7 Best Tanning Sunscreens!

best tanning sunscreens

The summer is coming. Tanned skin is in vogue now. You can go about it instantly using a tanning bed or, the way I prefer, you can get a healthy, glowing tan naturally, under the sun.
Word of caution, when you go about the natural way, use sunscreen. This where having a tanning sunscreen lotion helps.

Being the manager of a well-reputed beauty salon, my off-hours duties include advising my friends about safe and quality beauty products. Here I have done the same. In this article, I have given details about the best sunscreen tanning lotions that I have come across in the market and also what to look for in a sunscreen. So, read on!

7 Best Tanning Sunscreens To Buy Online!

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Lotion SPF 50 Banana Boat Ultra Sport Lotion SPF 50
  • Enhanced Moisturization
  • Value For Money
  • Refreshing Scent
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Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion
  • Value For Money
  • Easy Application
  • Desired Thickness
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Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion
  • Value For Money
  • Easy To Apply
  • Desired Thickness
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Hawaiian Tropic Sheer  Lotion Sunscreen Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Lotion Sunscreen
  • High-Quality Ingredients
  • Favourable Price
  • Easy To Apply
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Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Lotion Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Lotion
  • Increased Sun Protection+
  • Desired Thickness
  • Value For Money
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Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Lotion Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Lotion
  • Increased Sun Protection
  • Desired Thickness
  • Reasonable Pricing
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Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen
  • Excellent Packaging
  • Easy To Apply
  • Value For Money
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How Can you use Sunscreen to Get Tanned?

The answer to this question is – use a sunscreen with low SPF. It will protect your skin. As well as stop you from burning up. Another thing you can do is to get a sunscreen that is paired with a bronzer. Before you go further, let me explain certain terms you need to know when choosing your sunscreen for tanning

SPF: Sun Protection Factor

UVA/UVB Protection: Broad Spectrum Protection from UVA and UVB rays 

Active Ingredients: The active ingredients classifies the sunscreen into mineral or chemical sunscreen. The details are described buyer’s guide below

I have prepared a list of the 7 best tanning sunscreens available online. You can choose any one of the following:



One of the most satisfying products available in the market right now, the Banana Boat Ultra Sport Lotion SPF 50 provides the best value per ounce to you. This lotion tends to get absorbed quickly by your skin but doesn’t leave your skin dry. Another plus point of this lotion is that it doesn’t leave a white residue that you observe in other lotions. 

Another appealing point of this sunscreen is that the curved shape of this bottle gives an easy platform to grip even when your hand is slippery. This lotion is chemical with an SPF rating of 50. Oh, and it provides water resistance for 80 minutes.


Now improved to perfection, the Australian Gold sunscreen lotion with instant bronzer, provides instant tan to your skin. The plus point? The hue washes away after use.  The sunflower seed oil and the olive fruit oil in the lotion offers deep moisturization for your skin, hydrating it in the process.
The lotion provides UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30. It also provides 80 minutes of water resistance.


Looking for a budget-friendly tanning sunscreen lotion with all the perks? Then Coppertone Tanning Sunscreen Lotion is the direction you want to look at. Enriched with Vitamin-E and generally light-weight in the formula, this lotion makes sure that your skin won’t feel greasy after application. The SPF 8 sunscreen lotion, provides water resistance for 80 minutes.

Made from Mango Fruit Extract, Vitamin – E, and shea butter, the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen is recommended by the skin cancer foundation as an effective UV sunscreen. The use of this lotion will leave your skin feeling alive and radiant owing to the luxurious, non-greasy, oil-free formula. Along with this, the lotion provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Dermatologically tested to be safe, this Hawaiian tropic sheer touch lotion offers water resistance up to 80 minutes.

The original formula that helped the Sun Bum kickstart their empire, the Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Lotion smells like a meadow during summer. This is one of my favourite brands of sunscreens. This lotion is hypoallergenic and the moisturization it provides leaves your skin supple and radiant.

Approved by dermatologists, this sunscreen provides UVA and UVB protection, SPF of 30, and water resistance up to 80 minutes. Another tip if you are choosing Sun Bum Original lotion, reapply the lotion every two hours. As the brand tag says, you can happily “TRUST THE BUM”

Australian Gold has been in the market for over 25 years. The Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion gives a non-greasy, matte finish after applying it. This is a mineral sunscreen. That means the Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide present in the lotion offers non-chemical protection from the sun. Rich in antioxidants, the lotion is designed to be oil-free and paraben-free, and oxybenzone-free. Also, this is hypoallergenic.

With a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and an SPF value of 70+, the Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen is ideal for outdoor activities. This lotion is designed to be water and sweat resistant. It can also withstand water, rubbing, and wiping. Specially designed for application on face, the Neutrogena sunscreen contains an electrolyte complex that helps nourish your skin, and also is oil-free and paraben-free.

