7 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion for Summer (Tested)

Looking for the best outdoor tanning lotion?

Well today, luck is on your side!

I researched the best brands in the market and narrowed them down to only 7 that I trust will be kind to you.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

Don’t forget to also check our review on the best tanning solution for spray tan machines!

Check out the table for a quick overview of these lotions, then read on for more details!

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Editor's Choice
Ed Hardy #Beachtime Dark Indoor Outdoor Coconut Infused Tanning Lotion 13.5oz
Top Benefit
Contains healthy vitamins and nutrients
Check Latest Price
Tanning Paradise Sun of a Beach Instant Black Bronzing | Vitamin Rich Tanning Lotion 13.5oz
Top Benefit
It has an instant bronzer
Check Latest Price
Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil 8 Ounces, 2 Count (Pack of 1)
Top Benefit
It contains skin conditioners
Check Latest Price
Millennium Tanning Solid Black 100X Indoor Tanning Lotion for Tanning Beds (13.5 Fluid Ounces)
Top Benefit
It gives an instant golden tan
Check Latest Price
Tanovations SUN DAY FUN DAY Indoor/Outdoor Tanning Cocktail - 10 oz.
Top Benefit
It reduces the appearance of cellulite and fine lines
Check Latest Price


Before we jump into these tanning lotion reviews, I just want to mention three things.

First, using an outdoor tanning lotion doesn’t guarantee a good tan (but it does improve your odds).

Second, before you slather ANY of these all over your body, do a small patch test first.

This is especially important if you’re using them for nude tanning! You don’t want to find out you’re allergic to a lotion when it’s already on your most sensitive bits. 🙂

Last, it’s only responsible to remind you that tanning in the sun or a bed is dangerous and can lead to skin problems ranging from mild burns to skin cancer. So, use common sense. Don’t forget to read our tips for tanning outside.

Okay, let’s dive in and check out the winner, then the runner-ups.

1. WINNER: Ed Hardy Tanning Lotion #Beachtime Coconut

tanning lotion in a cool bottle with coconut trees printed

This is my pick for the winner! So, if you’re in a hurry, you can skip the rest, grab this Ed Hardy tanning lotion and hit the beach.

I’ll explain all the reasons why I highly vouch for it.


The best feature of this one is that you can use it for both indoor and outdoor tanning.

One of its main ingredients is coconut oil, which keeps your skin soft and moisturized when sunbathing.

Thanks to the intense hydrating effect of the skin, you get a long-lasting tan.

The product also has seaweed extract that helps eliminate toxins from your body, leaving your skin very clear after tanning.

Other valuable ingredients in Ed Hardy Tanning Lotion #Beachtime Coconut are hibiscus and passion.

The latter is rich in Vitamin A and C, which protects your skin against free radical change.


On the other hand, hibiscus increases the skin’s elasticity, giving you a natural youth boost. It also evens your skin’s texture and tone, which is a huge bonus.

The body fit feature is another unique feature of this tanning lotion; instead of affecting your skin with frequent use, it firms up your skin. And as you enjoy basking, the lotion will also be working on cellulitis.

And lastly, if you have a tattoo, you’ll be happy to know this outdoor tanning lotion has a built-in tattoo fade protector.

ALSO CHECK: Womens Tan Through Swimsuits Review


  • Contains healthy vitamins and nutrients that keep your skin healthy
  • Protects your skin from free radical change during the tanning
  • Built-in tattoo protector to help achieve a perfect tan without removing tattoos
  • Amazing moisturizing and hydrating effects
  • Goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly, leaving a nice shimmering sheen.
a hand showing an applied tanning lotion on the skin


  • Some people don’t find the scent pleasant
  • It’s not suitable for people who want an outdoor tanning lotion with a bronzer
  • Could be too harsh for super sensitive skin.

Who Needs this Lotion?

This lotion works well for most skin types, thanks to its amazing hydrating powers.

However, a few people did break out from it, so if you have SUPER sensitive skin, definitely spot-test first.

