Best Suntan Lotion
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The purpose of the products that we have reviewed on this list is to provide fast, efficient and safe skin tanning, regardless of the method it is done. There are hundreds of products of this type, so we selected those that besides the sun tanning properties, include moisturizing and skin protecting properties. So the extent of the effect they have is provided as a scoring number within this criteria for each product, and we were able to attribute that number after carefully reviewing the users’ comments and experts’ opinion.
This criterion helped us narrow the list down and pick the best ones. Firstly, when we searched for suntan products, we come across several different types, so we selected representatives of each type to allow the readers to choose what suits them. So we chose products that are actually sunscreens with a lower than 15 SPF. Also, we included bronzers that are made to accelerate sun tanning process in tanning salons, then we included self-tanning lotions and one product that is just a natural tanning accelerator but which doesn’t belong in any of the categories just mentioned. In addition to this, we considered their effect on the skin, the added ingredients that make the skin moisturized and protected, such as antioxidants, emollients, naturally soothing and calming ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Shea butter, green tea extracts and so on. And lastly, we took into account dermatologists’ recommendations or tests, approvals, and recommendations by relevant institutions such as the Skin Cancer Federation.
In just a few words, product purity shows the absence (or the presence) of potentially harmful and toxic ingredients that can cause damage to the skin or can cause a risk upon human health. The cosmetic industry is highly unregulated, however, the FDA has enumerated the synthetic and chemical products in accordance with their effect upon human health. As can be expected, the purest products are those that contain organic and natural ingredients which have been controlled from the very beginning. We also included products that are made of chemicals, but these products had been a subject of very strict control, tests, and trials before they were launched on the market. So, the higher the number next to the product regarding this criterion, the higher purity it has.
Since there are actually four subcategories of suntan lotions, we defined protection as the ability of the moisturizer to protect the skin from external influence, to moisturize it and to restore its self-protecting mechanism. Regarding sunscreens, we took into account the broad spectrum protection and the SPF they feature, but for the other types of lotions, we couldn’t apply that factor as a valid factor. For the others, we considered the overall protective feature they deliver to the skin without causing any adverse effects.
When we review the application of a certain product of this kind, we usually focus on the ease of use, any residue or marking it leaves, the possibility to be used on all skin types and by all age groups, and the side effect that you might experience as a result. Some of these products are fairly easy to apply, but some need extra care and even gloves in order to apply them equally on the skin. Some of them can leave a streaky, greasy or sticky residue, others get quickly absorbed. Then, when it comes to skin types, the highest ranking can be seen at those products that can be applied on any skin types. Regarding the age groups, tanning as a process is not recommended for children and younger teenagers since it can negatively affect their skin development. In line with this, we included those products that have the lowest occurrence of side effects and which are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. To sum up, the best ranking ones within this category are those that are easily applied and don’t leave any residue or marking, can be used by any skin type or age group and don’t cause serious side effects.
Top 10 Picks
1. Skinerals Californum
Are you tired of your pale, ghostly skin that seems to display every possible enlarged pore and every single blemish you have, but you don’t want to take the risk of exposing your skin to the harmful UV rays? Have you thought of going to tanning sessions, but you have changed your mind after reading about the potential melanoma dangers? Don’t get desperate, Skinerals Californium has the capacity to deliver the tan that you have always wanted in the most natural manner. Read more about the specifics of this product to see why it has been selected among the best ones.Read more
What you apply on your skin truly matters, and Skinerals cares about your skin too, having this self-tanning lotion made of natural and organic ingredients that are going to feel pleasant on your skin and keep it protected. It is formulated with minerals instead of chemicals and the key ingredients include Indian Gooseberry, acai berry, fig extract, Goji berry extract, citric acid, and Shea butter. These ingredients are mild to the skin and leave it hydrated and fresh without posing any risk to the skin health. It goes on smoothly on the skin without leaving any streaks or blotchiness and doesn’t make the skin orange as some other self-tanners do. And those who use similar products know that one of the flaws of these products is unpleasant after smell which is not the case with this one.
