What thoughts come to your mind when you think of summer? Sun, sand, and surf. Glowing, golden skin. Elevated moods, improved energies, and increased Vitamin D levels. But who has the time and patience for a sun tan? Not most people. I for one would rather bask in the sun while I already have a tan. That is why I am a tanning salon faithful. In 2007, approximately 81% of young people felt that tanning improved their appearance.
The secret behind a beautiful tan is using indoor tanning lotions. They contain active ingredients that accelerate the tanning process. These include melanin, L-Tyrosine, green tea extract, tea oil, copper and other natural oils. These lotions are meant to be used in tanning beds. Trust me, you should never use regular suntan lotions while tanning indoors. Regular suntan lotions damages the acrylic material that tanning beds are made of. They also block UVA and UVB rays which counteracts the benefits you are seeking.
So How Do They Work?
I’ve got three words for you. Moisturization, magnification, and skin conditioning. Indoor tanning lotions protect your skin’s moisture levels and magnify your UV exposure. The natural oils, anti-oxidants and botanical extracts present in these lotions plump up your skin with extra moisture. This allows your pores to open up. It also works in helping you get a deeper, richer tan that lasts longer than dry skin. If you are scratching your head with a quizzical look on your face, hear this. You are losing up to 50% of your tanning session if you don’t use a tanning lotion because dry skin reflects UV light.
But some people are up in arms claiming indoor tanning is not recommendable, lotion or no lotion…
Well, to each his own. If they want to look pale all year round, that’s on them. But let’s face it, no one can avoid a tan and we all look far more attractive with one.
Here are some of the benefits of using indoor tanning lotions.
- They keep your skin moisture rich. These lotions actually keep your soft supple making it less susceptible to wrinkles than dry skin.
- You save time and money. No one has time to sit under the sun for long periods of time. Plus you don’t need to tan as often. These lotions accelerate your tan so you can spend more time shopping with your squad.
- Indoor tanning lotions contain nutrients and vitamins that nourish your skin making it healthier.
- Say good-bye to patches. Your tan will be more even.
- You know that awful ‘after-tan’ odor caused by bacteria on your skin getting heated? That becomes a thing of the past. Most indoor tanning lotions have an anti-microbial agent that gets rid of that smell. As a bonus, they come in different scents so you can pick your favorite.
- With some indoor tanning lotions, the tan goes on setting up to 2 hours after leaving the tanning booth/bed.
- They prevent burning. Just because they lack SPF doesn’t mean they are not pro-skin care. Using these lotions prevents sunburns since your skin is moisturized.
How To Use Indoor Tanning Lotions?
So you’ve heard of the benefits of these lotions and you can’t wait to try one. Do you rush into your nearest beauty store, buy, and lather yourself then jump into the tanning bed? Hold your horses rookie, that’s not how you go about it.
Skin patch test. This should not even feature on a ‘How To’. Always test with a section of your skin before trying out new products. This is the number one unwritten rule. Just because a product says ‘For Sensitive Skin’ doesn’t mean it might not react with your skin.
Patch test for color. Just because your best friend has a glowing golden tan doesn’t mean you will achieve the same. Each person’s reaction to a product is different. Be on the safe side by performing a patch test for color. There is nothing attractive about an orange person.
Use it indoors. This might sound obvious but some manufacturers label their products as outdoor and indoor use. Do not use it outside in direct sunlight. This will cause damage to your skin. After tanning, wear sunscreen if you plan to spend long periods under the sun to prevent sunburns.
Wash your hands after use. Do this to prevent discoloration on your fingers. Avoid touching your clothes with remnants of the lotion still on your skin. These lotions can stain clothes.
Do not use it on children. A child’s skin is far more delicate than an adult’s and should be protected. Talk to your pediatrician for advice on the best lotion for your child.
Read manufacturer’s instructions. Read and follow instruction to prevent UV rays injury and to achieve the best results. Safety precautions found on the label should be followed to the letter.
Preparing your skin for tanning
- You need a pre-tanning lotion. This nourishes the skin and prepares it for exposure to UV light, the ingredients in such products lay the foundation for healthy, deep tan.
- Amplifier. It keeps the skin moisturized as you are tanning and allows ultraviolet light to penetrate the skin. Amplifiers reduce the chances of UV rays bouncing off your body.
