How Do Tanning Bed Lotions Make a Difference?

tanning bed lotion

Most tanning bed salons recommend that their clients boost the results of the tanning bed by using a tanning bed lotion. There are so many different types of tanning bed lotion available in the marketplace. The prices vary from cheap to ridiculously expensive. What do the different types of tanning bed lotions really do and are they effective?

Tingle Lotions

Of all the different types of tanning bed lotions, tingle lotions are the most interesting. The active ingredients cause the application area to increase in blood circulation, which in turn increases the production of melanin. Melanin is responsible for the darkening skin of a tan.

The best part about using a tingle tanning bed lotion is the ability to get a natural-looking tan. The color is produced by the user’s body, so there is no chance of streaking or an unnatural color. Many users say that tingle tanning bed lotions go beyond tingle into stinging or burning. The feeling is intense, especially on sensitive skin.

Tingle tanning bed lotions usually contain methyl nicotinate and benzyl nicotinate, which are responsible for the increased blood circulations. They also include moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin smooth and hydrated.

Natural Bronzers

Natural bronzers are a popular choice for a tanning bed lotion because they use plant-based ingredients instead of added chemicals. The time between tans can be extended by using a natural bronzer frequently.

Tanning bed lotions that contain natural bronzers do not leave streaks. The effects of bronzers are gradual, so the results seem more natural. Be careful, though. If natural bronzers are applied incorrectly, this type of tanning bed lotion can make the skin appear dirty.

Natural bronzer tanning bed lotions often contain caramel and riboflavin to create the bronze color. Some also include some type of ingredient that contains caffeine, like coffee extract, that helps the skin appear firmer. Natural bronzers also contain ingredients to boost skin moisture.


Some bronzers contain self-tanner ingredients that darken the skin faster than natural bronzers. These self-tanners should be used less frequently than bronzers without self-tanner ingredients. This type of tanning bed lotion does not require sunlight or a tanning bed to work.

Self-tanner tanning bed lotions can significantly darken skin in a shorter period of time than natural bronzers. The main drawback of this type of tanning bed lotion is the color. The color produced by a self-tanner can look unnatural as compared to other tanning bed lotions. Also, the color does not last as long as other lotions because it is actually in the dead skin cells that are present on skin. Once these dead cells are naturally sloughed off, so is the color.

Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the most common ingredient in self-tanner tanning bed lotions. As with all of the other tanning bed lotions, self-tanners also include a variety of moisturizing ingredients.


Tan Accelerators and tan intensifiers are a type of tanning bed lotion that helps to intensify the color developed in a tanning bed or under the sun. They work by increasing the melanin in the skin.

Accelerator or intensifier tanning bed lotions can be used to prepare the skin for tanning, to decrease the time it takes to develop the desired color, and/or to extend the length of the tan. These types of tanning bed lotions must be used with either indoor or outdoor tanning.

Just like many of the other tanning bed lotions, accelerators and intensifiers contain ingredients to increase the melanin production in the skin as well as ingredients that moisturize.


Coolant tanning bed lotions are exactly what they sound like. They quickly cool down the skin after a tanning session to allow the user to be me more comfortable. Some types of tanning bed lotions include cooling ingredients alongside their darkening ingredients.

Coolants do not enhance the color of a tan, but they do help the skin to remain soft and moisturized. Many people use coolants or tanning bed lotions that contain coolants just for the way it feels after a tan.

Though some people may see tanning bed lotions as just another way for tanning salons to make extra money, tanning bed lotions are actually quite useful. They can keep the skin hydrated, deepen the color of the tan, and increase the time the tan lasts. Tanning bed lotions make the process of indoor tanning much more efficient.