8 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions Reviewed [Buying Guide]

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion

Tanning locks in the sun-kissed look to your skin with the natural summer-time radiance. For getting this caramel skin, the outdoor tanning session stays more attractive and rejuvenating. It refreshes not only your skin but also your mind, and its result remains longer lasting than the other tanning systems.

But, there are also certain drawbacks associated with this natural method, such as ineffective tan shade, slower skin-darkening process, skin dryness, etc. These problematic factors do more harm to your skin than furnishing the gorgeous glow.

So, the outdoor tanning lotions specifically work to obliterate these tanning issues. They contain oils or other tan-enhancing contents that help the skin absorb more UV rays, accelerate melanin production, and make the skin darker quickly. It also maintains the skin’s moisture level and protects it from UV damages.

In this article, you’ll understand the features of top outdoor tanning lotions available in the market, along with the critical buying criteria!

Key Factors To Consider When Purchasing An Outdoor Tanning Lotion 

Not that all the outdoor tanning lotions contain the same formula and features. There are also various types available for the same outdoor tanning process. So, before selecting the product, you should have thorough knowledge about what you want and how it works!

Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion

Here comes, the list of factors to consider while selecting the best outdoor tanning lotion:

1. Choose The Right Type Of Tanning Lotion 

The outdoor tanning lotions specifically speeds-up the tanning process by making the skin more active towards UV rays. Based on the darkening process and tempo, these lotions are further divided into three types as follows:

Accelerator And Maximizer

Tan accelerators, enhancers, or maximizers are the lotions that allow your skin to attain the natural golden brown shade rapidly. Unlike the fake tan, it works by triggering the skin cells to produce more melanin (a pigment that makes the epidermis naturally darker).

This type of lotion ensures the richer tan result at the shorter session without requiring you to stay hours and hours under heavy sun radiance. It furnishes a flawless base tan for tan beginners. It also contains a rich blend of moisturizing contents that keep the skin healthy and radiant throughout the tanning process.

Above all, the accelerators continue to intensify the tan result even after the tanning session ends. In short, for enjoying the natural and healthy tanning result without over-burning one’s skin, tan accelerators can be a good option.


Bronzers are another type of tanning lotion that furnishes the sun-kissed radiance instantly. The bronzers generally contain DHA (a self-tanning agent) or other active ingredients. They create a spontaneous darker hue over the skin and later react with the cells to develop the delayed natural tan shade. In short, it works by creating the true tan beneath the fake tan.

Sometimes, you can find the accelerator with bronzers that tan the skin instantly with the best moisturizing and soothing benefits. The crucial precaution about bronzer is that apply the lotion evenly over the skin to attain the streak and patchiness-free result. Also, choose the lotion that neither creates an artificial look nor orange tint.

Tingle Lotion

Tingle lotions highly suit those who want to enjoy the ultra-dark tan result in the quickest period. They contain the ingredients such as nicotinate and benzyl. These ingredients enhance cell oxygenation and allowing micro-circulation (improved blood flow under the skin and opens up the pores). Thus, it ensures the deeper penetration of the UV rays, increased melanin production, and supercharged tan result.

By the tingle lotion, you get the instant splash of cooling or tingling effect over the skin as the reaction of its powerful ingredients. You also sometimes notice the slight redness over the skin that disappears after an hour or so. But be careful, this type of lotions do not suit the tan beginners and those with sensitive skin type.

So, based on your preference for the tan darkness and session duration, you can carefully select one of the outdoor tanning lotions.

2. Look For Ingredients That Will Moisturize Your Skin

During the tanning session, your skin gets exposed to direct sun rays that may lead to serious skin problems such as dryness, premature aging signs, etc. The dried-out skin also shortens the life and radiance of the tan result.

So, choose the tanning lotion that has intense moisturizing and hydrating benefits. In general, the accelerators include such water-locking ingredients to furnish the glowing effect to the tan result. It also ensures better penetration of the UV rays that makes the browning process streak-less and longer-retainable.

Some of the ingredients that make the epidermis plumper and elastic include hemp seed oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, etc. Ingredients such as aloe extract also serve the same moisturizing benefit with soothing the epidermis against sun rays.

