What's the Best Tanning Lotion with SPF?


Tanning helps people get a natural glow that makes them look and feel their best. But being in the sun for a long time can also damage your skin.

That’s why many people decide to use tanning lotion with SPF. These products can protect your skin while also enabling you to get the tan that you’re after.

But how do you pick the best tanning lotion with SPF for your goals?

We put together this article to help you figure it out. Keep reading to get the answer.

How to pick the best tanning lotion with SPF

As you consider your options for tanning lotion with SPF, you’ll find that there’s a lot to keep in mind. To make sure that you pick the best option, you’ll want to consider each of the following factors.

Know how long you plan on being in the sun

Tanning sessions aren’t always the same. Sometimes, you only have an hour to spend in the sun before you have to get back to your obligations. And other times you might have all day to lounge in the sun.

This is a factor that will impact which type of tanning lotion is best for you.

If you’re going to be in the sun for a longer period of time, then a tanning lotion with a higher SPF may be a better choice.

Just know that the timing of your tanning trip can also impact how much SPF protection you need.

The American Cancer Society says UV rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4:00 PM. So if you plan on tanning during this window, then higher SPF may be a safer choice, even if your tanning session won’t be very long.

Consider your skin type

Next, you want to think about the type of skin that you have and how it might be impacted by the tanning lotion you select.

If you’re prone to acne, then picking a non-comedogenic tanning lotion (meaning it doesn’t block your pores) could be a great option.

Similarly, the sun can dry out your skin. So if you’re already prone to dry skin, then it makes sense to look for a tanning lotion that will give you some extra moisture.

Read reviews to learn about residue

Some people don’t like using products like sunscreen and tanning oil because of how they feel on the skin after application. Some products can leave behind an oily or white residue that leaves an unwanted look or feeling behind.

That’s why it’s also a good idea to read some reviews as you do your shopping. Most of the highly-rated reviews that you find on popular websites like Amazon will tell you what a product feels and looks like when it’s been applied to the skin.

If you hate oily residue on your skin, then you may want to focus your search on products with lightweight formulas.

Look for natural ingredients

Putting the wrong cosmetic products on your skin can lead to a number of unwanted outcomes, including dry skin, oily skin, and acne.

The products that cause these types of things typically lack natural, nourishing ingredients.

So as you zero in on the best tanning lotion with SPF for your goals, consider looking for ingredients like:

  • Aloe vera
  • Carrot oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • And other naturally-nourishing ingredients

When you use a product with these types of ingredients, you can have a higher degree of confidence that you’ll be able to get the tan you want without negatively impacting your skin in the process.

Decide whether water resistance is important

Sometimes tanning isn’t just tanning. During your day in the sun, you might also want to go for a swim or hang out on a boat with your friends. Or you might play a game of beach volleyball and begin sweating.

When your skin gets wet with sweat, water, or another liquid, it has the potential to ruin the efficacy of your tanning lotion. That’s because the water may cause the lotion to drip off of your skin even after it’s been applied.

That’s why, if you think your skin might get wet, picking a water-resistant formula will be important. These products typically provide water resistance for about 40-80 minutes after application, but the exact amount of time can vary.

Support a company that supports your beliefs 

Finally, if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on tanning lotion, you’d rather give it to a company that’s supportive of your beliefs about the world instead of harmful towards them.

For example, some cosmetic companies still use ingredients that have been tested on animals. Others may use ingredients that aren’t safe for marine habitats.

It’s not difficult to find this type of information online and it’s worth doing if you’re passionate about a cause.

If you’re curious, Australian Gold is a 100% cruelty-free company. We don’t test any of our products or ingredients on animals and we care deeply about looking after our marine ecosystems.

What’s the best tanning lotion with SPF?

Now that we know everything that matters in a tanning lotion with SPF, it’s time to give you our pick of the very best. 

We may be a bit biased, but we don’t think you’ll find anything better than Australian Gold’s SPF 4 Tanning Spray Oil. Here’s what it features:

  • SPF 4 protection to help protect your skin from burning while still allowing you to get a golden, all-over tan
  • All-natural ingredients like aloe vera, carrot oil, and Kakadu Plum
  • Our alluring Coconut Dreams fragrance
  • An easy spray application system
  • A lightweight formula that doesn’t leave behind a bunch of unwanted residue on your skin

The natural ingredients in this tanning lotion are rich in antioxidants and provide natural soothing and conditioning. They should help you get the most out of your tanning trip while also looking after your skin.

The best part? You can pick it up for just $10.49 on our website.

Why you need SPF protection while tanning

As you look into your options for tanning lotion, you might be questioning whether you need one with SPF protection at all. But it’s important not to leave SPF out of your tanning equation.

If a product doesn’t have any SPF value, then it doesn’t offer any protection from the sun. 

That means your skin will be exposed to UV rays throughout the duration of your tanning session. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, this can lead to unwanted outcomes like sunburns, dry skin, premature aging, and potentially even skin cancer down the line.

The SPF protection doesn’t technically have to come from your tanning oil. You could apply sunscreen first and then put tanning lotion on top of it.

But that’s inconvenient, requires you to make two purchases, and may interfere with the effectiveness of both products. It’s usually a better idea to grab a tanning lotion with SPF so you don’t have to worry about those things.

Does sunscreen prevent tanning?

You might also be wondering about this. The answer is that sunscreen doesn’t prevent tanning entirely, but it does slow down the tanning process.

Most types of sunscreen block about 90 - 97% of the sun’s UV rays. That’s enough to keep your skin safe, but not enough to prevent the tanning process from taking place. It’ll just happen a bit slower than it would otherwise.

When you choose a tanning lotion with a lower SPF level, less of the sun’s UV rays get blocked. So there’s a balancing act between getting enough protection for your skin and not getting so much protection that the tanning process slows to a halt.

Consider grabbing an after-sun lotion as well

Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning that after-sun lotion is a great product to use in combination with your tanning lotion.

We wrote earlier about how tanning can dry out the skin and cause sunburns. After-sun lotion is specifically designed to replenish the skin when this happens.

You can use something like aloe vera for this. Or you might be interested in a more robust offering, like Australian Gold’s After Sun Moisturizer with Hemp. It features a vitamin-rich blend that’s designed to soothe, brighten, and fortify the skin.

Australian Gold makes it easy to tan safely

Whatever your tanning goals are, choosing the right product can help you reach them without damaging your skin.

At Australian Gold, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of cruelty-free tanning products to help our customers achieve their tanning goals – no matter what they might be.

Whether you think our SPF 4 tanning oil is right for you or not, you can take a look at our online shop to learn more about how we’re making it easier for people to tan safely.