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Tingle tanning lotions aren’t for everyone, so if you’re brand new to tanning, consider trying other lotions like bronzers or accelerators first and working your way up. No matter which lotion you try, make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle to achieve the best results.
What is a Tingle Tanning Lotion?
Don’t know what a tingle lotion is? You know that feeling when you’re out baking in the sun, the heat of the sun reddening your skin? Well, that’s essentially what a tingle lotion tries to replicate inside a tanning bed.
Feeling burned and turning red? Now, you might be wondering why someone would want someone that.
The active ingredient in many tingle lotions is Benzyl Nicotinate, which increases your skin’s micro-circulation and oxygenation. In other words, there’s more oxygen rich blood circulating towards the uppermost layer of the skin. Oxygen stimulates the melanin cells in your skin, the cells that produce your tan.
That being said, tanners using tingle lotions are capable of achieving a darker tan than would be possible with other lotions. In fact, many experienced tanners who have switched to tingle lotions say that it busted their tanning plateau, giving them the darkest tans they’ve ever gotten.
Starting to sound a little more tempting, right?
What to Look for in a Tingle Tanning Lotion?
When you’re shopping for a tingle lotion for the first time, it can be kind of intimidating. After all, many manufacturers will suggest tingles only for experienced tanners. But hey, even experienced tanners can be a little scared of slathering on one of these sizzling lotions. That was the case for me! I had used tons of different bronzers for years, but just because the idea of a tingle left me freaked!
“Will I burn?”
“What if it’s too hot?”
“Oh man, am I going to come out of this bed looking like a lobster?”
It’s easy to psych yourself out of trying a tingle, but you’re really just robbing yourself of a deeper, darker tan! While tingles are intended for more experienced tanners, you have to start somewhere!
Here are some to consider when you’re shopping for your first tingle lotion.
Read the Label
Product packaging is important, both the front and the back! Tingle lotions are usually marketed with pretty bright colors and designs, and action words to really emphasize that this product is a HOT one! I like to think of those bright colors as a “Caution” sign for those who aren’t quite ready for a tingle.
It’s important to note that the color or design of the bottle isn’t what makes it hot. Not every tanning lotion in a bright red bottle is going to be a super hot tingle lotion, and not every lotion in a subdued hue is going to be safe for beginners!
That’s why it’s always important to read the label! As you get used to tingles, you’ll probably seek out the hottest tingle tanning lotions, which advertise their “extreme tingle” or “hottest formula”. Until you’re ready for those, stick to phrases like “warming tingle” or “subtle heat”. This will help you acclimate to this hotter style of tanning!
Not sure if the lotion you’re looking at is a tingle? Reading the ingredients list can give you another clue. Do you see Benzyl Nicotinate anywhere on the list? If so, you’re likely looking at a tingle lotion!
Customer reviews are a great way to research a tanning lotion. People who love the product, as well as those who hate the product, leave their opinions right there for you to read! What more could you ask for when trying to pick a new product? First-hand experiences from people who have tried the lotion you’re looking at!
And with all this information, you can get the answers to some pretty important questions. Do people generally like the smell or not? Does it look like the majority of people say it’s super hot or does it look like a tamer tingle? Does this lotion get the color results that you expect from a tingle or not really?
Before you ever spend a cent on a lotion, whether online or at the salon, do your homework and read the reviews! You may save yourself from buying a lousy lotion!
You’ve done your research. You’ve read all the labels. You’ve checked the customer reviews. Now, you’re ready to buy a lotion, right?
Well as we’ve stated a number of times, tingles aren’t for everyone. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you may like using tingle tanning lotions, then one thing you can try is a lotion packet.
You’ve probably seen these before, maybe even bought a few, at your local tanning salon. They’re single session sized packets of tanning lotion (sometimes it’s enough for two sessions).
Instead of dropping $30-$60 on a full-size bottle of tingle lotion, grab one of these packets for $6 to see if you like the feeling and the results. There’s no better way to find out if you like a product than trying it for yourself!
The first two lotions on this list are not tingles, they are warming bronzers. What that means is you get a warming sensation without the intensity of a full-tingle.
Warming lotions are a good first step if you have very fair or sensitive skin. As you adjust, you can move into more intense levels of tingles to work your way the tingle ladder.
With that said, let’s review some of our favorite warming and tingle lotions for beginners.
Midnight Delight Private Reserve Tan Lotion by JWOWW
Who’s it for: Someone who wants to start with a warming tanning lotion without the tingle.
What’s it smell like: Decadent Dark Vanilla.
If you’re wanting a gradual step into tingle lotions, a good option for you might be a warming lotion. Warming lotions like this one from JWOWW and the following lotion from Designer Skin, give you a feeling of warmth across your skin, without the super intense tingle effect that intimidates most first time tingle users.
