Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means—time to get your tan on! Whether you're a beach bum or a poolside princess, finding the perfect tanning oil is essential for achieving that coveted sun-kissed glow. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Fear not, dear reader! We've got you covered with this comprehensive buyer's guide to tanning oils, packed with everything you need to know to make an informed decision. So, grab your sunnies and let's dive in!

Know Your Skin Type

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of tanning oils, it's essential to understand your skin type. Are you fair-skinned and prone to burning, or do you have a darker complexion that tans easily? Knowing your skin type will help you choose a tanning oil with the right level of SPF protection and ingredients that cater to your specific needs.

Understand the Ingredients

When it comes to tanning oils, not all ingredients are created equal. Here are a few key components to look for in a top-notch product:

Natural Oils: High-quality tanning oils often contain a blend of natural oils, like coconut, avocado, or jojoba, which are known for their moisturizing and skin-nourishing properties. These ingredients help to keep your skin hydrated and healthy throughout the tanning process.
SPF Protection: While tanning oils are designed to help you achieve a deeper tan, it's crucial to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Look for a product that includes SPF protection, ideally with a broad-spectrum formula that shields against both UVA and UVB rays.
Antioxidants: Exposure to the sun can cause oxidative stress on your skin, leading to signs of aging and damage. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, can help to neutralize these harmful effects and keep your skin looking youthful and radiant.
Bronzers: Some tanning oils contain bronzers, which can give your skin an instant glow while you're working on your natural tan. These ingredients can be great for those who want a little extra color boost, but be aware that they may stain your clothing or towels.

Choose the Right Formula

Tanning oils come in various formulas, from lightweight sprays to thick creams. Your choice will largely depend on your personal preferences and how you plan to use the product. If you're looking for something easy to apply and quick to absorb, a spray formula might be your best bet. On the other hand, if you want a rich, luxurious oil that provides deep hydration, a cream or lotion may be more your speed.

Consider the Scent

Let's face it: nobody wants to smell (learn How to Describe the Smell of Sunscreen here!) like a walking coconut all day long (unless, of course, that's your thing). When choosing a tanning oil, consider the scent and opt for something that appeals to your senses. Many high-quality oils offer light, refreshing fragrances that won't overpower your nose or clash with your other summer scents.

Read Reviews and Testimonials

Sometimes, the best way to find the perfect tanning oil is to learn from the experiences of others. Read reviews and testimonials from fellow sun-seekers to get a feel for how a product performs in real-world scenarios. Keep in mind that everyone's skin is different, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. But by gathering a wide range of opinions, you can get a better idea of the pros and cons of a particular tanning oil.


Finding the perfect tanning oil can make all the difference in achieving that sun-kissed glow you've been dreaming of. By understanding your skin type, knowing the essential ingredients, choosing the right formula, considering the scent, and reading reviews and testimonials, you'll be well on your way to making an informed decision.And remember, while we didn't specifically review Absolutely Natural, Hawaiian Tropic, Sun Bum, or b.tan in this guide, they're all popular brands that could be worth considering as you explore your options.

So go ahead, grab your favorite tanning oil, and get ready to soak up the sun responsibly. With the right product and proper sun protection, you'll be well on your way to achieving that perfect, envy-worthy tan that'll have you turning heads all summer long. Happy tanning!

What does tanning oil do?

Tanning oil is a type of skin-care product designed to help you achieve a faster, darker tan. It is usually formulated with natural and/or synthetic oils, as well as vitamins and other nutrients that are designed to help nourish the skin while it's exposed to the sun. Additionally, many brands of tanning oil contain ingredients that act as sunscreens, helping to protect the skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.

Does baby oil help you tan?

Baby oil can help you achieve a tan, but it is not recommended as a safe and effective form of sun protection. Baby oil does not provide adequate protection from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays and can make your skin more susceptible to burning and damage. It is generally best to use a sunscreen specifically designed for tanning instead.

Does tanning oil work?

Tanning oil can help to accelerate your tanning process, as many of them contain ingredients that act as sunscreens while also nourishing your skin. It is important to use a sunscreen specifically designed for tanning, however, as it will provide the best protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and help you achieve a darker tan faster.

Does coconut oil help you tan?

While coconut oil can be used to help moisturize and nourish your skin, it should not be used as a substitute for sunscreen when tanning. Coconut oil does not provide adequate protection from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays and can make your skin more susceptible to burning and damage. It is generally best to use a sunscreen specifically designed for tanning instead.