Getting a deep dark tan taking a dip in the pool or lake, or walking through the beach is a dream of many. Although outdoor tanning is the natural way for tanning and far cheaper than tanning beds, it is prone to cause painful sunburns and dry, itchy skin if not done in the right direction.
Well, it turns out that you can get that healthy glowing tan without getting burnt. The only thing you need to do here is to get the best tanning oil for outside use.
And, how do you find the dark tanning oil with right SPF and great scent which will work correctly for you?
Confused? Let me tell you that we have you covered.
In this article, we will guide you to pick a good tanning oil which will help you tan basking in the sunny glow.
I know that some of you might be pumped up reading the ‘perfect solution’ for outdoor tanning. The below table will give a quick overview of the products we are reviewing later in the article. I hope you get one from the table given below itself.
Top 10 Best Sun Tanning Oils to get Dark Fast in 2019
|Ranking||Tanning Oil||SPF Level||Hypoallergenic||Reef safe||Quantity|
|1||Hawaiian tropic tanning oil||6||No||Yes||8 oz|
|2||Australian gold tanning oil||0||No||Yes||8 oz|
|3||Panama jack tanning oil||0||No||No||8 oz|
|4||Banana boat tanning oil||4||No||Yes||6 oz|
|5||Artnaturals tanning oil||0||Yes||No||10 oz|
|6||Dr. Mercola tanning oil||0||Yes||No||8 oz|
|7||Sun bum tanning oil||15||Yes||No||9 oz|
What is Tanning oil?
Tanning oils are a blend of naturally occurring ingredients that are vital for the skin. They work best if you have a base tan or your skin is not that fair.
In my professional career, one key thing I noticed is that most tanners are layman when it comes to tanning products. That’s why most salons charge them a hell lot of money for cheaper lotions.
I have seen that people confuse tanning lotions with oils. Let me tell you that unlike the commonly found tanning lotions, tanning oil is something similar but entirely different.
Tanning oils provide the natural nutrients which your skin requires during the tanning process. Most oils also have a natural SPF content, which protects your skin from any excess damage the sun might cause. These oils promote the production of melanin to get a tan without having to absorb all the UV rays.
It’s always good to understand how does tanning oil work. But, let me give you a short overview of what common tanning oils have:
- Contain antioxidants to prevent your skin from damage under the sun.
- Have anti-aging elements to prevent your skin from developing wrinkles and scars under the sun
- Possess anti carcinogenic ingredients to avoid any potential cancers from forming on your body. Surprisingly, prolonged UV exposures can promote melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- Provide vital nutrients to your skin that are usually being used up by the body during tanning, e.g. vitamin E, copper etc.
- Speed up the tanning process by naturally triggering melanin production. Excess melanin is what gives you a tan, and tanning oils make sure it gets produced without having to absorb extra UV rays.
- Give your skin a short natural tanned look if you’re in a hurry or otherwise. You will get this from any bronzers present inside the oil.
- Keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. Lack of moisture will make your skin dry out and develop blisters. No one wants that in place of a tan.
With all of this information, tanning oil can get mistaken for sunscreen too, but I assure you they are also different.
Best Tanning Oil to get Dark: Reviews & Recommendations
Summer means beach parties and family time in outside pools. I don’t have to tell you that tanning oils get whole new attention during this time. Who wants to waste an opportunity to get a beautiful and healthy tan while enjoying in the outdoors?
I know that many of you are interested in finding the best drugstore tanning oil. As I have told before, I won’t disappoint you. Most of the oils I’m reviewing ahead are available in drugstore too.
What you’ll find here is a list of tanning oils from my shelf which has been tried and reviewed for you.
1. Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil: The exotic solution!
If you’re planning to hit the beach soon without having to worry about getting a sunburn, this is it.
Who doesn’t love coconut scent? As for me, coconut scent carries me back to the Maldives where I went last year for a vacation. This tanning oil comes with a robust coconut scent and very efficiently retains it.
The oil is formulated with exotic moisturizing ingredients and needless to say, it does provide excellent moisture. Under long sun exposures, it keeps your skin hydrated enough to prevent any chronic dryness. Added skin conditioners keep the skin glowing and fresh throughout your sunbathing experience.
However, it contains zero sunscreen content. The SPF amounts to an SPF level 6 which is not enough to protect your skin from any sunburn. On the other hand, the decreased SPF level also makes sure that you get the tan you were looking for without any barriers.
On the brighter side, it is rich with antioxidants and vitamin E that prevent cellular damage. Vitamins A and C are also a part of the formula and help repair and growth of any skin that gets accidentally damaged.
Of all the people I know use it, I don’t think anyone has ever been dissatisfied with this product and the brand. The price is also amazingly easy on the wallet so you don’t have to be very careful when using it.
