzers. The bronzers usually contain DHA that works to give the skin a glow even without tanning outside or in a sunbed. The bronzer can sometimes become visible immediately after applying the lotion, other bronzers gradually develop over a few hours, and continue developing after your tanning booth session.
The advantage of bronzers is that the color they provide may reduce the amount of UV tanning you need to reach your desired color. The disadvantage is that some bronzers have a fake tan scent, and you need to be careful to apply the lotion evenly, as you don’t want a streaky, orange tan.
Tingle lotions are also available on the market. These kind of lotions work via a micro- circulation process whereby the oxygen in the blood is raised to the surface of the skin, allowing the UV light to reach the skin much easier and deepen your tan. Never apply tingle lotions to the face.
♥ How To Use Indoor Lotions
- Apply liberally, about 1/2 to 1 ounce of lotion per session, before tanning.
- Don’t use it for too long – 20 minutes to 1.5 hours.
- After tanning, use a regular moisturizing lotion to keep the skin hydrated and extend the life of your tan.