Best Sunscreen for Tanning – Sunscreen That Helps You Tan??

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Protecting your skin in the sun is one of life’s harder challenges. Especially if you are someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, whether that be for work, vacation, or you simply loving the feeling of the sun’s rays hitting off your face. However, keeping your skin safe whilst achieving a beautifully golden tan takes skin protection challenges to a new level.

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Many people believe that sunscreen, whilst being crucial for skin protection when exposed to any form of UV ray, is the biggest barrier to achieving a tan. This, in fact, is a myth. And today I am going to not only tell you why you can still sunbathe whilst catching a tan, but the best sunscreens that help you tan and also protect your skin in the meantime.

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Best Sunscreen For Tanning

There are a number of products on the market, particularly based around tanning promotion, however skin protection in the sun is something you should be extremely careful with and so knowing the best sunscreen for tanning, or at least having some of them narrowed down for you, makes everything that little bit easier.

Not only does sunscreen prevent you from burning, but it helps prevent your skin from aging prematurely. It can effectively be the main prevention for any more serious skin concerns caused by the sun, such as skin cancer.

Because of this, lathering on the SPF before any sun exposure is a good idea. So if you are interested in keeping your skin healthy without stopping the cinnamon glow then learning which is the best sunscreen for tanning is a great place to start.

Which Sunscreen Is Best for Tanning?

I have categorized some of the best sunscreens for tanning to make it easier for you to choose one suitable not only for your skin type, but for the activity and purpose of your sunscreen.

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What Sunscreen Gives You the Best Tan?

Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Reef Friendly Lotion Sunscreen with Cocoa Butter, SPF 8, Coconut, 8 Fl Oz
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As mentioned, this really does depend on your skin type, but choosing a lotion that is overall aimed at hydrating your skin whilst achieving a tan is the best option. Hydrated skin means that your skin will not dry out and you will not shed as much skin, meaning your tan will stay in-tact and stick around for longer.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Sunscreen is effectively a tanning oil designed to keep your skin hydrated and nourish whilst using.

Whilst this particular one sits at factor 50, you can buy it in various SPF levels all the way down SPF 4 for those who have very dark skin. It would be recommended for those with lighter skin to either use SPF 50 or to apply the tanning oil on top of a higher SPF sunscreen.

This sunscreen works by using coconut oil and cocoa butter to keep your skin moisturized, helping to enhance your tan. Not only does it help keep your skin hydrated, but the shine of the oil attracts the UV rays, increasing your chance of tanning – but also burning if not used safely.

The ingredients mean that this product has a delicious smell and with a lightweight feel and dry-oil finish, it is enjoyable to apply and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy.

Not only does it smell and feel fantastic, but it protects you for up to 80 minutes in the water, making it perfect for both sunbathing, but also swimming or for those exercising in the sun.

It is dermatologist tested, making it safe for those with sensitive skin, but it also is not tested on animals making it both safe for you and for the animals of the beauty industry!

Whilst this is one of the most popular and successful sunscreens on the market for those still trying to catch a tan, any sunscreen in the form of oil does increase your chances of tanning which is excellent, but also very risky for those who may burn.

It is crucial to combine this with a higher SPF if you are prone to burning and it is recommended to start with a higher SPF whilst your skin adapts to using a tanning oil – remember to be patient!

Pros and Cons

  • Non-greasy
  • UV absorbing
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Range of SPF available for all skin types
  • Oil increases chance of burning

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Tanning at the Beach?

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray |Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) Broad Spectrum Moisturizing UVA/UVB Sunscreen with Vitamin E, Natural, 6 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
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Whilst Hawaiian Tropic is excellent for all purposes, when it comes to the best sunscreen for tanning at the beach, lots of products are specifically designed for this exact job. So narrowing these down may be of more interest if you plan to spend lots of time lying on the sand and swimming in the ocean.

SunBum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray is designed specifically for those planning to spend a lot of time on the beach and in the ocean. It is both octinoxate and oxybenzone free, making it reef-friendly and perfect to use in the ocean.

It is an oil-free, water resistant formula making it perfect for swimming and keeping your skin protected for up to 80 minutes in the water.

As mentioned, moisturizing is key to protecting skin whilst catching a tan. This moisturizing formula does just that. Not only is it perfect for keeping your skin moisturized, but it has a protection level of SPF 30 and is packed full of vitamin E, making it nourishing and safe for those long days on the beach.

Not only is this the best sunscreen for tanning on the beach, but it also comes in an easy to use, convenient bottle that has a misting spray for easy and grease-free application.

If you do use it for swimming in the sea or if you are sweating more than usual whilst wearing this sunscreen, it is important to continue to reapply in order to remain protected.

Pros and Cons

  • Easy application
  • Reef-friendly
  • Water resistant
  • Needs reapplication when sweating or swimming

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Tanning Pale Skin?

