Top 10 Tanning Bed Lotions

The top indoor tanning lotions listed below were chosen based on the reviews, ratings and comments left by visitors as well as tanning salon popularity (sales). Not only do we consider the reviews found on this website, we also have scoured the internet for user reviews found on other reputable sites and took those into consideration as well. We regularly update this list to ensure we are recommending only the best of the best. The price ranges will vary based on brand and bottle size, and you’ll find different types of lotions including regular dark formulas and those with added bronzers or tingle ingredients.

» Luminary Designer Skin Luminary
Extremely popular bronzer, Best-seller since 2010
Retail price: $120.00
» Snooki Collection Snooki Collection
New 2012 lotions by Supre, feedback so far has been great
Retail price: $60.00
» Black 20X Designer Skin Black 20X
Was best-seller until Luminary came along, fantastic bronzer
Retail price: $101.00
» Pink Diamond Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond
Excellent tingle lotion that has been around for a while
Retail price: $30.00
» Obsidian Designer Skin Obsidian
A great “warming” bronzer from Designer Skin
Retail price: $126.00
» Sinfully Black Australian Gold Sinfully Black
Good bronzer with hemp seed oil for excellent moisturizing, very inexpensive
Retail price: $22.00
» Phoenician Designer Skin Phoenician
Contains accelerators for a deep dark tan without bronzers, great beginner lotion
Retail price: $92.00
» Hempz Bronzer Supre Hempz 20X Bronzer
Great bronzer lotion from Supre with hemp seed oil
Retail price: $55.00
» JWoww Bronzer Australian Gold JWoww Bronzer
Nice bronzer with hemp seed extract, very popular
Retail price: $50.00
» Solid Black Millennium Solid Black 100x Bronzer
A top selling bronzer with decent reviews
Retail price: $99.00

All ten products listed above are excellent choices. We like to stick to a handful of premium brand names, so that’s why you may see a brand repeated more than once in our list. All reviews you find on this site are completely neutral and unbiased – we do not receive compensation to rate one brand higher than another.

And finally, after a tanning session it’s important to keep your skin moisturized, and for this there is no better lotion than Hempz Herbal Moisturizer. It goes on smooth, spreads evenly, and has an amazing fragrance. Also, it does not leave any oily residue and in fact leaves your skin feeling super hydrated and healthy. Give it a try you won’t be sorry!

47 comments... leave yours here.
  1. Texas Girl says:

    Jess~can you tell me, of the top rated products, which ones do NOT have DHA or cosmetic bronzers, but DO have caffeine in them? I just want a real tan, and don’t want the DHA or colored lotion as an “enhancement.” And I like caffeine because there are studies that indicate it may very well help in fighting skin cancer when applied during and after tanning. Thanks for your help!

  2. Jess says:

    Hey, I did some digging and came up with two lotions by California Tan that DO NOT have bronzers but DO have a caffeine ingredient. Their step 1 base tan builder is Dirty Secret and their step 2 dark tan booster is Guilty Pleasure. They are both bronzer-free and contain an ingredient called Kola Caffeine.

  3. Lexi says:

    I’m running out of my current lotion & really want to try something new that will give me a dark, natural-looking tan. I’ve read all of the reviews on the Top 10 lotions listed here & can’t decide! Any suggestions?

  4. jenni says:

    i wanted to know what lotion can i use for a faster and darker result and im really pale thank you

  5. Jess says:

    Lexi & Jenni – If you’re really not sure which lotion to try, give Luminary a shot. It has consistently been a best-seller and top-rated product for quite some time. I’ve also heard very few complaints about it so there’s a great chance you’ll love it too. You really can’t go wrong with any of the lotions listed above – they’re all really good!

  6. faye says:

    i want a lotion with no bronzer do u have any suggestions i like tingle lotions also if they aren`t to hot

  7. Jess says:

    Hey Faye – My favorite lotion that doesn’t contain bronzers is Phoenician. It’s also DHA-free. As far as tingle lotions, I really like Pink Diamond, but some people find it a little intense, so it may not be for you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ok im trying to get dark or at least some color could you tell me what kind of lotion to use or sunless lotion im going to the beach really soon and im very white but its hard for me to get dark

  9. Mindy says:

    I am a red head w freckles.. I want a lotion that will get me as dark as possible without turning me orange … Suggestions please ??