JWOWW’s Midnight Delight is a great introduction into tanning lotions with a little heat, but there are many more things to love about it.
Natural bronzers like DHA and erythrulose are mixed with caramel to provide both instant and delayed bronzing. So not only will you leave the salon looking instantly darker, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of seeing your tan gradually darken hours after tanning.
This lotion also features a luxurious Vitamin C & E blend to moisturize your skin and help fight free-radicals that can affect your skin’s appearance. The more you use this tanning lotion, the softer your skin will become. As I said, there are many things to love about this one!
Steamy Confessions Body Bronzer by Designer Skin
Who’s it for: Someone who wants a great unisex scented warming bronzer lotion.
What’s it smell like: Sensuous Amber.
Similar to our previous pick, Steamy Confessions Body Bronzer by Designer Skin offers you just a subtle heat without the intense tingle factor.
Packed with instant and delayed bronzers, it will give you the immediate color you expect, and the gradual tan you love. It’s specially designed “Skin Rehab” helps replenish your skin with a blend of vitamins and minerals which keeps your skin looking fresh and youthful.
If you and your significant other like to tan together, this is a great option for you, because of its Sensuous Amber scent. This fragrance smells great, without being overtly feminine or masculine. Whether you’re a man or woman, you’ll leave the salon smelling sexy, and looking tan!
Again, it should be reminded that this lotion is a warming bronzer, not a super hot tingle. Most reviews compliment the subtle heat, commenting on how nice it feels on the skin. But if it’s tingle you want, you’ll want to look further down the list!
Pink Diamond T2 by Swedish Beauty
Who’s it for: Someone looking for a mild tingle lotion, perfect for first-time tingle use or those with fair skin.
What’s it smell like: Green Citrus.
Pink Diamond T2 is the perfect combination of bronzer and tingle for beginning tanners. T2 offers the lowest tingle level amongst Swedish Beauty lotions, making it a popular choice for first time tingle tanners!
Do you have fair skin? What about particularly sensitive skin? Because this tingle is on the tamer side, it works great for those with fair or sensitive skin. Be prepared to turn red, but as the redness fades, you’ll be left with a deeper, darker tan than you’ve ever had before.
It doesn’t hurt that this lotion offers extra skin-nourishing ingredients to help soothe your skin after all that sizzle. Swedish Beauty’s triple-action anti-aging, firming and slimming blend will help restore your skin’s natural elasticity and youthful appearance.
So if you’re ready to take the first step up the tingle ladder, definitely check out Pink Diamond T2!
So Shameless Tingle Bronzer Lotion by Designer Skin
Who’s it for: Someone looking to pamper themselves with a luxury tingle tanning lotion.
What’s it smell like: Pink Grapefruit Sorbet.
Known as one of the high-end tanning lotion brands, Designer Skin uses top quality products and their specially designed formulas to create irresistible tanning lotions that enhance and extend your tan and nourish your skin with luxurious moisture.
Designer Skin nails it again with one of their newest lotions So Shameless. This time, it’s a real tingle tanning lotion, not a warming bronzer. So if you’re ready to turn up the heat and add a little sizzle, So Shameless is one to consider.
Since this lotion is so new, there aren’t many reviews to read, but one thing is clear from those who have tried So Shameless: “it works!” It gives you a nice color after just a single session, and the tingle is moderate, making it a great choice if you’re trying a tingle for the first time.
Important Tip: Tingles can and will turn your skin red, so generally it’s best to avoid using them on your face. If you purchase a tingle lotion like So Shameless, make sure you also pick up a great non-tingle lotion for your face when you go tanning!
Avant Tingle Dark Tanning Optimizer by Devoted Creations
Who’s it for: Someone looking for a tingle lotion without the look and smell of DHA bronzers.
What’s it smell like: Pomegranate.
Not a fan of funky-smelling bronzers full of DHA? Do they tend to leave your skin tone orange instead of tan? Then Avant tingle dark tanning optimizer lotion from Devoted Creations is the perfect option for you! You can still enjoy all the benefits of a fantastic tingle-enhanced tan without the need for added bronzers.
For such a small bottle, this lotion can certainly pack some big heat! If the tingle is a bit much for you, you can try mixing it with another lotion to adjust the heat to your comfort level.
Once you’ve mastered the heat in Avant, or want to try a similar, but lotion with added bronzers, Devoted Creations has an extreme tingle option with instant and delayed bronzers that you might like called Azure. This one is definitely not for beginners!
Important Tip: Make sure that you rinse this lotion, and any other tingles, off before you touch anyone, especially children! This lotion is easily spreadable through contact, and can pass along heat that can be uncomfortable for an unsuspecting person or child!
Pure Heat Tingle Lotions by Australian Gold
Who’s it for: Someone who loves the smell of chocolate and enjoys a moderate tingle.