- Good for beaching
- Effectively moisturizing
- Deep tanning
- Zero sunscreen
Just spread it nice and evenly on your skin, and enjoy that sun. This is the best deep tanning oil you can get.
2. Australian Gold Dark Tanning Oil Spray: The signature One
If you already have a good base tan and want to darken it, this is the product you are looking for.
The smell is the widely acclaimed Australian Gold signature scent. It is somewhat of a beach and a cologne scent. Though most of you will be using it outdoors still the signature scent gives you a boost of confidence.
What’s unique about this is that though it has the same effectiveness as the rest of tanning oils but isn’t the same as them. The tanning oil comes in a spray bottle, making it very easy to use and even spread over the skin. The application is oil-free and thus doesn’t feel greasy at all. It is also water-resistant for about 60 minutes. Therefore, you don’t have to worry when taking an occasional dip in the pool. Moreover, there’s no need to worry about sea life because the sunscreen formula is totally reef safe.
The special ingredient inside is the Native Australian Acacia extract which is famously known for its antioxidant properties. Moreover, it also contains sunflower seed oil which is a natural moisturizer and suitable for all skin types. More effectively, olive oil, carrot root extracts, cocoa butter, and tea tree oil are also an essential part of the formula. Keeps your skin moisturized and damped all the time. All these ingredients also provide anti-aging properties, so your skin doesn’t develop wear and tear over time.
Although it’s an accelerator and not a bronzer, it does give your skin a tone. Unlike other bronzers, this gives your skin a natural damp look that looks like a tan. It works as an accelerator to help you get the tan a little faster than usual.
- Australian gold signature scent
- Water resistant
- Natural accelerator
- No bronzer included
Would recommend for everyone who needs to darken their tan and don’t like greasy products! This one will eliminate your need to apply any further sunscreen or tanning lotion.
3. Panama Jack Tanning oil: all-in-one Combo!
There are very few tanning oils that come packed with almost all the qualities in one. This is one of them.
Its scent is out of this world. This smells like some ripe, heavenly fruit. It would be fair to say that this is because of the combination of fruit and nut extracts as the primary composition.
The bottle comes in the form of a sprayer that helps you put it on evenly without having to engage your hands.
As for the ingredients, as I said before, everything is packed into one. The peanut oil inside helps fight any prior dryness or the one caused by sunbathing. It also helps keep away scaling. Moreover, the tanning oil also helps treat and prevent any acne because of the presence of sweet almond oil. The same almond oil also takes off any dead skin and gives the skin a brand new, tanned look. In this long list, other prominent ingredients are the coconut, apricot and jojoba oil. All of these are naturally the substitutes for over-the-counter tanning oils, but this one brings all of them in one place.
It doesn’t, however, promise any sunscreen content. Because of the naturally occurring ingredients, it does have an SPF level of around four but that’s just about it. There’s no use using it for extremely fatigued tasks under the sun but would work best when sunbathing outdoor for leisure.
This one here is a must for people who don’t want to use a combination of products to achieve one common goal (the tan).
- Rich with everything your skin needs
- Unique fruity scent
- Natural sunscreen
- No significant cons
It works best for outdoor tanning and is great for kids too! Even if you are using any other tanning oil, this one is an obligation for your shelf.
4. Banana Boat Tanning Oil: Moderately amazing!
Who’s not familiar with Banana boat? If you’re not a user of other similar products from Banana boat, here’s the icebreaker which won’t disappoint you.
You must’ve noticed this sun tanning oil lying on the shelves of many tanning salons. As for me, I’ve seen a lot. This is because banana boat tanning oil is one of its class. It doesn’t contain the normal SPF level to come at par with sunscreens but has enough to get you going. With an SPF level of 4-6, it’s just enough to let you get the tan. Moreover, the action after the application is quite fast and you can visibly see the results in about 40 minutes.
Although the name says this tanning oil is more of a tanning spray. It does contain traces of oil but doesn’t have the natural greasy feel to it. Because of the sprayer, it gets spread evenly over the skin. Works well on the face too (keep it out of the eyes!)
I would recommend this to everyone who needs something light to keep the tan effectively in place.
- Accurate sunscreen content for outdoor tanning
- Comes as a sprayer
- Prolongs tan
- No significant cons
All those with a base tan must have this and regularly apply regardless of their routine. Works better when applied within intervals. Simply amazing!
5. Art naturals tanning oil: it’s just the bottle that’s artificial!
If I just twisted the name for a description, this tanning oil is a natural work of art! There are only a few other products with the same qualities as this one.