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 70, Oil-Free and PABA-Free Fast-Absorbing Sunscreen Lotion, UVA/UVB Sun Protection, SPF 70, 6.7 oz
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For those with lighter skin, staying away from oil-style tanning products is key to keeping your skin protected.

SPF factors can go even higher than 50. Whilst this may seem excessively high, for those with paler skin it is much better to enter the tanning game too high than too low.

Neutrogena Beach Defense is a fantastic product for those with much lighter skin. The higher SPF means that whilst any change in color may take a lot longer than you hope, your skin will remain safe and hydrated. Trust me, burning on the first day will make it impossible to achieve any color for the rest of your vacation and so playing it safe for the first few days is your best option.

Once you have eased your skin in with a higher factor, it is time to gradually lower the SPF.

This sunscreen is the best sunscreen for tanning pale skin not only because of the higher SPF, but because it is an oil-free, fast-absorbing sunscreen. It helps protect against sun damage during a fun day without leaving you feeling greasy and lathered unlike many other sunscreens with a higher SPF.

It is excellent for outdoor activities, but also water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so fantastic for those with lighter skin who plan to be spending the day at the beach or in the pool.

It is fragrance-free, making it a fantastic option for those with lighter skin, but also those with sensitive skin.

This is also a fantastic option to consider for younger children. Their skin is a lot less-developed than adult skin and so it requires even more protection from the sun. Going for an oil-free, fragrance-free and  high SPF sunscreen is the best sunscreen for tanning pale skin but also for protecting your little ones.

Pros and Cons

  • Fragrance-free and oil-free
  • High SPF
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for children
  • Water resistant
  • Will slow down tanning process

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Tanning Outside?

Banana Boat Sport Ultra, Reef Friendly, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30, 6oz. - Twin Pack
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Whilst most sunscreens are aimed at outdoor tanning, you do get some that are focused towards enhancing tans and protecting you whilst on a tanning bed. However, these tend not to contain any SPF. So today I am solely going to tell you about the best sunscreen for tanning outside.

Whilst all of the products mentioned so far are excellent for tanning outside, another one which is fantastic for outdoor tanning is Banana Boat Sport Ultra.

Again, whilst being a strong SPF that still allows room for tanning, it is also not only reef-friendly making it excellent for those spending time out at sea, but it is also aimed specifically at people who  need protection whilst playing sports.

It is an excellent and trusty product that I have been using for many years. Whilst it comes in various SPFs, SPF 30 is an excellent middle ground for just about anyone when playing sport.

As you typically sweat more, and therefore lose some of your protection when playing sports, 30 is a safe factor even for those with darker skin, nut also a good level of protection for those with lighter skin as this sunscreen is more prone to staying on in sweatier conditions.

Not only is the SPF versatile, but this comes in a pack of two, making it great value for money. The spray bottle makes it convenient and easy to apply without overdoing it or leaving you feeling greasy.

Overall, this is one of the best sunscreens for tanning outdoors but is also the best sunscreen to use for cycling, running, tennis – you name it! Whatever sport you fancy picking up when you are on vacation, or if you regularly play sport in sunny conditions then Banana Boat is a reliable and strong sunscreen to use outside.

Pros and Cons

  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Designed for sports
  • Versatile SPF
  • Easy application
  • Value for money
  • SPF 30 may be too low for those with much lighter skin

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Fast Tanning?

Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 30, 8 Ounce | Moisturize & Hydrate Skin | Broad Spectrum | Water Resistant | Non-Greasy | Oxybenzone Free | Cruelty Free
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When it comes to tanning, a lot of people do not have the patience to wait, nor do some people have the time to wait for a tan if they have a short vacation.

Whilst it is important to be patient and ease your skin in, there are some safer ways to have bronzed skin from the first day of tanning without putting your skin in a risky position.

Australian Gold Instant Bronzer is an excellent product for this. With a high SPF of 30, it keeps you protected, however it provides a slightly bronzed glow to your skin. This means you can have that tanned look whilst your skin is adapting to the sun whilst also keeping your skin protected.

This product comes in many different SPF factors and so you can gradually lower your SPF exposure whilst maintaining an even glow, until your skin is eventually reaching a naturally tanning color that your desire.

Whilst this is the best sunscreen for fast tanning because it provides a tan without too much UV exposure, lots of people do not want to opt for an artificial tan.

If this is you, then you can try Australian Gold Tanning Accelerator.  It is important to remember that this in itself is not a sunscreen, but works as an accelerator whilst in the sun. The best way to use this is to apply it over the top of your regular SPF.

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator Spray Gel With Bronzer | 8 Fl Oz, Multicolor, AGCB175(Packaging May Vary)
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The SPF of your sunscreen will keep your skin protected and hydrated, but the accelerator will help you gradually tan quicker than normal.

All Australian Gold products are known for smelling incredible, whilst also absorbing quickly so as to not leave you greasy. They also contain vitamin C, tea tree oil, and kakadu plum extract. The combination of these ingredients not only hydrates your skin, but provides a natural antioxidant, helping to cleanse your skin and leave it feeling healthy and smooth.