It’s even better for people who have dry and flaky skin as it will keep your skin moisturized the entire time.

Ed Hardy Tanning Lotion #Beachtime Coconut is also favorable for those who are simply looking for a lotion with limited chemicals.

The tanning intensifiers in the lotion facilitate tanning without a bronzer.

CHECK: 13 Best Lotion for Crepey Skin

2. Sun of a Beach from Tanning Paradise

Tanning Paradise Sun of a Beach Instant Black Bronzing | Vitamin Rich Tanning Lotion 13.5oz

The name of this tanning lotion has nothing to do with why it’s my second-best outside tanning lotion, but it’s good to give credit where it’s due.

‘Could you please get me my sun of a beach?‘ sounds like a good joke.

Anyway, let’s get to why the tanning paradise sun of a beach is a great choice.


If you don’t like the Ed Hardy Tanning Lotion #Beachtime Coconut because it doesn’t have a bronzer, you can go for sun of a beach.

The lotion has an instant black bronzing lotion, so you’re assured of a quick tan.

Another great feature of the lotion is the superior soft silicone formula that ensures your tan lasts longer.

And if the old age is kicking in (I mean, those aging signs catch up with us eventually), the paradise tanning lotion will give you more than a tan.

It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, leaving you with a smooth complexion.

The tanning lotion also deals with those notorious stretch marks and scars.

This is possible because the tanning paradise sun of a beach is very high in Vitamin A, E, and antioxidants.

The tanning paradise also has an after tan-odor eliminator, so you leave the beach tanned and a fresh smell. The lotion has a fruity and fresh scent, similar to a pineapple.

And for tattoo lovers, this tanning lotion also has tattoo and color protectors so you can breathe. Your tattoo won’t fade or change in any way after tanning.


  • It has an instant bronzer, so tanning is fast
  • It has a very pleasant smell
  • It has a perfect texture, soft but not too oily or watery
  • It keeps your skin moisturized
  • It has an after tan-odor feature, so it leaves you smelling fresh after tanning


  • It has a bronzer, which is a deal-breaker for those leading a natural lifestyle
  • If you don’t like strong scents, it’s not for you

Who Needs the Lotion?

The lotion is great for those looking for an outdoor tanning lotion with a bronzer for a quick tan.

The paradise sun of a beach works for sensitive skin, who want a fast tan while still protecting the skin.

Tanning Paradise Sun of a Beach Instant Black Bronzing | Vitamin Rich Tanning Lotion 13.5oz
  • ✅ Ultra-Rich Skin Softening Instant Black Bronzing Lotion, With Anti- Orange Technology & Color Fade Protection. Vitamin Rich Formula – To moisture, nourish and provide a healthy glow.
  • ✅ Coconut Colada Fragrance. Anti-Orange technologies. Superior soft silicone formula to allow results to last days longer.
  • ✅ Tattoo & Color Fade Protectors. Tattoo & Color Fade Protection – Protects the color and luster of tattoos and tanning results.
  • ✅ Vitamins A, C & E. Super Soft Silicones. Antioxidant Rich Formula. Vitamin E – To help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Vitamin A helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more even and smooth complexion.
  • ✅ Ultra-Dark Black Bronzing Formula. After Tan Odor Eliminator – Proprietary blend of deodorizing and skin freshening ingredients. Dark DHA, Natural & Cosmetic Bronzers provide and deep, dark and long lasting bronzed result.

Also, make sure to read about rash after tanning bed.

3. Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self Tanner

Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self Tanner, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Skin Tone, Anti Cellulite Firming Body Lotion for Natural-Looking Tan, Ounce, Fair to Medium, Fresh, 7.5 Fl Oz(Packaging May Vary)

If you’re looking for something that’s pocket-friendly and safer than basking in the sun for your tan, then Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self-Tanner will work perfectly for you.

And no, the pricing has nothing to do with the quality. This self-tanner gives you a great golden glow.

One Amazon user says that he used the lotion after his wife insisted he was getting pale and needed to bask a little.

To cut a long story short, he got such a good tan that his wife believed he was sunbathing.

