5 Best Tanning Oils for Tanning Beds to Achieve a Perfect Glow

What’s the best tanning oil for tanning beds?

Earlier, we learned that you really shouldn’t most oils during indoor tanning because they can damage the very expensive equipment!

If you just prefer oils over lotions, though, don’t worry; there are a few exceptions to that rule!

I’m dying to share my picks with you and some useful tips for tanning beds, so let’s dive in. 

Best Tanning Bed Oils Top Picks at a Glance

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Check this comparison table for a quick side-by-side guide to our top picks, then keep reading for all the details.

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Top 5 Best Tanning Oils for Tanning Beds (Detailed Review)

Earlier today, I answered the question,Can you use tanning oil in a tanning bed? in detail. 

If you read it, you know I don’t support using tanning oils in tanning beds. However, I know they’re some people who still prefer using oils to tanning bed lotion.

For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of safer dry tanning oils to use in tanning beds. And a few oils that you can use after tanning to moisturize your skin after tanning. 

Let’s get to it. 

1. Body Nutritive Serum (WINNER)

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This tanning oil from Just Nutritive is my first pick because I wanted something that works for everyone including those with sensitive skin.

It’s the first tanning oil I tried, and I was pretty impressed by the results I got, and it’s also one of the popular tanning oils on amazon. 

As you’ll later see, there is much you can do with this oil. 

Read on to learn more. 


This tanning oil is excellent for bed sessions because natural vitamin plant oils such as avocado, hazelnut, and kukui that really come in handy.

For example, hazelnut helps in removing bacteria, as well as cleaning and shrinking pores.

On the other hand, kukui has healthy fatty acids like omega-3 that reduce and soothe skin.

And lastly, avocado oil helps in preventing premature aging, fighting acne, and acts as a natural sunscreen during the tanning process. 

It’s also rich in vitamin E. The oil is rich in vitamin E that helps in hydrating and nourishing the skin. 

Benefits & Drawbacks at a Glance

It’s a fantastic moisturizer.Its sprayer isn’t very effective; I ended up using my hands to apply the oil.
Gluten-free and safe for sensitive skin. Can cause allergic reactions in some people.
It keeps mosquitos away.Sticky
Sweet citrusy scent.


Let’s take a closer look at those benefits to see why this one is our big winner.

  • Long-lasting You can use this oil for indoor and outdoor tanning and get a long-lasting tan thanks to its ingredients. It also seals your tan and protects it from fading. 
  • It’s a fantastic moisturizer. The vitamin E in the oil protects your skin from dryness and helps you maintain a radiant glow. 
  • It keeps mosquitos away. One Amazon user says that she always gets 10 bug bites the moment she steps outside, but she didn’t get any after applying this oil. 
  • It has a sweet citrusy scent. 
  • It’s safe even for people with sensitive skin.
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How it Compares to Others and Why 

One way this tanning oil differentiates itself is by its great selection of ingredients. Countless customers rave about how it’s great for all skin types, including acne-prone skin!

However, the ingredients- particular the hazelnut- can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

One reviewer said that she had to go to urgent care after applying it to her face.

Expert Tips 

  • Like any other skincare product, it’s always advisable to do a patch test before using it in your whole body. 
  • I recommend this tanning oil for those with dry skin; apply the oil before going into the tanning bed. 
  • Also, if you prefer tanning without oil, the body’s nutritive serum can help keep your skin hydrated after the session to protect your skin from cracking. 

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Check: Cheap Tanning Bed Bulbs

2. Bondi Sands Liquid Gold 

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I love Bondi Sands products; I’ve used their self-tanning foam, and I adored it, so I thought I would give the Liquid Gold a chance.

And after watching several YouTube reviews, I decided to give their dry oil a trial. Luckily, it exceeded my expectations, and I’ll definitely be buying it again.

Here is everything you should know before buying this tanning oil based on my personal experience. 


The Bondi Sands liquid old has multiple amazing features. Firstly, it has multiple ingredients that are skin-friendly.

For example, it’s enriched with argan oil, which makes your skin very glowy. 

Bondi sands liquid gold also contains castor oil, which deals with acne and promotes skin health, giving you an even skin tone.

Secondly, the dry oil helps you get a great tan, and it doesn’t wash off. I applied it and waited for 6 hours before showering, and I came out of the shower looking the same way I went in. 

Thirdly, the tanning oil doesn’t transfer (stain) and this is honestly how it stands out.

I hate messes and cleaning up, and I thought this was just another feature listed on the bottle, but it turned out to be true. I wore a white robe just to confirm this, and it didn’t transfer.

For the scent, the liquid gold has a sweet coconut scent that I found very relaxing.

Doesn’t stain your clothingIt can be a little sticky.
It doesn’t wash off. The tan will last for a week, even with frequent showers. It takes a little time to blend in with your skin, so be sure to rub it well. 
It has a beautiful coconut scent which is very relaxing. No color guide, so you have to guess how much to use.
Hydrating and moisturizing powers leave your skin smooth and moisturized. 
Helps correct your skin tone with frequent use since it contains castor oil.

How it Compares to Others and Why

The Bondi Sands Liquid Gold is infused with argan oil which comes with great skin benefits such as protecting the skin from UV rays, anti-aging effects, moisturizing the skin, treating acne, just to mention a few. 

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Expert Tips 

  • The Bondi liquid gold can be used as a self-tanner or applied for tanning bed sessions. In both cases, ensure you exfoliate your skin well to get the best results. 

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3. Laurel Whole Plant Sun Serum

Laurel syrum

Unlike other brands on the list, I’m not sure you’ve heard of the Laurel beauty brand. I asked for reviews in several social media beauty groups, and only 3-5 people seemed to know about it. 

So, does the oil still deserve a spot on this review list? Absolutely. 

I tried it, and while it may not match the hype of other tanning oils, it has strong qualities. 

Below is more information about the oil. 


The phyto defense feature is the most incredible thing about this oil. I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining the ins and outs of phyto defense.

It simply means that the oil has extraordinary antioxidant powers that protect your skin cells from free radical damage. 

The oil is made of plants that have been researched since time immemorial to give you a supple appearance and brighten your skin to give you an even tone. 

Another great feature of the Laurel serum is that it can be applied during tanning and after. This is because it is designed to protect your skin from overexposure to UV rays and repair any damage. 

The oil uses unrefined ingredients such as jojoba, raspberry, and pumpkin that offer extra UV-induced oxidation. 

Helps protect against overexposure to UV rays and repairs any damaged tissues. Can cause allergic reactions in some people*
It has great antioxidants properties that protect your skin cells from free radical damage Pricier than other oils on our list.
It has anti-aging properties
It’s organic & cruelty-free
*One user said that he got sores after using the product (make sure you do a patch test before using the product in your body).

How it Compares to Others 

The Laurel serum stands out from other oils through its ability to protect and repair the skin from UV rays. It also has unrefined skin-friendly oils that keep your skin moisturized & healthy. 

Expert Tips 

  • If you don’t want to use an indoor tanning lotion, this can be a great substitute for indoor tanning bed sessions. It will protect your skin from UV rays damage and keep it hydrated during the process, which is critical. 
  • It’s also great for those who avoid indoor tanning lotion because they want something organic.
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4. Banana Boat Dry Oil Spray 

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I’ve used Banana boat products several times, and I feel like I get more than I pay for. 

For example, I used this product at least 10 times, and I got an amazing tan each time.

But the fact that it’s pocket-friendly isn’t the only reason it’s on my tanning oil review list. You know I don’t compromise on the quality of beauty products. 

So, here is why I choose the product. 


It has 15 SPF, which is rare in tanning oils. This makes it great for tanning beds because it blocks overexposure of your skin to UV rays.

You can also use the oil for tanning in your pool and even get an occasional dip because it’s water-resistant. 

Another great feature of the banana boat dry oil is that it has argan oil, which helps heal acne and keep your skin moisturized. 

I should also add that the oil is lightweight and non-sticky, making it great if greasy products are a turn-off for you. 

Oil has 15 SPF to help protect against burns during the tanning processYou have to reapply if you stay in water for long periods to remain effective
It has great moisturizing and hydrating powersNot made with natural ingredients*
Non-greasy, lightweight, and easy to applySpray nozzle tends to clog
It has a sweet scent 
Its safe for those with fair skin thanks to its SPF
*While it contains chemical ingredients, it is safe for marine life.

How it Compares to Others 

Many tanning oils are bad for tanning beds because they don’t protect you from excess UV rays.

But this dry oil has solved that with its 15 SPF, beating the biggest drawback of using oils in tanning beds. 

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Expert Tips 

  • This oil is great for tanning beds and outdoor tanning. It works well for people with fair skin tones that get burns easily under UV rays and people with dry skin. 

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5. BaliBody Watermelon Tanning Oil

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I had to include something from Bali Body, although the brand and I got off wrong. The first time I landed on the brand, I was unsure about getting their product. 

And no, it’s not because I heard terrible things regarding the product; it’s because they’re self-acclaimed tanning oils OGs.

It just made me feel like it was some marketing BS. Anyway, first forward, I realized they have a free-spirited marketing team? but their products are equally great. 

My pet peeves aside, here is more about the BaliBody watermelon tanning oil. 


If you’re looking for a tanning oil that will give you a deep, dark tan, then consider trying this oil.

It has watermelon seed oil that boosts melanin production during the tanning session and gives you a golden tan. 

It also has great ingredients such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E that ensure your skin is well moisturized for tanning. The ingredients also block free radicals from damaging your skin cells. 

Another great feature is the oils 6 SPF, which protects your skin from getting burnt and other risk factors that result from overexposure to UV rays. 

You’ll also love the oil’s fragrance, which smells like summer. 

It has a pleasant scentIt has a very low SPF 
Gives you a great golden tan by increasing melanin productionSome say the scent is too mild and barely there.
It contains vitamin E and almond oil that keeps your skin moisturized and well-nourished. 

How it Compares to Others 

The oil has set itself apart from the rest because of its watermelon oil seed extracts, which ensure you get a golden tan by increasing melanin production. 

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Expert Tips 

  • I love the BaliBody Watermelon Tanning Oil, but I recommend it to people who tan easily without burning. As much as it has an SPF, it’s not enough to protect people with fair skin types. However, you can use it to moisturize your skin after tanning. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are frequently asked questions regarding tanning oils for tanning beds. 

Do tanning oils work?

Yes, tanning oils work. They have a low SPF compared to indoor tanning lotion and are different from sunscreen in that they have mineral oils that attract UV rays and focus them on your skin. The tanning oils then boost melanin production, giving you a golden tan. 

How bad is tanning oil for you?

Tanning oils aren’t bad for your skin besides rare occasions when they contain ingredients you’re allergic to. That said, they have a low SPF, so they may not protect your skin well from UV rays. Also, mineral oils can destroy your tanning bed.

Final Thoughts

I’m not an advocate of using tanning oil for tanning beds, but I know some people still prefer oil to indoor tanning lotion. 

If you’re one of those people, I recommend using tanning oils instead of baby or coconut oil.

At least some tanning oils have SPF, and regardless of how low it is, it’s better than none. 

That said, quality tanning oils have great ingredients that leave your skin smooth, hydrated, and very rejuvenated. 

Which one do you prefer? Indoor tanning lotion or tanning oil?

Our Recommendation

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best tanning oil for tanning bed beside a girl in white bikini

What is your favorite tanning oil for tanning bed? Please 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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