Getting perfectly tanned skin is tricky, especially if you have fair skin. You don’t want to go too dark or too orange.
There’s always the option to go old school and get a tan while sitting under the sun. But that tanning experience has grown too cumbersome and uncomfortable for many, especially now that we all know how much damage UV rays cause our skin.
That’s why a tanning accelerator would be your best bet for getting the best tanning session. What it does is it basically speeds up the tanning process so that you won’t have to go through as many hoops to achieve a sun-kissed look.
We reviewed the 10 Best Tan Accelerators below for you. Take your pick and enjoy that golden look!
10 Best Tan Accelerator Products for Different Skin Types
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator
The Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator is our top pick because of its versatility. It’s formulated perfectly that you can use it for both a tanning bed and outdoor tanning.
The main ingredient is Hemp Seed Oil which contains essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6. It moisturizes the skin to give it a healthy glow.
Other Australian Gold Oils like Vitamins A and E are also part of the ingredient list. The consistency of the oils isn’t anything to worry about because they make the formula feel more like a creamy lotion. That way, you get the moisture benefits of an oil but with a lightweight texture.
We should also add that Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil are included in this Australian Gold formula. They work together to maintain the skin’s hydration levels and add a boost of nourishment for an enhanced glow.
It’s the mixture of many rich oils in this Australian Gold tanning accelerator lotion that speeds up the tanning process. You get a rich, dark tan much quicker than you would if you weren’t using it.
One last thing that we love about the Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator is that it’s extremely affordable. You can definitely get the perfect tan without breaking the bank.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Just make sure to use sunscreen over this since it doesn’t have any added SPF.
- Native Australian Gold Oils speed up the tanning process
- Lightweight on the skin
- Can be used for tanning beds and outdoor tanning
- Nourishing ingredients like Vitamins A and E give skin a healthy glow
- Contains no SPF
- It has a mild scent that others might not enjoy
Maui Babe Tanning Salon Formula
Best for Tanning Bed Use
If you’re planning to lay down in a tanning bed to get your perfect tan, then we recommend this tanning accelerator from Maui Babe. It features a unique and effective tanning formula.
This is a great dark tanning accelerator since it gives you a deep, dark tan. The formula contains Kona Coffee extracts which are exclusively sourced from Hawaii. This ingredient exfoliates the skin while giving a deep, dark pigment to the skin.
A rich blend of different plant oils is also present in the ingredient list:
- Sunflower Seed Oil enhances moisture in the skin while still remaining safe for the acrylic on most tanning beds.
- Kukui Nut Oil is a popular native Polynesian sun burn cure that strengthens your skin against heat and light damage from the sun bed.
- Safflower Oil adds an extra boost of hydration and nourishment to the skin.
Other ingredients include Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. These four components are rich in soothing, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties so that your skin’s upper barrier becomes stronger. They also prevent hyperpigmentation so that you have an even tan.
Many users who’ve tried this tanning accelerator lotion say that it gave them a deep dark tan much faster than other tanning lotions did. If you want a quick fix, then this is the best tanning accelerator that we recommend.
- Perfect for dark tanning
- Contains a mix of hydrating and nourishing oils for your skin
- Gives quick results
- Some users find it too greasy on the skin
Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil Original
Best for Outdoor Tanning
For those who prefer to tan while they’re outside doing sports and other water activities, then this tanning accelerator from Hawaiian Tropic is for you.
Outdoor tanning used to just mean baking yourself under the sun, old-school style. But now, it means that you can get a great tan by slathering on a tanning accelerator lotion and simply going about your outdoor activities.
This tanning lotion contains a blend of Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil to deliver hydration to the skin while you tan (it also give a hint of a coconut scent). They’re high in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A which have antioxidants that provide nourishment. Also, it’s the richness of the oils that speed up the tanning process.
Other ingredients are Aloe Vera, Papaya Fruit extract, and Eucalyptus Leaf Oil. These three work together to soothe, nourish, and strengthen your skin while you wait for it to finally tan.
