Does Indoor Tanning Lotion Work Outside

Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila. I share my 44-year experience as a Beauty Professional in this blog.This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your Aesthetician for your beauty needs.

Are you curious to know if your indoor tanning lotion works just as well under the actual sun? While these lotions do contain elements that accelerate tanning, they lack crucial components like SPF and water resistance.

This post will guide you through the dos and don’ts of using indoor tanning lotion outdoors, ensuring a healthy glow while protecting your skin. Ready to soak up some knowledge along with those rays?.

Key Takeaways

  • Indoor tanning lotions do not work effectively outside because they lack SPF and water resistance.
  • It is important to use sunscreen along with indoor tanning lotion when using it outdoors for sun protection.
  • Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming or sweating, to maintain adequate UV protection.

Can You Use Tanning Bed Lotion Outside?

Using tanning bed lotion outside is not recommended because it lacks SPF, is not water-resistant, and has a greasy feel.

Lack of SPF

Most indoor tanning lotions lack Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Because of this, these formulas do not protect your skin against the harmful UV rays. The absence of SPF leaves your skin vulnerable to sunburn and other types of damage.

Indoor tanning lotion alone is not suitable for outdoor use due to this shortfall.

Not water-resistant

Indoor tanning lotion is not water-resistant, which means it can easily wash off when you sweat or take a dip in the pool. This can be a problem if you plan on spending time outdoors and want to maintain your tan.

Unlike outdoor tanning lotions that are designed to withstand water, indoor tanning lotions do not have this feature. So if you’re going to be active or near water, it’s best to opt for an outdoor tanning lotion that is water-resistant and will stay put even when things get wet.

Using indoor tanning lotion outside without any protection against water can result in your tan fading quickly and unevenly. It’s important to choose a product specifically made for outdoor use if you want your tan to last longer and look more even.

Greasy feel

Indoor tanning lotions can sometimes leave a greasy feel on your skin. This is because they are specifically formulated to moisturize and nourish the skin during indoor tanning sessions.

However, this greasiness can make outdoor use uncomfortable, especially if you prefer a lightweight and non-greasy formula. When using indoor tanning lotion outside, consider opting for a lighter formulation or applying it sparingly to avoid excessive oiliness.

How to Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside

To use indoor tanning lotion outside, always remember to apply sunscreen along with the lotion and reapply regularly for maximum sun protection.

Always use sunscreen

To protect your skin from harmful UV rays, it is essential to always use sunscreen. Sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Make sure to apply sunscreen generously all over your exposed skin before going outside. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily. Using sunscreen along with an outdoor tanning lotion can help safeguard your skin while still achieving that desirable tan.

So don’t forget this crucial step in your sun care routine!

Reapply regularly

To ensure adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays, it is important to reapply sunscreen regularly when using indoor tanning lotion outside. Even though indoor tanning lotions do not typically contain SPF, they can still help enhance your tan.

However, these lotions do not provide long-lasting sun protection like outdoor-specific products. By reapplying sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating, you can maintain the necessary level of UV protection and minimize the risk of sunburn and skin damage.

Remember to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating for optimal defense against both UVA and UVB rays while enjoying your time in the sun.

Can You Mix Indoor and Outdoor Tanning Lotions?

Yes, you can mix indoor and outdoor tanning lotions to customize your tan, but there are some things to consider.


Using the right tanning lotion for your specific tanning method is crucial. Indoor tanning lotions are not compatible with outdoor use because they do not have SPF and are not designed to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Tanning bed lotions, in particular, should never be used outdoors as they lack sunscreen altogether. To tan safely outside, it is recommended to use an outdoor tanning lotion with SPF that provides both moisturization and sun protection.

Remember to always combine it with a broad-spectrum sunscreen for optimal skin safety. Choose the right compatibility between indoor and outdoor lotions to ensure a safe and effective tanning experience without compromising on sun protection.

Benefits and drawbacks

Indoor tanning lotions may not be designed for outdoor use, but by combining them with an appropriate sunscreen, you can potentially enhance your outdoor tanning results. However, it’s key to be aware of the potential benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits Drawbacks
Indoor tanning lotions contain DHA, which can help produce a tan. Indoor tanning lotions lack SPF to protect from sun’s harmful rays.
They can give your skin a nice bronzed look. They are not water-resistant, making them less effective for outdoor use.
Can be used in combination with sunscreen for outdoor tanning. The greasy feel may not be comfortable for outdoor use.
Can provide a quick tan, depending on your skin type. There’s an increased risk of skin cancer due to UV radiation exposure.
Using indoor tanning lotion outdoors can potentially enhance tanning results. Not all indoor tanning lotions are compatible with outdoor tanning lotions.

However, always remember that tanning, whether indoors or outdoors, carries certain risks and it’s important to take necessary precautions. Use tanning lotions as directed and pair them with a broad spectrum sunscreen that has a high SPF for the most effective protection against the sun’s damaging rays.

Understanding the Health Risks of Indoor and Outdoor Tanning

Exposing your skin to UV radiation from indoor or outdoor tanning increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

UV radiation exposure

UV radiation exposure is a serious concern when it comes to tanning, whether indoors or outdoors. UV rays from the sun can penetrate the skin and cause damage that can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.

It’s important to protect your skin from these harmful rays by using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF value. Remember to apply sunscreen generously and reapply it regularly, especially if you’re spending extended periods of time in the sun.

Taking steps to minimize your UV radiation exposure is crucial for maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin.

Increased risk of skin cancer

Exposing your skin to UV radiation from both indoor and outdoor tanning increases the risk of developing skin cancer. UV rays can damage the DNA in your skin cells, leading to mutations that can cause cancerous growths.

This is why it’s crucial to protect your skin by using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding excessive sun exposure. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to reducing the risk of developing skin cancer.

So make sun protection a priority every time you step outside or use a tanning bed.


Indoor tanning lotion is not meant for use outside and lacks SPF protection, making it unsafe for outdoor tanning. To protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, it is important to choose an outdoor tanning lotion with SPF or use sunscreen in combination with indoor tanning lotion.

Remember to always prioritize sun protection when enjoying the outdoors.


1. Can indoor tanning lotion work outside?

Yes, indoor tanning lotions like Solid Black or a Tanning Accelerator can be used outside but they don’t offer protection against harmful sun rays.

2. Do I need to apply sunscreen when using indoor tanning lotion outdoors?

Absolutely! Always use a broadspectrum sunscreen with an appropriate Sun Protection Factor (SPF) to protect your skin from the sun rays when you tan outdoors.

3. Is there any substitute if I don’t have my indoor tanning lotion while going outside?

Consider using a sunless tanning lotion as it enhances your tan without the exposure to the intense summer tanning heat of the sun.

4. How do I safely get a tan outdoors?

To maintain skin health and get that desired summer glow, expert advice recommends applying SPF lotion for effective sun protection before engaging in outdoor activities or prolonged periods of sunbathing.

5. What is a good option for people who want to avoid both sunlight and artificial UV radiation?

Sunless Tanning Lotion presents an excellent alternative! It helps achieve optimal color development and offers options for those seeking ways to achieve a “tan” look without direct light exposure.

Does Indoor Tanning Lotion Work Outside
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