Best Indoor Tanning Lotion for Sensitive Skin: 2018 Reviews & Guide

Updated 4 years ago

It’s been a long winter, and you’re pale as a ghost. It’s time to bronze a bit before summer’s here. If you plan to visit a salon, and you have sensitive skin, take one of the 22 best indoor tanning lotions with you.

Although tanning can irritate sensitive skin, there are ways to reduce the risk. First, choose a lotion that does not contain ingredients like fragrances, dye, preservatives, or drying alcohols.  Next, if it says “hypoallergenic” on the label, that doesn’t guarantee that it is safe for your skin, but it’s a good place to start. Finally, apply a small amount in one spot and wait a day to see how you react.

Finally, even if you’re in a hurry to tan as dark as you can, take it slow. Start with short sessions spaced at least two days apart. Being patient like this will help you build a base. Your skin will thank you later because you’re less likely to burn and break out. Then, while you develop a healthy bronze, remember to moisturize.

Swedish Beauty Shea You Love Me Tanning Lotion

Swedish Beauty understands sensitive skin. They sell the Shea You Love Me lotion that’s both fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.  It was designed especially for people with eczema, so you can imagine that it’s much kinder than the average tanning product.

It has natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe, shea butter, and Vitamins A and E. This combination protects your skin against signs of aging by hydrating it and destroying free radicals.

If you’re hesitant to try indoor tanning lotions, this one and the one below are the ones we most recommend for sensitive skin.

New Sunshine Swedish Beauty Bronzer, Shea You Want Me

If you desire an instant tan, try the Swedish Beauty Shea You Want Me lotion. It has a natural bronzer consisting of black walnut and henna that instantly deepen your skin tone. This combination is safer for most people over DHA or tyrosine.

Next, rich cocoa butter and shea butter smooth and soften your skin so that your tan lasts as long as possible. And you don’t need to worry because this lotion is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, tested to be safe for sensitive skin.

Dr. Mercola: Natural Tanning Oil

Dr. Mercola’s Natural Tanning Oil comes with a long list of positive features. It’s hypoallergenic and free of parabens, preservatives, and emulsifiers. It’s also waterproof and biodegradable. Plus, the manufacturer’s facility in the USA is FDA-approved for safety and health.

As for the ingredients, there is no sunscreen included. Instead, you’ll find green tea, Vitamins C and E, and eucalyptus in a base of sunflower and coconut oils. It also has cocoa butter and almond oil. But be careful if you’re sensitive to lanolin because that’s on the label, too.

And one last point to consider is whether your tanning salon will allow you to use this particular oil in their beds. If not, you might be able to tan standing in a booth instead.

AG Australian Gold, Beachin' Life, Hypoallergenic DHA Bronzer

Australian Gold’s Beachin’ Life is a bronzer with DHA. If you’re new to tanning terminology, we can explain. Bronzers are ingredients that instantly darken your skin as soon as you apply them. And DHA is a component that causes a chemical reaction in your epidermis, or top layer of skin. It’s like when you cut an apple, and it turns brown because it oxidizes.

Some sources say that DHA is safe, while others report that it hasn’t been studied well enough yet. Either way, it does work to enhance your tan. If you use an indoor tanning lotion with both DHA and a bronzer, you will look instantly tanned, plus the color will continue to darken over the next twelve hours.

And now, let’s go back to the Beachin’ Life lotion. While it’s free from artificial fragrances, it has a tropical botanical scent from the natural ingredients like pineapple and apricot. It ’s labeled as hypoallergenic for sensitive skin, too.

Finally, it’s hard to resist a lotion when it sounds so tasty. It has a fruit smoothie complex that moisturizes, natural oils to extend the tan, and vitamins to keep wrinkles away.

Hempz Hypoallergenic Dark DHA Bronzer

Hempz sells two hypoallergenic indoor tanning lotions that soothe skin as you soak in the rays. The Dark DHA Bronzer immediately darkens your tone. Then it deepens for hours even after you step out of the tanning bed.

Like other Hempz products, this one is based on 100% pure hemp seed oil. Both of the Hempz products in our review today are also vegan and cruelty-free.

Hemp seed oil is very effective at hydrating dry skin, but it has no psychoactive powers. Instead, the addition of chamomile, chamomile, and mango seed butter will make your body smooth and soft to the touch. And none of these are heavy oils, so the lotion sinks in quickly and doesn’t feel greasy.

Hempz Hypoallergenic Dark Tan Maximizer

The Hempz Hypoallergenic Dark Tan Maximizer does not contain DHA, although it does have a bronzer.  It’s based on pure hemp seed oil and mango seed butter to keep your skin soft and radiant. And when your skin is well-hydrated, it stays tan for longer.

The It List, Hypoallergenic and Vegan Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy is a well-known brand in the tanning world. If you wanted to test one of their lotions, but you’re concerned about how your skin will react, you can try “The It List.” It’s free from gluten, nut derivatives, parabens, and animal products.

Instead, “The It List” contains aloe, cotton, rice extract, and ginger that moisturize and even out skin tone. And it has caffeine, too, because it tightens and firms.

Although this lotion is marked as hypoallergenic, do take note that it contains a fragrance, listed as “parfum” on the label.

Devoted Creations Don't Judge Me

Devoted Creations has a plethora of tanning lotions, so it’s no surprise that they offer one for sensitive skin.  “Don’t Judge Me” is hypoallergenic and lightweight, and it moisturizes without feeling greasy. This makes sense because the first two ingredients on the label are aloe vera and water.

Again, this is another lotion that contains perfume, and it also has Phenoxyethanol, which might cause irritation or allergic reactions for some people. But there are no parabens, no gluten, no nut derivatives, and no pore-clogging oils.

Instead of DHA, Don’t Judge Me relies on tyrosine to darken your tan over time. Tyrosine is an amino acid that comes from either animals or plants. The theory is that the amino acid stimulates the production of melanin in your skin. And more melanin means darker pigmentation.

Finally, the Don’t Judge Me lotion has active components similar to Ed Hardy’s The It List. It contains cotton and rice extract that calms skin and makes it soft. Plus, there are both caffeine and green tea to firm up skin and make it look and feel younger.


Just because you need to be gentle to your skin doesn’t mean you can’t tan.  There are several high-quality indoor tanning lotions you can try. Some of them will even bronze you instantly, so you look ready for your swimsuit in no time at all.