Many reviewers claim that the effect this product gives is like you’ve spent a day on the beach. It provides instant bronzing which gets a full effect after a few hours of the application. It has a texture of a whipped mousse which is best applied by using a tanning mitt or latex gloves. It dries quickly and it doesn’t stain your clothes. To maintain the effect you need to reapply every 4 to maximum 7 days and it is waterproof after the first 5 to hours from the application. To maintain its effectiveness and duration, you need to apply a moisturizer every day. The product is dermatologist recommended.
Cost and Value
You don’t have to expose your skin to the harmful sun rays and even to more dangerous tanning beds when you have this bronzer which is natural, organic and on the top of it, it is safe. It will make your skin visibly darker and glowing. The price is affordable and it won’t break your bank as it is the case with many similar products.
2. Beauty by Earth
Have you ever asked yourself why people are so into getting bronze tan? Maybe because it looks exotic, mystical and simply blends in the skin imperfections without displaying them as visibly as the fair skin does. Plus, it gives you confidence that you look as if the sun was gently hugging your skin making it vibrant and radiant. That confidence is what you need on the golf course and it will make you perform even better, knowing that your inner well-balanced feeling will promote outer dominance. Plus, since this is self-tanning lotion, your skin won’t be exposed to damaging skin burning rays to achieve the effect that you have always wanted.Read more
If you are a person who is aware of the damaging effect the sun has on the skin, and of the harmful effects the tanning beds have, then the chances are that you take good care of what you apply on your skin and pay attention how long you spend your time exposed on the sun. Wearing effective and highly protective sunscreen means that you won’t get the desired tanning effect, so this lotion represents an alternative to having a glowing bronze tan without exposing your skin to damaging UV rays or tanning beds. It has moisturizing and skin soothing properties and it is made of natural ingredients that will make your skin soft, soothed and with a silky finish. It is made with a blend of Shea butter, coconut oil, organic green tea extract, and other botanical ingredients to promote healthy skin and at the same time deliver darker skin tan that you have always wanted.
This is a fast-acting product that will provide you with the desired effect in 6 hours, even after the first application. Before applying it, make sure you exfoliate your skin and apply it at least a day after you have shaved your skin. The best effect will be achieved if you apply it with a mitt or latex gloves. After the application, avoid contact with water for several hours to let it get completely soaked into the skin. Afterward, you can shower, swim, sunbathe, it is completely water resistant. To maintain the color, you need to reapply every 4 to 7 day. Keeping your skin regularly moisturized will intensify its duration. It can be used on any skin type, by men, women and even teenagers thanks to the natural ingredients used in its formula.
Cost and Value
In the convenience of your home, you can get the tan that you have always dreamt about without exposing your skin to harmful UVA and UVB rays unprotected or potentially harmful tanning beds or tanning sprays. It is easy to apply and it is durable if you use it as instructed. When it comes to cost-effect ratio it is a good value for the money.
3. Australian Gold
Many people are eager to have a natural bronze tan, by all means, often putting at risk the health of their skin. However, it doesn’t have to be a hard and unhealthy way. You can achieve your tanning goal without making unnecessary and risky steps. Meet Australian Goal, the product that will deliver brown skin by protecting your skin from the harmful sun rays and moisturize it at the same. It has the well-known Australian Gold fragrance and it appeals your senses too.Read more
When you have been exposed to the sun for some time, even though you have been wearing powerful sunscreen, your skin gets adapted to the sun and gradually starts to tan. When it has reached a certain level of exposure and tanning, then it is safe to lower the SPF and allow accelerated tanning process. This product has SPF8 which is less than dermatologists recommend, however when using it for a limited time every day you are likely to see increased tanning results. It is infused with Aloe Vera which is a powerful antioxidant, and which provides natural soothing and calming effects. Plus it contains green tea oil and Kakadu plum which sooth and deeply hydrate the skin. It is water resistant for 80 minutes, and the formula doesn’t contain any mineral oils, parabens, dyes or toxic chemicals.
