Don’t think about hitting that tanning bed without the proper lotion! It best be a tanning lotion made specifically for indoor tanning or you might be regretting your tanning lotion choice later! What’s the difference, you ask?
Indoor vs. Outdoor Tanning Lotion
Well, I’m glad you’re here, as there is quite a few differences between indoor and outdoor tanning lotions. Here are a few things:
- Outdoors, you are in an uncontrolled environment where the sun is emitting both UVA and UVB rays, so the lotion you need for such an environment should contain a sun-proof factor (SPF), allowing you to control the amount of rays you take in.
- A tanning bed emits mainly UVA rays and you’re on a timer which is your control, essentially replacing the spf in an outdoor tanning lotion. They do not contain a sunscreen.
- If you enter a tanning bed with outdoor tanning lotion, you will not come out with the tan you want as you will be blocking most of the UVA rays, wasting the tanning session.
- Using outdoor tanning lotion in a tanning bed can damage the acrylic in the bed and leave a film that can prevent the UV rays from reaching you effectively.
- Indoor tanning lotions are made to enhance the absorption of the UV rays, as opposed to blocking them
- Indoor tanning lotions are good for short, intense tanning sessions, while outdoor tanners are made to protect you outside in the sunlight for extended periods of time.
In other words, stick to indoor tanners when using a tanning bed, and outdoor tanners when getting a suntan. Now it’s a matter of finding the best tanning lotion for tanning beds, but first, let’s discuss the different kinds.
Our Top Picks Overall
If you just want to cut to the chase, here are our top 3 picks overall. For a more detailed review of the top contenders, including more options, read below.
Types of Indoor Tanners
There is many types of indoor tanners, but the main three that you will run into are basic, tingle, and bronzers.
Regular tanning lotions are just basic tanning bed lotions with no tinglers or bronzers in them. There are some really good and highly rated lotions that fall under this category, so never assume that it’s an inferior product just because it doesn’t have the extras! Although they do tend to be on the cheaper side when compared to the other types of tanning bed lotions, they can get pricey, too.
Regular lotions do not need to be left on after your tanning session is over. You simply apply it prior to going into the tanning bed, it does it’s intended job, then you wash it off as soon as your session is over.
Best tanning lotions for tanning beds: Regular lotions
Tingle lotions are similar to the basic lotions in that you don’t need to leave them on after the tan, but they tingle during the tanning process and sometimes for a little while after. Some do not like the tingling feeling that they get and opt against using them, while others will rave about the lotion and the super awesome tan it helped them to get.
Best tanning lotion for tanning beds: Tingle lotions
- Mad Hot Tingle Jwoww Bronzer by Australian Gold
- Modern Bombshell by Designer Skin
- Pink Diamond T2 Tingle Bronzer Swedish Beauty
If you really want to get a nice, deep, dark tan, a bronzer might be your best bet. You apply the lotion right before entering the tanning bed, but you must leave it on for a few hours after to achieve the full bronzing effect. You should follow the instructions of each individual tanning lotion as to how long to leave it on after the tan.
Best tanning lotions for tanning beds: Bronzers
My favorite lotion is definitely a bronzer, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite and best bronzer lotions. The specific type of lotion that is best for you depends on your preference for the tingle, how dark you wish to get, and your preference on scent for your tanning lotion. If you are unsure, you can go to the store at any tanning salon and consult with the tanning professional who should be able to point you in the right direction.
When determining the best lotion, reviews were taken into consideration and a few brand names that particularly stood out with excellent reviews, were lotions by Designer Skin, Supre, Australian Gold, Playboy, Swedish Beauty, and Ed Hardy. You can also check out our favorite tanning lotions.
Indoor tanning is an art, it takes practice and experience through trial and error. You’ll find your perfect tanning lotion match!