Best Tanning Lotion for Men – Outdoor Tanning Lotions & Self-Tanners

Why use tanning lotion? Because it makes up for all the moisture you lose during the process of tanning. And the downside to skin moisture depletion, apart from the obvious that lack of moisture doesn’t make the skin feel healthy and smooth, is that when your skin is devoid of moisture i.e. dehydrated or dry, instead of absorbing UV light, it reflects the light.

Therefore, if you’re a guy and you’re not applying the best tanning lotion for men, then you’re actually not benefitting anything from at least half of the tanning session (almost 50-percent of your session wasted indeed).

And YES, men use tanning beds and moisturizers too! And there’s nothing so girly about it!

So here are some of the most highly recommended tanning lotions, both outdoor and indoor, specifically formulated (and high quality) for MANLY MEN!

Millennium Tanning Products Dark Tanning Lotion
Top Pick
Millennium Tanning Products Dark Tanning Lotion
9.8
  • Tingle-free, non-greasy indoor tanning bed lotion
  • Quick, long-lasting dark bronze tan
  • Moisturizes skin with fruit extracts
Devoted Creations H.I.M. Titanium Bronzer
Runner Up
Devoted Creations H.I.M. Titanium Bronzer
9.8
  • Lightweight, ultra-dark tanning bronzer
  • Avocado extracts protect/moisturize skin
  • Masculine scent and tattoo protection
Devoted Creations CAMO KING Black Bronzing Lotion
Best for Tattooed
Devoted Creations CAMO KING Black Bronzing Lotion
9.6
  • Dark DHA bronzer for men and women
  • Tattoo protection technology
  • Really moisturizes skin with anti-aging benefits
Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
9.6
  • Can be used outdoors and for tanning beds
  • Anti-aging peptides and hydrating natural oils/extracts
  • Very lightweight and vegan + cruelty-free
Gentlemen G Natural Bronzer
Gentlemen G Natural Bronzer
9.5
  • Natural bronzing lotion gets absorbed very quickly
  • Non-greasy texture with tattoo protection
  • Pleasant manly aroma and streak-free results
Supre Smoke Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
Best Self-Tanning Lotion
Supre Smoke Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
9.5
  • Self-acting bronzer tanning lotion
  • Powerful anti-aging antioxidants
  • Keeps getting darker for a week
The Sicilian 200X Dark Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
Best Indoor Tanning Lotion
The Sicilian 200X Dark Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion
9.5
  • Indoor tanning lotion for gradual bronzing
  • Skin-nourishing ingredients with no unpleasant post-tanning odor
  • Goes on smoothly and dries very fast
Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach
Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion
Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach
9.5
  • Outdoor/indoor tanning lotion perfect for fair skin
  • DHA-free, streak-free bronzers
  • Moisturizing properties with natural oils and anti-aging benefits with peptides.
Onyx Tanning Lotion with Bronzer and Accelerator
Onyx Tanning Lotion with Bronzer and Accelerator
9.5
  • Bronzing intensifier formulated for men
  • Sea components (boost hydration) and moisturizing ingredients (sesame oil)
  • Erythrulose, DHA, and tyrosine for triple tanning power
Beach Kings 100x Black Bronzer Indoor Tanning Bed
Beach Kings 100x Black Bronzer Indoor Tanning Bed
9.5
  • Indoor tanning lotion with bronzer
  • Formulated with moisturizing, anti-aging coconut milk
  • Enhances tattoo and works for every skin type

1. Millennium Tanning Products Dark Tanning Lotion

Pros
  • Non-greasy, non-sticky indoor tanning lotion
  • Moisturizing fruit extracts and sunflower oil
  • Even coverage and no tingling effect
  • Smells like men’s cologne
Cons
  • Tends to stain/streak fingers and hands
  • After-smell not too pleasant

You don’t stumble upon an indoor tanning lotion with bronzer like this, Millennium Tanning Solid Black Bronzer Tanning Bed Lotion is one that’s specially picked from the lot for its quick bronzing action, moisturizing properties, and long-lasting tan.

And the best part about it all is that both women and men can use it. Plus, the scent isn’t too feminine or anything of the sort if that’s what you’re worried about!

The lotion goes on very smoothly, and you don’t even feel any painful, unpleasant tingling sensations. Just an hour of tanning gets your skin to look evenly dark bronze. And that 1-hour session keeps from dehydrating your skin at the same time since Millennium Tanning Solid Black is also infused with fruit extracts and sunflower oil for moisturizing the skin.