- Use an after-tanning lotion. They will replenish your skin and prevent peeling and flaking.
From experience, I’d recommend aloe vera based indoor tanning lotions.
Understanding Indoor Tanning Lotions
Who feels like they need a PhD in Rocket Science to know how to select a tanning lotion? And sometimes the workers at the tanning salon do not know what works best. So you end up buying the wrong product and turn orange after using it. You ought to know your skin type. Is your skin sensitive or not? Is it dry, oily, combination or normal? Because dry skin needs a lotion that’s packed with loads of moisturizers. Is it fair or not? Fair skinned people tend to require bronzers.
These are questions that you should have answers to before placing any tanning lotion in your shopping cart. The following are features found in tanning lotions and what they do. It is worth noting that all lotions do not contain all of these properties. Always read the labels on the bottle to find out what you are buying.
- Accelerators. Also called intensifiers. These are level one products for newbies. They contain a huge amount of moisturizers to help the skin tan better and stay tanned for longer.
- Maximizers. Level two products. They are the products to buy if you have gotten a base tan and feel you want more. Their level of moisturizers is lower than that contained in accelerators. Because of that, they should only get into direct contact with the skin before starting a tanning session.
- Tingle. You guessed it right; this is a level three product. It can be found in maximizers. It speeds up the repairing process of your skin causing the tan to set in faster. These products are available in heated and cooled and they increase blood flow to the skin. The first few uses can cause discomfort although tolerance is built over time. Be warned that if you have sensitive skin, this product is not for you.
- Coolant. While this product may not offer the promises of a dark tan, it is a good buy. It is designed to calm your skin after stepping out of the tanning bed. It also helps to even out the tan.
- Bronzers. This property is found in accelerators and maximizers. It works by giving false instant results while the skin tans underneath. Get a streak free bronzer to avoid looking orange.
- Anti-aging. This ingredient protects the skin while in the tanning bed. It prevents formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines.
- Hemp seed oil. It is present in most tanning lotions. It nourishes the skin by hydrating it.
- Body blush. It is similar to tingle but much kinder to sensitive skin. It gives the effects of tingle minus the heat and prickly feeling.
- Caffeine. Manufacturers include it in lotions to deal with puffiness and energize the skin. They also counteract premature wrinkles and fine lines. Because it absorbs into the body, it shouldn’t be used by people on caffeine free diets.
- Beta carotene. Helps the color to set.
- DHA. This is contained in bronzers. It stains the skin giving the impression of a tan. When combined with other bronzers, it makes the skin darker. To achieve a more natural bronze look, opt for bronzers that are DHA free.
- Vitamin E. Rejuvenates and nourishes the skin to prevent premature aging.
Always remember to do a skin patch test and do not use the product before your skin is ready for it.
Reviewing 5 Best Tanning Bed Lotions
If not anything else, the beautiful pink bottle that contains this lotion will have you buying the lotion. And if that does not convince you, then how about its fruity fragrance? Snooki promises an ultra dark tan and that is what you get when you use this lotion. It is packed with vitamins that nourish your skin leaving it supple and streak free. The bronzer in the lotion gives you instant results even as the other properties continue to set in. This means from the moment you step out of the tanning salon, you will have an even tone that only gets darker evenly. This product contains tingle which is why it has the word Hot on it. Get your party on using this paraben free tanning bed lotion. Recommended for experienced tanners.
- HyperDarkTM Tanning Technology. This technology is formulated to prepare your skin for a darker tan as soon as you apply the lotion.
- SoftChic TM. Technology that uses coconut and sweet almond to moisturize your skin
- A blend of Black Walnut, Henna, and DHA to give the skin a rich golden color that continues to darken after UV exposure.
- It contains vitamins that fight off environmental stress giving the skin a radiant glow.
- Skin stimulators. Provide a rush of immediate color while giving a tingling sensation to your skin.
BEST DEAL ONLINE: Supre Snooki Ultra Dark Hot Bronzer Tanning Lotion
Maximize your skin’s tanning ability using this lotion. It is easy to understand what the entire rave about this product is judging from its positive reviews. You have to try it to believe it because Cypher helps you get an even and natural looking tan.
