Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Indoor tanning and sunbathing dry out the skin.
This creates a problem: dry skin doesn’t develop a tan as quickly as hydrated skin does.
That’s why you need the best moisturizer for tanned skin.
Put on lotion before and after tanning to ensure a lovely, even bronze.
Today, I’ll review the best after tan lotions and the best tan extender lotions.
Then you can find the best moisturizer to help your tan along.
- How to keep your tan for longer?
- How does moisturizer help tanned skin?
- Top Moisturizers for Tanned Skin
- Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion
- Ed Hardy INK Tattoo & Color Fade Moisturizer Tan Extender
- Australian Gold FOREVER AFTER All-Day Moisturizer
- Hempz Original Natural Hemp Seed Oil Body Moisturizer with Shea Butter and Ginseng
- Devoted Creations PLATINUM INDULGENCE Tan Extending Moisturizer
- Devoted Creations So Naughty Nude Tan Extending Moisturizer
- Hemp Nation Sea Salt & Sandalwood Moisturizing Tan Extender
- Lancaster Tan Maximizer Soothing Moisturizer Repairing After Sun
- Maui Island Secret After Sun Tan Sealer
- Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Self Tanning
- Jergens Natural Glow Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer
- Tan Towel On The Glow Body Moisturizer
- Norvell Venetian Sunless Tanning Color Extender Lotion
- Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless After Sun Gel Lotion
- Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother
- Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion
- Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal Hydrating Lotion
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
- Tanceuticals Facial CC Self Tanning Lotion
- Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 35
- Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Cream with SPF 30
How to keep your tan for longer?
Well-hydrated skin doesn’t exfoliate as quickly as dry skin. If you use moisturizer, your tan won’t fade as soon as it would without (1).
After all, your tan exists in the top layers of your skin where the melanin is. It’s normal to shed the top layer skin each week.
That’s why spray tans, for example, only last about a week to ten days.
But you can keep your tan looking its best when you apply lotion each day.
How does moisturizer help tanned skin?
Typical moisturizers have three parts: humectants, emollients, and occlusives (2).
The humectants, like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, draw in moisture.
The occlusives, like shea butter, prevent the moisture from escaping.
And the emollients make the skin feel smooth.
Emollients and occlusives, like dimethicone, sometimes do each other’s work.
Moisturizers help hold your skin together and keep it healthy.
Using lotion on tanned skin not only makes it look better and feel softer, but it can also help the skin recover from sun damage.
After tanning lotion also comes with additional anti-aging benefits.
Many moisturizers contain antioxidants to counteract free radicals caused by UV radiation. The free radicals would lead to premature aging, if not for those antioxidants.
When you tan, you put your skin at risk, but moisturizers help counterbalance the problem.
Top Moisturizers for Tanned Skin
Now, let’s look at the best lotions for tanned skin.
Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender Moisturizer Lotion
Australian Gold makes some of the most popular tanning lotions and sunscreens. It’s not surprising that they’ve developed an excellent tan extending lotion.
If you don’t mind the delectable tropical fragrance, your skin will delight in the experience.
First, the formula has aloe and panthenol plus vitamin E to condition the skin. These are necessary ingredients to keep your body healthy, especially after tanning.
Second, if you’re a little bit sunburned, this lotion will cool you down so that you’re comfortable. The next day, you’re likely to look and feel a lot better.
And finally, the lotion feels lightweight and non-greasy, yet it leaves the skin super smooth.
Ed Hardy INK Tattoo & Color Fade Moisturizer Tan Extender
Ed Hardy also produces top-quality tanning lotions. The INK tan extender brightens tattoos and keeps your skin like silk.
It’s based on antioxidants, shea butter, and lotus extract. This combination doesn’t just rehydrate your body, but it also firms the texture.
Happily, this product is free of oil and wheat to protect sensitive skin and prevent acne.
It has a honey bourbon fragrance that appeals to men and women alike.
Australian Gold FOREVER AFTER All-Day Moisturizer
Here’s another moisturizer from Australian Gold. The critical ingredient is hemp seed extract, an outstanding skin conditioner.