  10. Jess says:

    @Mindy & @Anonymous – It sounds like both of you would want to start off with a lotion like Phoenician, which doesn’t contain any added bronzers. This makes it a great option for getting a base tan and since there are no bronzer ingredients there’s no chance of you turning orange. Many users also report that it has a very pleasant fragrance, which eliminates any ATO (after tan odor). Once you build up a little base tan you can move up to a bronzer lotion like Luminary or Smoke Black for deeper color.

    All three of the lotions I just mentioned are in our top 10 list and have a bunch of user reviews that you can check out as well. Thanks for asking!

  11. Jaime says:

    I don’t tan well at all, and of course I have fair skin. I am going to Florida in a couple of months and I don’t want to fry. I have purchased a couple of instant tan bed visits and would like a lotion to go along with those visits to make the most of them. My goal is to try to get a base tan from them and maybe continue with a regular bed from there….Please help me, I’m really don’t want to spend my vacation as a lobster 🙂

  12. *~Brittany~* says:

    Which tanning lotion is better? Spellbound or Sexy Sexy Tan ? Ive tried the Dark Sexy Legs and i absolutely loved it but didnt like the smell. So i was curious if you thought the Sexy Sexy tan was a good way to go? It smells alot better than the other. What would suggest?

  13. Jess says:

    @Jaime: There are a few good lotions I can recommend that are great for building a base tan. Phoenician is a great product with no added bronzers (see link at #5 in top 10 list) but many people also like Get Dark and Ionyx by California Tan – which are both specifically base-tan building lotions.

  14. Jess says:

    @Brittany: I haven’t had a chance to try Sexy Sexy Tan yet, but I did try Spellbound once and loved it and I’ve heard many good things about it from other people. Smell is a big factor for me so if a lotion doesn’t have a neutral or good odor I usually avoid it.

  15. brittany says:

    does luminary leave you really glittery I heard of does and I don’t wanna have glitter every where when I’m done

  16. Karissa says:

    Okay I am completely torn. I want a tanning lotion that has tingle, but I want THE BEST that also gets me the darkest. What is the best lotion for me?

  17. RENEE says:


  18. Emily says:

    Designer Skin’s Obsidian and Black will both get you very dark. If you’re looking more for a natural “glow” (rather than trying to get as dark as you possibly can), I recommend a lotion like Designer Skin Epiphany. I love it – I have a great natural glow, no fake-and-bake red, yellow or orange and no dark brown “charred” look!

  19. Kiriako says:

    Im pretty dark already but i want a cream that will give me a more darker look instead of turning me orange.
    Im not orange and never what to become it haha

  20. Jess says:

    @Kiriako: If you’re really worried about becoming orange stick with only high-end bronzer lotions – in my experience it was only the cheapy lotions that ever caused any problems (P.S. we don’t review cheapy lotions! =). If you’re super worried I would stay away from bronzers altogether and use a lotion like Phoenician by Designer Skin that is bronzer-free.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I used to tan 2-3years ago, and i m about to re strat tanning for this summer.. Can you recommend any tanning lotion for beginner? I don’t want toooooo dark, just want a natural glow… And I want 2011 tanning lotion

  22. Hero Worship says:


    I’m a male, I don’t tan much. But have tanned for the past week though. Currently I have the lotion “Hero Worship, Dynamic Dual use Formula.” Do you recommend this lotion? If so, why? What other lotion would you recommend that won’t make my turn into a hot cheeto (orange/red)? Btw, what do you think of spray tans?

  23. Jess says:

    Hey, I don’t have first-hand experience with Hero Worship, so hopefully someone else who does can chime in, but I can tell you that most men are satisfied with Black 20X (an all-time best seller). They even say it has somewhat of a neutral-to-masculine scent. Luminary on the other hand is more perfumy and geared toward women.

    Most of the time it is the cheap bronzers that will turn you orange but we don’t write about any cheap lotions on this site. Also, you may consider showering sooner after your tanning session if you find yourself getting an orangey tone. Some other tips to reduce redness are to make sure you don’t go tanning too often, and to keep your sessions short.

    As for your last question you can read all about what I think of spray tans here.

    Thanks for commenting!

  24. Angela says:

    I love all lotions by designer skin & devoted creations!! Won’t use anything else!!

