13 Best Tanning Oils For Perfectly Tanned Skin In 2022

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It’s time to flaunt tanned skin by adding these best tanning oils to your cart. We have picked a few tanning oils that will give you tanned skin quite effortlessly. Tanning oils speed up the tanning process by attracting UV rays to the skin. Some of these oils also moisturize the skin and help keep it flexible. So, plunge into this list to check out the best tanning oils and pick your favorite.

How Do Tanning Oils Work?

Tanning oils aid in the natural process of melanin production and speed up the process of getting tanned. When tanning oils are applied, the chemical dihydroxyacetone, popularly known as DHA, reacts with dead skin cells and darkens the skin temporarily. They are also considered a safer option than spray tan booths, which may cause respiratory toxicity (1).

Gabrielle Richens, a London-based skin therapist and clean beauty blogger, says, “Tanning products have improved considerably in the last decade. Gone are the unhealthy, toxic lotions with bad smells that turned your skin orange. Using a tanning oil with SPF is a great multitasking beauty step in the summer. Get an even tan without having to sunbathe while protecting your skin.”

13 Best Tanning Oils

1. Best For Pale Skin: Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil

Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil

Bring home the best tanning oil for the beach, nourish your tan skin and protect the skin with SPF 15. It also suits pale skin. The product is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It is said to be free of harmful chemicals and is dermatologist-tested.

Pros

  • Tans easily without burning the skin
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Might dry the skin in some cases
  • Could feel greasy

2. Best For Sensitive Skin: Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning

Pamper your sensitive skin with dark tanning oils. Hawaiian tanning oil soothes the skin and provides coconut fragrance,adding rich moisturization to your skin. You may check out this video for a better understanding of this product.

Pros

  • Has a pleasant smell
  • Good moisturizing capacity
  • Long-lasting tanning effect
  • Comes with skin conditioners

Cons

  • Low sunburn protection
  • May not be suitable for pale complexion

3. Best Broad-Spectrum Protection: Australian Gold Dark Tanning Oil

Australian Gold Dark Tanning

Bring home Australian Gold Dark tanning oil,one of the best sun tanning oils. It has broad-spectrum protection and protects you from UVA and UVB rays. You can stay up to 80 minutes in water after applying this oil.

Pros

  • Has antioxidant properties
  • Blends nicely into your skin
  • Quicker tanning effect

Cons

  • May feel greasy
  • Tanning effect might take time to show

4. Best For Moisturizing: Art Naturals Tanning Oil

Art Naturals Tanning

This is one of the best oils for tanning beds. Use this tanning oil to obtain a deeper tan while moisturizing your skin. This paraben-free tanning oil helps in toning the skin and tightening it as well.

Pros

  • Helps to achieve a long-lasting tan
  • Moisturizes and smoothens the skin well
  • Helps in toning the skin

Cons

  • Might leak in some cases

5. Best Water-Resistant: Banana Boat Tanning Oil

Banana Boat Tanning

This suits if you are planning to hit the beach in the early morning hours when the sun intensity is less. Banana Boat tanning oil comes with a low SPF value. It offers 80 minutes of water resistance. Apply this oil 15 minutes before you go out into the sun.

Pros

  • Greasy and suitable for dry skin
  • Quick tanning effect

Cons

  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

6. Best Toxin-Free: Dr. Mercola Tanning Oil

Mercola Tanning Oil

Dr. Mercola tanning oil is claimed to be free from toxins and artificial fragrances. It comes with a nice blend of natural ingredients.

Pros

  • Has a soothing effect
  • Chemical-free formulation
  • Makes your skin feel fresh

Cons

  • Takes long to apply

7. Best Quick-Absorbing: Moroccanoil Sun Oil

Moroccanoil Sun Oil

Tired of tanning oils that absorb slowly? Moroccanoil sun oil is a fast-absorbing lightweight oil that comes with 80 minutes of water resistance. It nourishes your skin and hydrates it.

Pros

  • Has a pleasing fragrance
  • Non-greasy and sprays evenly

Cons

  • Some may not like the fragrance

8. Best For Hydration: James Read Tan Oil

James Read Tan Oil

Spray this self-tanner oil that contains vitamin-E and coconut oil. It keeps your skin hydrated for a longer time. Watch this video to get a detailed review of this product.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Provides a good tanning effect on a single application

Cons

  • Some may find it greasy

9. Best Organic: Isabella’s Tanning Oil

Isabella’s Tanning

This organic tanning oil is free of toxins and formulated to remove the dead cells of your skin. The tanning oil protects the skin by repairing the damage caused due to exposure to the sun.

Pros

  • Prevents sunburn
  • Prevents dehydration
  • Contains antioxidants

Cons

  • Tiny bottle

10. Best Even-Toned Tan: Tanning Indoor Oil

Tanning Indoor Oil

Enjoy a bronze tan with this vitamin-rich tanning oil. The oil helps in keeping your skin soft, silky, and even-toned. Also, the oil is free from parabens and artificial fragrance.

