5 Best Tanning Bed Lotions You Should Try!

I come from a lineage of tanners, and over the years, we’ve tested several tanning bed lotions.

Some have ended with a golden tan, and others have been a big miss.

And now, I’m ready to share with you my best picks in the market. 

Start with a quick glance below, then read on for in-depth reviews!

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CHECK: Best Spray Tan Machine 2021

Best Tanning Bed Lotions Top Picks at a Glance

Check the table below for a side-by-side comparison of our favorites!

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Check: Do You Need Lotion for Tanning Bed?

5 Best Indoor Tanning Lotions In-depth Review

After staring at my computer all week, whenever I have a ceremony to attend, whether it’s a wedding or meeting, tanning helps me kill my office drab.

I’m not alone in this; tanning is becoming an unspoken mandatory thing among many of us. If you’re looking forward to joining our sorority, there are two rules you should know.

  • Firstly, we try as much as we can tan safely. 
  • And secondly, we go for the best indoor tanning lotion. 

For today, your initiation to our sorority starts with learning the best tanning bed lotion. Let’s get started. 

1. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Lotion

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Since the lockdown, I’ve been tanning in beds (almost exclusively), and I’ve used the Australian gold accelerator lotion at least 5 out of 10 times.

I’ve also used it for outdoor tanning, and I got similar results. Before I bore you with how it’s the best smelling tanning lotion I’ve used so far, let’s get to the important attributes of the cream. 


The Australian gold accelerator checks out almost all brackets of what a perfect indoor tanning lotion should be. 

It contains great ingredients such as tea tree, which has excellent antioxidant properties, natural oils that help in hydrating and nourishing your skin.

And it’s rich in vitamin A and E, which are paramount in the skincare routine. 

The goal of the Australian Gold company has always been to make formulas as clean as possible to ensure their users get nothing but the best. And this lotion lives up to that statement. 

Here are more details on the Australian Gold accelerator lotion. 

The lotion has a fantastic fragrance. It has a strong fragrance, so it may not be an excellent fit for people with a scent problem.
It leaves your skin fresh, moisturized, and hydrated. Like any other beauty product, it may trigger allergic reactions in some people. 
It contains antioxidants, which help protect your skin from free radicals. Some complaints that it stains clothing.
It also has other skin-friendly ingredients such as leaf oil, seed oil, glycerin, and sunflower. 
It gives a golden tan even to fair skin tones without causing the orange-y look. 

I don’t know about you, but a good scent is a bonus for me. The lotion has a sweet scent that smells like a combination of cocoa, vanilla, and orange. 

The extra moisturizing effect is also very important, especially for those with dry skin, as is those antioxidants! They really help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and free lines.

How it Compares to Others and Why

One of the most remarkable qualities of the Australian gold accelerator is that it helps even fairy skins tan without giving them an orange look.

It also has multiple hydrating and moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin that leave the skin rejuvenated. 

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Expert Tips 

  • If tanning lotions cause you redness or make your skin orange-y, try the Australian gold for different results. 
  • But generally, the lotion works well for all skin types. It works especially well for people with dry skin thanks to its exceptional hydrating properties. 
  • For those who don’t like fragrance, check out my other recommendations. 
  • Like any other beauty product, make sure you do a patch test before applying it to your body. 

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Check: How to Tan Legs Faster

2. St.Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Lotion

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My love story with this lotion is like one of those successful; how did you guys meet? Stories?. 

I had a wedding coming up, and I was so focused on work that I could hardly get a chance to schedule a tanning session.

One of my friends recommended St.Tropez and promised me it would help me tan in approximately 5-6 hours, and that’s the only time I had.

It worked for me, and it has been my ride or die lotion for my quickie tanning days ever since. 


One of my favorite features of the lotion is the package. It’s nothing fancy, but the 200 tube is easily portable.

If I need to carry a tanning lotion when traveling, I go for this bottle because I don’t like makeup messes. 

Another great thing about the indoor tanning lotion is that it’s vegan, and so it works well for those looking for cruelty-free products. 

Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of watermelon lotion.

