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Ultimate Guide To Indoor Tanning Lotion | The Top 6 Best Lotions in 2019

Indoor Tanning Lotions

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.

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♥ Best Indoor Tanning Lotions

Best accelerators without bronzer

#1. Best Value Accelerator Tanning Lotion: Immoral Black Market 200X Private Reserve Tanning Lotion (No SPF)

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  • 11 ounces.
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  • 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
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  • 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.

It’s a fuss free accelerator. It contains no added bronzer, heat, cooling, or tingling sensation, and no after tan odor (ATO); the lotion can be used for tanning inside, or outside (when used with an SPF). Sometimes you just want a lotion that you can apply and completely forget about. With this accelerator there’s no need to worry about orange palms, an unpleasant after tan smell, irritating tingling or heat. Just apply the moisturizing lotion and enjoy your tanning session!

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.

The lotion is scented with a beach fragrance, but there’s no after tan odor.

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On first glance, the average ratings online don’t seem that impressive for this product. However, some reviewers had an issue one seller, not the actually brand or contained product. A lot of reviews online are entirely positive.

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.

Customers like the high value for money, there’s a lot of product in the bottle and only a small amount of product is needed per tanning session. It’s easy to overdo it – be careful not to use too much.
Reviewers like the high quality, moisturizing ingredients and how soft the lotion is to the touch. It doesn’t dry up on the skin (a common issue with tanning lotions) and helps satiate and replenish dry skin.
Smells – mixed reviews, some said it’s only okay smelling, others liked it, none were bothered by it.
It also seems to works great for tanners who usually find it hard to catch a tan, and for those who hit a plateau when tanning.
Customers noted that it can stain jewelry, so be careful to remove or wipe off the lotion from your jewelry when tanning.
A common thread with tanning lotions, reviewers had mixed reviews for the smell. Some say it only smells okay, others really liked it. No reviewers hated it, however.

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

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  • 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

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  • Contain 2 parabens
  • Mixed reviews on the scent

A best selling tan accelerator from a reputable brand

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.

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Reviewers were overwhelmingly impressed with the product, with a very high average rating online.
Customers were impressed with how the lotion moisturizes well and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or sticky. Reviewers with sensitive skin said it worked well. They appreciated the high quality ingredients, and noted the lotion didn’t irritate their skin.
It works well to produce a natural color for indoor or outdoor tanning, and is especially suited to fair skin that does not tan easily. However, some said it’s best for fair skinned people to get a base tan before use.
Some reviewers were confused by the name of the product ‘Hot’ and thought it was a tingling hot tan, but this is a no heat, no bronzer intensifier. Don’t let the questionable name choice fool you!
A few reviewers said they were impressed with the performance of the lotion on the face, as other lotions can cause breakouts.
Customers had mixed reviews on the scent. Some like the scent, others say it’s too sweet. Customers were impressed that the tan doesn’t leave an after tan odor (ATO).

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) Makeup Scholar

  • 8.5 ounces
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  • 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
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  • 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.

While it’s still a high quality, highly reviewed product, it ranks third because there’s mixed reviews on its effectiveness. It’s simply an accelerator, and doesn’t have many extras like tattoo fading protection. Like the others on the list, it’s suitable for both outdoor or indoor bed tanning.
Good ingredient choices – what’s added and what’s dumped?
The lotion contains nice, moisturizing and anti-oxidizing ingredients, which is impressive considering its price.
Quinoa extract provides an antioxidant effect for a nice, natural looking  color. There’s nothing worse than an oompa loompa color tan after all!
The Biosine complex of olive oil, tea tree oil, Olive Oil and panthenol combine to soothe, soften and moisturize the skin. The moisturizing properties are great to prevent flaky, dry skin that can happen when you tan.

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.

Not only does it contain beneficial ingredients, the accelerator also deserves some praise for what’s not included and how the product is developed.
The lotion doesn’t contain any mineral oil – a comedogenic oil that can clog pores and cause blemishes. The accelerator is not tested on animals, an important facet for all animal lovers.

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While the reviews are for the most part very positive, there are some mixed reviews on the effectiveness and scent.
Some customers really liked the accelerator and noticed results after first use, even for those with fair skin. Many noted it works well to extend an existing tan. Others said they didn’t get noticeable results and preferred their usual, pricer products instead.
Most customers had no trouble using the lotion indoors or outdoors, and liked that its moisturizing without leaving a sticky residue. Most also really liked the cocoa ‘creamsicle orange’ smell, but a minority didn’t like it at all.
Notes: Although it’s named ‘Australia Gold’ it is made in the USA. Renamed from ‘dark tanning accelerator’ to ‘accelerator’ in the UK as on 2018. Also available with hemp seed.

Is it for me?

If you’re looking for a tan accelerator for indoor or outdoor tanning on a budget, this is a great option. It contains great ingredients considering the price, and it’s not tested on animals. However, it doesn’t work amazingly for everyone – some customers preferred the pricier lotions like the ones listed in first and second place above.

Bronzing Lotions

#4. Best Bronzing Tanning Lotion: Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Black Bronzer

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  • 12 ounces

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  • Indoor or outdoor tanning
  • No parabens
  • Contains Vitamins, Coconut and Sweet Almond Oil
  • Doesn’t transfer on clothes
  • Provides a nice, non-orange tan

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  • 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.

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

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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.

The current price of Camo King is available on Amazon here 

♥ TL;DR – Which Lotion Is Best For Me?

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  • 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.



  • 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

The basic accelerators are not a false/self tanning product. There’s no bronzer added and the lotion does not stain the skin, which is useful to avoid orange palms, and makes it easy to apply with your hands without a tanning matt.
Accelerators without bronzers are great if you have a special occasion and don’t want to ruin your dress. Especially if you’re looking for a healthy glow for your wedding. Nothing worse than an orange stained white wedding dress!
While all of the accelerators and tanners on this list can also be used for outdoor tanning, none of the lotions have SPF protection. It’s important to use an SPF outside to protect your skin from burning.

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.

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