Pros

  • Keeps your skin soft
  • Well-suited for fair skin
  • Works well both indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Might smell like cooking oil
  • Thick consistency

11. Best Lightweight: Exotic Tanning Oil

Exotic Tanning Oil

Stay hydrated with this all-natural and lightweight oil formulated to help prevent premature aging. Enjoy a deep, enduring tan with the pleasant smell of coconut oil.

Pros

  • Smoothly absorbs into the skin
  • Contains organic ingredients

Cons

  • Might be greasy for some

12. Best Long-Lasting: Bondi Sands Tanning Oil

Bondi Sands Tanning

One of the best self-tanning oils for all skin types, Bondi Sands is formulated for a long-lasting tan effect. The tanning effect starts showing after two hours of application. To obtain a stronger tanning effect, you may re-apply the oil after 30 minutes. 

Pros

  • Dries out quickly after applying
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Tan lasts long

Cons

  • Stays sticky

13. Best Smelling: Natural Tanning Lotion and Accelerator

Natural Tanning Lotion and Accelerator

Enjoy quicker and darker tanning effects irrespective of your skin color and shade with Fox Tan lotion and accelerator. Ensure the lotion is used one week before the application of the tanning oil.

Pros

  • Has a pleasant smell
  • No irritation found on sensitive skin
  • Feels smooth
  • Provides a rich moisturizing effect

Cons

  • Some may find it greasy

How To Choose A Tanning Oil?

Here are a few points to consider while buying tanning oil.

  • SPF: Tanning oils have less SPF values than sunscreens. Yet, it is good to choose a tanning oil that comes with a good SPF. Also, if you are planning to go out on hot days, your tanning oil needs to have SPF. Low SPF-based tanning oils are best used when you are going out in morning hours, when the temperature is bearable and not hot.
  • Moisturizing effect: The tanning oil needs to contain moisturizing ingredients to prevent dullness and dehydration.
  • Need-based: An indoor tanning oil may not work when you are heading to the beach or while staying in the sun for a long time. Every brand offers tanning oils that are prepared to satisfy specific needs. Indoor tanning oils work well when used indoors, while outdoor tanning oils work better when used outdoors.
  • Ingredients: Look for the list of ingredients used in the tanning oils. Make sure you are not allergic to any of them. A few tanning oils claim to use natural ingredients but they do not seem to have a proper SPF value.
  • Skin type: People with dry skin need more hydration and oil to stay protected. Oily skin people can do good with less oil.

Safety Tips To Follow When Using Tanning Oils

  • Never use tanning oils on broken or damaged skin.
  • Do not apply tanning oils near your eyes.
  • Exfoliate your skin before tanning.
  • Avoid staying outside during peak hours of sun rays.
  • Breastfeeding mothers must take additional steps. Ensure you are not feeding your baby after applying the tanning oil. Your baby may have skin irritation.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Poulami Nag is a fashion and beauty enthusiast who conducts extensive research to recommend the most popular and reliable products for her readers. Hence, she has analyzed numerous user reviews to compile this list of the best tanning oils in the market. In addition, she has shared some essential safety measures to keep in mind while using tanning oils and some factors to consider, such as moisturizing effect, skin type, and ingredients, before buying one.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can sunscreens and tanning oils be used together?

Yes, you may use both sunscreens and tanning oils together. However, you should have a time gap between applying the sunscreen and the tanning oil.

2. Can pregnant or breastfeeding women use tanning oils?

The use of tanning oils during pregnancy has not been thoroughly researched. It is good to seek your doctor’s advice on this. This applies to breastfeeding mothers as well.

3. How much time can I spend in the sun after using a tanning oil?

It depends on the tanning oil you use. A few tanning oils allow you to stay in the sun for a significant time, while others offer less time to spend in the sun. So, ensure the tanning oil you choose has a good SPF if you plan to stay for a longer time in the sun.

4. What are the risks involved with using tanning oils?

Excessive use of tanning oils can lead to sunburn, premature aging, skin bumps, eye damage, and even skin cancer (1).

Body tanning is a trend that never goes out of fashion. However, finding the right tanning oil can be tricky unless you know the basics right. Our list of the best tanning oils shares different options you can try keeping in mind different factors, such as your skin type, moisturization, and SPF. Remember, a tanning oil should give you a tanned look while keeping your skin healthier and safer from UV rays. So go through each product’s pros and cons and make the best choice based on your budget and key requirements.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

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Poulami Nag

Poulami Nag is a writer and associate editor at MomJunction. She did her MA in English from Miranda House, University of Delhi and has qualified UGC-NET. Her journey as a content writer began in 2017 and since then she has garnered diverse interests along the way. Her knowledge of literature and language has given her an eye for detail and...
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Gabrielle Richens

Gabrielle is a London-based skin therapist, clean beauty blogger, and owner of The Rich Skin Club, an online anti-aging coaching service. She specializes in the education of skin, helping women to better understand the aging process, and build a knowledge in anti-aging skincare ingredients and how they work. She believes that achieving and maintaining your best skin begins with healthy...
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