Indoor tanning lotion, as the name suggests, is tanning lotion designed specifically for indoor tanning salons and tanning beds. Rather than blocking or reflecting UV rays like its outdoor brethren, sunscreen and sunblock, indoor tanning lotion works to amplify the effects of ultraviolet radiation to create a better looking tan.

The primary ingredient that helps enhance tanning is melanin, which is the chemical that the skin naturally produces; it is the chemical that contributes to the browning of the skin. Indoor tanning lotions also successfully enhance the tanning experience by increasing the amount of blood flow to the skin which results in more melanin reaching the upper layers of the skin.

Tan Enhancers

One of the best ways to evaluate an indoor tanning lotion is to take a look at the list of active ingredients. Two of the most common active ingredients found in tanning lotions are melanin and L-Tyrosine; others include: tea oil, copper, green tea extract and numerous other natural oils. Natural oils produce a refractive prism that magnifies the ultraviolet light that reaches the skin, intensifying the exposure; this ultimately enhances the tanning process giving a deeper tan in less time. This is one major reason why indoor tanning lotions produce better results.


Indoor lotions are measured by a different rubric than sunscreen and sunblock lotions. Since they provide virtually no protection from the sun, there’s no SPF rating. Instead, indoor tanning lotions have tingle factor, which measures the amount of tingling sensation that the lotion provides when rubbed onto the skin. Unlike SPF, tingle factor is not a standardized measurement and varies from product to product. The tingling sensation associated with indoor tanning lotions indicates an increase in blood flow in the skin.

In addition to making your skin tingle, many indoor tanning lotions now also contain bronzers such as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is an amino acid that turns a bronze color when it reacts with proteins in the skin.


One of the primary purposes for using indoor tanning lotions is to moisturize the skin. This is because tanning will dehydrate the skin making additional moisturizing necessary to leave the skin glowing and smooth.

One of the more common moisturizing elements in tanning lotions is hempseed oil. Because it is high in fatty acids, hempseed oil helps to retain moisture and maintain the effects from tanning.

If you plan on visiting a tanning salon in the near future, spend some time looking through the variety of indoor tanning lotions available. Speak with the staff at your local tanning salon for recommendations on good tanning lotions. Tanning lotions provide a number of benefits including tan enhancement and moisturizing benefits that will help you get the tan you’ve been looking for.