5 Types of Tanning Lotion

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Are you confused about the different types of tanning lotions and which one is best for your skin type? Tanning lotions are not a one-size-fits-all product, there’s a variety available each with unique effects and benefits.

This blog post will demystify these various types of tanning lotions by breaking down their key components and how they work to give you that dreamy golden glow. Stay tuned as we dive deep into this essential beauty world staple!

  • Accelerator lotions speed up the tanning process by stimulating melanin production in the skin.
  • Bronzer lotions provide an instant tan, with natural bronzers using ingredients like walnut extract and DHA bronzers containing a colorless chemical called Dihydroxyacetone.
  • Tingle lotions create a tingling sensation on the skin during tanning and are recommended for experienced tanners looking to intensify their tan.
  • Other types of indoor tanning lotions include shimmer lotions for a luminous glow and intensifiers/maximizers to deepen and prolong your tan.

Accelerator Lotions

Accelerator lotions are designed to speed up the tanning process by stimulating melanin production in your skin. They help you achieve a deeper, longer-lasting tan while reducing the time spent in the sun or tanning bed.

How they work

Accelerator lotions, often used in indoor tanning, kick start the melanin production process to achieve a deeper tan. These typically contain high levels of moisturizers to keep skin soft and hydrated during prolonged exposure to UV light.

Bronzers work by providing an instant tan through agents like dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that react with your skin’s chemistry and darken it artificially. As for tingle lotions, they stimulate blood flow and oxygenation of the skin cells which can help intensify your tan.

Each lotion type uses unique ingredients or properties designed specifically for different tanning needs.

Benefits and effects

Tanning lotions offer a range of benefits and effects for those looking to achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed glow. One major advantage is that they help to accelerate the tanning process, allowing you to develop a deeper and longer-lasting tan in less time.

These lotions also contain moisturizing ingredients that keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out under the tanning bed or in the sun. In addition, some tanning lotions have bronzers that provide an instant tan, which can be especially useful if you’re looking for quick results.

Plus, certain lotions are specifically designed as base tans to prepare your skin for future tanning sessions. Overall, using tanning lotion enhances your tanning experience by boosting color development and keeping your skin healthy and nourished throughout the process.

Bronzer Lotions

Bronzer lotions, including natural bronzers and DHA bronzers, are a popular choice for those looking to achieve a deeper, more immediate tan.

Natural bronzers

Natural bronzers are a popular type of tanning lotion that can give you an instant tan. These lotions use natural ingredients like walnut extract or caramel to darken your skin temporarily.

They’re great for beginners or those with fair skin who want a quick and easy way to achieve a sun-kissed glow without spending hours in the sun. Natural bronzers can be washed off easily, which means you can adjust the intensity of your tan as desired.

Plus, they often contain moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin hydrated while giving you that beautiful bronze color.

DHA bronzers

DHA bronzers are a type of self-tanning lotion that provide an instant tan. They contain a colorless chemical called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that reacts with the amino acids on the surface of your skin to produce a temporary brown pigment.

Unlike natural bronzers, DHA bronzers can be washed off and do not stain clothing or bedding. These bronzers are great for those who want immediate results without having to wait for their tan to develop.

Just apply the lotion evenly on your skin and enjoy a bronzed glow instantly!

Tingle Lotions

Tingle lotions are a unique type of indoor tanning lotion that create a tingling sensation on your skin.

What they are

Tingle lotions, also known as hot action lotions, are a type of tanning lotion that provides a unique tingling sensation on the skin during the tanning process. These lotions contain ingredients like niacin or methyl nicotinate that create increased blood circulation to the surface of the skin, resulting in a warm and tingly feeling.

This sensation can vary from person to person but is generally described as invigorating and stimulating. Tingle lotions are considered level three products and are recommended for experienced tanners who want to intensify their tan.

They work by increasing melanin production in the skin, which leads to faster and darker results. These lotions often have moisturizing properties and can help enhance your tan while keeping your skin hydrated.

Sensations and benefits

Tingle lotions are a unique type of tanning lotion that offer exciting sensations and great benefits. These lotions contain specific ingredients that create a tingling effect on your skin while you tan.

The tingling sensation is invigorating and can enhance your overall tanning experience. In addition to the tingling sensation, tingle lotions also help to increase blood circulation, which promotes an even distribution of UV rays for a more balanced tan.

By using tingle lotions, you’ll not only enjoy the thrilling sensation but also achieve a deeper and longer-lasting tan. So if you’re looking for an extra boost in your indoor tanning routine, give tingle lotions a try!

2 More Types of Indoor Tanning Lotions

Shimmer lotions give your skin a subtle, luminous glow while intensifiers and maximizers help to deepen your tan for longer-lasting results.

Shimmer lotions

Shimmer lotions are a popular option for those who want to add a touch of sparkle to their tan. These lotions contain tiny shimmering particles that create an illuminating effect on the skin, giving it a radiant glow.

The shimmer can range from subtle to more intense, depending on personal preference. Shimmer lotions are often used for special occasions or when you want to stand out and get noticed.

They enhance your tan and make your skin look even more luminous, leaving you feeling glamorous and confident.

Intensifiers and maximizers

Intensifiers and maximizers are two types of tanning lotions commonly used for indoor tanning.

Intensifiers: These lotions are designed to enhance the natural tanning process by stimulating melanin production in the skin. They contain ingredients like tyrosine, which helps to accelerate the tanning process and deepen your tan.

Maximizers: Maximizers are formulated to prolong the life of your tan and prevent it from fading too quickly. They often contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter, which help to keep your skin hydrated and healthy-looking.

Benefits: Using intensifiers and maximizers can help you achieve a deeper, longer-lasting tan while keeping your skin nourished and moisturized. These lotions also often contain antioxidants, which can help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.

Application: When using intensifiers and maximizers, it’s important to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Apply a generous amount of lotion evenly all over your body before your tanning session for best results.

Frequency: For optimal results, it’s recommended to use intensifiers and maximizers every time you tan in an indoor tanning bed. This will help maintain and enhance the color of your tan over time.


In conclusion, there is a wide variety of tanning lotions available to suit different preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for an accelerator lotion to speed up the tanning process or a bronzer lotion for an instant tan, there’s something out there for everyone.

Don’t forget to check the ingredients and choose a lotion that moisturizes your skin while enhancing your tan. Happy tanning!


1. What are the different types of tanning lotion?

The different types of tanning lotions include self-tanning, bronzing, gradual tanning, accelerator, tingle, cooling and moisturizing tanning lotions.

2. Which type of tanning lotion is best for pale skin?

Self-tanning bronzers or sunless tanning lotion would be perfect for people with pale skin seeking a darker tone without sun exposure.

3. What does a cooling tanning lotion do?

Cooling lotions provide a soothing sensation while accelerating your tan using natural ingredients.

4. Are there any special types of lotions specifically designed to protect tattoos during the process of suntan?

Yes! Tattoo-protecting tanning lotions exist precisely to shield your ink while you get your desired glow!

5. How should I use an accelerator in my routine?

Start by applying a layer of the Tanning Accelerator Lotion before stepping out into the sun to boost melanin production and promote faster and deeper color.

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

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

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