How to Find the Perfect Dark Tanning Bed Lotion

dark tanning bed lotion

Summer is a wonderful time to get out and socialize in the sun. Balmy days on the beach with the rush of waves make for ample time to get a deep tan. So can long walks, outdoor sports, running, or even just sitting in the sun. Done safely, the summer sun can make for a great opportunity to get a dark full-body bronze tan. The sad thing about summer that everybody knows is that it doesn’t last forever, and as the long, warm days start to fade, so will that luxurious bronze you invested so much time and work in preserving. But rather than resorting to waiting for your pasty complexion to come back with a vengeance, there are several means of keeping your bronze tan even in the off-months — dark tanning bed lotion included.

Using a dark tanning bed lotion in conjunction with regular sessions at a tanning salon are one of the best ways to maintain a tan. A tanning bed can help perfect a deep tan in a relatively small amount of time, but even though it’s not exactly like getting a suntan, tanning beds work by bombarding your body with UV rays, which, no matter how you slice it, can be harmful.

If you want to maintain your summer tan as the year fades into autumn and eventually winter, all while keeping your skin safe, then it makes sense to supplement your regular tans with the application of dark tanning bed lotion. Finding a quality dark tanning bed lotion will help your tan brown and last while keeping your skin smooth and healthy. Here’s how:

Bronzers and Accelerants

Dark tanning bed lotions are effective because of several additives that are meant to accelerate the pigmentation of your skin. The most popular active ingredient in dark tanning bed lotion is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short. Tanning lotions that contain DHA have a range of intensities, usually from 5 – 15% DHA (the higher the percentage, the more intense the darkness of the tan).

A dark tanning bed lotion containing DHA works like this: the DHA has a chemical reaction with the dead upper layers of the skin, which stimulates production of melanin, the pigmentation that makes our skin turn brown with tans. To maintain the tan, the application of the dark tanning bed lotion should be frequent, about once a week, and it should be applied evenly all over the body to prevent streaks and patches.


If you’re using a dark tanning bed lotion to supplement the tan you get from a tanning salon, it can be a real benefit to the health of your skin. Because of the intensity of the UV ray exposure while in the tanning bed (which can be an hour or more), there is ample opportunity for your skin to dry out and flake.

To address this, moisturizers are added to your dark tanning bed lotion which are safe and which enable the skin to maintain elasticity and stay hydrated, protect your pores, add vitamins, and antioxidize.

Other Ingredients

The reason there is such a broad selection of dark tanning bed lotions is that each one has its own set of added ingredients to provide various benefits to keeping your tan. Additives like silicone, methyl nicotinate and benzyl nicotinate, oils, and shea butter keep your skin moist, and they add tingling sensations.

Finding the Best Dark Tanning Bed Lotion

Okay, now that you have a primer on dark tanning bed lotions, the question remains: how do I find the lotion that is the right fit for me? First, acquaint yourself with how your skin reacts to pigmentation. People are highly varied, and what will tan one person in a single session may take several for another.

Once you know your skin well enough, it’s time to pick the intensity of your dark tanning bed lotion. Now that you know that DHA is the ingredient that stimulates and preserves a lasting tan, it’s time to find the proper intensity. Again, this will largely depend on how fast and deep your skin tans. If you tan fairly easily, a low 5% DHA will do (or choose among the lotions that have no DHA at all). For fair-skinned people, seek out lotions between 10% and 15% DHA.

From there, it’s all a matter of picking from the added ingredients you want. This may take some experimentation, but these added ingredients are always listed, and you may find that a dark tanning bed lotion containing shea butter may be perfect, or it may not work for you.

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