The fantastic fragrance is just the first milestone of its quality. Altogether, this tanning oil isn’t only one product. It’s a mixture of all those oils and extracts that relate to tanning. Apricot kernel oil, rice bran oil, kukui nut oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, name it! This is the by far the only product that I’ve seen to be composed of so many oils and extracts.
It doesn’t just help you with the long-term tanning but also gives you on the moment beauty boost. The moisture keeps your skin damp and tight to give out a young look. The coconut oil gives your skin a deep dark tone which looks like a tan itself. Altogether, it keeps the skin nurtures and well pampered during the tanning or otherwise. What I like most about it is that it’s not just a tanning oil. You can use it for any part of the day or post tanning. It will keep you hydrated, and your skin vitalized, the benefits of which will be pretty apparent to you by time. I still use it as a skin rehabilitator even when I’m not stepping out into the sun. It gives a natural golden color to your skin all the while keeping it safe and supplied with loads of nutrition.
- Jam packed with natural ingredients
- Quick fake tan
I’d rather use this than collect for myself all those natural oils. Artnaturals relieves me of all the pain by bringing all of them to one place, one spray. A must have for all those who believe in the awesomeness of nature and its gifts for you.
6. Dr. Mercola tanning oil: the odorless Tanning oil!
If you didn’t know about Dr. Joseph Mercola and the variety of his products, you will naturally want to know after this. From all of his wonders, this tanning oil is no less a masterpiece.
Unlike all other tanning oils, this one surprisingly has no prominent fragrance. Yes, it’s odorless! For all the people who don’t like objectionable odor clinging to the body for the rest of the day, your problem has just been solved. I don’t know how they did it, but hey, a natural tan doesn’t have a fragrance, does it?
It does give you that natural looking tan while you’re preparing for it. Your skin turns into a crimsoned shade of golden within a few minutes of application. According to the description on the bottle I have, it says it’s made up of 9 main organic oils, and I don’t doubt it. The reason is that it’s worked wonders. I don’t personally use it, but my daughter is a huge fan and keeps bugging me to get her another when one runs out. Part of that is because it doesn’t cause any allergy even though her skin is a lot sensitive. Moreover, it contains a rich blend of the extracts instead found rarely as products like the Lanolin.
The application is easy since it comes in the form of a mist spray. After use, the content gets readily absorbed by the skin and doesn’t leave any residue.
Especially recommended for the people with extra sensitive skin and a divergence from odor. It goes well along with all skin types.
- Odorless (well, it could be a con)
- Mercola’s own
- Quick results
- Odorless (well, it could be a pro)
If you have a youngster at home who wants to try out tanning, this should be the icebreaker. Even I being a parent borrow it from my daughter sometimes when I don’t just want to put on a fancy scent.
7. Sun bum tanning oil: the all-rounder!
Last but not least, an all-rounder!
Of all the tanning oils you saw above, this one here is a crux of these all. It does, however, have a unique scent resembling the cocoa fragrance.
Sun bum has all the qualities of a good moisturizer. Apart from the moisture, it also provides relatively cool protection from the harmful UV rays. You can spend hours in the sun without noticing any burns or reactions in your skin.
As for the composition, it does have natural oils to give it more nutrition. These include Coconut Oil, Avocado oil and more I can count on.
Here’s something new for you! Do you have an allergy to a certain product or substance? More specifically, people suffer from a skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). In most of the cases, this develops because of the involvement of a protein called gluten. In most tanning oils, gluten would indirectly be an ingredient because of the saturated proteins. Sun bum tanning oil, however, is gluten-free. That should be good news to all of us since those who don’t develop any allergies are also at risk if the gluten is in excess. This, combined with all the essential oils provide you with the most hypoallergenic (unlike to cause allergy) tanning oil for your fair skin.
- Natural oils included
- Remarkable sunscreen properties
- Gluten free
- No significant cons
Especially for people with sensitive and gluten intolerant skin, this marks its position in the most comfortable category. If you’re looking for something safe, effective and affordable, stop looking!
How to buy the Best Outdoor Tanning Oil (Online & Drugstore)
We have seen the reviews of some of the best suntan oils. I think there is a high chance that you have found the one that is going to change the way you tan outside.
There might be some of you who couldn’t find one from the above reviews. But don’t worry! I have the perfect buying guide to find one.
The decision to get an amazing tanning oil gets tougher especially when you don’t know about the technicalities. You may end up dissatisfied wishing you didn’t spend your hard-earned money on it.
Here we will see some basic parameters to keep an eye on when choosing a tanning oil for yourself.
1. Look for Nice Fragrance
We all have different tastes when it comes to fragrances. Some of these tanning oil offer exotic aromas as they are formulated with essential oils. Some provide signature fragrances varying from brand to brand. It is entirely up to your choice to choose between the scents.
