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Tanning Lotions, Creams & Oils for Indoor Tanning


Lotions, Creams & Oils specifically to be used with Indoor Tanning facilities have certainly come a long way since first created. Manufacturers of tanning products strongly believe that the best defense against sun burning is establishing and maintaining a base tan. Are you confused about the types and need a hand selecting an indoor tanning lotion, cream or oil that is absolutely perfect for you? Believe it or not, lotions, creams and oils for tanning indoors, on tanning beds or in tanning booths are very different from the everyday varieties that you can buy at the local drugstore. Below is all you need to know about these very specific lotions so when you’re ready to find a tanning salon you know exactly what you need and are one step closer to that sexy, golden brown tan. Keep in mind that your certified tanning salon professionals are there to help guide you in your journey towards having the glowing, bronzed skin of your dreams and certain lotions are better with certain skin types. Remember healthy tanning is the best and the idea is to achieve your individual tanning goals, while keeping your skin young-looking and radiant.

Pre-tanning lotions and creams are applied to the body before exposure to UV light. These are actually tanning activators or amplifiers and have no sunscreen or sun block in them. They moisturize and prep the skin for tanning while enhancing the effects of the UV rays. Post-tanning lotions are moisture-rich, keeping the skin soft and supple, helping retain moisture and extending the life of your suntan.


Many indoor tanning formulas contain bronzers, usually dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is the most safe and effective tanning additive today. Some lotions contain more bronzer than others. These chemical additions are added to help you boost your color right away and give you that sun kissed look instantly. It is important to smooth these lotions on very evenly and wash your hands thoroughly after applying. A great idea for your sun tanning regimen is to alternate using a lotion that has bronzers in it and one that doesn’t. Other ingredients, such as Menthol, are added to some lotions to give an interesting “cool” sensation after they’ve been applied.


Tinglers are also added to increase the effects of the lotion and enhance the tanning experience. When using a tanning lotion that has a tingle in it, the user will encounter a mild to moderate (and sometimes stronger) tingling sensation. The active ingredients create a flushing of the skin, increasing the blood flow. The science has never been “proven”, but it is said to increase the effect of the UV rays, giving you that deep dark tan, faster. Because people respond differently to the tinglers, there is not one standardized measure of the levels of tingle, though some lotion manufactures have attempted to list them. The higher the number; the stronger tingle sensation you will feel. If you’ve never used a tingle lotion before, start with a low level! Also remember that most tinglers should not be applied to your face. In light of the fact that some tanners just won’t enjoy this method, lotion manufacturers have created plenty of tanning creams that have no tingle whatsoever.


Indoor tanning lotions are created to use ingredients that won’t cause injury on acrylic surfaces. All tanning beds use ac
rylic in the protective shields that you lie on. Acrylic is used because of its transparency to UV rays and reasonable cost. This is the number one reason why people should not use outdoor tanning lotions in a sun bed, as the mineral oils will eventually cause damage to the surface of the acrylic. Some of the active ingredients found in indoor lotions are melanin and L-Tyrosine. These formulas include botanical and essential oils, vitamins and moisturizers to nourish and hydrate the skin and prepare it for the tanning process. It is again very important to mention that lotions, creams and oils that are meant for indoor tanning, contain no sun block or sunscreen.


Another fundamental step to follow in a tanning regimen is moisturizing. Moisturizers serve basically one primary purpose—to replenish and hydrate the skin that can get dried out during the sun tanning process. Keeping the skin supple, moist and properly moisturized is extremely important in the battle against dry skin. Normal, everyday environmental factors such as sun, water, heat and wind can all contribute to dehydrated, rough skin. Oil-and-water-based moisturizing lotions on the market help to coat the skin with a slight film, binding essential moisture to the skin. Also added to moisturizers are vitamins and the most frequently used vitamins in creams and lotions are A, C, D and E. Vitamin A helps keep skin soft, moisturized and radiant looking and Vitamin D is thought to have certain skin healing and UV-blocking properties. Rich antioxidants are also added to help slow down signs of aging. Hempseed Oil is a very commonly added moisturizer, but rest assured…the oil is THC-free, so the hemp is perfectly legal in the U.S. and has no drug reactions. Since hempseed oil is so high in fatty acids, it aids to seal in crucial moisture and increases the life of your tan.


As mentioned before, indoor tanning oils contain no sunscreen and offer no protection from the sun. Most salon owners will only allow you to use true tanning oils in the booths, not the sun beds. Cream Oils are absolutely luxurious and quite common these days. One of the very best is Bleeding Love™ by Devoted Creations™. This is a blush with light bronzing coconut oil and ultra-nurturing macadamia nut oil. It smells absolutely incredible! Ooh La La! This is a fabulous product to use in a tanning booth and would keep you nice and dark, once you achieved a strong base tan.

Outdoor Lotions & Creams

Most outdoor tanning lotions and creams contain some level of sun protection, often referred to as sun block or sunscreen. Sunscreen can be a gel, lotion, towellette or spray that absorbs and reflects some of the sun's UV rays and as a result, helps protect against sunburn. Some active ingredients are titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and oxybenzone. Since UV exposure has been regulated by the FDA, one of the most helpful items that have been created for safe sun enjoyment is the SPF guide. Different skin types, based on their reaction to the sun’s rays, have been acknowledged and a numerical sun protection factor (SPF) has been suggested for each skin type. SPF is the calculation of the amount of burning UV rays that are filtered out by the sun block ingredient(s) contained in the outdoor suntan cream or lotion. Minimal Protection is SPF 2 to 4, Moderate Protection is SPF 4 to 6, Extra Protection is SPF 6 to 8, Maximum Protection is SPF 8 to 15 and Ultra Protection ranges from SPF 16 and up. Sunscreen formulas higher than SPF 16 contain blends of more than one sun block because no single chemical is able to absorb all UVB radiation.

One of the leading indoor tanning lotion manufacturers today is Devoted Creations™ out of Tampa, Florida. All of their luxurious tanning products are of the highest quality and the company is actually known for having high-class lotions with amazing fragrance. Scent names like Thai Coconut, Tahitian Tiara, Sea Island Cotton and Sensual Mediterranean are enough to send your imagination into sensory bliss, without even having smelled them. The company uses Ordenone, a deodorizing compound used to help get rid of that unwanted after-tan smell. All of their products are specially designed and formulated to help provide you with that sexy dark tan while maintaining your skin’s health and beauty. Check out their new 2010 products, available now in tanning salons.

What are your favorite tanning salon products? What can you not live without? We want to know! Tell us at: Suntan Email

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