Home / Tanning / 21 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions: Reviews & Buying Guide

21 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 16th December 2020

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

You’re headed outdoors with the intention of getting a tan. Does it really matter if you use lotion? We’re glad you asked. Yes, it’s essential to use one of the best outdoor tanning lotions and tanning oils. That’s because they protect your skin from dehydration and help it tan more quickly. Many prevent photo-aging. And some contain instant bronzers, so you look sun-kissed even before you hit the beach.

Whenever you expose your skin to the sun, it’s smart to protect it. Even if you don’t opt for tanning oil with sunscreen, you need to moisturize. To help you shop, we selected the top outdoor tanning lotions and tanning oils. Check out the reviews below to know more about the best outdoor tanning lotion.

Quick Comparison

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

21 Top Outdoor Tanning Lotions & Tanning Oils (2021 Update)

1. Somewhere on a Beach, Indoor-Outdoor, Instant Dark Tanning Lotion by Devoted Creations

You want to have fun in the sun, but one glance at your pale skin makes you shudder. How can you go out in a bathing suit when you look like a ghost? It’s easy to solve this problem when you apply Devoted Creations’ instant dark tanning lotion.

The lotion is suitable for indoor or outdoor use as it doesn’t contain mineral oil, which would ruin sunbeds. Next, it features bronzers to darken your skin immediately. But unlike some tanning oils, this one won’t streak and doesn’t use DHA to give you a sunless tan. Instead, it utilizes walnut oil and tyrosine. Finally, anti-aging peptides protect your skin against damage from ultraviolet radiation. We feel this is the best outdoor tanning lotion out there.

You can also go for the gold dark tanning accelerator, for a great tanning process.

2. Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Once upon a time in the 1990s, a guy in Hawaii was desperate to find a way out of financial trouble. He was about to lose his home and his business. But he blended the locals’ favorite tanning solution with some new natural ingredients and home-brewed the Maui Babe Browning Lotion. Now, this super-popular stuff is available worldwide, not just in the islands.

The outdoor version contains mineral and Kukui nut oils, Kona coffee, iodine, and antioxidants. You can enjoy it with or without sunscreen over the top. Although it’s not a sunless tanner, it will give you a little bronze when you apply it. Users say they love the delicious coffee and coconut scent and how buttery it is on their skin.

We feel this is the best outdoor tanning lotion out there.

3. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

One of the top-selling tanning lotions is this one from Ed Hardy. Coconut Kisses is excellent for establishing a base tan. It has no tingle and no bronzers. It simply moisturizes your body while you soak up the rays.

The Quad-Tyrosine Blend plus MelanoBronze will make sure that your skin produces pigment at top speed. At the same time, BodyFit firms tone and disguises cellulite.

We feel this is the best outdoor tanning lotion out there.

4. Hempz Hypoallergenic Dark Tan Maximizer

If you have a sensitive skin type that tends to react to fragrances or dyes, try this lotion from Hempz. It contains oatmeal, mango, synflower seed oil and hemp seed oil to soothe your skin. Plus, it’s free of harsh ingredients and absorbs quickly, so you don’t feel greasy.

5. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Exotic Oil Spray

No, the Australian Gold Exotic Oil Spray isn’t a product of Down Under. But don’t let that deter you. These tanning oils are reef-safe, and that’s essential these days as coral is at risk in oceans around the world.

Although it has the word “oil” in the title, it won’t make your skin greasy. These tanning oils smell delicious and sink in quickly. Then, it utilizes carrot extract to speed up pigment production, so you tan faster.

6. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oils

Hawaiian Tropic has been in the tanning business for decades. Their original formula features aloe, passionflower, cocoa butter, and a classic tropical fragrance. While it moisturizes and softens, these tanning oils also prime your skin to bronze in the sunshine.

7. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Protective Dark Tanning Sunscreen Lotion

If you tend to burn, try tanning with a low SPF lotion. This one from Hawaiian Tropic is only SPF 4. It has a tempting coconut scent and a pleasant texture that rejuvenates dry skin. In fact, if you read reviews, you’ll discover that lots of people seem to use this as their daily lotion, not just when they’re on vacation.

Just a note, the broad-spectrum UV rays protection comes from chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and octocrylene.

8. The Fox Tan Lotion and Accelerator

Fox Tan is an Australian company that makes this two-pack of Rapid Elixir and Tanning Mist. Three to five days before you tan, apply the elixir each day. It moisturizes, but most importantly, it prepares your skin to produce melanin. Then, on the day you’re outdoors in the sun, use the Tanning Mist to get the results you desire.

As they point out, even when you’re not basking in the sun, you’re building a tan. Moreover, you’re pampering your body with natural goodness like almond oil, cocoa butter, and aloe.

9. Australian Gold Sinfully Black 15x Deep Dark Bronzing Tanning Lotion

Australian Gold’s Sinfully Black is an indoor/outdoor lotion that smells like tropical fruit. Plus, it’s an instant bronzer that covers up that snowy white skin with caramel and walnut shell extract. Light-skinned users say that it helped them achieve a golden tan after only a few sessions. Some apply it like a sunless tanning lotion even when they won’t be outdoors.

Just a note, the broad-spectrum UV rays protection comes from chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and octocrylene.

10. Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil Spray

Take a survey the next time you go to the pool, and you’re likely to see that a lot of people brought Banana Boat tanning oil. It’s not just because it’s cheap and easy to find in drugstores. These tanning oils are perfect for deepening your tan when you already have a little bronze. That’s because these tanning oils have carrot, banana, and coconut to bring out the deepest color possible. These tanning oils also make skin feel like silk.

11. Sun Bum Moisturizing Browning Lotion

This tanning accelerator shouldn’t clog pores or cause allergic reactions. It’s also vegan and free of parabens. Smooth it on to enjoy the best tan nature can provide. It nourishes your skin with Kona coffee, green tea butter, Kukui nut oil, avocado, and certified organic coconut oil.

12. Bain De Soleil Mega Tanning Lotion SPF 4

Europeans love Bain de Soleil’s tanning lotion. It has a small amount of sunscreen in it’s you can enjoy more time basking. There’s also a self-tanner, so you have a healthy glow from the moment you apply it. Happily, there are no parabens. Instead, the formula is rich in botanical extracts and moisturizers like cocoa butter. We feel this is one of the finest self-tanning lotions.

13. NO-AD Protective Tanning Lotion, SPF 8

NO-AD is not generic by any means. It may not be as highly promoted as other brands, but it’s just as effective as the big names. The lightweight lotion sinks in fast and uses science to speed up your tan. It has carrot extract, a proven way to help your skin produce more melanin. The mild sunscreen will makes sure you have plenty of time in the sun. This is the best tanning lotion out there for outdoors. We feel this is one of the finest self-tanning lotions.

14. Supre Smoke Black Bronzer

People tan because they know that it makes them look good. This lotion takes it a step further by fading fine lines while it deepens your tan. It has the trademarked Oxygen Regeneration System with antioxidants and trace minerals. Furthermore, it continues to darken your skin hours after you leave the beach and will keep your skin hydrated. Many people would prefer tanning products that provides protection against free radicals and skin damage.

15. Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oils

If you have sensitive skin types and prefer to avoid harsh chemicals, try this tanning oil. These tanning oils have a hypoallergenic formula with organic ingredients like cocoa butter, eucalyptus, and coconut oil. These tanning oils are biodegradable and come in a convenient spray bottle. This will also help intensify your tan without calling for DHA.

16. Ed Hardy Peace & Harmony Tanning Intensifier

While salons sell this lotion for use in tanning beds, there’s nothing that says you can’t use it outdoors. Some customers say they use it as a daily moisturizer because it firms and hydrates their skin. It doesn’t have bronzers, so it won’t make the colors in your tats look wrong. Plus, if you do use it indoors, it prevents that after-tanning burned odor. So, this can also be used as an indoor tanning lotion under the tanning bed.

17. Caribbean Cool, Natural Bronzer, Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy also makes the Caribbean Cool lotion. Again, you can use this indoors or outside. It’s unique because it has Jamaican castor oil, a natural detoxifier, and an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It can actually prevent body acne. So, this can also be used as an indoor tanning lotion. This lotion contains vitamins c and e which leaves your skin hydrated.

Meanwhile, the DHA-free bronzer deepens your color instantly, and coconut milk, argan oil, and Vitamin E make you feel satiny smooth. Finally, Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6 tones the skin to diminish wrinkles.

18. Lancaster Sun Beauty Melting Tanning Milk SPF 15

Laying out means you may feel uncomfortably hot. But Lancaster Beauty has the ideal solution. Their tanning milk protects from infrared rays, so your skin doesn’t cook in the sun. Also, the Tan Activator Complex accelerates melanin production, so you look radiant in record time and provides sun protection.

19. Panama Jack Amplifier Tanning Oils

If your skin is too dry, you won’t tan well. Panama Jack’s Amplifier Oil guarantees that you’ll be ready to soak up rays. These tanning oils seal in moisture with aloe vera, fruit extracts, and plant oils.

You can also go for the Millennium Tanning Paint It Black oil, which is a great choice and comes with an auto-darkening tan technology which is suitable for fair-skinned people.

20. Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator

Experienced tanners with winter-pale bodies know that the Cheeky Brown Accelerator will help them look like a sun god as fast as possible. The instant bronzers will make you look stunning in your swimsuit even before you reach the pool. Additionally, vitamins, passion fruit and tea tree oil prevent premature aging from ultraviolet radiation, protecting your skin from sun damage and also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and will leave your skin feeling smooth.

21. The It List, Hypoallergenic and Vegan Tanning Lotion by Ed Hardy

If you don’t frequent tanning salons, you might not know that Ed Hardy is one of the top brands in tanning lotions. Even if you are familiar with their products, you might be confused about which one is best for your needs.

The It List is made for folks with sensitive skin. This water-resistant lotion has no gluten, parabens, nuts, or oils. The base ingredients are water, coconut fruit extract, and dimethicone, so it’s very light and non-greasy. Also, it improves your skin tone and texture with cotton, caffeine, and ginger.


Make the most of your time outdoors in the sun by using tanning lotions or tanning oils. They prepare your body to tan, protect it from dehydration, and make the experience definitely more enjoyable. We hope you found a product that you’ll love using this summer. Let us know how it worked out for you.

Leave a Reply