Best Tanning Sunscreen


Dreaming of that perfect sun-kissed glow but worried about the harmful effects of too much sun exposure? Finding the right tanning sunscreen can be quite the conundrum, can’t it? Well, worry no more because this comprehensive guide will navigate the vast ocean of options and help you land on the ideal product for your sun-loving skin. With summer beckoning, you want to ensure you’re protected and pampered.

Our Top Picks

Our #1 Top Pick: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen SPF 60

La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen with SPF 60 is a standout product for those seeking a flawless tan while safeguarding their skin. It comes with a dual identity, doubling as both a tanning facilitator and a shield against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. The texture of this sunscreen lives up to its “melt-in” promise, gliding on your skin effortlessly without leaving any white residue or greasy feeling. Infused with antioxidants and La Roche-Posay’s exclusive Cell-Ox Shield technology, it’s designed to be water-resistant, fragrance-free, and suitable for all skin types, making it a universal favorite.

Pick #2: Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen

If you’re after a sunscreen that feels as good as it smells, Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen should be your go-to choice. It offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection while imbuing your skin with a subtle sheen that enhances your natural tan. Enriched with skin-nourishing antioxidants and exotic botanicals, it wraps your skin in moisture without clogging your pores. Undoubtedly, its tropical fragrance will mentally transport you to the nearest island getaway with every application.

Pick #3: Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face Mineral Lotion

For the face, Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face Mineral Lotion steps up as a laudable option. This SPF 50 sunscreen marries the benefits of a strong protective barrier and a hint of color for an even skin tone. The mineral-based formula means it’s free from harsh chemicals while being packed with rich botanicals like eucalyptus to soothe and nourish the skin. It’s also non-greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast, making it friendly for a range of complexions.

Pick #4: COOLA Organic Sunscreen & Sunblock Spray

The COOLA Organic Sunscreen & Sunblock Spray in SPF 50 provides an effortless application, which is a godsend for hard-to-reach areas. This eco-conscious option boasts a 70%+ certified organic ingredient list and is reef-friendly too – perfect for the environmentally aware tanner. The inclusion of unique plant protection offers a boost of antioxidants for skin repair and protection, and the lightweight, sheer finish ensures a comfortable wear throughout the day.

Pick #5: EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45

EltaMD’s UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 rounds out the list with its full-body coverage prowess. It’s a beloved choice among dermatologists due to its high zinc oxide content, offering broad-spectrum protection without compromising your tan. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and goes on evenly with its convenient aerosol spray application. Suitable for all skin types, it’s especially good for those with sensitive skin or for individuals concerned about skin aging.

What to Know Before You Buy

  • SPF Level: Ensure the SPF level suits your skin type and the amount of sun exposure you’re anticipating. Higher isn’t always better for tanning, but it’s paramount for protection.
  • UVA/UVB Protection: Go for ‘broad-spectrum’ to protect against both types of harmful rays.
  • Water Resistance: If you’re planning to swim or engage in activities that induce sweat, choose a water-resistant formula to maintain protection.
  • Ingredients: Check for nourishing ingredients that can help to moisturize and repair your skin while you tan. Antioxidants like vitamins E and C are beneficial.
  • Hypoallergenic and Non-comedogenic: Those with sensitive skin should opt for hypoallergenic options to minimize the risk of allergies, and non-comedogenic to prevent clogging pores.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

  • Skin Type: Know whether your skin type is dry, oily, combination, or sensitive, as this will influence your ideal sunscreen choice.
  • Application Type: Do you prefer lotions, sprays, or stick sunscreens? Each has its convenience and level of coverage.
  • Consistency and Residue: Some sunscreens leave a white residue or can be overly greasy. Look for ‘sheer’ or ‘dry-touch’ labels for a more comfortable feel.
  • Reef-Safety: If you’re ocean-bound, choose a reef-safe sunscreen to protect marine life.
  • Additional Benefits: Some sunscreens come with added benefits like a tint, which can double as a foundation, or anti-aging properties.

Why Trust ChooseRight?

Here at ChooseRight, every product we endorse undergoes a rigorous selection process. Not only have we meticulously reviewed these tanning sunscreens ourselves, but we’ve scoured through thousands of online reviews to get a wide spectrum of feedback. Furthermore, we’ve engaged with professionals in the dermatology and beauty industries to glean insights from their experience. This comprehensive approach ensures that we’re not just recommending products we like but ones that are objectively considered the best in the market.

Finishing Thoughts

Securing that golden tan need not come with a side of skin damage. With our carefully curated selection of tanning sunscreens, you’re just one step away from sun-soaked perfection. Rigorous testing, in-depth research, and expert opinions have led us to these shining contenders. Remember, while the right product is a vital ally in your quest for the ultimate tan, responsible tanning practices are equally important. Combine your choice of sunscreen with protective measures like seeking shade during peak UV hours and wearing hats or protective clothing for a blissful yet safe experience under the sun.


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a sunscreen good for tanning?

A good tanning sunscreen should have an SPF that protects your skin from harmful UV rays while still allowing you to achieve a tan. It should be water-resistant, especially if you plan to swim or sweat, and it’s beneficial if it contains moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin hydrated during sun exposure.

Can you still tan with sunscreen on?

Yes, you can still tan while wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen is designed to filter out the most harmful UV rays, but some sunlight will still reach your skin, allowing for a tan. Using sunscreen with a lower SPF can result in a quicker tan, but it also increases the risk of sunburn and skin damage.

What SPF is best for tanning?

The best SPF for tanning is usually between 15 and 30. This range gives enough sun protection to reduce the risks of skin damage while still permitting some tanning. It’s important to reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

How often should I reapply tanning sunscreen?

You should reapply tanning sunscreen every two hours and immediately after swimming, sweating, or towel drying. Even if the sunscreen is labeled as water-resistant, it’s crucial to reapply frequently to ensure continuous protection.

Can I use tanning oils with sunscreen?

Some tanning oils come with added SPF, which can provide a degree of sun protection while promoting a tan. However, tanning oils without SPF do not protect your skin and should not replace a proper tanning sunscreen. If you choose to use a tanning oil with SPF, make sure it’s broad-spectrum and reapply it according to the guidelines.

Is there a difference between tanning sunscreen for the face and body?

Yes, tanning sunscreens for the face are typically formulated to be non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and may have additional ingredients to cater to facial skin, which is more sensitive. Facial tanning sunscreens might also be lighter in texture to prevent breakouts. It’s important to use the appropriate product for each part of your body for the best protection and skincare benefits.

What ingredients should I look for in a tanning sunscreen?

Look for tanning sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide are common UVA/UVB blockers. Also, consider products with antioxidants like vitamin E and moisturizers like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid to help nourish and hydrate the skin.

How can I tan safely with sunscreen?

To tan safely, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and ideally SPF 30. Avoid sunbathing when the sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear protective clothing, seek shade, and never intentionally try to burn your skin as a base for a tan. Gradual tanning is safer than trying to get a dark tan quickly.

Is spray or lotion sunscreen better for tanning?

Both spray and lotion sunscreens can be effective for tanning if applied properly. Lotions are often easier to apply evenly, which is crucial for effective sun protection. Sprays are convenient but can be difficult to apply evenly and thoroughly. Whichever form you choose, make sure to cover all exposed skin and follow the recommended guidelines for reapplication.

Can I use expired tanning sunscreen?

No, you should not use expired tanning sunscreen. The ingredients in sunscreen can degrade over time, which may reduce its effectiveness. Using expired sunscreen can result in inadequate sun protection, increasing the risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage.


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