Certain other ingredients can provide multi-beneficial features to the skin, such as vitamins E, A, and C. These vitamins soothes and safeguards the skin against UV stresses along with moisturization. They regulate the collagen cells and prevent the skin from creating aging signs due to UV rays. So, while selecting the lotion, look for the moisturizing ingredients it contains to nourish and rejuvenate your epidermis against harmful sunrays while tanning.

3. Fragrance 

The tanning lotions mostly have fragrances such as the tropical coconut scent, the relaxing beachy fragrance, or the fresh coffee smell. Certain lotions also contain a fragrance-free formula. Such products stay best for those with sensitive skin types and those who prefer the plain no-smell product.

One great advantage is that almost all tanning lotions explicitly specify the fragrance information. So, before selecting the product, look for the details and select the preferred product to have a pleasant tanning session.

8 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions On The Market 

Based on the above-discussed criteria, we’ve selected the top 8 outdoor tanning lotions and made an in-depth discussion about their type, ingredients, benefits, and other important information!

1. Maui Babe Browning Lotion – Best Overall 

Maui Babe Browning Lotion- Tan Accelerator Cream For Faster Tanning

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Why you’ll love this

Maui Babe Browning Lotion consigns the seductive browning result to the skin on outdoor tanning sessions.

Its formula contains the secret of Hawaiian native ingredients that accelerates the natural tanning process while nourishing the epidermis against UV rays.

Furthermore, it suits almost all skin types with no negative impacts.

What We Liked:

  • All Natural Ingredients: This browning lotion contains all-natural Hawaiian ingredients that stay safer and highly beneficial over the skin. Apart from enhancing the tan result, its natural extracts also strengthen and rejuvenate the skin against UV stresses. This skin-friendly formula appreciates all skin types, including the sensitive type, and is vegan.
  • Quick Tanning Result: The presence of Kona Coffee Plant Extract, Kukui Nut Oil, and other ingredients works with the UV rays and fastens the skin’s darkening process. It furnishes the smoother and deeper tan result, thereby avoiding you from spending extra hours under burning radiance. It contains neither the self-tan nor the bronzer. It is purely the tan-accelerating lotion that works the best on outdoor tanning sessions.
  • Moisturizing Benefit: The oil-based formula of this lotion intensively moisturizes and hydrates the skin on your tanning session. The presence of aloe, mineral oil, and skin-beneficial vitamins and nutrients boast in the water content to make the skin soft and replenishes. They also soothe and strengthen the epidermis against sun stresses and damages.
  • Alluring Tan Shade: This best overall outdoor tanning lotion allows you to enjoy the natural golden brown shade with glamorous radiance for all skin types and tones. It never stays artificial nor oily over the skin, and its topical coloring agent gets washed off easily.
  • One-Time Application: This lotion contains the water-resistant benefit and claims to produce the optimum tan result on applying only once. But, if you spend more than 15 minutes in water (swimming), the reapplication of the lotion is required.
  • Scent: One of the greatest highlights of this lotion is its fragrance. It contains a coffee-like scent that has been loved and appreciated by many users. So, if you naturally like the smell of coffee beans, you’d find its fragrance to be great.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lack Of Sunscreen Benefit: This lotion provides no SPF features (a prior requirement of outdoor tanning session) to prevent the drawbacks of UVA and UVB rays. So, using separate sunscreen lotion beneath this accelerator keeps the skin safer.
  • Creates Stains: The oil-based formula with coffee brown pigment easily stains over the clothes and towel that you need to be careful about.

2. Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator – Runner Up 

Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator Dark Natural Bronzers, Tanning Bed Lotion

Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator

Why you’ll love this

Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator is the accelerator-plus-bronzer that impeccably speeds up the tanning process.

It furnishes the naturally darker (golden brown) tan result with no signs of streaks or stains.

It also contains rich moisturizing and skin-repairing elements that make your epidermis soft, radiant, and youthful post tanning.