- Platinum Complex addresses the 7 signs of aging. This refines skin keeping it younger looking for longer.
- Cell Speak Complex(TM). Supports collagen while protecting elastin. This works by utilizing the age defying code in the complex. Your skin will be less susceptible to fine lines and premature wrinkles.
- CuO2 and TRF combine rich ingredients to optimize dark color results. These technologies ensure that your skin absorbs the optimum amount of UV rays to darken it.
- Vitatan is a patented ingredient in this lotion that helps you achieve that golden glow that you so desire.
BEST DEAL ONLINE: Cypher Platinum Black Optimizer 2 Tanning Lotion
This tanning lotion is ideal for all skin types. It does not contain a tingle so sensitive skins won’t burn when the product is applied. You will achieve a radiant, even, brown tan that sets in fast even with the absence of tingle. Designer Skin can be used on the entire body. You will love the delightful dewy ozonic lily scent.
- Comes in a 13.5 oz bottle.
- 50X bronzer that helps you attain unmatched bronzing results. It does this by utilizing three tanning processes – immediate bronzing, melanin activated bronzing, and delayed bronzing.
- Accelerator. The lotion is packed with moisturizers that provide hydration to the skin that can help restore your Circadian Clock.
- Anti-aging properties. This lotion utilizes ChronoReset TM Technology to give you a timeless look while preventing premature aging.
BEST DEAL ONLINE: Designer Skin Elusive 50X Bronzer Tanning Bed Sun Tan Lotion
This lotion dots on your skin with its superior blend of skin care ingredients while delivering the deepest, darkest color possible.
- Dual TanFresh Blend. Gets rid of the ‘after tan’ odor. It contains a number of ingredients combined to make a powerful odor inhibitor.
- Timeless youth elixir. This ingredient is meant to combat appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Satin touch blend. This breakthrough blend is a silicone emulsion that gives the skin a silky feel while deeply moisturizing it.
- DHA Luxe bronzer. The bronzer combines high end skin care ingredients and DHA to moisturize the skin while giving a deep bronze hue.
- You should wash your hands after using this product before indoor or outdoor tanning.
BEST DEAL ONLINE: AG Australian Gold, Superior DHA Luxe Bronzer, Tanning Lotion
Designer specially formulated this product for tanners that demand dark bronzing power without the use of DHA. Your skin feels pampered and looks visibly smooth and improved with continuous use of this product. Most users feel that tanning with New Adore improves their appearance, moods and energy. It feels like breaking out of the ordinary and stepping into the fab lane. New Adore has a sweet vanilla musk that smells like good memories and summer nights.
- Melanin bronzer. This is a natural form of melanin that provides a darker color. It works in collaboration with quicksun color tint. This tint gives a natural looking, streak free bronze hue. As a plus you get a matte finish.
- Skin activated moisture technology. This is a breakthrough conditioning system that melts at skin temperature. Your skin feels luxurious and plumped up.
- Dopa. This is a limitless tanning complex that activates the tanning process. It acts as a melanin precursor that eliminates restrictions on your skin potential to darken.
BEST DEAL ONLINE: Designer Skin New Adore Black Label Bronzer Lotion
Before wrapping up, here are a few parting shots.
Do not and I repeat do not overdo it. Sure you want to look healthy and younger but an extreme tan can lead to the George Hamilton effect.
Tanning is viewed differently depending on cultures. Europeans and Americans will view it as a sign of affluence and wealth. It is somewhat of a pointer that you have enough cash to accord you the luxury of vacations abroad. On the other hand, the Asian continent tends to prefer pale skins. If you can achieve zombie paleness then you have almost attained the epitome of beauty standards. A tan is perceived as a symbol of lower social status.
This goes to show that tanning has never been a universally accepted idea. And while there may be dangers associated with tanning, proper usage of tanning lotion limits these dangers. Though not yet proved, it is generally known that tanning prevents sunburns.
My favorite tanning lotion from the above listed is New Adore from Designer Skin. The musky vanilla scent hugs your body hours after you leave the tanning salon. Also I have oily skin so I loved the fact that it gives a matte finishing. These indoor tanning lotion reviews will help you pick the best choice for your skin.