2. Devoted Creations H.I.M. Titanium Bronzer

Pros
  • Non-greasy and lightweight texture
  • Counteracts skin irritation/redness with avocado
  • Best for getting a dark tan, stain-free
  • Tattoo protection and masculine scent
Cons
  • Consistency is a bit watery, not thick enough

Devoted Creations H.I.M. Gold Edition isn’t the only popular men’s tanning lotion, even this titanium bronzer is a huge hit among male tanning enthusiasts. The bronzer, just so you know is cheaper and certainly more low-maintenance too. You get that desirable easy, even ultra-dark tan with every single application.

Enriched with avocado extracts that have been proven to alleviate skin redness and irritation. So those potential side-effects of the tanning process are well taken care of to a certain extent.

And this is a lightweight, meaning non-greasy tanning bronzer that comes in one of those convenient-to-use tubes. The fancy, manly scent name here is Oriental Black Cashmere. Not too overpowering that’s for sure, which works for most men!

3. Devoted Creations CAMO KING Black Bronzing Lotion

Pros
  • Low-maintenance bronzer infused with moisturizers
  • Great coverage and turns the skin dark very quickly
  • Works for tattooed, sensitive, and aging skin
Cons
  • Stains the hands

You know it’s just the best for men when there’s no overpowering floral scent. Rather this Devoted Creations CAMO KING Tanning Lotion has that Abercrombie & Fitch like men’s cologne scent. Plus, that’s a pretty decent price you pay for such an effective dark DHA bronzer!

The most appealing quality is that it protects your tattoos while you’re tanning. And it even protects sensitive skin, so no irritation caused just because you want your skin to look tanned. Fortunately, we now live in a world where there are not just body washes for sensitive skin but also tanning lotions for sensitive, allergy-prone skin.

This formula also contains advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6 and RevitaFit. These substances provide skin-firming and anti-aging benefits. A high level of antioxidants in here also protects your skin and has very powerful, effective anti-aging properties. A one-of-a-kind bronzing lotion indeed.

4. Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion

Pros
  • Soft silicone blend for a longer-lasting tan
  • Natural-looking, deep golden glow (anti-orange tone)
  • Natural extracts/oils keep the skin moisturized
Cons
  • Scent is too strong
  • Leaves a dark tint on the skin post-tanning

Now it doesn’t have that unsavory fruity scent that men and sometimes even some women are not so fond of. At the same time, this bronzer tanning lotion doesn’t smell a lot like perfume either, rather it’s a more men’s cologne like scent.

As for its ability to produce that attractive dark and deep bronzed effect, this lightweight, fast-drying tanning lotion does exactly that. It’s also formulated with peptides that actually minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin. So your skin looks more than just tanned, it looks more youthful too!

And you don’t have to worry about your tattoos fading with this one either. Tattoo protection is a part of the tanning process when using this anti-orange, deeply hydrating bronzer tanning lotion by Dolce Black.

5. EURACOM Sas Gentlemen G Natural Bronzer

Pros
  • Natural, instant, streak-free bronzer
  • Protection against tattoos
  • Dries well leaving no greasy or oily residue
  • An intense, rugged masculine scent
Cons
  • None whatsoever

Now, how about a bronzed tan that looks incredibly natural, meaning no orangey effect? At the same time, this instant, streak-free tanning lotion doesn’t even leave the skin feeling greasy or oily.

And no fruity odor also, so that’s another bonus for men who don’t appreciate that kind of scent.

More importantly, does it produce the darkest tan? Oh yes, it does! While also protecting your tatts!

6. Supre Smoke Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion

Pros
  • Self-tanning bronzer gets absorbed into the skin quickly
  • Formulated with anti-aging antioxidants
  • Dark tanning maximizers/technology
Cons
  • Will stain your hands
  • Very strong tropical fragrance

This bronzing formula by Supre is highly acclaimed for all the right reasons. First of all, the longer you leave the tanning lotion on, the bronzer and darker your skin gets.

And secondly, even though the scent is a bit too strong and toward the end, you’re left dealing with orangey streaks, this ‘Oxygen Regenerating Tanning System’ i.e. self-acting bronzer tanning lotion, which is great for both women and men, is a highly treasured product because of its wonderful ability to produce a dark tan and to continue darkening for days afterward.

7. Dolce Vita The Sicilian 200X Dark Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion

Pros
  • Ultra-rich self-tanner with higher DHA
  • Best for a dark, deep bronzed tan
  • Youthful glow with macadamia and walnut oils
  • Gradual tanning with odor-blocking technology
Cons
  • Very strong scent
  • Slightly streaky too

This sunless tanning lotion with bronzer is perfect for you if you actually own a tanning bed, or if you frequent tanning bed salons more than any “normal” person would.