What We Liked:

  • Multi-Purposive: This tan lotion claims to provide the quick and flawless darker tanning result on both indoor and outdoor tanning sessions. It contains a blend of natural bronzer (herbal extracts) that yields the perfect base tan with artificiality.
  • Moisturization Benefit: Packed with native Australian oils, vitamins A and E, and other natural extracts, this lotion makes the skin deeply hydrated. Its moisturizing property improves the protective barrier and obliterates the skin dryness issue due to the skin’s exposure to the heavy radiance.
  • Anti-Aging Property: The herbal extracts included in this lotion have high anti-aging properties that keep the skin healthy, nourished, and young against UV stresses.
  • Flawless Tan Result: This lotion promises to provide the flawlessly quicker tan result (10 minutes on the tanning bed and 1 hour (approximately) on sun tanning). Its consistency stays neither thick nor too watery and gets easily absorbed by the skin. It spreads evenly to create a streak-less tan with a soft and radiant look.
  • Scent: With this lotion, you enjoy the heavenly fragrance of Coco Dreams’ scent. Many enchantresses claim to love this fragrance.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lack Of SPF: This tanning lotion has no sun blocking feature, that the usage of separate sunscreen is required to protect your skin from sun damages.
  • Frequent Reapplication: The tanning result can sometimes fade out quickly, that you may need to reapply frequently to keep the tan darker and radiant.

3. Somewhere on a Beach Tanning Lotion – Honorable Mention

Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion

Somewhere on a Beach Tanning Lotion

Why you’ll love this

Somewhere on a Beach Tanning Lotion stays best on all features such as tan-enhancing results, moisturizing and repairing benefits, fragrance, etc.

Its highly effective formula ensures the darkly tanned result, with softened, smoothed, and well-moisturized epidermis.

It is a DHA-free bronzer that promises streak-less tan radiance.

What We Liked:

  • Moisturizing Feature: This tanning lotion has a blend of coconut oil, walnut oil, sea buckthorn berry, aloe extract, and other moisturizing extracts that make the skin nourished and intensively hydrated. They also prevent the dryness effect on sun exposures, soothes and softens the skin, and furnish a better tan outlook.
  • Skin-Regenerative Benefits: The ingredients involved in this lotion also repairs and enhances the health of the epidermis. Coconut oil and other elements improve the skin’s elasticity and make it look younger and revitalized.
  • Anti-Aging Benefit: By exposing your skin to UV rays, there are higher chances of getting wrinkles and other aging signs. So, this lotion contains the matriyxl synthe 6 (a powerful anti-aging peptide) that regularises collagen tissues and prevents the appearance of any aging signs. Thus, this lotion allows you to enjoy the longer-lasting tan result with a youthful glow.
  • Streak-Less Result: This lotion is a DHA-free bronzer that makes the skin darken with no orange skin, artificiality, streaks, stains, or blotches.
  • Fine Consistency: This tanning lotion contains an easily absorbable texture that penetrates the skin finely. It feels silky-smooth over the skin with creating white and oily residues.
  • Fragrance: Scent is the next best appreciable point of this lotion. It contains the elegant beachy fragrance that you’ll love instantly you whiff!

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No Sunscreen Benefit: This tanning lotion does not contain the SPF feature to protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays. So, you have to either keep your session shorter or use sunscreen lotion. But, it is always best to apply the sunscreen lotion beneath tanning lotion to upkeep the skin health.

4. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Why you’ll love this

For those who want to attain that naturally dark tan result without affecting the depth and radiance of their tattoo, Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion could be the best option ever!

Its unique formula contains rich moisturizing and skin-firming elements that enhance the look and youthfulness of the epidermis.

What We Liked:

  • Exquisite Moisturizing Benefit: This tanning lotion aims to keep your skin impeccably moisturized and conditioned throughout the tanning session. Its formula contains a blend of coconut milk and oil, cocoa butter, aloe vera, vitamins E and C, and other hydrating ingredients. They naturally drench the skin with hydration and keep it away from drying out.
  • Bronzer-Free Formula: This lotion contains no bronzers or dying agents. Its tan-accelerating elements include Quad Tyrosine Blend and Melano Bronze that naturally increase the melanin level on the skin and speed up the darkening process. It furnishes the natural golden-dark tan result with no streaks or artificial outlook.
  • Skin-Firming Benefit: The presence of BodyFit (a unique ingredient involved in this lotion) highly firms up the matured skin and obliterate the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, pores, etc. It regularises collagen level and makes the skin young and revitalized on application.
  • Tattoo-Protecting Formula: This lotion appreciates the tanning process without affecting the radiance of tattoos. It contains the tattoo fade protecting formula that enhances the life and looks of the tattoo while darkening the skin.
  • Consistency: This tanning lotion stays slightly heavier but remains easily absorbable over the skin. It penetrates the epidermis evenly and creates a silky-soft, hydrated feel.
  • Fragrance: This lotion contains the light and crisp intoxicating coconut fragrance with a dreamy vanilla flavor.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No SPF feature: This lotion is completely devoid of the SPF feature. So, use an additional sunscreen lotion to protect your skin against UVA and UVB damages.

5. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil Original

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Why you’ll love this

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil has the royal blend of botanical extracts. It makes your epidermis seductively soft and luminous with a dark-golden hue.

This tanning oil (not the tanning lotion) rejuvenates the skin with its hydrating and antioxidant ingredients and makes the skin-darkening process faster.

What We Liked:

  • Natural Ingredients: On top of other tanning lotions this product contains numerous natural extracts that extremely revitalize your epidermis. Its formula improves the overall texture and appearance of your skin with a glamorous shine.
  • Unique Moisturization: This tanning oil contains the moisturizing ingredients of coconut oil, cocoa butter, aloe extract, and other vitamins and nutrients. These contents soak the skin with moisture and hydration that keeps the skin away from tan dryness and irritations.
  • Revitalizes The Skin: This oil-like formula furnishes the love-to-touch, feathery-soft feel to the skin with a glowing radiance. Its extracts penetrate the skin deeper, regenerate the skin cells, and make the epidermis relaxed and rejuvenated from the root. The presence of coconut oil and other antioxidants protects the skin against sun damages and keeps it young and firm.
  • Rapid Tan Result: This outdoor tanning lotion accelerates the tanning process and furnishes a darker tan quickly. Its tan result stays admirable without streaks or blotches.
  • Consistency: This product stays extremely lightweight and easily absorbable over the skin. It also has the water-resistant benefit that it does not create streaks or stains on sweating. Though this oil stays longer over the epidermis, it remains slightly greasy.
  • Fragrance: This tanning oil contains the delicious scent of tropical coconut that feels dreamy over the skin. You can enjoy its sweetness even the whole day. 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No SPF: As with other lotions, this tanning oil also does not provide the SPF feature. 
  • Oily Residue: This oil leaves behind a greasy residue that sometimes feels irritating over the skin. Some users can even feel the oily texture after bathing.
  • Not Satisfactory On Pale Complexion: This lotion sometimes does not produce a satisfactory tan result on the pale complexion.

6. Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer

HEMPZ Hypoallergenic Dark Tan Maximizer - Herbal Moisturizing Self Tanning Lotion - Fragrance Free for Tanning Beds, Beach

Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer

Why you’ll love this

Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer provides the fragrance-less, hypoallergenic formula that stays best for sensitive skin types to attain the deeply-darkened tan result.

It contains the benefit of 100% pure hemp seed oil along with other hydrating and soothing ingredients.

With this tan accelerator, you enjoy the soft and radiant epidermis!

What We Liked:

  • Gentle Moisturization: This lotion contains the key ingredients of hemp seed oil along with oatmeal extract, mango seed butter, and others. These elements have exquisite hydrating and soothing benefits that obliterate the dryness issue throughout the session.
  • Best For Sensitive Skin: The inclusion of hemp seed oil energizes, protects, and relaxes the epidermis against harsh UV rays. It makes the skin soft and smooth with shining radiance. Also, this lotion contains gentle ingredients that neither clog the pores nor create skin breakouts. Thus, it stays the best for acne-prone and sensitive skin types.
  • Darker Tan Result: This product is neither a self-tanner nor a sunless tanning lotion. It is the tan enhancer or accelerator that intensifies the skin’s darkness by enhancing the melanin level. It develops the browning radiance when exposing your skin to UV rays (tanning bed or sunbathe). This maximizer lotion continues to enhance the tan richness even after your tanning session ends. This lotion leaves behind the natural golden-brown tan quickly with no streaks.
  • Consistency: This product contains a lightweight, easy penetrating texture that goes smoothly with the skin. Despite its oil content, it never stays greasy over the skin and gets evenly absorbed.
  • Fragrance: This lotion is an odorless lotion that furnishes almost no scent. But, its fragrance-less formula stays extremely gentle and safer over the epidermis.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lack Of SPF: This tan-intensifier does not contain the sun-blocking feature. So, using sunscreen lotion is a must to protect the skin against sunburns and other issues.