Well, lying isn’t cool, but you get the point. But what really makes it an excellent choice for you? See below.


It’s a no-brainer that the firming feature is what makes it different. My mom has always used both the general and firming versions over the years.

But now that she’s in her golden years, she realized her legs were looking “too old and creepy” (her words).

She switched to the firming gel, and she can finally wear bathing suits again.

See, as we age, the level of collagen and elastin diminishes, which causes loss of skin firmness.

Jergens self-tan helps you tan gradually, so it works well if you have fair skin.

And since the lotion is infused with anti-cellulite formula and green tea infusions, it also helps reduce cellulite appearance in seven days (their claim).

If you have dry skin, you don’t have to worry about your skin cracking after tanning quite so much.

Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self-Tanner has coconut water and antioxidants that keep the skin hydrated, moisturized, and healthy.


  • It keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized
  • It strengthens the skin, giving you a tight and smooth skin
  • It works well with fair skin because it gives a gradual tan
  • It reduces the appearance of cellulite within 7 days
  • It’s pocket friendly


  • Some feel the smell is really unpleasant.
  • As with all self-tanners, it’s prone to streaking.

Who Needs the Lotion?

The Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self-Tanner works well for those with fair skin and needs a gradual tan.

It also works well with individuals who want to reduce the appearance of cellulite and strengthen the skin.

However, as with all sunless tanners, you have to be really careful about applying it just right to avoid streaks.

Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Self Tanner, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Fair to Medium Skin Tone, Anti Cellulite Firming Body Lotion for Natural-Looking Tan, 7.5 Ounce
  • SELF TANNER BODY LOTION - Create a flawless light bronze tan with gradual, natural-looking color while nourishing and hydrating dry and extra dry skin.
  • GRADUAL SUNLESS TANNING - Our Jergens Natural Glow & FIRMING moisturizer will gradually enhance and deepen your natural skin tone to provide hassle-free, streak-free color. Cruelty free
  • CELLULITE REMOVER - Infused with collagen, elastin, and green tea infusions, our fast-acting, anti cellulite formula will help reduce cellulite appearance within 7 days.
  • FIRMING TAN LOTION - Infused with antioxidants and Coconut Water, Jergens & FIRMING Moisturizer’s hydrating blend of nutrients boosts moisturization for healthier looking skin and daily skin hydration.
  • FRESH SCENTED SUNLESS TANNING - Jergens Natural Glow sunless tanning daily moisturizers will keep you feeling fresh with a light and fresh scent.

4. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil 8 Ounces Twin Pack

I first saw this tanning oil with my dad, who rarely uses any lotion or moisturizer.

But after spending the day laying in the sun, with no sunscreen, he ended up with ears that literally looked like toast, so he had to do something.

He pulled out what he likes to call his “magic oil,” and he swore that the pain from the sunburn disappeared immediately.

I asked him if I could try it, too, and boy! I loved it.

As we speak, the Hawaii Tropic Dark Tanning Oil is locked in my dad’s cabinet because it’s in high demand in this house.


One thing that’s so special about the Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning lotion is that it’s made of multiple natural essential oils and antioxidants.

The product gives you a quick, intense tan while conditioning your skin and leaves your skin moisturized.

It works out very well for folks with dry skin because it contains exotic moisturizing ingredients, so it keeps the skin hydrated.

The oil also protects your skin from reacting with free radicals because it’s rich in Vitamin E, C, and A.

However, the Hawaiian tropic dark tanning oil has a low SPF of 6, so you must reapply it often to avoid sunburns.

Since it’s an oil, it’s somewhat greasy, too.

When it comes to the scent, it has a classic coconut fragrance, which is sweet but not too strong.


  • A combination of essential natural oils that are beneficial to your skin
  • It contains skin conditioners
  • It has a sweet coconut fragrance
  • It keeps the skin very moisturized


  • It doesn’t have bronzers
  • It doesn’t have tattoo protectors

Who needs this lotion?

This tanning lotion works well for individuals with dry skin because it has high moisturizing power.