What’s it smell like: CocoaDreams.
This has been a popular lotion with many tanners for years. Australian Gold, one of the companies that have been creating tanning lotions for decades, created this lotion to be the perfect transition lotion for people wanting a tingle lotion.
Pure Heat has a strong tingle that works in just minutes, warming up your skin and getting it ready for a deep, rich tan! While tingle tolerance always depends on the individual, this one is considered hot by most customers.
Personally, I love the smell of cocoa in cosmetic and skin-care products. I think it’s a warm, comforting scent that avoids smelling too perfumey or too sweet. If you appreciate a cocoa scent, you’ll love the way Pure Heat smells.
Spicy Black Chocolate Tingle Bronzer by Brown Sugar
Who’s it for: Someone who loves the smooth feeling of body butters in a tanning lotion.
What’s it smell like: Sensual Amber & Berries.
If a tanning lotion could ever be compared to a warm velvet blanket, it would be Black Chocolate. Now imagine you just took your velvety blanket out of the dryer and it gave you a little static shock. Now that is Spicy Black Chocolate!
Your skin is going to soak up this rich blend of body butters, leaving you feeling soft and smooth, and all warmed up. Then you’ll feel that noticeable tingle that invigorates your skin and enhances your tan. The spice is just right for beginner and intermediate tanners who are looking for their first tingle tanning lotions.
This lotion also features advanced bronzers, including dark chocolate, to help you achieve maximum darkness. Many reviewers have commented that this lotion helped them achieve their best tanning results. In fact, one person felt this combination of bronzer and tingle made for the perfect tanning lotion!
As with any tanning lotion with built-in bronzers, make sure you wipe your hands after application, you don’t want discolored palms!
Cherry Bomb Red Hot Dark Accelerator Tanning Lotion by Supre
Who’s it for: Someone who’s on a budget and looking for an inexpensive first-time tingle.
What’s it smell like: Cherry Fever.
It’s pretty clear to see why Cherry Bomb is the bomb. This lotion has over 100 5-star reviews and is one of the most affordable lotions on the list, making it perfect lotion to buy and try. After all, you don’t want to spend $50 or more on a lotion style you may dislike!
Some people felt that this lotion offered a great tingle, while others felt overwhelmed by the sizzle. In fact, one reviewer even said, “Whoa this stuff is intense!!!” But people like tingles for a reason, right?! Without that heat and sensation, you could be missing out on a potentially epic tan!
Important Tip: People have different tingle tolerances, so what might be super hot to one person may have nearly no effect to someone else. If you feel like you’re a person who is particularly sensitive to sunburns, make sure you choose one that has a tamer reputation, like Pink Diamond.
Twice The Spice Two-in-One Tingle Bronzer by Swedish Beauty
Who’s it for: Someone with sensitive skin looking a natural tingle tanning lotion with bronzers.
What’s it smell like: Scarlet Kiss.
This one of our favorite tingle lotions for beginners for a couple of reasons. First, it’s going to get you tan, and I mean tan! Secondly, the tingle is enough to see great results, but not so intense you’ll be burning all day long! And third, it’s loaded up with natural ingredients that make it a great option if you have sensitive skin.
Swedish Beauty specially designed Twice the Spice for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Not only is it Nut, Gluten, Paraben, and Silicone Free, but it also uses natural instant bronzers like Annatto and Melanin to give you immediate color you’re going to love!
Another reason to love this lotion is for its irresistible scent, Scarlet Kiss, which is a delicious raspberry vanilla blend. Hmm, that has me really wanting cheesecake now!
Mad Hot Tingle Bronzer Lotion by JWOWW
Who’s it for: Someone who wants a classic tingle lotion and is ready to feel the burn, for better or for worse!
What’s it smell like: Spice it Up.
Any fan of tingle tanning lotions has probably heard of Mad Hot, one of the most popular tingles out there. This classic tanning lotion from JWOWW has been a favorite of many tanners for years, with review after review stating how it’s an “Amazing Lotion”, or “Maybe my favorite”, or even “LOVE THIS LOTION!”
There’s lots to love about this lotion. It has built-in bronzers like DHA to give you extra dark color hours after tanning. And lastly, it has an intense tingle to give you a deeper tan than you’ve ever had before.
Even though this lotion is hot, and I do mean, HOT, it doesn’t mean it’s completely off-limits. If you’re ready to try a real tingle tanning lotion, and are prepared to feel the heat, then go for it!
Whether you’ve been tanning for a just a few weeks or for years and years, a tingle tanning lotion can boost your tan’s color to a whole different level! You just have to give them a try!
Don’t let yourself get psyched out, everyone, even the tanning pros, were new to tingle lotions at some point. As long as you do your research, you can make the switch to sizzle a gradual increase to fit your comfort level.