Pros and Cons

  • Smells good
  • Absorbent
  • Accelerates tanning
  • Provides a temporary glow
  • Provides a glow

What Is the Best Natural Sunscreen for Tanning?

Two Peas Organics - All Natural Organic SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion - Coral Reef Safe - Baby, Kid & Family Friendly - Chemical Free Mineral Based Formula - Waterproof & Unscented – 3oz
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Whilst skin protection is crucial for successful and safe tanning, lots of people also look at the ingredients used in their products and would prefer to opt for a natural product.

If this is you, then Two Peas Organics have created a wonderfully natural sunscreen for tanning. It is a certified organic product using highly effective plant derived ingredients. This makes it reef-friendly, but also baby and child safe whilst being great for sensitive skin.

The product comes in SPF 50 and so it provides great protection. Again, whilst being a higher factor it will still allow you to build a slow and gradual tan, keeping your skin healthy and hydrated whilst only using natural and organic formulas.

The product has no fragrance and no chemicals and contains 25% zinc oxide which helps to soothe any skin that may have already faced some sun damage.

Whilst they promote the white layer it leaves, as this allows you to see any areas of skin you may have missed, this aspect of the cream can be one downfall. The ingredients and the high SPF mean that you are left with a slightly white residue until your skin has fully absorbed, however for some people this may be a bonus!

Pros and Cons

  • Natural and organic
  • Suitable for children and sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free and chemical-free
  • High SPF
  • Leaves a white layer on skin
Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 50, 8 Ounce | Moisturize & Hydrate Skin | Broad Spectrum | Water Resistant,B07DG52KLY

What Is a Good Spf to Tan but Not Burn?

With the main purpose of sunscreen being to prevent burning, many people also believe this means that no skin color changes will happen at all.

The fact of the matter is, no SPF or sunscreen is capable of blocking out 100% of UV rays, meaning that even with the strongest sunscreen on, you are still at risk of burning.

What sunscreen does is it dilutes these rays. A lot of people tan naturally without risk of burning, particularly those with darker skin, however the use of SPF is still important to keep your skin safe, but to also keep it hydrated when in the sun.

Using a stronger SPF will dilute the rays more and keep your skin protected for a longer period of time, ultimately meaning that you are more likely to bronze in the sun than burn.

Knowing the right SPF to wear really will depend on your skin type, but those with typically darker skin can wear as low as SPF 15 and be protected and hydrated whilst still being to catch a tan. However, it is always recommended to wear at least a factor 30 when spending time in the sun. This will help to keep your skin a lot more protected and hydrated, preventing risk of aging.

Those with naturally lighter skin should always turn to a factor 50, at least at the beginning of vacation. Easing your skin in and allowing it to slightly darken using a stronger sunscreen is the safest way to protect your skin but allow it that slight exposure.

If you have been safely using SPF 50 and you are in the sun for a long period of time, you may notice that lowering the SPF will still keep you from burning once your skin has developed some form of protection.

A lower SPF will allow more of the sun’s rays to reach your skin, and whilst this means you will tan better, it also puts you at a greater risk of burning.

Achieving a good, deep and, most importantly, a safe tan is all down to having patience. Taking the time to keep your skin protected will allow you to eventually achieve a deep tan that is hydrated and longer-lasting. Pushing your skin will only result in burning, which will then peel and eventually disappear.

The best SPF for tanning really does depend on your skin type, but ensuring your skin is protected should be the number one priority when it comes to any sun exposure.

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Use Sunscreen Even When You Tan!

To really summarize one best sunscreen for tanning, without burning, can be difficult, but there are a number of reliable products in this article that can help you along the way.

When it comes to tanning, getting a gradual tan by using a high SPF and keeping your skin safe is the best method. This ensures your skin remains hydrated and healthy, but also allows for a much deeper tan to develop, meaning it will last you a lot longer.

Many sunscreens have different benefits, so it is important to know what you need it for. The best sunscreen for cycling will be different to the best sunscreen for pale skin, which will be different to the best sunscreen for fast tanning.

Identify your skin type, then the purpose of the sunscreen is the best method to take.

Remember, if using a tanning oil, even with some SPF, it is important to know that this will absorb more UV rays and so you need to ensure you are not burning.

Even more importantly, if using a tanning accelerator, you must never use these as a sunscreen substitute. Instead, use these on top of your regular sunscreen to ensure you remain protected whilst speeding up the process.

One of the safest ways to achieve a quick tan is to use a sunscreen that contains a bronzing agent. This allows you to glow whilst your skin begins to adapt to the sun.

Overall, there are many products on the market. Always start with a higher SPF and gradually work yourself towards that deeper, darker tan. Tanning with sunscreen is absolutely possible, just be patient, and more importantly be safe!

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?