The formula, ultra-rich by the way, contains a high content of DHA (200X), which means you get that sexy and gorgeous deep, dark, long-term tan.

What’s also super-surprising is that skin-nourishing ingredients are a part of this dark, deep bronzed concoction – macadamia and walnut oils. So your skin feels soft and healthy and even looks more youthful. And no weird post-tanning odor either!

8. Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion

Pros
  • Perfect base tanner for summer and fair skin
  • DHA-free formula with anti-aging peptides
  • Hydrating ingredients like walnut and coconut oils
  • Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use
Cons
  • Doesn’t get absorbed into the skin easily or quickly

It is an indoor and outdoor tanning lotion indeed, this is yet another Devoted Creations formula. BUT it seems to be more effective in that you get a whole lot more tanned when you use ‘Somewhere on a Beach’ outdoors. A smoother and more evenly spread tan indeed!

The product could become your go-to summer tanning lotion, even if your natural complexion is really fair. And since you have fair skin, burning easily is a high possibility, right? But then if you build that base tan, using this Devoted Creations tanner of course, you can actually avoid your skin getting fried in hot, sunny summer.

And since the brand is, you know, Devoted Creations, advanced ingredients like Matrixyl Synthe 6 are also added to bring about skin-firming and anti-aging benefits.

9. Onyx Tanning Lotion with Bronzer and Accelerator

Pros
  • Tanning bronzer + accelerator (triple tanning power)
  • Precious sea ingredients ensure skin hydration
  • Pomegranate antioxidants make the skin look younger
  • Skin, despite tanning, looks smooth (thanks to sesame oil)
Cons
  • Sticky lotion

Firstly, the scent isn’t feminine nor is it overpowering. Secondly, this product is a bronzer + intensifier. And one more thing, Onyx Tanning Lotion works just as superbly as some of the other best indoor tanning lotions with a price tag 3x higher. Now isn’t that a bonus!

Dark, highly absorbent, and powerful – that’s how effective! Its triple-tan action (tan enhancing power) is a result of combining DHA, erythrulose, and tyrosine.

And don’t now start worrying about how that’s going to affect the health and condition of your skin because the responsible brand here has also included skin moisturizing and smoothing ingredients, such as sesame oil.

10. Beach Kings 100X Black Bronzer for Men

Pros
  • Tanning bed lotion with bronzer
  • Excellent tattoo-enhancing power
  • Coconut-milk-based, hence conditions the skin
Cons
  • Not the most popular or trendy product

Your skin demands deep exfoliation when your skin type is oily, correct? But then with skincare and cosmetic products made for all skin types, you don’t have to bother about such concerns. Oily, dry, or even sensitive, using Beach Kings here is no problem at all.

It’s obviously formulated just for men a.k.a. Beach Kings! The fragrance then is quite man-like.

And men with tattoos, please take note that this 100x black bronzer features tatt-enhancing complex. So your beautiful ink looks bright and fresh, no matter the tanning!

Can Guys Use Tanning Lotion?

There’s absolutely no reason why men can’t or shouldn’t use tanning lotions. After all, these formulations give you a longer-lasting, quicker tan. And the best ones also moisturize and nourish the skin to compensate for the loss of moisture during the process of tanning. So why shouldn’t men also reap the benefits of tanning lotions!

In fact, men’s skin structure, in comparison to that of women, is thicker. Then there’s the skin pigmentation level as well that differs between men and women. So all the more reason for men to use a good, moisturizing tanning lotion, be it for outdoor use or a self-tanner.

Choosing Tanning Lotion That Works for Men

1. Indoor or Outdoor?

When buying, the first thing to consider is if you want a tanning lotion formula for your fun beach visits or when using a tanning bed at a salon?

An outdoor or indoor tanning lotion? Because the latter is specially made for indoor tanning bed sessions. While the former will be equipped with a higher SPF rating for added skin protection against more harmful natural UV rays.

2. What’s On That Ingredients List?

Ingredients in tanning lotions matter because you don’t want your experience of tanning to be accompanied by skin irritation, redness, and the other potential side effects caused by the process of tanning, especially when using tanning beds.

So make sure that the tanning formula, no matter the type or texture, doesn’t contain harsh chemicals (a study of DHA – an active ingredient present in self-tanners). Only natural, skin-friendly ingredients should be added, such as the DHA-free bronzers in the Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion.

3. What’s Your Skin Type?

Now it goes without saying that you should choose skincare and beauty products, even if you’re a man, based on your skin type. For instance, if your skin type is dry, then you better use a highly moisturizing tanning lotion since the whole process of tanning depletes your skin’s moisture levels.