It’s important to note that this tanning lotion doesn’t have Oxybenzone in its formula. This means that it’s safe enough to use on sensitive skin since there are lower chances of it causing irritation.
It also means that it’s reef-safe, so it won’t harm the environment when washed away into beach water. And even if you shower after tanning, the oil won’t clog the drains.
Girls and guys who’ve tried tanning with this accelerator lotion love that it gives instant pigment. Those with fair skin are particularly fond of it because it delivers a deep bronze tan that still looks natural.
It’s a good product for when you also want to exercise after getting your initial tan.
There isn’t any SPF added in the formula though. Just make sure that you wear sunscreen after applying this so that you get sun protection.
- Contains a nourishing blend of oils for your skin
- Tanning effects are instant
- Safe for those with a sensitive skin type
- Has no SPF
Supre Smoke Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
If you’re a fan of dark tanning, then the Supre Smoke Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion is the best tanning accelerator for you. We also recommend it if you already have an existing tan and want to deepen it further.
This is one of the best tanning lotions for a darker tan because it has a combination of maximizers and bronzers.
That means that it allows your skin to reach the highest limit of pigment to allow for a darker glow. It also uses an Oxygen Regenerating System that boosts pigment production in the skin through increased oxygen circulation.
A mix of essential oils is also part of the ingredients. These oils are packed with anti-aging and antioxidant properties that can delay the signs of aging. They can even treat visible wrinkles and fine lines.
As for the fragrance, this tanning lotion contains Pineapple, Mango, and Passionfruit. These three ingredients are what give the formula a sweet-smelling, citrus scent.
We should also add that despite the potent tanning effects this gives, it’s still safe enough for sensitive skin. Many users with sensitive skin types noticed that it doesn’t cause any negative reactions on their skin.
Perhaps the only catch is that since this gives great pigment to your skin, it can leave some stains behind. Make sure to wash the areas you don’t want a tan on immediately. The color dries quite fast when left for long.
Also, this doesn’t have SPF, so you have to make sure that you wear sunscreen after applying it if you want sun protection.
- Perfect for dark tanning
- Has anti-aging and antioxidant properties for your skin
- Safe for use on sensitive skin
- Can leave stains on the skin
- Doesn’t have added SPF
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
This tanning product by Ed Hardy is another one of the best tanning accelerators that we recommend. Not only will you get an excellent tan, but you’ll also get to nourish your skin along the way.
A unique recipe of tanning ingredients is what we love about this tanning lotion. It contains Quad Tyrosine and Melabronze which both boost the skin’s melanin production.
Other ingredients like Melactiva and Nouritan act as melanin synthesizers to enhance pigment. This is what allows for a richer tan. Something called Body Fit is also added to reduce the appearance of cellulite by firming your skin.
Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, and Cocoa Butter are also part of the formula. These plant-derived components provide extra nourishment and hydration to the skin. They are natural softeners that improve texture as well
This is one of the most effective tan accelerators that can also soften and smoothen your skin. If you want to hit two birds with one stone, then this is your best bet.
What many users of this tanning lotion also love about it is that the color lasts on their body for a long time. It can even prolong the pigment of their tattoos!
- Gives you a perfect tan
- Nourishing ingredients soften skin texture
- Long-lasting color on your skin
- Has a wonderful coconut smell
- The coconut scent might smell too strong for some
Millenium Tanning New Paint It Black Lotion
The bottle of this tanning lotion by Millenium Tanning might make you think it’s some kind of special potion. You’re technically right. It’s a special tan accelerator potion!
Nourishing ingredients like Walnut Seed, Pecan Seed, and Carrot Seed oils are the key components of this tanning lotion. Much like a magical elixir, they enhance the skin’s radiance and glow by providing moisture. Sunflower Seed Oil is also present for a glow.
Banana, Apple, Melon, and Willow Bark extracts are also part of the formula. They smooth, strengthen, and nourish the complexion as the skin tans.
This tanning lotion is one of the most effective tanning accelerators if you want a darker and deeper tan. This is since it contains 100 silicone bronzers that deliver rich pigment to the skin.
