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19 Best Tanning Lotions for Legs: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 28th December 2020
Best Tanning Lotions for Legs

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Why are legs so hard to tan? And what can you do about it?

If it seems like the upper half of your body bronzes faster, you’re right.

Your legs stay pale for longer because the skin there is drier and thicker.

They are further from your heart, which affects blood circulation.

Also, waxing and shaving cause any bronze to disappear faster.

But the best tanning lotions for legs help correct these problems.

They contain rich moisturizers and tanning accelerators to intensify color.

Some inhibit hair growth, so you don’t need to depilate as often.

Many have bronzers for an instant tan.

What’s in a Tanning Lotion for Legs?

Leg tanning lotion, or any indoor tanning lotion for that matter, contains moisturizers and antioxidants, plus ingredients to speed up the tanning process.

They provide some protection against premature aging caused by sun exposure. At the same time, they stimulate melanin production to darken your skin (1).

Some have cosmetic bronzers for instant color. But this washes off as soon as you shower.

Many have sunless tanning ingredients like DHA. DHA browns your skin over a few hours, and the effects won’t wash off.

Happily, DHA is FDA-approved for sunless tanning. The European Union also considers it a safe way to self-tan (2).

Quick Comparison

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

How to Tan Pale Legs

You’re here because you’re frustrated.

Let’s fix that and get those pale legs tan!

Before you lay outdoors or go to a tanning salon, prepare your skin.

Exfoliate the day before. Concentrate on knees and ankles as they tend to be drier (3).

Next, on the day you want to tan, apply a generous amount of the tanning lotion. Rub it in well, then wash your hands if the formula has bronzers in it.

Also, if the lotion has DHA or erythrulose, only put a light coating on your knees and ankles so that they don’t darken more than the rest of your skin.

Let your skin dry before you dress or lay down in the tanning bed.

Now, take it slow. Burning your skin won’t make you tan any faster.

For indoor tanning, start with just a few minutes, then wait for 8 hours before you go back.

For outdoor tanning, begin with 20 to 30 minutes, or less if you have very pale skin or burn easily.

Letting your skin rest for a couple of days between tanning sessions gives your body time to develop the bronze.

Now let’s look at the top tanning lotions for your legs.

19 Best Tanning Lotions for Legs (2021 Update)

1. Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Leg Bronzer W/ Hair Growth Inhibitors

Overall, the best leg tanning lotion for tanning beds is this one from Snooki.

It has rich bronzers to darken your skin immediately. The color deepens over the next few hours after you apply it.

You’ll look bronzed even if you didn’t visit the salon.

While you soak up the rays, Hyperdark Tanning Technology encourages pigment production. At the same time, vitamins and skin conditioners firm the skin and protect against premature aging.

Cellulite becomes less noticeable.

But don’t forget the hair growth inhibitors. This is the ideal lotion to take on vacation as it means you’ll need to depilate less.

2. ED HARDY Ooh La Luxe LEGS Coconut Cream Oil Bronzer

This leg tanning lotion adds a bit of shimmery color the moment you put it on your skin.

If you have tattoos, it will protect them from fading.

Like many other tanning lotions from Ed Hardy, it has Body Fit technology. This tightens the skin and reduces cellulite.

And like Snooki’s lotion above, it slows hair growth.

In case you’re curious, the fragrance is Sweet Pink Passion Fruit.

3. Devoted Creations Lavish Legs – Ultimate Leg Bronzer

Lavish Legs is packed with DHA to give you a natural-looking golden glow. But since that can take hours to develop, there are immediate bronzers, too.

You will look swimsuit-ready even in the deep of winter.

The formula also has IdealLift, BodyFit, and RevitaFit to tone and tighten the skin. Meanwhile, coffee bean extract improves circulation and lessens puffiness.

4. PRO TAN LUSCIOUS LEGS BRONZER

This creamy lotion includes delicious coconut and sweet almond oil to smooth and soften your legs. But it sinks in fast, so you don’t feel greasy.

A high DHA concentration ensures that you’ll wake up bronzed the next morning whether or not you laid out. But you shouldn’t need to shave as the formula keeps hair from growing.

If you do happen to enjoy the sunshine, tyrosine kick-starts melanin to darken your skin naturally.

5. Supre SO SKINNY HOT LEGS Bronzer

As DHA is the best self-tanner available, it’s no surprise that this tanning lotion has a lot of it.

But the real attention-getter is the tingle.

Yes, this is a tingle tanning lotion that boosts circulation to accelerate your bronze.

It maximizes your tan at the same time it minimizes hair growth.

Plus, it increases collagen production to make your legs look firmer and younger.

If you’re new to indoor tanning, take it easy with the lotion as it’s hot. It will make your skin look sunburned and feel tingly.

If the sensation is disagreeable, wash your legs immediately and apply normal lotion to calm your skin. Don’t forget to wash your hands as well.

6. Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer Tingle Tanning Lotion

The Obnoxious tanning lotion is also a tingler with bronzers.

It’s not made specifically for tanning legs, but rather the whole body.

Only get this lotion if you’re an experienced tanner as it’s very hot. Please remember to avoid touching children and pets while you’re wearing it.

Its purpose is to speed up blood flow to take you darker faster. Its effects are effective when your legs are hard to tan.

Thankfully, it’s full of antioxidants and moisturizers to repair and defend your skin against damage.

7. Tanovations COMING IN HOT Thermal Active Black Bronzer

This tingle tanning lotion is also suitable for tanning legs. It’s excellent if you have oily skin as it absorbs impurities and excess oil to keep you feeling fresh and smooth.

While it warms your skin to speed up tanning, it detoxifies it with black tea and charcoal.

