Would you like to get tan without a sunburn? Try the best sunscreen for tanning to darken your skin with less risk to your health.
For this article, we hand-picked sunscreens with a low SPF, or sun protection factor. They are made especially for tanning, unlike high SPF. But before we get to the reviews, let’s talk a little bit about protecting yourself from ultraviolet radiation.
The first fact you should know is how much sunscreen you’re going to go through. Imagine a golf ball or a shot glass. Fill up that volume with sunscreen, then apply that to your entire body. Then plan on reapplying the sunscreen every one or two hours or right after swimming or sweating. Now you see why buying more than one bottle at a time is a smart idea.
Next, the SPF will tell you how long you can wear the best sunscreens without a sunburn. If you can usually stay outdoors for 10 minutes in bright sunlight without burning, then SPF 15 multiplies that to equal 150 minutes of protection.
Now we hope that our reviews of the top sunscreens for tanning will help you to get exactly what you need.
- Best Sunscreens for Tanning (2020 Reviews)
- 1. Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Summer Self-Tanning Lotion, SPF 30
- 2. Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Sun Protection Sunscreen Body Spray
- 3. Ocean Potion Suncare Dark Tanning Lotion SPF 4
- 4. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion SPF 50
- 5. Banana Boat UltraMist Deep Tanning Oil Continuous Clear Spray SPF 4 Sunscreen
- 6. Panama Jack Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
- 7. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer, SPF 8
- 8. NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 45
- 9. Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 8
- 10. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 12
- 11. Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Dry Oil Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 12
- 12. Lancaster Sun Beauty Melting Tanning Milk SPF 15
- 13. Coppertone Tanning Lotion SPF 15
- 14. Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil, SPF 15
- 15. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 15, 8
- 16. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen
- 17. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Dark Tanning Lotion with Antioxidants, TSA Approved Size, SPF 4
- How to tan better and burn less
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Best Sunscreens for Tanning (2020 Reviews)
1. Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Summer Self-Tanning Lotion, SPF 30
Hempz Yuzu is hard to find stateside which is why being able to get it online is a bonus. This type of lotion comes with an SPF 30 rating which makes it ideal for tanning. It also contains a self-tanner so that you look ready for the beach instantly. And the inclusion of botanical extracts like natural hemp seed oil and starfruit makes your skin feel very soft. Plus, you won’t need to worry about parabens in this sunscreen.
2. Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Sun Protection Sunscreen Body Spray
This is a type of fast-absorbing, oil-free and lightweight sunscreen spray with SPF 50 by Neutrogena. The tropical fragrance combines well with the silky emollients that make your skin so smooth. But take note if you have skin issues. This formula is free from mineral oil, petrolatum, fragrance, and parabens.
3. Ocean Potion Suncare Dark Tanning Lotion SPF 4
Ocean Potion is made for skin that tans easily. The minimal protection you’ll receive with this SPF 4 sunscreen keeps sunburn at bay. At the same time, the non-greasy lotion fortifies your skin with vitamins A, E, and aloe.
4. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion SPF 50
Australian Gold is actually made in America, not down under. But this type of sunscreen is extremely popular as it does not contain parabens, alcohols, artificial dyes, oils, or PABA. The broad-spectrum protection lasts up to 80 minutes in water while the sunscreen can help conditions your skin.
5. Banana Boat UltraMist Deep Tanning Oil Continuous Clear Spray SPF 4 Sunscreen
If you’re not a fan of thick, greasy sunscreens, try spritzing on some Banana Boat tanning oil. It’s reef-safe so you can still wear it in the ocean without feeling guilty that you’re killing the corals. The lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen lasts up to 80 minutes in water. It also moisturizes your skin while you tan with argan oil.
6. Panama Jack Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
Panama Jack makes some of the best sunscreens with SPF 30, 4, 8, 15, and 50 ratings. They feature a hypoallergenic formula comes with vitamin E and CoQ10 antioxidant to ward off signs of aging. And they last up to 80 minutes in water.
7. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer, SPF 8
The Australian Gold spray gel sunscreen feels super light on the skin and smells like caramel. Moreover, it’s water-resistant up to 80 minutes. This isn’t a sunscreen that you’re going to hate having to reapply. It hydrates and protects your skin with exotic natural oils and aloe vera but without any artificial dyes, alcohols, or parabens.
8. NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 45
NO-AD has retained its popularity without resorting to expensive publicity. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so cheap. The quick-absorbing lotion contains aloe and Vitamin E and keeps the skin smooth, soft, and protected. And the paraben-free formula smells good.
9. Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 8
Coppertone’s classic scent is part of their sunscreen lotion. The non-greasy formula is great for every part of your body except your face. It stands up to sweating and swimming for 80 minutes. Plus, it contains vitamin E to help protect your cells against damage from the sun rays.
10. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 12
Hawaiian Tropic’s silky lotion is not reef-safe, but it’s perfect for the poolside. It lasts for up to 80 minutes in water and smells deliciously tropical. It makes skin super soft with silk amino acids, papaya, and shea butter. Unfortunately, it’s not paraben-free.
11. Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Dry Oil Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 12
Spray on your sunscreen when you use the dry oil from Hawaiian Tropic. The SPF 12 rating lets you stay out in the sun longer. And it’s packed full of antioxidants, moisturizers, and botanical ingredients that nourish the skin.
12. Lancaster Sun Beauty Melting Tanning Milk SPF 15
Lancaster Beauty offers a unique feature in their tanning milk. Its broad spectrum protection shields you from infrared rays. In other words, it keeps your skin from cooking and keeps it velvety soft while you tan. It also contains a Tan Activator Complex that speeds up your tan.
13. Coppertone Tanning Lotion SPF 15
Coppertone wants you to enjoy your time outdoors with their SPF 15 tanning lotion. This classic formula is water-resistant up to 80 minutes. It doesn’t feel greasy. Also, it keeps your skin healthy with aloe and vitamin E.
14. Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil, SPF 15
Sun Bum is full of moisturizers like Kukui nut, argan, coconut, avocado, and marula oils. Additionally, it has ingredients like Kona coffee plant extract and green tea butter. So not only does it protect you from the damage that ultraviolet radiation can still inflict, but it can also reverse wrinkling and resolve dryness while you tan. Furthermore, Sun Bum had its ingredients tested by dermatologists to be safe for most types of skin. It lacks parabens, gluten, phthalates, and oxybenzone.
15. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 15, 8
Disguise your winter pale skin with this bronzing spray gel from Australian Gold. It will make you look like you’ve already been on vacation when you hit the beach for the first time. It protects you from both UVA and UVB rays while it revitalizes your skin with vitamin C and natural ingredients. Some of the highlights of the formula include Kona coffee extract, Kakadu plum, and tea tree oil.
16. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen
Hawaiian Tropic is a sunscreen lotion that absorbs into the skin easily. This sunscreen lotion contains SPF 4. The exclusive moisturizing ingredients consists of exotic botanicals, extracts, and aloe vera. It is enhanced with vitamins to keep the skin moisturized, radiant and supple. This broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. The cocoa butter present in the sunscreen protects the skin against the sun’s dangerous UV rays. It is also known to reduce blemishes, wrinkles, and other marks on the skin. The enticing coconut aroma keeps your skin moisturized, smelling great, and glowing.
17. Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Dark Tanning Lotion with Antioxidants, TSA Approved Size, SPF 4
Hawaiian Tropic is aware that bringing your own sunscreen on vacation is usually cheaper than buying it there. That’s why they have a travel size bottle. The delicious-smelling lotion is enriched with antioxidants and aloe to protect your skin.
How to tan better and burn less
Let’s go over some quick tips on how to develop rich color without redness.
The first thing to remember is that you won’t see the effects of ultraviolet radiation until much later. Abuse your skin now, and you’ll pay for it in 10 to 20 years. If you don’t believe us, speak to a dermatologist, or ask your grandmother about those brown blotches on her face. Chances are she didn’t bother with sunscreen when she was younger.
You only need about a teaspoon of sunscreen on your face. If you’re not outdoors a lot, SPF 15 or 20 is probably enough to last you all day. Many facial moisturizers and foundations offer at least this much broad spectrum protection and you won’t need to apply as much. But at any rate, be sure to put on sunblock at least 15 minutes before you go outside.
Should you sweat or go swimming, reapply your sunscreen. This is especially true between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when the suns rays are the strongest. Pull out those sunglasses and wear them, too. That’s because UV radiation can still damage your eyes. Just ask anyone who’s had cataract surgery.
If you go on vacation to someplace closer to the equator than where you live, choose a stronger sunscreen. What kept you from burning in the high latitudes might not be enough where the sun is more intense. The same is true if you go up into the mountains. Even skiers wear sunscreen because snow and water reflect the rays.
Don’t forget that your scalp can get a sunburn. Wear a hat, or spend some time in the shade. There are easier ways to get highlights in your hair.
If you’re pale, to begin with, don’t try tanning with SPF 4. Start with SPF 15 to build up a base tan. Once you’ve got a little color, you can drop the sun protection factor to a lower number.
Even if you’re impatient, give yourself a couple of days in between tanning sessions. This allows your skin to tan naturally and prevents you from stressing it or drying it out. Also, using a good moisturizer will extend your tan so that it lasts longer.
Finally, let’s talk about allergies. Some people are allergic to the sun. Others take medication that makes them more likely to burn in sunlight. This includes some acne medications, some antihistamines and antidepressants, and even some essential oils. If you’re taking something that can cause you to burn more easily or break out in a rash if you tan, try a sunless bronzer instead. You’ll tan without running the risk of damaging your skin.
We hope our reviews of the best sunscreens for tanning guided you to the products you need. Tanning is a cheap way to not only develop a tan, but also some vitamin D. Just protect yourself from burning and aging your skin with a broad-spectrum sunblock.
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