Can you Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside?

Can you Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside

Do you love the look of a sun-kissed tan but don’t want to worry about sunburns? Indoor tanning lotions may be the perfect solution! These specialized items work to not only help darken your existing natural skin tone, but also protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.

But can indoor tanning lotion be used outside in direct sunlight?

Let’s dive into all the specifics and explore if this is an ideal or safe option for those who prefer outdoor tans.

What is Indoor Tanning Lotion?

Indoor tanning lotion is a type of skincare product specifically designed to enhance and accelerate the process of tanning under artificial ultraviolet (UV) light, such as in a tanning bed or booth.

These lotions often contain ingredients like melanin and various oils that help moisturize the skin, improve its elasticity, and stimulate melanin production for a deeper, longer-lasting tan.

It’s important to note that indoor tanning lotions do not typically contain sun protection factor (SPF), hence they are not suitable for outdoor use to protect against sunburn.

How to Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Safely

Indoor tanning lotion can help you achieve that coveted golden glow, but it’s crucial to use it safely to protect your skin. Here’s how:

Choose the Right Product: There are different types of indoor tanning lotions available, including bronzers, accelerators, and tinglers. Select one that suits your skin type and desired result.

Exfoliate: Before applying the lotion, exfoliate your skin. This removes dead skin cells and allows for better absorption of the lotion, resulting in an even tan.

Apply Evenly: Apply the lotion evenly over your body. Uneven application can lead to patchy results. Use a circular motion to ensure it’s well absorbed.

Wash Hands: After application, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid overly tanned palms.

Use Protective Eyewear: Always use protective eyewear during your tanning session to protect your eyes from UV damage.

Limit Your Time: Start with short tanning sessions and gradually increase the duration over time. Overexposure to UV radiation can cause skin damage.

Hydrate and Moisturize: Keep your skin hydrated inside and out. Drink plenty of water and regularly moisturize your skin after tanning to maintain its health and prolong the tan.

Regular Skin Checks: Regularly check your skin for any changes or irregularities. If you notice anything unusual, consult a healthcare professional immediately.

Don’t Apply on Open Wounds: Do not apply indoor tanning lotion on any part of your body that has an open wound.

Keep it Away from Kids: Indoor tanning lotion is not suitable for babies, children, or individuals with sensitive skin.

Indoor Tanning Lotions Vs Outdoor Tanning Lotions

Understanding the differences between indoor and outdoor tanning lotions is crucial to maintaining your skin’s health and achieving an optimal tan.

Indoor Tanning Lotions

  • Purpose: Indoor tanning lotions are designed to enhance and accelerate the tanning process under artificial UV light, like in a tanning bed or booth.
  • Ingredients: They often contain ingredients that stimulate melanin production and improve skin moisture, such as tyrosine, various oils, and antioxidants.
  • Protection: These lotions usually don’t contain sun protection factor (SPF), meaning they can’t protect your skin against UVB rays which cause sunburn.
  • Use: As the name suggests, these lotions are meant for indoor use only due to their lack of SPF.

Outdoor Tanning Lotions

  • Purpose: Outdoor tanning lotions are designed to help you tan under natural sunlight while also offering some level of protection against UV rays.
  • Ingredients: They often contain moisturizing ingredients to keep skin hydrated under the sun, and may also include bronzing agents for an immediate glow.
  • Protection: Most outdoor tanning lotions contain SPF to provide protection against harmful UVB rays, though the level of protection varies by product.
  • Use: These lotions are suitable for outdoor use when sunbathing or spending time outdoors.

The choice between indoor and outdoor tanning lotions depends on where you plan to tan and your need for UV protection. Always remember to prioritize your skin’s health and safety when tanning, regardless of the method you choose.


Is it Safe to Use Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside?

While it’s technically possible to use indoor tanning lotion outside, it’s not recommended due to the lack of sun protection.

Indoor tanning lotions are specifically designed to enhance the tanning process in a controlled environment like a tanning bed or booth.

They contain ingredients that stimulate melanin production and moisturize the skin, but they typically lack sufficient SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Using indoor tanning lotion outdoors may leave your skin vulnerable to sunburn and other types of sun damage.

If you plan to tan outdoors, it’s better to use a tanning lotion designed for outdoor use, which will contain SPF to protect your skin.

Potential Risks Associated With Using Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside

Using indoor tanning lotion outside carries several potential risks due to the absence of sun protection factor (SPF) in these products.