It gives you a golden tan in less than 8 hours. The tan doesn’t last for long.
It’s lightweight and non-sticky.
It has excellent hydrating and moisturized properties.
It has an amazing fruity smell that isn’t overpowering.

My favorite benefit is that it works quickly, so if I have a wedding to attend the next day, I don’t have to worry!

I also love that it doesn’t feel greasy or sticky like other tanning lotions. Plus, the hydrating properties are ahhhhh-mazing!! Even after 72 hours of application, you’re still feeling hydrated.

However, in my experience, although I got the tan fast, I lost it faster than it does with other lotions.

It’s only great if you want the tan for a ceremony. If you want to maintain your tan, ensure you repeat the process for a few days. 

How it Compares to Others and Why 

Unlike other lotions where you need a few days to see results, with St. Tropez, you start seeing results in approximately 5 hours. 

It’s also cruelty-free, which makes it an excellent choice for vegans. 

Expert Tips 

  • When Tropez is a great choice, I don’t recommend it for people who want a long-lasting tan. It’s mostly amazing when you’re looking to get a fast tan. 

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 3. Millennium Solid Black 100x

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This is among the greatest products in the tanning market, and the only reason it’s number 3 is that it has 100X bronzer so I feel it works best for experienced tanners only.

I’ve used this lotion several times for both outdoor and indoor tanning and I loved results in both occasions. 


Well, the most popular feature of this indoor tanning lotion is the 100X bronzer and its auto-darkening technology. 

Another great feature is its hydrating properties thanks to its silicone emollient. 

It gives you a dark tan very fast because of its 100x bronzer technology.It can easily cause orange spots and streaks for people with pasty white or very fair skin tones if not applied correctly. 
The lotion has an amazing consistencyIt can result in orange hands if you forget to wash hands after application.
Easy to apply & absorbs quickly, ensuring you’re well covered. 
The cream has a sweet scent.

Even for light skin tones, 7 days of tanning for at least 10 minutes a session give you an amazing golden tan. 

The consistency is another HUGE plus! It leaves you moisturized and smooth because it contains silicon and vitamins. Plus it absorbs right into your skin for full coverage.

And that scent? Delightful! By now, you know I love a little scent in my lotions, and this one has a sweet orchid fragrance.

How it Compares to Others and Why 

The best thing about this product is that it has 100X bronze and auto-darkening technology because it gives you a tan within no time. 

Another way the lotion differentiates itself from the rest is its oily consistency, making it easy to apply. 

The silicone is also a big plus since it has great hydration properties. 

Expert Tips 

  • Firstly, for those with pale skin, I recommend starting with an indoor tanning lotion with a developer to get a little tan before using Millennium 100X. 
  • Secondly, when applying, first dab it in all areas you want to apply and then rub it in until your skin isn’t ‘wet.’ For areas with thin skin (armpits, elbows, and feet), apply less lotion since they’ll tan quicker than other body parts. 
  • Lastly, use soap to wash your hands, fingers, and cuticles to avoid orange hands. 

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4. Tanwor By Monu Skincare


Tanwor By Monu Skincare

I really wanted to write a review for Tanwor because I’ve heard many good things about it. But since I was too busy to try it out, I had my sister try it during her tanning session.

According to her, although the lotion won’t give you a dark tan as our previous counterpart, it does a great job. 

I didn’t get the tan as fast as I do when I’m using Millennium Solid Black 100x, but I was very impressed. Although I took a shower faster than I do after tanning, I still got something close to a natural tan.’

Below is more information on Tanwor lotion.


It comes with a hydration body lotion. The ultra-moisturizing helps in ensuring your skin is hydrated enough so that your skin doesn’t crack during the session.

Instant tan glow. The lotion gives you that dark color, without staining your bikini (we know the stains get off eventually, but who loves to deal with those??). 

Tanning mitt. Unlike other lotions that leave you with orange hands, thanks to the tanning mitt that comes with the lotion. It has a resistant barrier that protects your wrists and hands from staining. 

You don’t deal with staining of clothes or orange hands.It doesn’t dark give you a quick tan compared to other products with bronzers.
It has great hydration and moisturizing properties, which is critical for the tanning processIt’s not very common, so there are only a couple of reviews and experiences to learn from online.
It gives an instant glow wash-off tan, so you can shower in two hours after your session. 

How to Compare it to Others and Why 

I love the fact that the lotions come with a tanning mitt to ensure you don’t get stained hands; this is one way the product has differentiated itself from the rest.

Another reason the lotion has return buyers is because of the hydration body lotion that comes with it. 

Expert Tips 

  • This lotion is really great for beginners. It eliminates all the hurdles that come with the indoor tanning lotion, from stained clothes to orange hands. 
  • I also recommend the lotion to people with dry skin because the lotion protects the skin from cracking. 
  • Like any other beauty product, ensure you do a rough patch before applying it to your entire body. 

5. Lancaster Golden Tan Maximizer

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Are you looking for a lotion, but you’re afraid of what it might do to your skin? I got you. I understand the struggle that comes with acne-prone skin when choosing beauty products, so this one’s for you. 

Here is everything you need to know about the lotion. 


The Lancaster tan maximizer is a great choice for those who love natural products. This is because 86% of the lotion is made from natural products and supplemented with a tan activator complex derived from buriti oil. The tan activator boosts melanin production, which in turn gives you a golden tan. 

Lancaster lotion also contains a complex that soothes your skin to sunburn and protects it from peeling by keeping it moisturized. 

Safe for all skin types. Some say it’s a bit too greasy.
It contains buriti oil that comes with so many benefits.Others feel that it has a “rubbery” feeling to it.
It gives you a golden tan by increasing the rate of melanin production. A bit on the pricier side (but worth it).
It gives your skin a golden glow

First, this lotion is made using natural products, so it’s safe for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. 

The Buriti oil is a super nice touch. Benefits include reducing black spots and the appearance of wrinkles.

However, since Lancaster improved their product, some of their users have expressed their dissatisfaction, saying it’s a bit greasy. 

How it Compares to Others and Why 

The greatest feature of the Lancaster oil is its tan activator oil derived from buriti oil. The oil comes with multiple benefits, and it doesn’t cause reactions even in people with sensitive skin. 

benefits of Lancaster Golden Tan Maximizer

Expert Tips 

  • If you’re new to tanning, this is an ideal lotion to start your sessions with. It protects your skin from experiencing any reactions, and it contains skin-friendly products like buriti oil. However, like any other skin product, do a patch test because every skin reacts differently. 

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Related: 5 Best Tingle Tanning Lotions for Perfect Tan


Here are the commonly asked questions regarding tanning lotions. 

Can I tan without tanning lotions? 

Yes, you can tan without tanning lotions, but you risk your skin on all dangers that come with overexposing your skin to UV rays. This is especially risky during indoor tanning sessions because the UV rays in the beds are stronger than those from the sun. You also miss out on getting a long-lasting tan, which is what most lotions help in accomplishing. 

Are expensive tanning lotions worth it? 

Yes, I know some lotions go up to $110, but that’s for a reason. Expensive creams are made using very expensive ingredients to ensure they don’t react with your skin. Others also come with other extras in the package, such as mitt and hydration oil to enhance your tanning process. While the costs may be a deal-breaker, it’s essential to choose the best product for your indoor tanning sessions to avoid reactions. 

Best Tanning Bed Lotion Review (Conclusion)

Getting a golden tan is very easy if you use the right products. One of the things that you need to get right is the tanning lotion. 

I’ve had bad experiences where the lotions triggered acne and took all the joy of tanning. 

However, over the years, I’ve heard great experiences with tanning lotions because I understand what ingredients to check for in lotions. 

I hope you get a great fit from my best tanning bed lotion review. 

What tanning lotion do you use? 

Final Recommendation

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  • American Cancer Society. 2012. “Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation.” Cancer.org. American Cancer Society. 2012. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation.html.
  • Cronkleton, Emily. 2018. “How Does Tea Tree Oil Help the Skin?” Healthline. Healthline Media. May 2, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/tea-tree-oil-for-skin.
  • Mayo Clinic. 2019. “Melanoma – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic. 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20374884.
half-naked lady getting tanned in a tanning bed

Which are your picks for the best tanning bed lotion? Share with us!

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.

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