After keeping inside for the majority of last summer, it’s safe to say that summer 2021 has the outdoors written all over it. We haven’t been sun-kissed in way too long so by the time fall comes around, we want to be rocking tan lines upon tan lines. That’s right. It’s time to get the golden color you’ve been dreaming about with the best tanning oil.
For those of you who’ve been wearing solely wearing the best drugstore sunscreen since infantry, tanning oil works a little bit differently than the classic goopy white creams you’re used to. Instead of bouncing UV rays from your skin, tanning oil attracts rays onto the skin to accelerate the production of melanin to give a darker complexion more quickly.
With that said, tanning oil clearly isn’t for everyone.
If you’re the type of person that burns with even the strongest sunscreens, stay away from tanning oil. It will only cause more harm than good. Tanning oil is meant for those that already know they can tan, not for those who burn in just minutes of sun exposure.
Most of the best tanning oils are packed with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients to keep skin safe while the sun effectively does its job. These oils normally also contain a little bit of SPF to keep your skin safe as well.
Regardless of how tan your body can get, it’s most important to use tanning oil with caution every time you lather up. Don’t stay in the sun for too long and consider applying sunscreen when your tanning sesh is over to avoid any blistering and other negative side effects. Trust us, you’ll be thanking us later.
Without further ado, see below and check out the best tanning oils you can rub on to get that golden glow this summer. Again, just use with caution.
1. Sun Bum SPF 15 Moisturizing Tanning Oil
Sun Bum doesn’t skimp out on nourishment when it comes to its moisturizing tanning oil. For those who like to get a nice, dark complexion in the summer but don’t want to damage their skin, look no further than this bottle. It contains SPF 15 to keep your skin feeling soft, smooth and protected. It’s completely water-resistant so you can swim all you want without having to reapply. Worried about our ocean? Don’t be, Sun Bum is reef-friendly and won’t negatively affect any corals. Complete with aloe vera, green tea butter, marula, argan, coconut and avocado oil, this tanning oil is something your skin actually wants to wear.
2. Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray
Made with tea tree oil, banana extract and vitamin E, Australian Gold’s tanning oil will give your skin the push it needs to obtain a natural-looking tan this summer. The spray uses melanin, caramel, walnut shell and carrot oil to speed up the process and tan your body faster than it would without. It uses a lightweight, non-greasy formula so you don’t feel weighed down or sticky as you lay out. Because this tanning oil is jam-packed with aloe vera, your skin will feel soft and smooth after application.
3. Banana Boat Dry Oil Spray
Why buy one when you can buy two? Banana Boat’s tanning oil is available in this convenient two-pack right on Amazon for an easy bulk purchase. This reef-safe tanning oil uses argan oil to keep skin safe and nourished when the sun beats down. The consistency is really lightweight and has a continuous spray for quick coverage. Because it’s water-resistant for up to 80-minutes, feel free to take a dip early without fear of washing your spray away. Additionally, with SPF 15 protection, your skin will stay as safe as it would with some of the best sunscreens.
4. b.tan Tanned AF Tanning Spray Oil
Get that deep tan you want without any negative effects toward our blue planet. Tanned AF from b.tan might have a gimmicky, Instagram-inspired name, but this tanning oil is not one to joke about. It’s entirely vegan and cruelty-free, easy to apply, fast as hell and totally nourishing. Each bottle is packed with a concoction featuring some of the most nourishing oils on the planet, including coconut, argan, avocado, rosehip, macadamia, jojoba and grapeseed oil. A few sprays will keep your body happy, moisturized and getting tan in a matter of minutes.
5. Just Nutritive Body Nutritive Serum
Ready to glow? Just Nutritive’s Body Nutritive Serum is the tanning oil you need to keep your tan bold and luminous for longer. This serum seals your tan in by adding to your tan and ultimately keeping it that way. You’ll see dramatic results a hell of a lot quicker than you would with other tanning oils. The formula is rich in vitamin E and other essential fatty acids to keep your skin hydrated day in and day out. Some users apply this serum as their daily summer moisturizer to help hold their tan in, too.
6. Coral Safe All-Natural Dark Tanning Oil
We’ve included a few reef-safe tanning oils so far, but this one is so good that it’s even in the name. By putting both your body and the Earth’s safety at the forefront, this biodegradable tanning oil will help you achieve that dark color you’re looking for without ruining the environment around you. The formula is 100% natural and fragrance-free with gentle properties to keep your body safe. It’s also an extreme antioxidant and reduces the risk of sunburn tremendously, so if your skin is known to burn, this one might be for you.
7. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil
Hawaiian Tropic is curated with an exotic moisturizing formula to keep your body feeling fresh and smooth day in and day out. It doesn’t only contain skin conditioners for moisturizing qualities, but vitamins A, C and E for antioxidant properties that only add to your skincare. This oil has that classic coconut scent you’re familiar with in other oils and sunscreens, so you’ll smell beachy upon application — even if you’re just tanning in the backyard.
8. Bali Body Original Natural Tanning and Body Oil
Reviewers on Amazon rave that the Bali Body tanning oil gives them some of the most natural-looking tans they’ve ever gotten over the course of the summer. It’s made from natural, 100% organic ingredients to keep your skin and the world safe by bringing a quick glow you’ll be obsessed with. For those of you who start the summer off incredibly pale, Bali Body might be exactly what you’re looking for to start yourself off.
9. Maui Babe Browning Lotion
FOR SERIOUS TANNERS
While this tanning oil is technically a lotion, we couldn’t leave it out. If you want to feel like a BBQ chicken roasting in the sun, there’s no better way than to do it with Maui Babe’s browning lotion. Our e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber has used Maui Babe before and has a lot to say. “Maui Babe is great if you’re the kind of person that knows they can tan,” he begins, “it’s not for anybody that’s looking to go a few shades darker for summer. This is for those New Jersey Italian moms that have been tanning before they were potty trained. It smells like shit, it coats on weird, but man, it’s totally fast-acting and will get you dark in no time. This stuff is dangerous.” All we have to say? Be careful with Maui Babe, but, it does work.