Home / Tanning / 22 Best Tanning Accelerators for Outdoor Tanning: Reviews & Buying Guide

22 Best Tanning Accelerators for Outdoor Tanning: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 30th December 2020
Best Tanning Accelerators for Outdoor Tanning

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Are you wondering which is the best tanning lotion for the beach?

Perhaps you’d like to know if there are any tanning lotions with sun protection.

Those are important questions when you want to make the best use of your time outdoors.

After all, outdoor tanning without lotion can be a bust. Moisturized skin bronzes easier.

Today I’ll tell you about which suntan lotions will give you the deepest tan. I’ll be reviewing the best tanning accelerators for outdoor tanning.

What Are Tanning Accelerators?

When you’re hunting for the best oil for outdoor tanning, take a look at the label.

Certain ingredients make it easier to tan.

Tanning accelerators may include melanin and L-tyrosine, which is an amino acid that’s a building block of melanin (1).

They may also have bronzers that give you a little instant color. Some of these bronzers wash off in the shower. But others, like DHA, continue to darken your skin color over the next few hours after you apply them.

Some lotions have benzyl or methyl nicotinate. This increases blood flow to the surface of the skin and gives you a hot or tingling sensation.

Most importantly, tanning accelerators have moisturizers and nutrients to protect your skin. They strive to counteract the negative effects of sunbathing, wind, saltwater, and dry air.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.

Can You Use Indoor Tanning Lotion for Outdoor Tanning?

In most cases, you can use indoor tanning lotion for tanning outdoors. But the reverse isn’t always true.

Because indoor tanning lotions may intensify the effects of ultraviolet radiation caused by UV rays, some people wear sunscreen underneath them.

Another option is to use one of the best sunscreens for tanning. They have a low SPF to prevent sunburn but allow you to bronze.

22 Best Tanning Accelerators for Tanning Outdoors (2021 Update)

Since there are different kinds of tanning accelerators, I grouped them by type.

Tanning Oils

Some tanners prefer tanning oils that make their skin soft and shimmery. But you can do better than greasing up your body with baby oil.

Today’s tanning oils are formulated to protect against photo-aging to help you look your best now and later.

1. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Hawaiian Tropic’s Dark Tanning Oil has a delicious coconut fragrance and a rich blend of exotic botanicals.

While you soak up rays, superior moisturizers and emollients protect your skin against dehydration. The formula has coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, and mineral oil.

At the same time, aloe vera prevents irritation, while anti-aging ingredients like mango and papaya prevent premature aging.

Moreover, this dark tan is a reef-safe product that won’t harm marine life in the ocean, lakes, or rivers.

2. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Exotic Oil Spray, Carrot Extract Formula

Australian Gold takes inspiration from sunbathers Down Under, but it’s an American company. And that’s not the only contradiction.

It turns out that this Exotic Oil Spray is described as oil-free. I’m assuming they mean it doesn’t have mineral oil as it lists sunflower seed, soybean, and olive oils on the label.

Anyway, users aren’t complaining. They love it because it helps them get a tan quickly. That may be due to the carrot extract that stimulates pigment production.

It feels lightweight and not greasy, plus it’s water-resistant for eighty minutes.

3. All Natural Dark Tanning Oil by Tropical Sands

Here’s another reef-safe product that won’t hurt corals or fish. This natural tanning oil is safe to use in sunbeds as it doesn’t have mineral oil. It’s also biodegradable.

It contains lightweight skin conditioners like cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. The addition of Vitamins C and E in this deep dark tan defends against free radicals that cause wrinkles.

4. Dr. Mercola: Natural Tanning Oil

Dr. Mercola’s tanning oil avoids irritants and toxins found in other commercial products.

While parabens and other problematic components aren’t necessarily a threat in small doses, they exist in many skincare solutions. If you use several products with them over the course of a day, your overall dose multiplies. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to cut them out wherever you can (2).

Besides lacking parabens, this oil is waterproof, biodegradable, and tested to be hypoallergenic. It features nine organic ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, tea tree oil extract, and eucalyptus.

5. Maui Island Secret Browning Formula with Kukui Nut Oil

Maui Island’s formula absorbs quickly to avoid leaving you greasy. It won’t change the color of your skin. But it will nourish and protect it with Kukui nut oil, Maui coffee bean extract, green tea extract, and macadamia nut oil plus vitamins.

6. Hawaiian Tropic Royal Tanning Blend Spray

Hawaiian Tropic’s Royal Tanning Spray smells like vacation. It’s packed with antioxidants to prevent those unpleasant free radicals from giving you wrinkles. Furthermore, it has no bronzers in it, so it’s best-suited to users with a base tan already.

Tanning Gels and Sprays

If you have naturally oily skin, you might prefer a gel or spray instead of an oil or tanning lotion.

7. Carroten Tan Express Intensive Tanning Gel

Carroten capitalizes on the fact that beta-carotene (from carrots and the like) can make you tan faster. It encourages a nice golden bronze to develop.

In fact, this tanning gel is so powerful; they recommend that you don’t layout between 11 AM to 4 PM.

Fortunately, it has plenty of moisturizers and protective natural ingredients like black sesame, calendula, chrysanthemum, and coconut oil.

8. The Fox Tan Tan Accelerating Oil Spray and Mist | Elixir and Mist

Prepare your skin ahead of time. Use The Fox Tan Elixir and Mist to achieve a deep bronze.

Apply the Elixir each day as a moisturizer for a week before you go tanning. Then on the day you sunbathe, put on the Mist.

The elixir prepares your skin to increase melanin production or skin pigment. That way, you’ll begin building your tan with amino acids before you step out to the sun.