This lotion is based on zinc oxide which is known to be a very efficient mineral in blocking the sun rays. Plus, it has soothing and calming features too, so together with the natural ingredients it makes this product not only a sunscreen that helps you easily obtain your desired bronze tan but a powerful moisturizer too. If used as instructed, you can expect bronze tan and healthy-looking radiant skin.
Cost and Value
Having a bronze tan doesn’t have to cost a fortune and this product is proof of that. This is the most inexpensive product on our list that is going to meet or even excel your expectations. It is recommended by many people not only as suntan lotion but as a good moisturizer too.
4. Hawaiian Tropic
Having a dark tan is awesome, it looks exotic and many people are spending a bunch of dollars to have a darker tone on their skin. With Hawaiian Tropic, you can easily achieve the much wanted dark tone since it speeds the tanning process up in the most fragrance-experiential way letting you indulge your senses into the summer aroma. You will enjoy every moment while wearing this light sunscreen, allowing your skin to get pampered by this soft, moisturizing lotion that enhances the tanning adventure.Read more
If you are anxious to have a darker tan, then choose wisely and protect your skin while you’re on the way for a darker tan. Featuring SPF 4/8 this lavish sunscreen primarily is produced to make your tan darker in much safer form compared to some other methods. Its formula contains botanical extracts and Aloe Vera which have soothing and calming properties. The Aloe Vera is capable of fighting free radicals and prevents premature skin aging. In addition, the formula is lavishly moisturizing to the skin and the coconut fragrance brings you the aroma of the beach and the summer.
If you’ve been spending some time on the sun and you want to speed up the tanning process, this lotion will help you achieve the tan of your dreams. And, while enjoying the sun and the tan, you will enjoy the perfect coconut tropical aroma, too. It is water resistant to up to 80 minutes, but it advisable to reapply as often as possible. Since the SPF is very low, try to avoid direct sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that your skin doesn’t get burned especially if your tan is fair.
Cost and Value
Getting bronze tan doesn’t have to be risky and difficult. You just need to wisely use the timing and the proper cream that will enhance the process without posing any risk to your skin. This product will make your skin soft, moisturized, protected and tanned. All that for an affordable price for double enjoyment.
5. Sun Bum
So, you need a product that will provide sufficient sun protection, but won’t prevent your skin from getting brown tan which will last for a while? Try Sun Bun, one of the most recommended lotions, which has thousands of five-star rankings based on the proper protection and tanning it provides. It will protect you from the sun since it has SPF15, which might not be as strong as dermatologist recommend, but when used for limited time and on previously tanned skin, it gives amazing results.Read more
This is a broad spectrum sunscreen that will provide some shielding to your skin from the UV rays for some time while letting it gradually and safely get tanned. It is made with ingredients that won’t compromise your skin and plus it is enriched with vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that has the capacity to neutralize free radicals. It is also a good moisturizer that helps the skin retain its natural moisture. Since the company follows the recommendations provided by the American Cancer Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation, all their products, including this one, have been tested, approved and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. The sunscreen is not greasy, doesn’t contain harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone or octinoxate and won’t clog the pores.
It is not recommended to challenge and play with the sun unprotected because that game will be lost before you even start it, however, you can act smartly and make use of the sun to achieve your goal by the help of this product. So, get yourself a base tan by using higher SPF sunscreen products and then use this one as an accelerator to get a darker tone. Besides, it has moisturizing properties and pleasant coconut fragrance that will make you enjoy the time spent outdoors.
