Finding the Best Outdoor Tanning Oil For Your Best Tan Yet

Ready to get the most out of your tan this summer? Grab the best outdoor tanning oil and take advantage of these tips for your most bronzed look yet.

When the warmer summer months roll around, for many it means its time to start taking advantage of the warm summer rays and try to get the perfect summer tan. As most avid tanners know, one of the most important components of a great tan is to use the right tan-enhancing product. For many people, this is tanning oil. Oils are quickly becoming some of the most popular products on the market for tanning enthusiasts, even more-so than lotions.

However, with so many different products available, it can be difficult to find the best outdoor tanning oil to fit your needs. Countless skin care and sun care companies have developed their own unique formula or approach to tanning oil, and each offers its own benefits. The wrong tanning oil for the wrong person can lead to poor results, burn or flaky skin, which is why it is so important to know how to choose and use the right product. With insight on the benefits of tanning oil, the right tanning oil product and general tips on outdoor tanning, any person can finally get the bronzed, healthy summer glow they have always wanted.

Why Tanning Oil?

The process of using oils to tan began in the 1970s when those looking for a dark tan started using baby oil when laying out in the sun. The product worked, kept the skin hydrated and got many people the color they wanted. However, it also increased the chances of burning, which is why many people today don’t use the oil.

Fortunately, today there are plenty of products on the market that can help people with all skin types get the tans they want while outdoors. While creams, lotions and serums offer their own unique benefits, many avid tanner prefer outdoor tanning oils when they head out in the sun. These oils come with a number of benefits, and those who have never tried them before may be surprised to find out just how good they are for the skin and what other perks these oils can offer.

The primary reason to use a tanning oil is because it acts as a barrier that will keep the skin hydrated while locking in moisture. Experienced tanners know the key to a youthful, healthy and lasting looking tan is moisturized skin. Oils are able to hydrate the skin faster and more effectively than traditional lotions, yet are still gentle on even sensitive skin. This is why baby oil is such a popular product for sensitive infant skin that needs extra moisture.

Due to the composition of oils, as opposed to lotions, when oils sit on the skin they can easily reflect light and draw in more of the sun’s rays. This means users can enjoy a faster tanning process. Also, it is much easier to formulate an oil that contains melanin rather than a lotion. This is the natural compound that helps produce skin color and deliver faster ‘brown’ results while basking in the rays. When melanin is in a product, it can help accelerate the tanning process remarkably.

What to Look for in a Tanning Oil

When it comes to finding the best outdoor tanning oil, there are a few things to look for while shopping, no matter what your color goals are. First, a good tanning oil should contain extra moisturizing agents. This can be something as simple as aloe or something as complex as sodium PCA, which is a natural product that actually binds water to the skin. The more natural ingredients in a tanning oil, the better the oil will likely blend into the skin, meaning less of a sticky, oil feeling. Plus, products made with natural oils are less likely to irritate the skin or cause breakouts.

Many people do not realize that tanning oils can come with SPF. Some oils feature no SPF, while others can contain SPF 30 or more. Make sure to check the bottle before purchasing to find an oil with a SPF level that fits your needs and preferences.

Choosing the Best Outdoor Tanning Oil

With so many different products available, choosing the best tanning oil can be difficult. luckily some of the biggest names in the tanning and skincare industries have made their own high quality products, designed to fit the needs of both experienced and novice tanners. Not all tanning oils are created equal, and not all tanners need the same type of product. However, these are some of the most versatile and popular tanning oils for outdoor use that people today can buy.

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

Any person who wants a dark, natural-looking tan and moisturized, nourished skin can use the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil in its original formula. This dark Hawaiian tanning oil is filled with cocoa butter, fruit and nut extracts and natural oils that moisturize the skin, meaning your tan will stay dark longer. Plus, the formula features a special tan accelerating technology that helps speed up the body’s response to the sun’s rays.

Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Xtreme Oil Amplifier

Tanners who want to get darker faster and who are serious about their tan can try Ocean Potion’s Dark Tanning Xtreme Oil Amplifier. This product is designed to intensify the sun’s rays, which means the skin can darken even faster. Plus, this oil has all natural ingredients such as coconut oil and carrots that can increase the skin’s ability to produce melanin to boost the tan. In addition to conditioning the skin with all-natural ingredients, this product also contains SPF 4 sunscreen for a hint of protection.

Banana Boat Dark Tanning Oil

Banana Boat has long been known for its sunscreens, but with their oil spray, the established company ventures into the world of tanning solutions. This oil is easy to apply with its spray applicator, and features lots of natural, nourishing oils, fruit extracts and butters to leave the skin looking healthier, softer and younger. Plus, these ingredients help prevent peeling. The SPF 4 provides just a hint of protection for those who tend to burn a little while they tan.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Dry Tanning Oil

Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Coconut Dry Tanning Oil is perfect for those with sensitive skin as it is made with pure, botanical ingredients to moisturize and nourish. Plus, the natural ingredients develop a lightweight oil that doesn’t have a greasy feel. In addition to moisturizing pure botanicals, this oil also has SPF 15, making it a great option for those who want a dark tan, but who also don’t want to burn.

Piz Buin’s Tan and Protect Oil

Tanners who have lighter skin often need a product with higher SPF, especially when building a base. However, it doesn’t mean that they can’t take advantage of a product that helps the skin tan instead of burn. In fact this natural oil help accelerate the tanning process, meaning users can get the tan they want in half the time. With powerful SPF 30, this product lets users tan fast while keeping the skin well protected from the sun and potential damage.

Since tanning oils are so popular, there is a product available for virtually every type of consumer, whether tanners are looking for something with lots of SPF, or a product that delivers the fastest tan possible.

Tips for Outdoor Tanning

Finding the right tanning oil is only the first step in getting the perfect tan. There are other ways to get the most out of your outdoor tanning session. These tips can help the oil do what it does best and work in the way it is supposed to.

Shaving and Waxing

Before heading outdoors in summer-ready outfits, most people will decide to shave or wax to remove unwanted hair. This includes hair on the legs, underarms and around the bikini area. However, when it comes to shaving and waxing before a tanning session it is best to do this 24 hours or more before you head outdoors and lather up. First, the skin can be irritated right after hair removal and this can cause extensive sunlight exposure to irritate these sensitive areas even further. Also, even the most natural oils can sting and irritate the skin right after shaving, making the oil application process very uncomfortable.


The morning before you tan, exfoliate the skin in the shower. Use a luffa or scrubber with soap, or try using an exfoliating body scrub or wash. Getting rid of excess dead skin cells can allow the skin to look its best and stay moisturized, meaning the tan will look brighter and last longer. Failing to remove dead skin cells before tanning can also cause a tan to look patchy or uneven.

Use a Follow Up Moisturizer

Hydrating and moisturizing the skin is an essential part of tanning, which is why oils are so popular. Even when using a hydrating oil, it is important to follow up with another moisturizer. This will keep the skin extra moisturized and youthful looking and help the tan last even longer.

These simple tips should be part of your normal tanning routine as they will help any tanning oil work its best. Taking this multi-faceted approach to tanning can help anyone get the dark, healthy looking, long-lasting tan they desire.


The right tanning oil can go a long way when it comes to making the most of your time out in the sun. Whether you are an avid daily tanner or just looking to get a little color on vacation, a tanning oil is the perfect product to help you achieve your desired results. When it comes to finding the best outdoor tanning oil, every person is different. Some people need more moisturizers, while others need more sun protection. No matter what your individual skin-care needs may be, there is an oil out there for virtually every person. By looking into the different benefits of individual products, and pairing these products with the right pre and post-tan routine, you can get the outdoor tanning results you seek and lasting, nourished color you have always wanted, every time you head out in the sun.

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