Different Types of Tanning Lotions and Their Benefits

It’s no secret that people use tanning lotions to achieve different results. Some want a deep, dark tan, while others are looking for a light glow. And still, others might be trying to cover up uneven skin tones or blemishes. Whatever your reason for choosing a tanning lotion, it’s important to understand the different types available and what they can do for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at various types of the most common varieties of tanning lotion and explain how they work.

Different Types of Tanning Lotions and Benefits

Staining Lotions

Staining lotions are by far the most popular variety of tanning lotions. And for good reason as they provide results almost immediately, unlike bronzer lotions which might take several sessions before noticeable color shows up. The active ingredient in staining lotions is dihydroxyacetone or DHA. This compound interacts with the upper layer of dead cells on the skin and turns them brown. Since it doesn’t actually alter your natural skin color, staining lotions don’t come with any sort of health warning. However, these lotions only work on people with light to medium-light skin tones and can cause some pretty nasty streaks if they’re not rubbed in thoroughly. The upside is that staining lotions only require one application.

Bronzer Lotions

Bronzer lotions are similar to staining lotions in that they can provide an immediate result. However, unlike staining lotions, bronzers actually do alter the color of your skin — it just takes several sessions before you’re likely to notice any visible results. Bronzer lotions are tinted brown to resemble a natural tan. The active ingredient in bronzers is titanium dioxide, which interacts with the dead cells on your skin’s surface and turns them brown or black. Bronzers can be dangerous if applied incorrectly because they actually alter the color of your skin tone — so you don’t want to make any mistakes when applying them.

Indoor Tanning Lotion

Indoor tanning lotions are used to keep your skin protected from the UV light of tanning beds. Before purchasing, make sure you check the ingredients carefully, especially for men because their skin type is a bit different from women. You should look into the features and choose the best men’s indoor tanning lotion as it gives instant results. It is particularly important as they don’t wait for a long time for such sessions.

Tan Enhancer Lotions

Tan enhancer lotions work by preventing the breakdown of DHA in your skin after you get out of the sun or tanning bed. This means that more color will develop on your body, leading to darker coloration. The active ingredient is retinyl palmitate, which is related to vitamin A. This type of lotion is beneficial if you want to prolong your tan and prevent it from fading, but is not recommended for use immediately before exposure to the sun. That’s because retinyl palmitate can cause redness and irritation in some people when applied directly to the skin, particularly under the hot glow of a tanning bed. Tan enhancer lotions can also take several days to start working, so don’t expect instant results.

Tattoo Protection Tanning Lotions

There is also a type of tanning lotion that is specifically designed to protect tattoos from the sun. These lotions often contain ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which act as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. Tanning lotion that protects tattoos is a great option for people who have tattoos and want to keep them looking bright and colorful for as long as possible. However, they can also be used by people who don’t have tattoos to help prevent any future damage from the sun.


There are many different types of tanning lotions to choose from, depending on your desired usage. Whether you’re looking for a full-body sunless tanner or just something to use as an after-sun moisturizer, there’s likely a product out there that will work for you. The most important thing is finding the type of lotion that best suits your needs so you can achieve the perfect bronzed glow without all of the harmful UV rays!