Cost and Value
It doesn’t have to be dangerous to have a nice bronze tan. Sun Bum will help you get there in the safest possible manner and won’t let your skin burn provided you play smart too. It is among the most affordable products and part of the amount you pay goes to funding projects that strive to provide decent sun protection for kids.
6. Maui Babe
The secret of Hawaii at your hand’s reach can make wonders when it comes to skin tanning. It comes from Maui and it is made in accordance with an old family formula that has been proven effective for treating various skin issues. Among all the other skin beneficial properties that this product has, it is known to be a very popular skin tanning accelerator that shortens the time of obtaining bronze skin. It can be used on all skin types, even to the palest and the most sensitive ones.Read more
Even though the formula of this product hasn’t been disclosed to the public and it is a well-kept secret, we do know the ingredients that are used for its production and they are all Hawaiian originated. This lotion has been used for years for treating burns of all types. It functions as an accelerator for the tanning process and it provides the desired effect for much shorter time. Among the ingredients used in its production, worth mentioning are the Aloe Vera, Kukui nut oil, light mineral oil, Kona coffee plant extract, potassium iodide, and vitamins A, E, and C which are known to be very beneficial to the skin and are powerful antioxidants too.
Many users claim that this product will provide you the tan that you have always dreamt about in the shortest possible time. But, not only will it bronze your skin, it will deeply hydrate it, protect it and rejuvenate it. However, if you spend more time outdoors it is recommended to wear sunscreen because this product doesn’t contain any. Regardless of your skin type, you can use this product freely due to the soothing and calming natural ingredients it has.
Cost and Value
This product isn’t only a skin bronzer, it is a moisturizer, healing burns lotion, and skin rejuvenator. It has multiple purposes and it seems to be very effective in providing them. It isn’t heavily priced as you might think when it comes to natural products, so you get an excellent value for the money.
7. Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee
This product has been on the market for more than 30 years and it still features the same quality and looks, and the well-known fragrance that will bring your memories back (or create new ones). It is an excellent product that will protect your skin from the UV rays, at least to some extent, and intensify the tanning process. It is one of the most effective low SPF4 products that will provide a bronze tone without burning it.Read more
So, this tanning lotion is actually the aiding tool of having your skin darkened in a healthier and more natural way compared to tanning salons. It has a unique formula that is rich in emollients that moisturize the skin and lock the moisture in, and at the same time, it provides a natural bronze glow. It features broad-spectrum protection with SPF 4, which we have to say is extremely low, however, when used for about an hour a day, when the sun is not at its peak, you can expect terrific results. It is dermatologically tested classic formula which is PABA-free.
When used moderately on already sun-exposed skin you can expect to see amazing tan that gets darker and darker every day. It has a tropical fragrance that stimulates your senses and makes you indulge in its lavish texture. It is water resistant and you can enjoy swimming with it, or if you tend to perspire it will still be with you. This product is not recommended to people with very fair skin or as a sunbathing starter due to the low SPF. Use it in combination with other sunscreen or just for a short time during the day to make sure your skin is adequately protected.
Cost and Value
How do you know that a certain product is effective and working well? One of the indicators is its popularity and constant demand for that product. This one has been on the market for decades and it is still popular and looked for. It has a price tag that is within the average range for the products of this type, so you can enjoy its effect without worrying about your budget.
8. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses
If you have been eager to get a Hawaiian tan in a short time to rule the golf course and have everyone’s eyes turned towards you, then the best tanning lotion voted by customers is here. Coconut kisses is a tanning intensifier that will help you get the perfect skin tone without making your skin burned with orange complexion. Read below to find out more why this lotion has been the best one for 2017/2018.Read more
The simple reason why this tanning intensifier is so popular is its highly effective formula. You don’t have to go to tanning sessions for a long time to have your tan darkened (and possibly your skin damaged), this product will help you achieve the effect with just a few sessions. The formula contains quad tyrosine blend and melanobronze increase the formation of melanin which in turn accelerates the process of tanning. It also contains melactiva which is a melanin synthesizer which provides longer-lasting results and a darker tone.