Once you apply this lotion, the effects last for 24 hours.
Plus, it has anti-aging and firming benefits.
If you’re curious, it smells a lot like vanilla.
Hempz Original Natural Hemp Seed Oil Body Moisturizer with Shea Butter and Ginseng
Hempz makes more than one version of body moisturizer. You can choose from a variety of scents like this one which smells like bananas and flowers.
As they point out, hemp seed oil calms inflammation and conditions the skin. It’s packed with Omega fatty acids to keep the skin’s natural barrier healthy.
Next, the lotion has ginseng to slow down aging. It’s rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E.
Finally, this is a vegan formula that’s free of parabens.
Devoted Creations PLATINUM INDULGENCE Tan Extending Moisturizer
Want to know a secret?
You can keep your tan looking perfect for longer with one simple trick.
Use a moisturizer with bronzer.
This silicone-based lotion feels like you’re putting silk on your skin. As it turns out, it actually has silk amino acids in it.
It sinks in quickly and leaves your body feeling ultra-smooth.
Meanwhile, the bronzer adds a touch of color to keep you looking sun-kissed even if your tan is fading.
Users say the scent is very similar to Victoria’s Secret’s Bombshell.
Devoted Creations So Naughty Nude Tan Extending Moisturizer
Devoted Creations is known for their indoor tanning lotions as well as after tanning moisturizers.
This one is silicone-based, which means it’s ultra-lightweight and never greasy.
It also has diamond powder for a subtle sheen on your bronzed skin.
Hemp Nation Sea Salt & Sandalwood Moisturizing Tan Extender
Guys and gals adore the way this after tan moisturizer smells.
What’s more, it has DermaDark bronzer to build a gradual color even if you haven’t gone tanning.
Unlike some sunless tanning products, it doesn’t stain clothing, turn orange, or streak. It comes in a pump top bottle for quick application.
Lancaster Tan Maximizer Soothing Moisturizer Repairing After Sun
After sunbathing, try this popular European product. Lancaster’s after sun lotion has an exclusive technology called Heli.
It doesn’t just hydrate the skin to prevent peeling. It also promotes melanin production to speed up your tan.
But wait, there’s more to love. Even if you haven’t been outdoors, it gradually darkens your color with self-tanning ingredients.
Maui Island Secret After Sun Tan Sealer
You’ve had your fun in the sun, now it’s time to moisturize.
Maui Island’s lotion heals damage caused by sunburn, windburn, and dry air.
It has a scrumptious tropical fragrance that helps you feel like you’re still on vacation.
Moreover, the blend of aloe, Hawaiian ginger, and rosehip oil provides a healthy dose of hydration. At the same time, Maui coffee extract firms the skin to minimize cellulite.
Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Self Tanning
Sunbathers love Clarins’ after sun lotion.
It’s mild enough to use on your face and neck, as well as the rest of your body.
Not only is it a moisturizer, but it’s also a sunless tanning product. It keeps your skin perfectly bronze.
Jergens Natural Glow Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer
Jergens makes at least two kinds of sunless tanning lotions that are ideal for extending a tan.
One works in the shower on wet skin. And this one is a regular lotion that you apply each day to keep your rich bronze.
Unlike some sunless tanning products, this one doesn’t dry out the skin. Just be sure to wash your hands after applying it to keep your palms and nails from changing color.
Tan Towel On The Glow Body Moisturizer
You don’t have to spend time in the sun to be bronzed.
Even the palest redhead can benefit from this gradual tanning lotion. After one week, your skin will be one shade darker.
Regular use will maintain a sun-kissed glow year-round.
Furthermore, the water-based formula keeps your skin hydrated and comfortable.
Norvell Venetian Sunless Tanning Color Extender Lotion
For those who spray tan, a tanning extender lotion is also essential. It helps maintain the vibrant color for days longer.
Although spray tanning isn’t as dehydrating as indoor tanning or sunbathing, you can definitely benefit from a moisturizer. Hydration is crucial, regardless.