8. The Fox Tan Natural Tanning Lotion & Accelerator

Perhaps the best tanning bed lotion for your legs is this two-part formula from Fox Tan.

It prepares your skin like no other product.

For a week before you intend to tan, use the elixir to moisturize your skin each day.

It stimulates melanin production in preparation for tanning. Moreover, it heals dry skin with aloe and cocoa butter to help you retain color better.

Then, on the day you tan, apply the tanning mist to achieve a golden glow.

9. Ed Hardy Baby Got Black Tanning Lotion

Put on Baby Got Black tanning lotion to deepen your color faster. It will turn those white legs bronze instantly.

Not only does it have cosmetic bronzers, but it also has tanning accelerators.

MelanoBronze promotes pigment production at the same time that DHA slowly develops a natural color.

In other words, you will end up tan no matter how long you spend in the sun or the tanning booth.

Furthermore, the lotion tones and revives dull skin to make it look younger and firmer.

10. Millennium Tanning Products: Dark Tanning Lotion, 100x

Millennium’s 100x bronzer is one of the best-selling indoor tanning lotions. You can use it on your entire body, not just your legs.

It’s based on silicone to seal in moisture instead of oil. Therefore, it will make your skin silky soft and never greasy or sticky.

Keep in mind that the 100x rating means the bronzers are ultra-dark. If you have fair skin and no base tan, it might be too intense. Grab the 50X version instead.

11. Supre – Snooki Ultra Dark 70X Black Bronzer w/ Skin Firm & Toning

Snooki’s 70x bronzer lotion deepens your color instantly with henna and walnut. Then, over the next few hours, DHA darkens your tan.

If you’re worried about how pale your legs are, apply this lotion a couple of days before you put on your swimsuit. Let it work overnight before you shower. Then it will make you look as though you already have a base tan.

The formula is free of parabens and enriched with vitamins to keep your skin healthy. It has skin-firming ingredients and tanning accelerators, too.

12. Australian Gold DARK TANNING ACCELERATOR Lotion

It smells like an orange creamsicle, and it’s one of the most popular tanning lotions ever. The Australian Gold accelerator has made pale people rejoice all around the world.

It defends against dryness and wrinkles with antioxidants and moisturizers. At the same time, it’s free of bronzers, so the color you develop is all your own.

13. Supre Smoke Black Bronzer

The Smoke Black Bronzer has something called the Oxygen Regenerating System. It increases circulation to produce pigment faster.

The lotion also contains antioxidant trace minerals and natural oils to make wrinkles less noticeable.

The intense bronzers look best on the skin that’s already tan.

Additionally, the tasty fruit fragrance eliminates the burned odor that’s common after tanning.

14. Hempz Dark DHA Bronzer, Hypoallergenic

Hempz makes one of the best indoor tanning lotions for fair skin. It’s free of irritating ingredients that could make you break out or itchy.

If you have sensitive skin but want to try a lotion with DHA, this is a good choice.

(There is a chance that you could react to the DHA. If that’s the case, try tanning with the Hempz hypoallergenic lotion that doesn’t have bronzers.)

This formula has chamomile and oatmeal plus mango seed butter to soothe and calm the skin. It is streak free and won’t look orange.

15. Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion

If you like to tan outdoors, try this easy to apply lotion from Ocean Potion. It has instant bronzers to help you look ready for the beach in minutes.

But even after your layout, it helps your skin retain color with seaweed and deep-sea minerals.

Happily, it’s free of parabens and gluten.

16. Maui Babe Browning Lotion

There are two versions of the Maui Babe Browning Lotion: one for outdoor tanning and indoor tanning (salon formula). The outdoor lotion is based on mineral oil, while the indoor one is not. You

Either way, you’ll benefit from a product made in Maui.

It’s a favorite choice of tourists and Hawaii residents alike.

Natural ingredients include Kukui nut oil, vitamins, aloe, and Kona coffee plant extract. There are no bronzers – just natural tanning accelerators.

17. Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee Sunscreen

To tan fair skin without burning, you can use sunscreen.

The Bain de Soleil formula has SPF 4 protection to filter out 75% of UVB rays.UVB is what makes skin burn. (It doesn’t block UVA rays, however. Those are what lead to wrinkles down the road.)

It extends your time in the sun and keeps your skin soft and radiant.

18. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Lotion

How about getting bronzed without tanning?

Sally Hansen offers this leg makeup lotion to disguise freckles, varicose veins, and other imperfections.

It’s water-resistant and feels lightweight. You won’t know you’re wearing it unless you look down.

Besides, the streak-free formula stimulates circulation to tone the skin.

19. Australian Gold Instant Sunless Tanning Lotion

You don’t need to spend time in a tanning bed or out in the sun to get bronzed. You don’t need makeup, either.

This self-tanning lotion deepens your color over time with DHA and erythrulose. But since their effects take hours to become noticeable, it also has cosmetic bronzers.

Caramel and other ingredients will give you an instant golden glow. They also extend the length of time that your natural tan will last.

The delicious tropical fragrance and the superior skin conditioners will make you want to use the lotion every day.

Also Read: 16 Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin: Reviews & Guide

Conclusion

Don’t give up on those pale legs. It is possible to tan them.

You need a high-quality tanning lotion and a little patience.

Using a tanning lotion ensures that your skin develops color faster. It also helps the bronze last longer.

If you discovered a tanning accelerator that worked wonders for your legs, let me know about it in the comments below.

Resources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoor_tanning_lotion accessed October 14, 2019

2. https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_048.pdf by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, published December 14, 2010, accessed October 14, 2019

3. https://www.compoundchem.com/2014/08/07/faketan/ accessed October 14, 2019

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