3000 BC Spa is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Tanning Lotion for Men: Our Top 9 Picks

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
Updated
Tanning Lotion for Men_ Our Top 9 Picks

You might be hitting the gym five days a week and still not seeing muscle definition. Might be high time to get some tanning lotion!

You read that right! Getting a perfect tan improves your appearance and gives you defined muscles.

But not so fast!

Make sure to use the BEST tanning lotion for you. You want to look ripped without wrinkles.

You can find the 9 best tanning lotion picks for you!

RUNNER-UP

Best Budget

Devoted Creations HIM Titanium Bronzer

BEST OVERALL

Best Overall

The Sicilian 200X Bronzer by Dolce Vita

BEST VALUE

Best Value

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses

9 Best Tanning Lotions for Men

Are you tanning outdoors? Getting an indoor tanning session in a sunbed? Or do you just want a base tan?

Either way, we got a lotion for you!

1. The Sicilian 200X Bronzer by Dolce Vita: Best Overall

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam - Best Overall-

Features

  • Many ingredients for your skin’s health and moisture
  • Odor-blocking components
  • Deep and fast tanning

Dolce Vita’s the Sicilian TOPS the list for the best indoor tanning lotion for men.

It gives quick results with its DHA and natural bronzers.

Tanning always comes with risks, but Sicilian has vitamin-filled ingredients, like carrot oil and green tea. These keep your skin healthy and prevent aging!

It’s packed with antioxidants that protect you from damage. Apple extracts and silicone will stop you from looking like wrinkly leather.

We recommend this for guys who want an all-in-one bronzer!

One caveat: as an indoor tanning lotion, it gives a DHA after-tan stench. Otherwise, its mild scent is pleasant.

Pros

  • It can be used for sunless, indoor, or outdoor tanning
  • Many ingredients for a healthy, smooth skin
  • Quick results

Cons

  • Possible DHA smell after a sunbed session

2. Best Value: Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses

Best Value- Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses-

Features

  • No bronzers
  • Moisturizing and cellulite-reducing ingredients
  • Quad Tyrosine Blend and Melactiva for rapid darkening
  • Protects tattoos
  • Cruelty-free

Ed Hardy’s Coconut Kisses is a FAVORITE for newcomers and regulars alike. It’s the best no-bronzer lotion for men!

Dry skin sucks, but its natural ingredients give it much-needed moisture. There’s coconut milk, sesame oil, and vitamins like vitamin E, to name a few.

The Body Fit technology reduces cellulite – that lumpy, puckered, dimpled skin. You don’t want to look thrice your age!

It might seem thick, but it’s a lightweight formula. It’s absorbed quickly; no uncomfortable residue.

Though there’s no deodorizer, no customer complained about an after-tan odor.

Pros

  • Keeps your skin moisturized and young
  • Protects tattoos

Cons

  • Darkening may take a while

3. Best Budget: Devoted Creations HIM Titanium Bronzer

Best Budget- Devoted Creations HIM Titanium Bronzer-

Features

  • Cosmetic bronzers and DHA tanning accelerators
  • Non-sticky and non-greasy
  • Tattoo and color-fade protection
  • Body deodorizing system
  • Aloe juice and avocado extracts

Devoted Creations is one of the top brands of tanning lotions. And there’s no wonder – you don’t need to wait so long to see results.

Aside from the usual, it also has cosmetic bronzers for extra darkening power.

The base ingredient isn’t water – it’s aloe juice to refresh and regenerate the skin. The formula is lightweight, too – no excess oil when you apply it.

The deodorizing fragrance is called “Oriental Black Cashmere.” Users find it a FRESH, masculine scent.

The avocado extracts give red pigment protection. You won’t look like a human tomato when you sunburn.

Pros

  • Smells fresh even after the tanning
  • Less likely to look red from sunburn
  • Fast tanning

Cons

  • It may have a strong scent

4. Onyx HE Tanning Lotion

Onyx HE Tanning Lotion

Features

  • With both DHA and erythrulose
  • Muscle bronzing complex
  • Rich in ingredients

Like many sunless tanners, it doubles the process with erythrulose.

Many self-tanners have only DHA, so having two coloring agents means twice the power. This combination makes your tan look even and natural instead of streaky.

It’s no wonder with the ingredients, vitamins like vitamin E included. The natural extracts help REPAIR your skin, increase fine lines, and prevent aging.

The muscle bronzing complex emphasizes your muscles for that perfect beach look.

Plus, it smells good! The scent is a mix of mint, grapefruit, and cinnamon.

The biggest issue is that it’s expensive for its amount (6.76 fl. oz).