9. Australian Gold Gelee Dark Tan Accelerator

You’ll find that many tanning lotions have hemp seed oil because it’s an excellent lightweight moisturizer. It’s a key ingredient in Australian Gold’s Gelee Tan Accelerator.

The clean, lightweight feel is perfect for indoor or outdoor tanning.

10. Pro Tan Radically Hemp Ultra Powerful 10X Dark Tanning Gelee Accelerator

Pro Tan’s gelee tan accelerator has hemp seed oil and other exotic ingredients like Monoi de Tahiti and aloe vera. The fresh coconut scent will help you lay back and relax while you soak up the sun.

Tanning Lotions with Bronzers

If you’d like to look like you have a little color before you go tanning, try a lotion with bronzer.

11. Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion has made a lot of tourists in the islands happy. But you don’t have to go to Hawaii anymore to find it.

Take note that there are two versions: one for indoor tanning without mineral oil and this one.

Users say that it smoothes on like butter and speeds up the tanning process in a way that impresses them. If you’re worried about burning, you can apply sunscreen first, then the lotion on top.

12. Supre SNOOKI MY BEACHES Dark Bronzing Lotion

If you’re fair-skinned, you might like this lotion. The bronzer in it is not dark so that it won’t give you unnatural color. There’s also no DHA.

Highlights include aloe vera and matcha green tea extract to soothe your skin.

13. Supre SNOOKI BRONZE SHORES Bronzing Lotion

If you want a darker color, or you have a base tan already, the Bronze Shores lotion deepens your bronze with DHA.

DHA interacts with sugar in your skin to make it look browner. It takes a few hours to achieve the full effect and makes your appearance sun-kissed.

14. Devoted Creations LION IN THE SUN Instant Bronze

Here’s another indoor/outdoor tanning lotion with both instant and progressive bronzers. The formula is designed to protect against photodamage, and it firms up the skin, too. It also provides good protection from sun rays.

15. SOLID BLACK 100X Bronzer Dark Indoor & Outdoor Tanning Lotion by Millennium

There’s a reason why this lotion is called Solid Black. See the 100x on the label? It has extreme bronzers that enhance your color immediately and over time.

Try this one if you have naturally dark skin or a tan that you want to take deeper.

The silicone base locks in moisture and leaves your skin silky soft. Meanwhile, tyrosine, melanin, and carrot seed oil boost pigment production.

At the same time, willow bark extract, tea tree oil extract, and caffeine prevent body acne. And exotic fruit extracts provide the nutrients your skin needs to stay youthful.

16. Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor-Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion

Before you head outside to tan, apply this lotion. It has instant bronzers (but no DHA) that won’t streak or look orange.

For best results, shave and exfoliate beforehand.

Another benefit of this lotion is a proprietary complex called Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6 that fades away fine lines and wrinkles.

Tanning Lotions Without Bronzer

If you prefer to keep an eye on your natural color, try a tanning lotion without bronzer.

17. Sun Bum Moisturizing Browning Lotion

Sun Bum’s Browning Lotion intensifies the sun’s rays to get you dark fast. They recommend wearing sunscreen underneath it if you tend to burn easily.

The company also formulated it to keep your pores clear and your skin healthy as it has no heavy oils, no parabens, and no gluten.

Natural plant oils like coconut, argan, marula, Kukui, and avocado soften and nourish the skin. Green tea butter and aloe plus Kona coffee plant extract defend your body against premature aging.

Just so you know, even though the lotion has a brown color, it doesn’t have bronzers.

18. Pro Tan Hot Tottie Hot Action Tanning Lotion

Yes, this is a tingle lotion, but it’s for intermediate tanners. It’s ideal if you want to try something new that can make you go darker faster.

But please, test it out on a small spot first to see how you react. It will make your skin flush and feel hot.

As a result of the increased circulation, it can make you tan faster.

It also cares for your skin with aloe, mango butter, and vitamins.

19. ProTan Perfectly Tan, Tanning Accelerator

The Perfectly Tan Accelerator is perfect for beginning tanners. It’s exactly the kind of lotion you should be using to build a base tan, especially if you have pale skin.

It’s also an indoor/outdoor tanning lotion that’s safe to use in sun or tanning bed.

The formula blends aloe, Monoi de Tahiti, and sunflower oils with tanning accelerators to give you a radiant glow. Plus, the mild vanilla fragrance appeals to both women and men.

20. Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion

One of the most popular tanning accelerator lotions is this one from Australian Gold. It has a tasty Cocoa Dreams fragrance plus exotic oils and antioxidants to protect and nourish your skin.

Feel free to use this one indoors or outside.

21. Tanovations SUN DAY FUN DAY Indoor/Outdoor Tanning Cocktail

Tanovations is the brand name that’s replaced the Ed Hardy lineup.  Their Tanning Cocktail increases melanin production without being aggressive to your skin.

Some of the other important ingredients include Vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. It is a good choice for indoor as well as outdoor tanning.

Tanning Lotion with Sunscreen

When you tend to burn easily, it’s smart to use a tanning lotion with sunscreen. Even people with dark skin tones can get a sunburn. A little SPF helps you enjoy the sun a little longer.

22. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer

Don’t let the fact that you look pale stop you from putting on that swimsuit. Apply the Australian Gold Spray Gel first. The instant bronzers will make you look sun-kissed before you step outside.

Even redheads have success with this one.


I hope you found the perfect suntan lotion for a golden tan today. Let me know how the tanning accelerator you chose worked for you.

Tanning outdoors is relaxing and a great way for your body to create plenty of Vitamin D.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345932/ by Michael Garone, et al., published February 2015, accessed 24 May 2020
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/are-chemicals-in-beauty-products-making-us-ill by Lauren Zanolli, published 23 May 2020, accessed 23 May 2020

Leave a Reply