7. Sun Bum Moisturizing Browning Outdoor Tanning Lotion

Sun Bum Browning Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) Sun Tanning Cream with Aloe Vera

Sun Bum Moisturizing Browning Tanning Lotion

Why you’ll love this

Sun Bum Tanning Lotion stays best for attaining the naturally darker tan result along with protecting and moisturizing your skin for utmost sheen.

It works as the best outdoor tan accelerator and fastens the tanning process inside-out by triggering melanin production.

It also contains skin-pampering ingredients with a delightful fragrance.

What We Liked:

  • Natural Tan Result: This tanning lotion works as a tan enhancer that reacts with the UV rays to increase the melanin level of the skin at a faster pace. It darkens the skin quickly and naturally that you can enjoy the deeper tan result without being over-burnt under the sun. 
  • Skin-Beneficial Ingredients: The presence of aloe vera, Kona coffee plant extract, coconut oil, etc., protects and rejuvenates the epidermis against UV damages. They uplift the strength and elasticity of the skin that aids you through the deep and long-lasting tan result.
  • Moisturizing Feature: This lotion contains a blend of moisturizing oils such as marula oil, argan oil, coconut oil, etc., along with aloe vera. These ingredients highly boast hydrating and moisturizing contents and keep the epidermis soft and smooth. By using this lotion, you enjoy the radiant sun-kissed glow with absolutely no skin irritations!
  • Fragrance: This lotion contains the exquisite tropical coffee fragrance. For those who like the coffee bean scent, this fragrance stays appreciable.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lack Of SPF: It does not contain the SPF feature and the usage of sunscreen lotion is required to maintain the healthy condition of the skin against UV rays.

8. That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion Accelerator 

That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion - For Indoor Tanning Beds and Outdoor Sun Use

That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion Accelerator

Why you’ll love this

That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion is the perfectly designed tan accelerator that provides an alluring sun-kissed glow to the skin with no flaws.

It does not have bronzers or artificial coloring agents and yields rich brown skin for a longer period.

It contains the thirst-quenching and tattoo-protecting formula that enhances the look of, not only the tan result but also your stylish tattoos. 

What We Liked:

  • Enhances The Natural Tan: It is a tan accelerator that contains Tyrosines. This ingredient actively stimulates the skin-darkening pigment over the epidermis. So, with this lotion, you attain the rich and evenly darkened-out epidermis quickly.
  • Moisturizing Elements: The moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients of coconut extract, passion fruit extract, and others promise in-depth rejuvenation of the epidermis. They keep the skin hydrated inside-out, improve the protective barrier, and prevent it from drying out while taking tanning sessions.
  • Anti-Aging Benefits: This outdoor tanning lotion contains the anti-aging ingredients of hibiscus, seaweed, coconut extract, etc. These elements nourish the skin, maintain its elasticity, and keep the epidermis naturally radiant. They reduce the impact of wrinkles and other aging signs allowing you to attain the streak-less tan.
  • Extended Tan Result: Apart from intensifying the tan darkness, this lotion also ensures a longer-lasting tan result. It prolongs the fading period that allows you to enjoy the rich dark skin for an extended period.
  • Tattoo-Fade Protecting Formula: This lotion browns the skin without affecting the tattoo. Its magical formula signifies the look and clarity of the tattoo while enhancing the golden-brown skin darkness.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No SPF: This lotion contains no SPF features. So, you need to either keep your tanning session shorter or use an exclusive sunscreen lotion to keep your skin against UV damages.

Final Verdict

Outdoor tanning lotions mainly fasten up the tanning process and attain the deeper sun-kissed glow with a radiant look. In this aspect, Maui Babe Browning Lotion stays top of the list with its natural blends and moisturizing benefits.

Its miraculous ingredients uplift the strength and elasticity of the epidermis and lead you towards the streak-less sun-kissed glow. Its impeccable moisturizing benefit, along with refreshing fragrance make this product outstanding!

The other top products discussed here are equally miraculous in providing the natural tan result. But, one common drawback suffered by all the outdoor tanning lotion is the “Lack Of SPF”. This feature is rather important for tanning sessions and makes sure to apply one beneath the tanning lotion.

Now, based on your preference and skin type, you can select one of the above-mentioned tanning lotions and make your sun-kissing result flawlessly radiant!

Yogeshwari Ramadass

Yogeshwari Ramadass

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