Before buying, you can ask the seller to give you a sample to smell from, or you can just explain your choices. Most commonly available scents are fruity, tropical and flowery ones. However, if you don’t like the concept of fragrance at all, you can also opt for an odorless one.
2. Get the Ingredients that Matters
The information on the back of the product is not worthless. Pertinent to mention that most of us don’t even give it a second look, but it does matter. Look at the description and identify the ingredients carefully. It would be helpful to do a little bit of research on your own before buying the tanning oil. This way you can be sure of what your skin needs more of depending on its condition and what it should steer clear of.
Not all the ingredients may be friendly for your skin. Read out the components carefully and make a choice depending on your needs. Again I’ll say, a little bit of knowledge and research will help.
3. Get Tanning Oil with RIGHT SPF level:
I’m sure all of us are looking for oils that technically balance the sunscreen and tanning content. Yes, because of the natural ingredients or otherwise, tanning oils also have SPF levels. If you are looking for sunscreen in tanning oil, you will want to choose higher SPF levels around 15.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a tanning oil with a little bit of sunscreen to prevent damage; you will have to look for an oil with SPF level o 4-6. Using sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from damage, but if you want a tan, it will not help.
You will have to decide to choose the SPF level for yourself based on how much exposure your skin is ready and requires for.
4. Reef safe assurance:
If you love nature and your surroundings, you might want to take care of this. Most of the oils come packed with substances that are vitalizing for your skin but lethal for nature. For example, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are fatal for sea life. They are not biodegradable either.
Most of these tanning oils will themselves tell you if they’re reef safe, but if not, you have to check. Ask the seller if it is reef safe. If they’re not sure, look it up on the internet. Don’t take chances on this one because the sea life has as much right over life as us. Don’t unintentionally make the sea life a mess just because you need a good tan.
5. Price and Bottle Size
If you are using any beauty products, you already know that beauty comes at a cost. The products are very costly. So, it is very important to buy the right product.
This goes with tanning oils too. They are also bit costly compared to the actual quantity you’re getting. I’m not here asking you to find a cheaper option. Rather, you should invest in something that gives quality and proper outcome. The tanning oils we have reviewed above are in this category. They won’t fail you.
6. Drugstore Tanning Oil
We don’t plan those poolside parties one week before. It’s an impulsive action. We go out and enjoy it with our family. What if you have an amazing tanning oil to use while going outside? Yeah, there will be more chances of getting a healthy tan.
If your favorite oil is a drugstore product, then there are higher chances of you doing tanning rightly and perfectly. You can get it from your nearby store, apply it to your body, go out and enjoy. By the time you come back, you will have some tan on your body.
That’s why it’s important to get to know about the best drugstore tanning oil available on the market. Yeah, our reviews have it. So, you don’t have to worry here.
Tanning oil v/s Sunscreen
Popular to the contrary belief, sunscreens and tanning oil have a lot in common but are not the same thing. One saves you from a tan while the other helps you get a tan safely. More accurately, tanning oils are the perfect balance between tanning lotions and sunscreens. Prominently:
Sunscreens have an SPF rating of about 15 to 30. On the other hand, tanning oils may not necessarily have SPF content, but even if they do, it’s below 15.
Sunscreens serve the fundamental purpose of guarding you against the UV rays of the sun. These UV rays in worst cases can cause sunburns and many other skin related issues. Conversely, tanning oils guard you against the UV rays to some extent. What they do is provide moisture and nutrition to your skin to cope with the UV exposure (and also get that tan).
Sunscreens usually are composed as a cream that stays on the top of your skin. Tanning oils, however, are oils that get absorbed into the skin too.
What’s Next? Found the One that Matters?
Tanning oils are an essential part of your tanning process if you don’t just want your skin to dry and die. Most of these are composed of natural ingredients and a few human-made fragrances and bronzers. If you’re good at DIY, you can even try homemade tanning oil. We have also seen what a tanning oil is and how they are different from sunscreens.
The use of tanning oils depends on the person in question. You can be tanning for an hour each day without using them or lie in the sun for 3 hours straight with tanning oil on. Tanning oils will only prevent damage to your skin and enhance the tanning procedure by giving you a real tan that will last longer.
We hope that our best tanning oil reviews have helped you in finding a perfect oil for you. I’m damn sure that our top-rated tanning oils will make it feel that you’ve been lying on the beach for weeks. Remember these products are rated high by other influencers in the tanning industry too.
Let the one that you chose give a pleasant and longlasting tan to your fair skin.
Make sure that you use them the right way.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing that smile on your face after having a wonderful tanning session.
My name is Stella Cristin, the owner of Tan Vogue. I am in love with beauty and health products. My great passion is to help people learn about tanning. Read More