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Can You Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside?

If you’re looking to get a beautiful, sun-kissed glow all year round, you might be considering indoor tanning. Using special lotions designed for indoor tanning can help achieve an even and long-lasting tan with minimal risk of damage from the sun’s UV rays – but can you use indoor tanning lotion outside?

In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using indoor tanning lotions outdoors. We will discuss the risks, benefits and best practices associated with outdoor tanning with an indoor lotion. Finally, we will provide some tips on choosing the best outdoor tanning product that meets your needs while protecting your skin from potential harm.

woman with long brown hair, wearing a wicker hait, sat next to a swimming pool, applying sunscreen to her arms

What Is An Indoor Tanning Lotion?

Indoor tanning lotion is specifically formulated to give a deeper, darker and longer-lasting tan when used with a tanning bed. It contains agents that work to lock in moisture and protect the skin from the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by tanning beds.

Indoor tanning bed lotions are usually emollient-based, whereas outdoor offerings tend to be more water or oil-based.

Most indoor formulas are made with bronzers designed to offer immediate results while simultaneously providing protection against UVB damage.

Specialized indoor tanners often contain ingredients such as aloe vera, antioxidants and tyrosine, which might also help accelerate natural melanin production for even faster results.

How Does An Indoor Tanning Lotion Work?

An indoor tanning lotion works by using moisture-rich ingredients to prepare the skin for exposure to ultraviolet radiation from a tanning bed. The formulations often contain special UV protection agents, which help shield and protect against potential damage from the sun’s rays.

Many products also include bronzers that offer immediate results without any exposure to UV light. Some brands feature tyrosine and other melanin stimulating ingredients designed to increase natural coloration and accelerate the tanning process.

A good indoor tanning lotion should be non-irritating and leave your skin feeling smooth and moisturized while helping you achieve beautiful results in a short time frame.

When used correctly and safely with adequate sunscreen protection, an indoor lotion can give you a deep, long-lasting tanned skin, with minimal risk of damage or skin irritation.

Blonde haired woman applying sunscreen to her shoulders while sitting next to a swimming pool

Is There Sun Protection In Indoor Tanning Lotions?

No, there is not necessarily any sun protection in indoor tanning lotions. These broad-spectrum sunscreen products are specifically formulated for use with tanning beds and sunbeds, at the tanning salon, to achieve a deeper, darker and longer-lasting tan without the need for direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Whereas regular tanning lotion is for use outside.

As such, these types of lotions do not necessarily contain any sunscreen or provide any protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation when used outdoors.

Remember that even though you may be using an indoor product, it is still necessary to wear sunscreen when outside, as unprotected skin can become damaged or suffer other negative effects due to overexposure. So ensure you use a layer of sunscreen, when you have exposure to UV rays.

Take precautions such as limiting your time outdoors during peak hours (11AM-3PM), avoiding excessive application frequency and moisturizing afterward with an aftercare product designed for this purpose.

What Is The Difference Between Indoor Tanning Lotion And Tanning Oil?

The primary difference between indoor tanning lotion and tanning oil is in their respective formulations. Indoor tanning lotions are usually emollient or oil-based, while outdoor oils tend to be water or mineral-based.

Typically, indoor lotions contain ingredients like moisturizers, antioxidants, vitamins and bronzers formulated to maximize the results of your tanning session as well as provide protection from UV radiation.

Outdoor options usually include sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection levels, as well as an SPF rating ranging from 15-50+. Tanning oils often do not contain any such ingredients; however, they may include bronzers for faster color development during outdoor sessions.

What Is The Difference Between Indoor Tanning Lotion And Tanning Accelerator?

Tanning accelerators are formulated specifically to increase the speed of tanning, leaving skin with a darker hue. They contain ingredients like tyrosine –– an amino acid that helps stimulate melanin production –– as well as copper peptides, which can help regenerate and protect skin cells.

Tanning accelerators should not be used with indoor tanning lotions, since both products already contain some degree of accelerating agents.

Make sure to note, that overusing an accelerator could result in skin damage, so always follow the directions carefully and don’t exceed recommended application frequencies.

Woman applying sunscreen and tanning lotion to her legs

What Benefits Does Indoor Tanning Lotion Offer?

Indoor tanning lotions are specifically formulated to maximize the tanning experience while minimizing any potential damage caused by UV exposure.

One benefit of indoor tanning lotion is that they contain moisturizing agents, which help keep your skin hydrated and protect it from drying out and becoming damaged due to sun exposure.

Some formulations are enriched with vitamins and minerals to help nourish the skin and provide extra protection against the sun’s rays.

Many indoor tanning preparations also contain bronzers that can enhance the color of a tan while reducing the amount of time exposed to UV radiation, thus minimizing any potential risks resulting from over-exposure.

Using an indoor product may make it easier for a user to achieve desired results when self-tanning, as indoors conditions allow more precise control over the application process.

Can You Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside?

Based on the risks outlined above, you can use indoor tanning lotion outside with caution. To stay safe and keep your skin healthy, always wear sunscreen when using an indoor tanning lotion outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30.

Make sure to apply liberally to ensure maximum coverage at all times, even over areas that are not usually exposed during outdoor activities.

If possible, try to limit the amount of time you are in direct sunlight as much as possible when using indoor tanning products outdoors. Take necessary breaks from the sun during peak hours (11AM-3PM) while outdoors.

What Should You Look for in an Outdoor Tanning Lotion?

When choosing an outdoor tanning lotion, it’s vital to look for one that offers not only protection from the sun’s UV rays, but also skincare benefits. The product should contain both UVA and UVB protection, as well as an SPF of at least 30.

Look for a tanning lotion that contains natural ingredients like aloe vera or green tea extract to help protect and moisturize your skin.

Bronzers can be beneficial when used outdoors as they can provide more even coverage than without them; however, avoid formulas with excessive levels of DHA (dihydroxyacetone) as this may cause the skin to become excessively dry or irritated.

Other considerations include type of scent (if any), price point and availability – especially if you intend to travel with your tanning lotion outdoors.

Woman with brown hair sitting on the sand pplying sunscreen to her arms

What Is The Best Tannning Bed Lotion?

The best tanning bed lotion is one that includes ingredients like hydrating oils, antioxidants, vitamins and botanical extracts. This will help nourish your skin while you tan and promote a deep, even golden glow.

It’s also important to look for formulas with UVA/UVB protection so you don’t harm your skin from the sun’s rays.

Specific recommendations include: Tanwise Dark Tanning Lotion, which contains aloe vera extract and vitamin E to keep skin hydrated; Swedish Beauty Mocha Finder Bronzing Complex, which has natural bronzing agents and features a citrus-coconut scent; and AURA Intensifier Ultimate Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products.

This product features 13 formulations of natural accelerator as well as advanced silicone emulsion technology for smoother application.

All three of these products have been formulated with special ingredients designed specifically to enhance tanning results without risking damage or discomfort from the UV rays in tanning beds.

Depending on your individual goals and preferences, any of these would be a great choice.


Best tanning lotions for tanning beds can be used outdoors with caution. While the products provide protection from UV radiation indoors, they may not offer sufficient coverage when exposed to direct sunlight.

When using an indoor product outdoors, ensure you take necessary precautions, such as wearing sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30.

Make sure to follow directions closely while limiting your time in direct sunlight during peak hours. Finally, moisturize after each session with a suitable aftercare product.