So what are some common moisturizing ingredients found in these tanning formulas? The list includes macadamia oil, coconut oil/milk, walnut oil, aloe vera, sunflower oil, and other such natural oils and extracts for deep skin nourishment.

Likewise, if your skin type is sensitive, then stay away from allergy-triggering chemicals like artificial fragrances. For example, Devoted Creations CAMO KING Black Bronzing Lotion is a very suitable choice for sensitive and tattooed skin.

4. Look for Sun Protection

Tanning outdoors means applying sunscreen (it’s not an option!). So, apart from using a separate broad-spectrum sunscreen with a higher SPF rating, your tanning lotion must be armed with SPF 15 at the least for keeping your skin protected from harmful, skin-damaging natural sun rays.

Different Types of Tanning Lotions

These are mainly indoor tanning lotion formulations…

Bronzer

What tanning lotions with bronzer do is increase the formula’s skin-darkening potency (no wonder they’re the most popular ones). Look for a brand that honestly tells you how much bronzer is added (for example, 20X, 50X, 100X, 200X, etc.).

The higher the bronzer level, the darker the tan of course.

Accelerator or Intensifier

This type of indoor tanning lotion is the most suitable option for those with fair and/or dry skin, male or female. Because when tanning fair/dry skin, the moisturizing properties of the tanner ought to be high for deeply and thoroughly hydrating the skin.

Maximizer

To use a maximizer tanning lotion, you have to first build a good, neutral base tan. So this is a part of a two-step tanning process.

And maximizers are not infused with moisturizing agents, at least not as many as there are in accelerators.

Tingle

More often than not, this is the additional third step after the base is formed and your tan is maximized. With tingles, deeper UV absorption takes place (and blood circulation is increased), which darkens your skin tone even more.

Needless to say, first-time tanners should avoid tingle since it obviously “tingles” i.e. causes an unpleasant burning sensation. But if you’re a seasoned tanning enthusiast, you can achieve better tan potential with tingles in comparison to bronzers or accelerators.

Coolants

If tingle tanning lotions ‘tingle’, then coolant tanning lotions ‘cool’. And by the latter, I mean produce a pleasant, not unpleasant in any way, cooling effect. There are cooling agents in here that allow your skin to just relax post-tanning.

How to Get the Best Tan – Tips for A Perfect Tan!

Here are some of the most practical tips and safe tanning options you might need to know…

  • Exfoliate BEFORE

Be it spray tanning or using a tanning bed, exfoliating the skin before your session is very, very important. And here’s why.

Exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells, right? So the tan is formed on fresh, new cells that aren’t going to flake off soon. This means a longer-lasting, evenly distributed dark, bronzed look. And areas that require more focus are your knees, elbows, ankles, and feet.

  • Shave BEFORE

If you shave off all the hair, your tan will indeed look more visible and smoother.

  • No Soap AFTER

You can take a shower of course but without any soap or body wash for 48 hours from the end of your tanning session. Otherwise, all that Vitamin D from within your skin’s outer layer will get washed away.

What you want to do instead is let the tanning formula soak into your skin overnight. Spray-on tanners and tanning lotions take a while to penetrate the skin and then form a dark color. That is why you have to avoid using soap and that is why you should let the product sit on the skin overnight.

  • Do It Professionally!

There are plenty of self-tanners I know BUT it’s always a better idea to trust the expertise of a professional if you want the perfect level of tan. After all, professional equipment and skills are better than just any DIY self-tanner and even your lack of or insufficient tanning experience.

  • Never Overdo It!

Overdoing it means staying in that tanning bed for more than 10-15 minutes per session and/or using a tanning bed more than 3 times per week. Being exposed to UV radiation for over 2 hours is highly NOT advisable.

And speaking of which, make sure you’ve got your sunglasses on in there to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. And keep your body hydrated as well, even while the tanning process.

The End

Now I’m not going to NOT admit that UV rays exposure is a bad idea for the long-term condition and health of your skin. They destroy all the moisture present in your skin, thus dehydrating skin tissue, slowing down the process of healing, and accelerating the process of skin aging.

And then there’s also the possibility of skin cancer looming down that road, especially with indoor tanning!

So you should make sure you don’t do these tanning sessions very frequently. And whenever you do, don’t forget your tanning lotion and sunscreen. Even if you’re a man!

This will and does prevent sunburn and keeps adverse effects at bay. Because tanning lotions come fortified with an abundance of antioxidants that neutralize potential damage to your skin. Plus, the good ones also contain moisturizing properties and offer that “manly” or “masculine” scent that men usually prefer.

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