It’s also a good option if you’re looking for a natural product.

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil 8 Ounces, 2 Count (Pack of 1)
  • A rare blend of nature's rich tanning oils
  • Formulated with exotic moisturizing ingredients
  • Contains skin conditioners
  • Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E
  • Classic coconut fragrance

5. Millennium Tanning New Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion

Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion, 100x, 13.5 Fl Oz

I’m sure you’ve come across the Millennium lotion in several tanning lotion reviews. So, is it worth the hype?

Well, I’ll give you the details, and you can judge for yourself.


This tanning lotion’s greatest strength is its greatest setback too, and that’s its Ultra Advanced 100X Silicone Bronzer and auto-darkening technology.

This means if you want to get a tan in the shortest time possible, this is the best outdoor sun tanning lotion for you.

The reason the millennium tanning lotion isn’t higher on this list is because some users with sensitive and fair skin experience allergic reactions.

So, if you fall into these two categories, I suggest testing the lotion on a small part of your body fast.

Products in the millennium lotion that cause the instant tan include pecan seed, sunflower, oleracea fruit oil, banana fruit extract, and camellia oleifera leaf extract.

The formula also keeps your skin hydrated and smooth. And the best part is that it keeps your skin moisturized for 24 hours.

Another impressive feature is the silicone emulsion that restores the skin’s firmness and reduces the cellulite appearance. It also has anti-aging properties, which is always a bonus for me.

And if you hate it when you apply tanning lotions and feel all greasy, then you’ll love this lotion. It spreads evenly and has excellent lotion consistency.

However, it’s not water-resistant, so it’s important to give it at least 15 minutes for absorption before diving into the pool.

Millennium tanning lotion is among the most popular tanning lotions on Amazon, and unless you have an allergic reaction, you’ll love it too.


  • Sweet scent
  • It contains anti-aging properties
  • Gives an instant golden tan
  • It has a bronzer


  • Not good for sensitive skin
  • No SPF

Who needs the lotion?

The Millennium tanning lotion is perfect for people who want a quick fast tan.

It also works well for people with dry skin because it has a moisturizing effect that lasts for 24 hours.

But if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to either test the product on a small patch or choose one of my other recommendations.

Millennium Tanning Solid Black 100X Indoor Tanning Lotion for Tanning Beds (13.5 Fluid Ounces)
  • Quick Results - Feel a touch of luxuryーdrive your tan into darkness using tanning lotion w/ bronzer!
  • Easy To Use - Rub the indoor tanning lotion evenly & step inside a tanning bed or lie out in the sun
  • Dark & Black Tan - Achieve intense dark tan using an indoor tanning lotion with bronzer & silicone!
  • Contains Essential Oils & Fruit Extracts - Hydrate & nourish your skin with our tanning bed lotion!
  • Painless Tanning - No need to endure painful tingling sensations with tanning bed lotion 100X.

6. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Lot of (2) Ed Hardy COCONUT KISSES Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz

Here’s another great one by Ed Hardy, in case you didn’t like our top pick.

I will actually not beat around the bush with this one; I’ll just show you why it’s a good choice – it pretty much sells itself.


This product is a great fit for those who are looking to catch the first summer sun.

It’s one of the best outdoor tanning accelerators as it gives you a base tan within a few days.

Among the formulas that help you tan faster are Quad Tyrosine Blend and MelanoBronzer.

These products enhance the production of melanin in your skin that is responsible for your tan.

The lotion also has a Melactiva, a melanin synthesizer that ensures the dark tan lasts.

The lotion is thinner compared to other lotions, but that means the skin absorbs it fast. It also has a high hydrating and absorbing moisturizer that keeps the skin nourished.

And for those with dry skin, the infused coconut butter, coconut milk, and coconut oil will keep your skin hydrated throughout the tanning process.

The Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion also has a BodyFit feature that reduces cellulite and promotes skin firmness.

As soon as you start using the product, you’ll notice your skin feels and looks so much better.