Buying Guide For Tanning Sunscreens

You may find many factors that describe the effectiveness of a sunscreen lotion, among which I have described the important ones below :


Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of sunscreen gives you the measure of how well it would protect you from harmful sun rays.  This doesn’t mean that a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 would allow you to spend 30 times longer under the sun. 

I have had many of my friends do this mistake, please don’t fall victim to this misconception. SPF is not the only factor that helps in protecting your skin against sun rays. Sure, a low SPF will help you get tanned easily, but it also increases the risk of burning up. 

Keep in mind to reapply the sunscreen repeatedly and also, to moisturize your skin after the tanning. I would recommend getting a sunscreen with an SPF value between 30 and 50.  Another reminder, take it easy and be careful. Keep reapplying your sunscreen.

Broad Spectrum Protection

If you are into tanning, you should realize that you are exposing your skin to the UV rays of the sun. There are two types of UV rays: UVA rays that contribute to premature ageing, and UVB rays that burn your skin by damaging the outer layer. The broad-spectrum protection factor of the sunscreen shields you from this.

Most sunscreens in the market offer protection from UVA and UVB rays. This is because prolonged exposure to UV rays increases your risk of skin cancer tremendously. Sure, the UV rays help in tanning your skin, but it doesn’t mean that you should leave your skin unprotected. 

This is where your sunscreen comes to play. As I said, most sunscreens in the market come with UVA and UVB protection. This factor would be mentioned in the label. Just double-check to be sure. Apart from this, look for zinc oxide in the ingredients list. Zinc oxide in the sunscreen protects you against UV rays and is safe.

Mineral VS Chemical

Before going into the explanation, let me tell you how to differentiate between mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. The easiest method is to look for the label “mineral” or “physical” on the packet. Otherwise, take a look at the active ingredients, if zinc oxide or titanium oxide is mentioned as one of the active ingredients, you can tag the sunscreen as mineral without hesitation.  Now to the differences. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays, whereas mineral sunscreens reflect the UV rays. I would recommend using a mineral or a combination sunscreen instead of using a chemical one. 

The perks of mineral sunscreens include :

  • Preventing radiation from reaching your skin
  • Lasts longer on your skin
  • Increased shelf-life
  • Will not cause irritation

A word of caution about chemical sunscreens, please do not buy sunscreens with endocrine disruptors – mainly oxybenzone – listed among the ingredients. This messes with your hormones. Avoid this at all costs.


Water Resistance

One thing you might have noticed while lying under the sun to get tanned is that you sweat – profoundly. There is no stopping that. So, if your sunscreen isn’t water-resistant, chances are high you will sweat your sunscreen off. Thereby exposing you to the harmful rays of the sun, increasing your risk of skin cancer and thereby, death. Bada dum truss!!
To prevent this, get a water-resistant sunscreen. You have sunscreens that provide 40 minutes of water resistance and 80 minutes of water resistance. Always go for the 80 minutes water-resistant sunscreen. This will work longer and will help you tan faster.  And always, watch out for products that say they are completely water-proof and sweat-proof. 
Be realistic and realize that there is no such thing as completely water-proof sunscreen. Look for 80 minutes water-resistant sunscreen and you will be good to go.  Reapply the sunscreen every two hours. I know I have been repeating this statement a lot, but do keep this in mind.

Daily Usage

You would’ve heard the quote “It takes sweat, determination, and hard work to realize a dream”. The same is the case with tanning. You will be sweating a lot, you have to be determined and you have to get up and go to that beach every single day to get the hue of your desire.  
For this, you would need a sunscreen that you can use daily. Look for sunscreens that have zinc oxide, is paraben-free, and is hypoallergenic. These are the sunscreens that you can use daily without any skin irritation.

Rub-On Lotion

If you have researched tanning sunscreen lotions, you might have come across spray sunscreen. You might have found this optimizing as well handy. But you would be compromising your safety. Let me tell you why. Even though spray sunscreen is easy to use, you cannot apply an even layer of sunscreen all over your body using spray sunscreen. 
Having patches of the high and low thickness of sunscreen in your will blemish your skin. A rub-on lotion gives you better control over the application. Not to mention the fact that you will inhale the chemicals in your sunscreen while spraying.
I would always recommend a rub-on lotion. Gives you better control and protects you from the chemicals. 
Always be careful while selecting a sunscreen. This is an essential skin care product, not just for the sake of tanning. Buy a quality sunscreen and enjoy the summer!


Thanks for Reading :)

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7 Best Tanning Sunscreens!

by Prachi Tripathi time to read: 8 min