  25. Luly says:

    I’ma female 1st timer…. I have fair skin, which of all the lotions do you recommend the Best to start with…

  26. maria hanson says:

    i use hero worship great tanning lotion very dark in the first week ( :

  27. Jess says:

    Hey @Luly – A good choice for you could be Designer Skin Phoenician, which is a very popular lotion that does not contain any added bronzers. Beginning tanners and those with fair skin may find it easier to build a base tan with a lotion like Phoenician before stepping up to a bronzer lotion like Luminary to get extra dark.

  28. maria says:

    I have been tanning a couple times and tan fairly easy never burning. i’m looking for a lotion to get really dark ( not orange) something to maximize my tan and maybe used outdoors occasionally. what are your best recommendations?

  29. Jess says:

    Hey Maria – If you want to get really dark and you want absolutely no chance of getting an orange tone I would stick with the high-end bronzers, notably Luminary. I’ve never heard of anybody who turned orange from Luminary and we have a whole bunch of reviews from other users that you can read to verify that.

    Using indoor lotions outside is a little risky because they don’t contain any SPF and in fact contain tan accelerators that can speed up skin damage from the sun if you’re not careful. I would recommend a separate outdoor bronzer spray with a little sun protection, Australian Gold makes some good ones, but some tanners have expressed that they have tried their indoor lotion outside and got good results.

    If you’re going to experiment with this just be careful and limit your sun exposure to short intervals until you learn how quickly you start to burn.

    Let us know how you make out!

  30. Danielle says:

    obsidian is amazing I got darker by the hour 🙂

  31. Kristin says:

    Has anyone tried Mirror Mirror by devoted creations? It seems like a good lotion and im looking for something that firms the skin but I’m also wanting to get DARK. I haven’t found many reviews on it..

  32. K says:

    JWOWW lotion smells pretty good, kinda strong. Skin feels moisturized after using.

  33. Samantha says:

    I’m surprised to see JWOWW Black Bronzer on this list! I work in a salon, and I’ve heard awful reviews about it, but people really love the now-discontinued Ultra Toning Black Bronzer by JWOWW in the gold bottle.

    For anyone who wants to try a tingle, Pink Diamond is a GREAT lotion and still one of my very favorites. With only a T20 level, it’s very mild tingle and keeps your skin feeling smooth.

    My favorite newer lotion is Designer Skin Queen. It contains Royal Jelly, which is a substance that honey bees create to feed their queen. Royal Jelly is packed with vitamins and great for your skin. Anything by DS also leaves very little ATO and will leave your skin feeling great. No need to worry about streakiness, either. Queen smells like honey and flowers, and makes your skin velvety soft like Luminary and Obsidian. BEWARE if you are allergic to bees though.

  34. anonymous says:

    ok im really stuck. im an avid tanner im kinda of stuck when it comes to lotions. i cant seem to find the best one. ive used designer skins black20x and it seems to get me nowhere now. ive used pink diamond and i really dont seem to get the results everyones always going on about. ive been curious about obsidian and luminary but havent tried them yet. would these do something for me that the others havent? ive also used torch by supre which wasnt horrible. any ideas?? thanks!!

  35. Steve says:

    Hey @anonymous – Black 20X and Pink Diamond are fantastic lotions, so if you are not getting good results anymore with those maybe you should consider the type of tanning beds you’re going in and how long your sessions are. The quality of the bed has a lot to do with the quality of your tan – do you know what kind of beds you are tanning in? are they top-of-the-line models or the ones for beginners? Each bed model has different types of bulbs at varying intensities.

    Luminary and Obsidian are definitely amazing lotions, but I’m thinking there’s another piece of the puzzle that is missing here about why you’re not getting a good tan.

    Let us know about the type of beds you’re using and we’ll take it from there. Thanks for posting!

  36. yesi says:

    I’ve been using JWOWW and I love everything about it. The smell is very good and the color is amazing..people just need to know how to use it. I love the color it gave me. I wouldn’t change it. I also recommend unforgivable by Swedish beauty. I think that is the name. Another one is oc still summer. Is old but it gets to work fast.