As many users say, this lotion has shortened their tanning sessions but prolonged and increased the darker skin tone and the overall effect. It has a very pleasant, tropical scent that will make you enjoy the time you spend on the tanning bad, creating a tropical atmosphere. It gets fast absorbed into the skin and it won’t stain your clothes. It is also a tattoo and color fade protector which has the ability to prolong the radiance and the life of the tattoos and the tanning results. Plus, this is a body fit formulated product that will reduce the cellulite and skin imperfections making the skin firm and smooth with the help of the coconut oil, coconut milk, and the cocoa butter.
Cost and Value
After reading the review of this product you have probably got the idea it is a high-quality product that doesn’t contain any bronzers and that it is skin soothing natural tanning intensifier. As it has been reviewed to be the most natural tanning accelerator, it is the most reasonably priced product of this kind.
9. Millenium Tanning Solid Black
Are you in a rush to have your skin bronze and attract everyone's attention on you? Or, maybe you’d like to prep your skin for super intensive golf rounds? Regardless of the reasons, this bronzer is going to deliver a pleasant bronze tan without any orange streaks. Plus, it has a very pleasant fragrance which reminds of an orchid. It is recommended to be used before laying on the tanning bed, even though some users say that they use it just as a self-tanning bronzer, but with less enhanced effect.Read more
This product is a bronzer which is capable to provide 100X ultra darkening since it utilizes the modern technology to deliver the effect in the shortest possible time. It contains a blend of moisturizers that keep your skin protected and hydrated, a silicone bronze blend and a tan enhancer which together yield the effect of bronze skin which is soft and nourished. In addition to these key ingredients, it contains natural ingredients that make it a unique product of this type, such as sunflower, walnut, banana fruit extract, pecan seed oil, oleracea fruit oil, etc.
This is a powerful bronzer that gives an ultra-dark look on the skin after just a few tanning sessions without causing any damage to the skin as you use it. Some reviewers warn the first time users to be careful to apply an equal amount of it everywhere and to remove the bronzer from the palms after application since it can tint them orange. Make sure it gets fully dried before you start the tanning sessions since you won’t be having equal skin tanning. It will soon give the desired bronze tone and silky touch on your skin. According to the users, it fully matches the description.
Cost and Value
Not many bronzers can boast about being super effective and cheap as this product can. It is very efficient in providing the expected results and many users claim that it has even excelled their expectations. Plus, it contains moisturizers that prevent skin drying which makes it a great value for the money.
10. Panama Jack
Ok, we get it! You’ve been exposed to the sun for so long, the tan has become darker than normal, but it isn’t what you’ve been wanting. Plus, you are a golfer who spends considerable time on the course and you think that you could add some tanning benefit while playing golf. Panama Jack can deliver increased tanning effect provided you use it wisely.Read more
This product is intended to make your skin darker and allow you to enjoy your bronze tan. It provides certain broad-spectrum protection of SPF4 which means that you need to plan your time on the sun if this is the only sunscreen you will use. It is formulated with Q10 antioxidant and vitamin E which means that it will help your skin fight free radicals and prevent it from premature aging. It is hypoallergenic and it doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin when applied. It is water resistant to up to 80 minutes, but for better protection, it is advisable to apply more frequently.
For maximized effect, it is recommended to expose your skin to the sun and get some basic tanning before applying this product on your skin. Due to the fact that its SPF is only 4, your skin should be darker and the recommended time for being on the sun with only this product applied to your skin is about an hour. So, use it wisely, plan your time and you’ll see incredible tanning results.
Cost and Value
Even though it is not recommended to spend a lot of time on the sun with this product when it is the only sunscreen applied on your skin, it has a fabulous formula and you can use it as a daily moisturizer too, or in combination with another sunscreen if you have fair skin. So, this is a good product with an even better inexpensive price tag.