This formula has grape seed, and hemp seed oils plus fruit extracts to keep the skin young.
Plus, the relaxing Paradise Breeze fragrance of this after tanning lotion disguises the odor from tanning and DHA.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless After Sun Gel Lotion
How about a drugstore moisturizer for tanned skin?
Yes, it exists. Hawaiian Tropic’s after tanning lotion is cheap and surprisingly effective. It can help your skin cool down after too much sun.
It doesn’t feel greasy and it has a pleasant coconut papaya fragrance.
The hydration lasts for 24 hours after you apply it.
Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother
If you’re into natural products, take a look at Burt’s Bees lotion for sunburn relief.
It’s 98.6% natural and doesn’t have petrolatum, phthalates, or parabens.
With nutrients from coconut oil and aloe, it soothes irritated skin. It helps it recover faster after tanning.
Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion
I like the Sun Bum products as they are vegan and reef-safe. They won’t poison wildlife in rivers, lakes, or oceans.
They are also good for humans as they are gluten-free and avoid harsh ingredients.
This soothing aloe lotion can go in the refrigerator to cool down your skin after tanning.
Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal Hydrating Lotion
Can you use regular body lotion after tanning?
Of course, you can – any moisturizer is better than none. And Gold Bond’s lotion has specific benefits that might interest you.
First, it’s based on shea and cocoa butter. These are lightweight emollients that don’t clog pores and don’t feel greasy.
Next, the formula is mild enough to use on your face, not just your body. It’s also made for diabetics and persons with eczema and psoriasis.
The hydration lasts for 24 hours after you apply it.
But there is one catch.
Pay attention to this one because it matters if you don’t go tanning often.
This lotion contains gentle exfoliants. Yes, it will make your skin shed faster. The purpose is to keep it renewed, soft, and healthy.
But you should always check the label for exfoliating ingredients like lactic acid, glycolic acid, and urea. Any of those could make your tan fade faster.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
If you hate artificial fragrances and greasy textures, you’re going to appreciate Cetaphil’s lotion.
It covers all the basics that you need to keep your skin smooth. Then, there are no frilly extras.
It’s fragrance-free, and it won’t clog pores. The benefits last for 24 hours, too.
Tanceuticals Facial CC Self Tanning Lotion
I hope when you went tanning, you protected your face.
I know you want it to look bronzed like the rest of your body, but there are consequences, as you know.
It only takes a moment to notice the crow’s feet and wrinkles on the face of someone who spent a lot of time in the sun.
If you’ve decided to protect your face, kudos to you. Use this CC cream to tan it instead.
It’s mild enough for sensitive skin and has a light coconut scent.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 35
I’m sure you understand that tanning every day is a no-no. Your skin needs time to rest and develop color between sessions.
What you need is a moisturizer with sunscreen.
This lightweight product is oil-free and potent enough to defend against sunburn all day long. (If you plan to be outdoors in direct sunlight, you’ll need to reapply it after a couple of hours, though.)
The moisturizing effects last for 12 hours, too.
Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Cream with SPF 30
Dermatologists recommend a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen. Why that number? Why not something lower if you’re already tan?
It’s because SPF30 blocks 97% of the harmful UV rays. It’s not about getting darker, but rather about avoiding skin cancer and wrinkles.
Believe it or not, you can still tan while wearing sunscreen. It just goes a lot slower.
Please give your skin a break and protect it when you can. You’ll thank yourself down the road.
This unscented daily lotion strengthens the skin with pro-vitamin B5 and seals in moisture for 24 hours.
Keep your tan vibrant and your skin healthy by using moisturizer after tanning.
Not only will it help your bronze last longer, but it will make your body look and feel better.
Hydrated skin develops color faster and retains it better.
It also helps to moisturize with plenty of antioxidants to prevent premature aging.
If you discovered your new favorite moisturizer today, please tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.utmedicalcenter.org/the-importance-of-moisturizing/ The University of Tennessee Medical Center, accessed June 17, 2020
2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work Harvard University, updated May 29, 2019, accessed June 17, 2020