It’s also perfect if you have fair skin because it delivers the right amount of color for your tan to still look natural. Many users have observed that they don’t get too orange or too brown unlike when they use other tanning accelerators.
You should remember that this doesn’t have SPF though. Always make it a point to wear sunscreen when using this tanning lotion.
- Has nourishing ingredients that improve skin texture and hydration levels
- Delivers a darker tan for your skin
- Gives you a natural-looking tan
- Doesn’t have SPF
- Has a strong fragrance that some users don’t enjoy
Panama Jack Amplifier Oil
If you want a break from tan accelerator lotions, then this tanning oil from Panama Jack is something you should try. It’s labeled as an amplifier oil because it’s formulated for those who already have existing tans or who have darker skin tones.
The ingredients are a concoction of different plant oils. Sweet Almond Oil, Peanut Oil, and Wheat Oil provide nourishing properties to the skin. Jojoba Seed Oil and Kukui Nut Oil give a boost of hydration to target skin dryness.
This is a great tan accelerator if you’re looking to get a darker tan since the rich concentration of oils speeds up the pigmentation process.
The best part is that you can enjoy your tan without having to endure harsh chemicals on your skin. This tan accelerator doesn’t have parabens, oxybenzone, or octinoxate. It has no palmitate, retinyl, or synthetic preservatives either. Even those with sensitive skin can enjoy this.
Like most tanning accelerators though, this doesn’t have SPF. You’ll have to wear a layer of sunscreen to get adequate sun protection.
- Gives you a dark tan
- Nourishing plant oils provide moisture to the skin
- Has no harsh chemicals
- Safe on sensitive skin
- Has no SPF added
- The product tends to leak during shipping because of the spray dispenser
Tan Asz U Luau Island Black Bronzer
This product by Tan Asz U Luau is another one of the best accelerator lotions to use with tanning beds. It delivers a perfect and youthful glow.
Marula Oil is the star ingredient that delivers plenty of moisture to the skin. Marula oil is loaded with antioxidants that can strengthen the skin and delay the formation of wrinkles.
Many people who’ve tried this lotion for tanning say that it not only gave them a great tan, but it also smoothed their skin. Their tan looks healthy, evened out, and natural.
It’s also nice to know that this tan accelerator doesn’t contain harsh ingredients. It has no DHA, which is a common tanning ingredient that leaves stains on your body. That’s why it’s suitable even for those whose skin is sensitive as well.
This also leaves a long-lasting tan so you get good value for your money. You also won’t see any streaking or orange stains since the pigment is well-balanced.
It’ll definitely take longer for this product to fade away.
- Nourishing ingredients moisturize the skin
- Has anti-aging properties
- Contains no harsh ingredients
- Long-lasting color
- Has a fruity fragrance that some might not like
- Dries fast on the skin so some users find it hard to control the level of pigment they get
Pro Tan Radically Hemp Ultra Powerful 10X Dark Tanning Gelee Accelerator
This is probably one of the most interesting tanning accelerator lotions we found. The ingredients are a concoction of various nourishing oils and extracts.
The key ingredient is Hemp Seed Oil which you might know more as a popular recreational substance. It works well for the skin, though, since it delivers a boost of nourishment.
Other ingredients in the formula are Manoi de Tahiti Oil and Aloe Vera. Monoi de Tahiti Oils are known to retain and boost skin hydration. Aloe Vera is a soothing agent that is great for treating burns and redness.
Not only will this tan accelerator give you a healthy glow, but it’ll also prevent irritation and enhance your skin’s moisture levels. You can enjoy lotion tanning without worrying about drying out or damaging your skin.
One last thing that we like about this tanning lotion is that unlike most tan accelerators that are formulated for fairer skin, this isn’t. It’s actually even more effective on those with darker skin types since it can enhance their natural glow.
But this doesn’t contain SPF though, so you’ll have to wear sunscreen to make sure that you get sun protection.
