Tanner Lotion and Tanner Oils Through the Years

Heliophilia: the love of sunlight. It's no surprise that most people enjoy spending time in the sun. Not only does it feel good, but a moderate amount of sunlight exposure carries health benefits. Many enjoy sunbathing because of that deeply tanned skin—a major confidence booster and fantastic accessory to any outfit. Health and beauty experts have spent decades developing tanning lotions, oils and creams to help people achieve long-lasting tans, whether indoor or out.

Sun-tanning is popular throughout the world. In the US, sunbathing gained popularity in the 1920s when famous designer Coco Chanel returned from a Mediterranean holiday with a gorgeous sun-kissed look. The style of bronzed, glowing skin took off, and has remained a subtle yet definite staple in modern day beauty, advertising and lifestyle.

In the 1980s and 90s, tanner lotion and oils found in stores were often made with synthetic chemicals and ingredients harmful to your health. Recently, in part because of more research purporting the benefits of sunlight exposure, tanner lotion and tanner oils with quality ingredients have become readily available at affordable prices.

I Heard Tanning is Bad for Your Skin. Are Tanning Lotion and Oils Safe to Use?

While prolonged exposure to sunlight is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, wrinkles, and other skin issues, most modern-day researchers and healthcare practitioners agree that moderate exposure to sunlight has many potential health benefits:

  • Improves mood
  • Helps prevent or treat seasonal affective disorder
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Regulates melatonin levels and sleep cycles
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Can protect and suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis

To this end, the use of tanning lotion and tanning oils can enhance the beneficial effects of safe and smart sun exposure by maximizing your skin's ability to absorb sun rays.

Tanner Lotion vs. Tanner Oils: What's the Difference?

Both tanning lotion and oils are used to accelerate tanning and accentuate that sexy sun-kissed look. Both products can be found with a variety of price range, quality and ingredients. Because of its consistency, tanning lotion is generally preferred for indoor use with tanning beds or stand-up salons. Tanning lotions that contain SPF--your common "suntan lotion"--also prevent tanning by blocking UV rays.
Tanning oils are more popular for outdoor use, whether a day at the beach, a stroll in the park, or out on the boat. Some people prefer the glistening look that tanner oils give to skin, as opposed to tanning lotions that absorb more quickly into the skin. Because oil-based products tend to have less ingredients than creams and lotions, many people also prefer oils for their simplicity and purity. In either case, both tanner lotion and tanner oils made with quality ingredients come with a pleasant fragrance that makes people nostalgic for summer sun and fun.

What are the Benefits of Using Tanner Lotion and Tanner Oils?

When it comes to health and beauty products, you get what you pay for. This doesn't mean you need to buy the most expensive options out there, but it's worth your time and money to look for products containing high quality and healthy ingredients—essential oils from avocado, coconut, hazel, walnut, rice bran, jojoba, safflower and apricot—that keep your skin nourished and hydrated while improving your tan without leaving you feeling greasy. Many of these oils are also anti-aging and provide good nutrients for your skin. Tanner lotions and oils also protect your skin from the more harmful aspects of sunlight, including UVA and UVB rays.
Using a tanning lotion or oil can help speed up the tanning process and leave you with richer and longer-lasting tan. This is because a nourishing topical tanner accelerates your skin's production of melanin—a natural compound that contributes to a deep tan.
Looking tanned isn’t just a boost for your confidence. Getting a moderate daily amount (20 minutes) of sunlight exposure on your skin is good for your health, as it stimulates the production of Vitamin D, known to have many health benefits for your bones, teeth, muscles and heart.

How Do I Use Tanner Lotion or Tanner Oils?

Dermatologists, aestheticians, and health/beauty experts recommend using tanner lotion and tanner oils on your shoulders, arms, stomach, back and legs. Use generously and reapply as needed to ensure your skin stays hydrated and evenly covered as you tan.
Since UVA and UVB rays can cause wrinkles and sunspots, avoid using tanning lotions and oils on the more delicate areas of your skin, such as on your face and around your eyes and mouth. Most skin care experts recommend using SPF moisturizer on your face, especially if you have fair or sensitive skin.