The other great feature is the tattoo protector and other secret ingredients that keep tattoos away from fading.

Unfortunately, the product has no SPF, but you can always mix it with sunscreen to ensure you don’t risk getting sunburns when tanning.

The other feature that this tanning lotion lacks is a bronzer, so if you don’t want to look pale on your first day at the beach, consider other products on the list.


  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • It gives a great, perfect base tan
  • Offers tan protection
  • It gives a long-lasting tan


  • It’s thinner than lotion
  • It has no SPF
  • It doesn’t have a bronzer

Who Needs the Lotion?

This lotion is a great choice for individuals with dry skin because of its high hydrating and moisturizing effect.

It’s also great for those looking for a long-lasting tan (and who isn’t?).

7. Sun Day Fun Day Indoor/ Outdoor Tanning Lotion

Tanovations SUN DAY FUN DAY Indoor/Outdoor Tanning Cocktail - 10 oz.

The biggest pro of this tanning lotion is that it works for outdoor and indoor tanning lotion purposes.

It’s my go-to tanning lotion when I think I want to do indoor and outdoor tanning and save some coins in the process.

Although it’s last on my list, Sun Day Fun Day has multiple outstanding features. See for yourself.


For starters, it has multiple accelerators that enhance melanin production, which helps you get a fast tan.

It also has hydrating butter with dark tanning activators that help you get a great tan.

If you’ve tried tanning before and all you got were orange tints, this lotion will change that.

Sun Day Fun Day also has ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa that keep the skin smooth and moisturized.

So, if you have dry skin, this tanning lotion is a perfect choice for you.

Another great ingredient in the lotion is vitamin E, as it helps slow down the aging process by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

What I love the most about this lotion is that it has a white lotion bronzer.

This means it doesn’t stain clothes, so you can avoid the mess that comes with other tanning lotions.

The only setback is that it also doesn’t have a SPF, so it’s important to use sunscreen when you’re tanning outside.


  • It keeps the skin moisturized and nourished
  • It reduces the appearance of cellulite and fine lines
  • It can be used for both outdoor and indoor tanning
  • It doesn’t stain clothes


  • No SPF

Who Needs the Lotion?

This lotion is great if you’re trying to slow down the aging process. It helps hide those fine lines and cellulite and allow you to rock your bikini in peace.

It also works well for people with dry skin as the coconut ingredients ensure the skin stays moisturized.

Tanovations SUN DAY FUN DAY Indoor/Outdoor Tanning Cocktail - 10 oz.
  • Extremely hydrating tanning butter with dark tanning activators.
  • Coconut Oil, Cocoa & Shea Butter – Helps to moisturize and soften skin.
  • Vitamin E – Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps slow down the aging process.
  • Blended with multiple accelerators that work to target melanin production and achieve fast, dark tanning results.

Outdoor Tanning Lotion FAQs

Here are some of the common questions that people ask regarding outdoor tanning lotions.

Can you use indoor tanning lotion outside?

Indoor and outdoor tanning lotions are made with different ingredients. This is because although they serve the same purpose, they do so in different environments.

For example, indoor lotions do not have SPF, so if you decide to use them for outdoor tanning, you should consider applying sunscreen.

Should I put on lotion before tanning outside?

Yes, you should apply lotion when tanning outside.

Tanning lotions increase the depth and rate of tanning and also contain bronzers that fasten the process.

The bronzers enhance the tanning giving you a darker tan that lasts longer.

Is lotion or oil better for tanning outside?

This depends on your personal preference.

Suntan oils do not contain SPF and are mainly used by people looking to get a fast tan.

On the other hand, tanning lotions have a higher SPF, giving the user a gradual tan.


The best outdoor tanning lotion can vary from one individual to another based on their goals.

Some people want lotions that contain bronzers for that quick tan, while others prefer lotions packed with natural ingredients that give a gradual tan.

Whatever your preference is, you should have no trouble finding one that’s right for you from my list.

diy tanning lotion put on top of a light blue and white blanket

What is your favorite Outdoor tanning lotion? share below!

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.