Best Tanning Oil


Dreaming of a perfect sun-kissed glow as you plan for that beach getaway or poolside retreat? A golden tan can make you feel more vibrant and confident, but the array of tanning oils on the market may leave you puzzled. Which one should you choose to achieve that glorious bronze without harming your skin? Let’s dive into the world of tanning oils and uncover the best products that could help you turn heads with your stunning summer skin!

Our Top Picks

Our #1 Top Pick: Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil Original

Transport yourself to tropical paradise with Hawaiian Tropic’s Dark Tanning Oil Original. The scent of coconut will instantly invigorate your senses as you apply the enriching formula made with a blend of rich oils designed to enhance your tan. This product is a cult favorite, known for delivering a deep, luminous color while also moisturizing the skin with vitamins A, C, and E. It’s important to note, however, that this tanning oil does not contain SPF, so it’s recommended for use by individuals who tan easily and aren’t prone to sunburn.

Pick #2: Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil Spray with Carrot and Banana Extracts

For those looking for convenience in application, Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil Spray is an excellent choice. This product combines the nurturing properties of carrot and banana extracts with a lightweight, non-greasy formula. It sprays on evenly and provides a subtle, glistening effect on the skin which enhances the tanning process. The inclusion of SPF 4 offers a slight layer of protection, although additional sun protection may be necessary for prolonged sun exposure.

Pick #3: Australian Gold Exotic Oily Spray

Australian Gold’s Exotic Oily Spray brings a touch of luxury to your tanning routine. Infused with unique native Australian ingredients, it not only aids in developing a rich tan but also nourishes the skin. The signature fragrance will leave you feeling fresh and energized, and the easy-to-use spray bottle allows for quick application. Suitable for all skin types, it includes an SPF of 15, providing a moderate level of protection while you soak up the sun.

Pick #4: Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil

Made from natural ingredients like aloe vera, green tea butter, and coconut oil, Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil assures you of an eco-friendly tanning experience. This option is particularly noteworthy for those with sensitive skin, as it is hypoallergenic and free from harsh chemicals. It doesn’t contain any mineral oil, allowing your skin to breathe and attain a beautiful glow without clogging pores. While it helps you achieve a bronzed look, remember that this formula is SPF-free, so it’s best paired with a separate sunscreen.

Pick #5: Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil

If you’re leaning towards a formula that embraces holistic health, Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil is an excellent pick. Free from artificial fragrances and potentially harmful chemicals, this tanning oil uses a mix of nine nourishing ingredients, such as coconut oil, green tea extract, and sweet almond oil, to support your skin’s health while promoting a radiant tan. It’s worth mentioning that this oil is for external use only and should be combined with an SPF product for sun protection.

What to Know Before You Buy

  • SPF Content: Tanning oils vary in SPF protection. While some contain no SPF and focus solely on helping you tan, others include low-level SPF to prevent burning. Always ensure you are aware of the SPF level, if any, in the tanning oil you want to use.
  • Skin Type: Not every tanning oil is suitable for every skin type. Sensitive skin, in particular, requires a hypoallergenic formula. Take note of your skin’s needs, including allergic reactions or propensity to acne.
  • Ingredients: It’s essential to look for nourishing components such as vitamins, natural oils, and antioxidants. On the other hand, beware of harmful elements like mineral oil, which can clog pores, or excessive chemicals that might damage the skin.
  • Application Method: Tanning oils come in sprays, lotions, and traditional oil formats. Your preferred method of application can determine the product you choose.
  • Scent: For many, the fragrance of a tanning oil enhances the overall tanning experience. Whether you prefer coconut, a clean scent, or no fragrance at all, consider the scent when making your selection.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

  • Protection Against Sun Damage: While a tan may be desirable, protecting your skin against harmful UV rays is paramount. Look for oils that offer a balance between tanning and protection.
  • Skin Hydration: The sun can dry out your skin, so an oil that includes hydrating ingredients will help maintain skin moisture and health.
  • Application: Choose a tanning oil that applies smoothly and evenly without leaving any stubborn residue or stickiness.
  • Durability: Consider the resilience of the oil under the sun. You’ll want something that doesn’t need constant reapplication but can withstand a dip in the pool or ocean.
  • Environmental Impact: Eco-conscious consumers should seek out biodegradable formulas and packaging to minimize environmental impact.

Why Trust ChooseRight?

Here at ChooseRight, we understand that every sun seeker deserves the best tanning experience balanced with skin care responsibility. To craft this curated list of the best tanning oils, we have put in hours of research, thoroughly reviewing numerous products and reading through thousands of consumer reviews. We’ve also taken into account feedback from dermatologists and skincare professionals to ensure that our recommendations meet high standards of efficacy and safety. With ChooseRight, you can bask in the sun, assured that you are using a vetted product loved by casual tanners and experts alike.

Finishing Thoughts

Having the perfect tanning oil by your side is the secret to achieving that enviable golden tan, but remember to tan responsibly by being mindful of your skin’s health and the environment. By considering the factors laid out and trusting our comprehensive reviews, you’re already on your way to a radiant summer glow that is sustainable and skin-friendly. Happy tanning!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tanning oil?

Tanning oil is a product designed to help speed up the process of tanning. It works by increasing the skin’s absorption of ultraviolet (UV) rays when applied before sun exposure or during indoor tanning sessions.

How do I use tanning oil?

To use tanning oil, apply it evenly over your entire body or the areas you wish to tan. Do this before going out into the sun or before starting an indoor tanning session. It is also recommended to reapply as necessary, especially after swimming or excessive sweating.

Can tanning oil protect me from UV rays?

Most tanning oils do not provide significant protection from UV rays unless they contain sunscreen. Always check the label to see if the tanning oil includes SPF, and consider applying a separate sunscreen for protection against UV-induced damage.

What ingredients should I look for in a tanning oil?

Look for ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, which can hydrate your skin and help achieve a golden tan. If you want protection from the sun, look for tanning oils that include SPF ingredients.

Can I use tanning oil in a tanning bed?

Yes, some tanning oils are formulated specifically for use in tanning beds. However, you should avoid using oils that are not designed for indoor tanning as they can damage the acrylic surfaces of tanning beds.

Is tanning oil suitable for all skin types?

Not all skin types react the same way to tanning oil. Individuals with fair skin or those who burn easily should be cautious and choose a product that includes SPF or sun protection to avoid skin damage.

Does tanning oil expire?

Yes, tanning oil, like any other skincare product, has an expiration date. Using expired tanning oil can lead to less effective tanning and potential skin irritation. Check the packaging for the shelf life and expiration date.

How can I choose the best tanning oil for my skin?

Choosing the best tanning oil depends on your skin type, desired tan level, and whether you need additional sun protection. Consider your skin’s sensitivity, whether you tan easily or burn, and the ingredients listed on the product. A patch test is also a good idea before applying the oil all over your body.

Are there natural or organic tanning oils available?

Yes, there are natural and organic tanning oils that use ingredients such as organic plant oils, natural bronzers, and eco-friendly components. These can be a good alternative for those looking for a more natural approach to tanning.

Is it safe to use tanning oil every day?

Using tanning oil every day can increase your exposure to UV rays and may lead to skin damage over time. It’s important to use these products responsibly and to listen to your skin’s needs, keeping in mind the potential risks associated with excessive tanning.

Joseph graduated from Cornell University in 2013 with a degree in civil engineering. Since then he's worked as a content writer and expert reviewer. For the past year and a half, he's been working as the head writer for ChooseRight and is excited to continue growing with the company.

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