Here are some specific risks associated with using them outdoors:

  1. Ineffectiveness: Indoor tanning lotions are designed to work with the concentrated UV light of tanning beds. They may not be as effective under natural sunlight, leading to inconsistent or unsatisfactory tanning results.
  2. Lack of Sun Protection: These lotions typically don’t contain SPF. Using them outside exposes your skin to harmful sun rays without adequate protection, potentially causing sunburn and other sun damage.
  3. Photosensitivity Reactions: Some indoor tanning lotions contain ingredients that increase photosensitivity. If used outside, these can make your skin more prone to sunburn, rashes, or allergic reactions.
  4. Dehydration: Indoor tanning lotions often contain intense moisturizing components to counteract the drying effect of tanning beds. However, when used outside, they might not provide sufficient hydration due to factors like wind and heat, leading to dry and damaged skin.
  5. Skin Discoloration: The uneven application of indoor tanning lotions can lead to patchy or streaky tans when used outside, due to variables like sweat and physical activity.
  6. Attracting Insects: Some indoor tanning lotions have strong fragrances which, when used outdoors, could attract insects, leading to bites and stings.

To mitigate these risks, it’s advisable to use a tanning lotion specifically designed for outdoor use when tanning under natural sunlight. These products typically contain SPF and are formulated to withstand outdoor conditions.

Tips to Apply Indoor Tanning Lotion Outside

If you choose to use an indoor tanning lotion outside, despite its potential risks, there are steps you can take to mitigate some of the damage.

Here’s how:

  1. Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF before the tanning lotion. This will provide some protection against harmful UV rays. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  2. Exfoliate: Exfoliating your skin before applying the lotion will help remove dead skin cells and improve lotion absorption, leading to a more even tan.
  3. Apply Evenly: Use a circular motion to apply the lotion evenly over your body. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach areas like your back.
  4. Wait Before Exposure: After applying the lotion, wait for at least 10-15 minutes before going outside to allow your skin to absorb the product.
  5. Limit Sun Exposure: Avoid the sun when it’s at its peak, typically between 10am and 4pm. This is when the sun’s rays are most intense and harmful.
  6. Hydrate Your Skin: Drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin after sun exposure to help maintain its health and prolong your tan.
  7. Wear Protective Clothing: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing to shield your skin from excessive sun exposure.
  8. Avoid Fragranced Lotions: Choose a lotion without a strong fragrance to avoid attracting insects when outside.

These tips can only mitigate the risks associated with using indoor tanning lotions outside. They do not eliminate them entirely.

The safest option is always to use products as they are intended. An outdoor tanning lotion with SPF is the best choice for outdoor tanning.

Making an Outdoor-Friendly Version of Indoor Tanning Lotion at Home

Creating a homemade, outdoor-friendly version of an indoor tanning lotion can be a fun DIY project. Here’s a simple recipe you can try:


  • 1 cup of natural oil (like coconut, olive, or avocado oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of zinc oxide powder (non-nano, uncoated)
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance (optional)


  1. Mix the Oil and Zinc Oxide: Combine the natural oil and zinc oxide powder in a bowl. Stir until well mixed. The zinc oxide acts as a natural sunblock.
  2. Add Fragrance: If you want a scented lotion, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and mix well.
  3. Store Properly: Pour the mixture into a clean, airtight container for storage.
  4. Application: Apply evenly on your skin before going out in the sun. Reapply every 2 hours, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.

This homemade lotion may not offer the same level of protection as commercial sunscreens with a confirmed SPF rating. It’s intended to be a natural alternative for those who prefer homemade products.

Always test a small amount on your skin first to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions.

Additionally, this lotion does not contain ingredients that accelerate tanning like indoor tanning lotions do, but it does provide some measure of sun protection for outdoor use.

Idol-Tan – Best Tanning Product Worth Trying

Idol-Tan is a sunless tanning product that aims to give users a beach-body tan without the orange finish often associated with self-tanners.

It’s designed for easy application, allowing users to get dressed soon after applying and enjoy a healthy, sun-kissed glow within several hours.

Idol-Tan is not recommended for individuals with certain medical conditions. Always consult your physician before use, especially if you are taking prescription drugs.

Idol-Tan is also not suitable for children under the age of 18.

Results are not guaranteed and vary by individual, meaning not everyone will experience the same outcome. Free shipping is offered exclusively to the United States.

Idol-Tan’s Arbitration Agreement Briefly Explained

Purchasing Idol-Tan involves an arbitration agreement. This means any disputes between the company and the customer, or anyone associated with the company, will be resolved through binding arbitration, not court proceedings. This process is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), overriding any state laws on arbitration.

Please use Idol-Tan responsibly and only as directed, taking note of all potential health considerations and the included arbitration agreement.

Wrapping it up…

In brief, Indoor tanning lotions provide a sun-kissed glow without sunburn risks but should not be used in direct sunlight due to low SPF.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry – so if your goal is to bronze your skin outdoors, then it’s best to opt for a quality sunscreen specially designed for outdoor use.

If you have additional questions about whether or not you should use indoor tanning lotion, make sure to consult with a skin specialist or practitioner.

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