Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Tanning Bed Lotions

Updated June 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 30 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 117 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best tanning bed lotions

    Last Updated June 2018

    For many people, having a healthy, sun-kissed glow is an essential part of their summer look. A tanning bed can help you achieve the perfect tan even if the weather isn’t cooperating, but for an effective indoor tanning session, you need a good tanning bed lotion.

    Tanning bed lotion is important because it allows you to get the most out of the UV rays that indoor tanning sessions provide. However, with so many different lotions on the market, choosing the right one can get pretty confusing. You have to choose the right type, ingredients, developing time, and other features if you want to wind up with the best tan possible.

    If you’re in the market for a good tanning bed lotion, you’ll find our top five recommendations in the matrix above. For general advice on tanning bed lotions, keep reading our shopping guide.

    Using a tanning bed usually enables you develop a tan more quickly than tanning outdoors.

    Why use a tanning bed lotion?

    • Moisturize

    Tanning bed lotion contains ingredients that help hydrate the skin, so you don’t have to worry about the UV rays from the bed drying out your skin.

    • Speed up Tanning

    A good tanning bed lotion can help boost the power of the UV rays, enabling you to tan more quickly.

    • Prevent Skin Damage

    Many tanning bed lotions contain ingredients that protect the skin, so you’re less likely to develop wrinkles and other signs of premature aging from tanning in the bed.

    • Prevent Burning

    Tanning bed lotion can help protect your skin so that you don’t accidentally wind up with a burn instead of a tan.

    • Extend Results

    Some tanning bed lotions continue to deepen your tan after you’ve finished your tanning sessions.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    In some cases, tanning using lotion and a tanning bed can help if you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

    Types of tanning bed lotions

    Bronzer

    This type of tanning bed lotion is the best choice if you want an instant tan or a very deep tan. It is designed to help boost the color of your tan, and most formulas do so immediately with bronzing pigments like those in self-tanning products.

    These lotions are typically rated by number, such as 10x. The higher the number, the deeper the color it will help you achieve. It’s important to apply the lotion evenly, or you may wind up with streaks.

    Note that bronzer lotions can stain fabric.

    When you use a bronzer tanning bed lotion, wear a swimsuit or other clothing that you don’t mind getting stained when you tan.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Tingle/hot action

    This type of tanning bed lotion is designed to help increase circulation to your skin, which increases melanin production for a better tan. These lotions can help improve tanning results and work best for experienced tanners. Some people experience redness and tingling in the skin after applying hot action lotions, so they’re best avoided if you have sensitive skin.

    Coolant

    This type of tanning bed lotion creates a cooling sensation that feels refreshing when applied to the skin. It’s a good choice if you get hot and sweaty when you use a tanning bed because it can help make the tanning experience more relaxing. Coolant lotion is ideal for longer tanning sessions.

    Accelerator

    This type of tanning bed lotion is ideal for those who are new to tanning or for your first tanning session of the season. It offers intense moisturization and helps develop a good base tan. Not only does it help prevent your skin from drying out but it also helps you develop a better tan because hydrated skin usually tans more easily.

    Maximizer

    This type of tanning bed lotion is ideal for experienced tanners. It helps you develop a deeper, richer color once you’ve established a base tan, but it usually doesn’t contain many hydrating ingredients.

    EXPERT TIP

    Shave before applying a tanning bed lotion. The lotion can collect around hair follicles and leave you with a bunch of dots on your legs or chest after tanning.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tanning bed lotion features to consider

    Usage

    It’s important to think about where you want to use the tanning bed lotion. Some formulas are designed solely for use on the body, where the skin tends to be thicker and less sensitive.

    If you use these lotions on your face, you could wind up with irritation or breakouts. In that case, choose a formula that is designed for use on both the face and body. These lotions are usually lighter and less oily, so you don’t have to worry about them clogging your pores and causing acne.

    Consistency

    A tanning bed lotion’s consistency determines how easy it is to apply. Thin, runny formulas can make a mess because they tend to drip. Thick, creamy tanning bed lotions are usually easier to apply because they don’t run.

    Spf

    It may seem counterititutive, but it can be a good idea to choose a tanning bed lotion that contains some type of sun protection. If you have fair skin that burns easily, you can develop a burn using a tanning bed just as you would out in the sun. Look for a product with SPF 8 or lower, so you’re still able to achieve some color while you protect your skin.

    Developing time

    Tanning bed lotions that contain a bronzing agent typically take some time to develop your full color. For the most effective tanning, look for a formula that only requires four to six hours to achieve its complete color.

    Scent

    It may seem like a minor point, but most people prefer a tanning bed lotion that has a pleasant scent. These lotions are available in a wide variety of scents, ranging from fruity to floral. Many have a coconut scent reminiscent of traditional tanning lotion or sunscreen.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Consider wearing latex gloves when applying a bronzer tanning bed lotion, so you don’t end up with stained fingers and palms.

    Tanning bed lotion prices

    Tanning bed lotions vary in price based on the type of lotion and the size of the bottle. In general, you’ll typically pay between $7 and $70.

    • Bronzer

    Bronzer lotions usually range in size from eight to 32 ounces and cost between $7 and $60.

    • Tingle/Hot Action

    Tingle or hot action lotions usually range in size from eight to 13.5 ounces and cost between $13 and $60.

    • Coolant

    Coolant lotions usually range in size from eight to 12 ounces and cost between $10 and $35.

    • Accelerator

    Accelerator lotions usually range in size from four to 12 ounces and cost between $11 and $70.

    • Maximizer

    Maximizer lotions usually range in size from eight to 24 ounces and cost between $15 and $45.

    EXPERT TIP

    When you shower for the first time after using a tanning bed lotion, apply a tan extender lotion to maintain your color for as long as possible.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    • Always exfoliate your skin well before applying a tanning bed lotion. Removing dry, flaky patches allows the lotion to penetrate your skin more effectively.

    • Moisturize first. If your skin is particularly dry, consider applying a moisturizer before applying your tanning bed lotion.

    • Don’t stay in the tanning bed for more than ten minutes the first time. If you’re new to indoor tanning, start with ten minutes. If you’re an experienced tanner, you can slowly increase your tanning sessions up to 20 minutes for a deeper color.

    • Don’t shower right after your tanning session. You want to give the tanning lotion at least three to four hours to fully absorb into the skin.

    Always protect your eyes by wearing goggles inside a tanning bed.

    FAQ

    Q. How often should I use a tanning bed lotion?

    A. Most tanning professionals recommend waiting about two days between tanning sessions. That usually means that you can apply tanning bed lotion and tan about two times a week if you’re new to tanning. If you’re an experienced tanner, you might increase your tanning sessions to three a week.

    Q. How can I extend the life of a tan that I get from tanning bed lotion?

    A. The best way to keep your tan looking deep and beautiful is to hydrate your skin. In fact, keeping your skin moisturized can often double the lifespan of your tan. Apply a body lotion or cream after every shower to lock in the moisture.

    Q. Can I use tanning bed lotion in place of sunscreen when I go outdoors?

    A. Tanning bed lotion is not a substitute for sunscreen. Most tanning bed formulas don’t contain any SPF because they’re designed to let the UV light from the bed tan your skin. Those that do have some sun protection have such a small SPF that it’s not enough to protect your skin if you’re outside.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer