Can You Tan Without Tanning Lotion? Why Should You Avoid It

Can you tan without lotion?

Sometimes beauty seems to entail so much, right?

You decide to start tanning, and all of sudden your facing dilemmas like what type of lotion to use and whether you even need it at all.

But your quest is over because I’ll help you understand everything about tanning without it and even give you alternatives to sun oil.

Don’t forget to also check our spray tan reviews!

Can You Tan Without Tanning Lotion?

The answer to this question is very subjective. There are some cases that allow for tanning without lotion (to be discussed more below).

But in most cases yes, lotion is very much needed.

For example, if you’re using a tanning bed, chances are you should absolutely use a lotion for the process.

These specialized lotions help in keeping the skin well-nourished and moisturized, as well as facilitate faster tanning.

This is critical when using a tanning bed because its intensity is 6 times more powerful than natural sunlight.

Tanning lotion is also critical if your skin is somewhat fair, light and sensitive.

Keep in mind that sunscreen does not play the same role as tanning lotion.

The latter helps the skin darken fast in the presence of UV rays, while sunscreen prevents sunburn.

Speaking of sunburn, now is a good moment to remind you that no form of natural tanning is safe, and we’re in no way condoning it.

Young woman lying on tanning bed for a beautiful complexion

Indoor Tanning Without Lotion

Whether you use lotion when tanning indoors or not is absolutely up to you.

Before choosing tanning in an indoor bed, though, make sure you’re aware of the pros and cons. Also, consider scheduling regular visits with your dermatologist for checkup.

There are a few reasons why people may decide to avoid lotion when tanning indoors.

For example, if you live in a high-altitude area, and you can hardly get enough sunlight during winter, you might decide to skip it.

You can use a tanning bed for a very minimum time for vitamin D. In this case; you don’t need to use a tanning lotion since it prevents vitamin D synthesis.

I should point out, though, that if Vitamin D is the only reason you’re tanning, there are far safer ways to get it.

People also avoid tanning lotions if they’re committed to a natural lifestyle, and they don’t want the synthetic chemicals in the lotion on their skin.

a pretty woman applying tanning lotion on her arms

Benefits of Lotion

Unless you have very valid reasons, specialists strongly discourage tanning without the lotion.

So, what are the benefits of using tanning lotion? Here are the main ones.

It’s Easy to Use

The best thing about tanning lotion is that you don’t need to be a certified beautician to apply it well.

Tanning lotions are simply applied like normal moisturizers and lotions.

In fact, most are similar to moisturizers in terms of texture and formula. They are all designed to keep your skin hydrated.

The only difference is that tanning lotions have DHA responsible for the fake (sunless) tanning. The chemical interacts with the top-layer skin cells, resulting in a darker tone.

So, why is this a pro? Because you don’t have to worry about applying the tanning lotion the wrong way, and getting undesired results.

Better Tanning Results

Just because it’s possible to tan without lotion, it doesn’t mean you will get the best results.

Using a high-quality tanning lotion keeps that notorious orange-y look at bay.

Thankfully, new formulas and products in the indoor tanning industry have made it possible to get realistic results.

Of course, they don’t look exactly like natural tan results, but they’re still impressive.

Ensure you apply your tanning lotion well for the desired results. Don’t forget to read my review about the best tanning lotion for outdoors

Tanning Lotion Offers Mild Protection from Strong UV Rays

As much as outdoor tanning is fun, spending too much time exposed to the sunlight can cause irreversible damage ranging from minor burns to premature aging, or even worse, skin cancer!

No one should pay that high a price for a bronze look, which is why we highly recommend using tanning lotion.

Again, it’s NOT a sunscreen, so it won’t completely protect you. However, it does help minimize the impact of the UV rays.

Tanning lotion also offers some protection from early signs of aging and even wrinkles caused by long-time exposure to the sunlight.

Skin Rejuvenation

Your skin will be very thankful if you choose premium tanning lotions.

This is because high-quality solutions not only help with tanning but they also nourish and hydrate your skin.

Ingredients that facilitate this in tanning lotions include fruit extracts, vitamins, essential oils, and antioxidants.

What to Use if You Can’t Use Sun Lotion? 

If you can’t use tanning lotions, at least make sure you moisturize your skin with some other type of lotion or oil that’s rich in Vitamin E.

And no, baby oil doesn’t count. In fact, don’t use baby oil for tanning at all. It’ll actually make your skin “bake” faster.

Using lotion during the tanning process is optional, but you must moisturize your skin after a session, or it will dry out, leading to uneven coloring and other problems.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and a great moisturizing agent, and it also works for people who want to keep things natural.

The purpose of tanning lotion is to improve the overall tanning process and keep your skin hydrated, which leads to more even results.

If you don’t want to tan without lotion to speed up the tanning procedure during UV exposure, then apply any lotion after the process to keep your skin hydrated.

However, I strongly recommend against it.

Can You Tan Without Tanning Lotion? (Conclusion)

Yes, you can tan without lotion.

Is tanning without lotion the best way to go about it, though? Absolutely not.

Tanning lotion has very many benefits on your skin. And it also protects it from any risks that come with being exposed to strong UV rays.

Unless you have a very valid reason, ensure you use high-quality lotion when tanning.

If you need some help choosing, here are a few of our top picks:

woman applying tanning lotion

Do you tan without lotion? share your experience 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. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and FACEBOOK