- Nourishes the skin with moisturizing oils
- Contains soothing ingredients
- Formulated for those with darker skin tones
- Doesn’t have SPF
BONUS: Sun Bum Original SPF 15 Sunscreen Lotion
Tired of all the tanning accelerators that never have sunscreen? This tanning lotion from Sun Bum has precisely what you’re looking for!
Formulated with SPF 15, this lotion gives you an adequate amount of sun protection while tanning your skin. The greatest part is that the SPF is broad spectrum, so it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays at the same time.
This is the perfect tanning lotion for outdoor and water activities since it’s water-resistant as well. It’ll stay effective for up to 80 minutes on your skin before you need to reapply.
And even those whose skin is sensitive can enjoy a great tan because this lotion contains no harsh chemicals. It doesn’t have parabens, PABA, or gluten. It’s also cruelty-free since it wasn’t tested on animals.
The formula is certified to be non-comedogenic too. You won’t have to worry about it clogging your pores or causing irritation on your skin, unlike other tanning accelerators.
To top it all off, Vitamin E is infused into this lotion. This powerful antioxidant delivers nourishment to the skin while repairing it from damage. It also strengthens the skin’s barrier to protect it from external factors and signs of aging.
- Contains SPF 15
- Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes on the skin
- No harsh chemicals
- Contains antioxidant properties
- Leaves a chalky, white residue on some users’ skin (due to the SPF content)
- Has a light fragrance
What is a Tan Accelerator?
To put it simply, a tan accelerator is a product that enhances melanin production in the skin. Melanin is the substance responsible for giving the skin pigment. So when melanin production is increased, your skin gets darker.
A tan accelerator can come in multiple forms. It can either be a lotion, oil, or serum.
Common Ingredients in a Tan Accelerator:
This is usually added to enhance the fragrance of your tanning lotion. And apart from its sweet scent, it delivers extra nourishment to the skin.
As a popular skincare ingredient, this prevents irritation and allergies from forming on your skin cells. It can also soothe redness and burns that you might have.
The oil extracted from carrots is not just great for enhancing eyesight, but for strengthening the skin as well. It offers protection from the sun and UV light.
This popular baking ingredient is more than just something to improve chocolate desserts. It’s a potent moisturizer that restores the skin’s hydration levels.
Antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory are three perfect words to describe this ingredient. Extracted from coconuts, this is also an effective moisturizer.
Green Tea Extract
Rich in Vitamins E, C, and B2, this ingredient is usually added to strengthen the skin. It adds extra protection against external factors like the sun, UV light, and free radicals.
High in the E vitamin, this oil is another ingredient that boosts the skin’s defense system against UV damage.
How to Use a Tan Accelerator
Using a tan accelerator lotion is no different from using your usual self-tanner or spray tan.
To use a tan accelerator, you simply have to blend it evenly all over your skin a few minutes before you plan on going outdoors or under a sunbed.
Before applying your tan accelerator lotion though, make sure that you’ve cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized your skin. This will help the lotion to be spread more evenly onto your skin cells so that you get an even tan.
Be sure to check and read the product label as well to see if your lotion needs any special tools or techniques when you apply it.
As long as you’ve applied it properly, you can easily look like you’ve even had the tan airbrushed or sprayed-on to your skin!
Tanning accelerators are perfect if you want a perfectly bronzed glow. They’re a great choice whether you’re someone with fair skin who wants a healthier-looking complexion, or someone who simply wants to enhance your already tanned skin.
The rich oils, extracts, and vitamins that are in many tan accelerator formulas also provide a boost of nourishment to the skin while you tan. You won’t have to feel guilty or worried about causing damage to your skin cells anymore.
With every tan, your skin will also feel more supple, hydrated, and nourished. But just remember to still wear sunscreen!
By now, we hope that our list of the best tanning accelerators has helped you find the right one for your self-tanning session. With these products, your most desired tan is just an application away!
Lastly, most tanning accelerators don’t contain SPF. We recommend that you check out our Review of the Best Indoor Tanning Lotions for good options.
August 2, 2021 – Updated article content, optimized content
July 19, 2021 – Updated internal links, updated external links, removed author box