  37. Erica says:

    I bought a bottle of Obsidian and I’ve used it about ten times now. I do not seem to tan with it but i have not alternated lotions except for today. So when I used a different lotion today, I tanned the best yet! I used masquerade by Designer Skin and it says it’s a rapid release lotion so maybe that is why my tan is the best. I’ve been pretty disappointed so far with Obsidian because Black was amazing so I figured I would of liked this the same or even better. I’m hoping that if I alternate my lotions, then maybe I’ll tan better with Obsidian. I wonder if anyone else is having this problem because so far, everyone seems to love it.

  38. kristan says:

    I just bought a bottle of Obsidian and am very excited about it.
    I’m pretty new to indoor tanning and this is my first indoor lotion i’ve purchased. i live by the beach and tan very easily so i’m not worried that it’ll be too much for me. do i need to buy another lotion and alternate between them? and if so what other type of lotion should i be looking for? suggestions and opinions are appreciated

  39. Jess says:

    Hey Kristan,

    Some tanners do say they achieve better results by having a rotation of lotions instead of just using one kind, but I don’t think you have to in order to get good color.

    I myself never rotated too much, but if you were to try adding other lotions in the two you mentioned in your other post are great (Luminary and Phoenician).

    One thing I do highly recommend is a good moisturizer to apply after tanning and to use in between sessions. My absolute favorite is Hempz Herbal Moisturizer by Supre, it is simply amazing. Smells awesome, goes on smooth, and doesn’t leave you feeling oily at all. Check out our article about it here for more info:

    Thanks for commenting and let us know how you like Obsidian!

  40. Kathi says:

    I have used the california tan Rage lotion for years and you can not get it anymore I would like to get a lotion that is pretty close to it. I also like the australian gold but that used to make my skin break out in a sun rash. What would you suggest I use. I tan outdoors most of the time. I have also used Helix but the last time I got it it was just like water and did not work at all. Thanks

  41. Marsha says:

    My favorites are Trinity 3 and Insanely Black, I have been using them for 2 years now, and havent found anything close to the color i get from them both !!! leaves my skin smooth with a burst of color after 1 session!!!! Amazing, the aftersmell is kinda nasty but leave it on for a few hours afterwards and your color dramatically darkens, I mix them both together and its Awesome!!!

  42. Gina says:

    I love all of Designer skin tanning lotion. I can always trust in what they are bringing to my salon. I love the Black 25x bronzer it is one of my favs! I luv luv coco devil its the best awesome immediate bronzers!!!!!!! Strongly recommend it!

  43. Kayleigh says:

    I have a base tan. I started with Sweet & Sexy & then moved onto Epicurious Dark Chocolate. I am looking for something relatively cheap and gets me darker faster. I do not want something packed full of bronzers (I don’t want to be orange). I am also searching for a cheap after tan moisturizer. I have not been using any & I know that I should be..

  44. Kim Marie says:

    I was wondering about Tan Inc.’s Brown Sugar American Princess…what are the reviews like? Does it work good? I’d be interested in trying it but I don’t want to waste money on it if no one likes it you know. Thanks

  45. Jennifer says:

    I’m looking for a new lotion, I love Bombshell! What is your thought should I try something new or stick with what I like? I like bronzer and tingle. Thanks, Jennifer

  46. Jess says:

    Hey Jennifer ~ Have you tried Pink Diamond yet? it’s a great combo bronzer/tingle that many people love, and it’s inexpensive too.

  47. Saraxx says:

    Hi I have been going to the tanning salon for a month now. I go about 3 times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I purchase those one time lotion at the salon and now I realized it adds up save me money if I buy a bottle.. But I don’t know which ones. I am naturally tan and I dnt burn fast, I like to be a shade or two darker than my color so I’m not looking for that super dark tan where you end up looking orange. I like my tan to look natural as I said I am naturally tan but I want to go a bit darker and I have dark hair dark eyes so I wont look fake bake when I get dark. My problem is I dnt know if I should buy a tingle lotion, bronzer or just a natural glow lotion. Im not familiar with tanning lotions and I don’t know what type of lotion will fit my need so plz Jess help! I also want a lotion with good ingredients, something that has vitamins/moisturizing ect and nothing that will age my skin, give me higher risk of skin cancer ect tanning beds are already a high risk so I want a good lotion to sort of reduce those risks and damages to my skin. I started this year because I have a fear of skin aging and cancer. Thanks jess

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