Pros

  • Pleasant scent
  • Emphasizes your muscles
  • Helps prevent aging and drying

Cons

  • Pricey

5. Devoted Creations Camo King Black Bronzing Lotion

Devoted Creations Camo King Black Bronzing Lotion

Features

  • Specifically for guys
  • No instant bronzing
  • FreshTrek deodorizing
  • Protects tattoos

Devoted Creations is one of the top brands, and this formula is specifically for men. If you’re looking for a bronzing lotion for indoors, this might be for you.

There are no instant bronzers; that’s actually good for a sun tanner. It’ll make your tan NATURAL tan when you step out of the sunbed.

The FreshTrek technology acts like a strong deodorant. It smells like fresh cologne!

There are powerful antioxidants for skin nourishment. However, it’s not enough protection from sunburns. While it has moisturizers, they won’t keep your skin moist.

Pros

  • Smells like cologne
  • No artificial gun

Cons

  • Not moisturizing
  • Not for instant tanning

6. Millennium Tanning Products Solid Black Bronzer

Millennium Tanning Products Solid Black Bronzer

Features

  • Orchid blush scent
  • With L-tyrosine
  • Non-greasy silicone
  • Natural ingredients

This tanning bed bronzer is incredibly fast!

The secret ingredient? Auto-darkening tan technology and silicone bronzers.

Only one hour in the sunbed, and you’ll already see results! The L-tyrosine gives a healthy glow!

One neat thing about Millennium’s formula is the painless tanning – no more painful tingling!

Those on the paler side may turn orange-y from this, though. Avoid bronzer lotions like these at your first session if you’re pasty white.

Pros

  • Fast tanning
  • No burning sensations after using a tan bed
  • Long-lasting
  • No odor after a sunbed session

Cons

  • It might make you orange if you’re pale

7. Australian Gold G Gentlemen Natural Bronzer

Australian Gold G Gentlemen Natural Bronzer-

Features

  • CellActive Complex
  • Fresh-smelling ingredients
  • Prevents tattoo fading
  • Specifically for males

Its CellActive Complex was specifically formulated for men. Male skin is thicker, so its hydration keeps tans lasting LONGER.

It has a distinct, masculine smell that includes cedarwood and bergamot. Many lotions have a fruity, feminine fragrance, but this smells like men’s cologne.

Some people think it’s too pricey for its results. If you’re on a budget, you might want to try something else.

Pros

  • Good, rugged cologne scent
  • Protects tattoos

Cons

  • Might be overpriced

8. Hempz Men Exclusive Black Bronzer

Hempz Men Exclusive Black Bronzer

Features

  • Tattoo ColorShield Technology
  • Vegan
  • Paraben- and THC-free

THC has a lot of clout in skincare products. You might find using cannabis ingredients on your skin questionable, though. Hempz is free of all that.

And it’s called Hempz for a reason!

The pure, natural hemp seed oil hydrates, nourishes and moisturizes skin for a longer-lasting tan.

However, this product might not protect the tattoo ink from fading. While it has essential minerals, aloe, and algae, that might not be enough.

Pros

  • Suitable for a moderate tan
  • Nice smell
  • Great price

Cons

  • Risk of tattoo fading

9. Pro Tan for MEN Ultra Dark MAXIMIZER Tanning Bed Lotion

Pro Tan for MEN Ultra Dark MAXIMIZER Tanning Bed Lotion

Features

  • “Ocean Ale” fragrance
  • No SPFs
  • Maximizer lotion

Made for men and great for beginners, this is a great lotion to use when you tan indoors!

One of the defining features is that it has no SPFs.

Depending on your views about protecting your skin, that might be a good thing or a bad thing.

You’ll definitely bronze much faster – it’s called “maximizer” for a reason. But you’ll definitely be risking your health much more.

Pros

  • No health risks from DHA and parabens
  • Tattoo fade protection
  • Smells like aftershave
  • Anti-aging properties

Cons

  • Higher risk of skin complications

Types of Tanning Lotions

Types of Tanning Lotions-

Here’s a quick guide to knowing what men’s tanning lotion you need.

  • Indoor: For tanning beds.
  • Outdoor: For exposing yourself to the natural sun.
  • Sunless tanners or “fake tanning” don’t need sunlight to work. There are two types:
    1. Spray tans: Applied with a booth or by a spray tan artist.
    2. Self-tanner: Can be used without assistance.
  • Accelerators and Maximizers: Tans faster and darker. Maximizers aren’t recommended without a base tan.
  • Tingle: Speeds up the tanning process by increasing blood circulation in the skin.
  • Coolant: Gives a cooling effect.

How to Choose the Best Sunless Tanning Lotion

How to Choose the Best Sunless Tanning Lotion-

First, you need to know your needs.

Do you have tattoos? Get a tanning lotion that protects against ink fading.

If you’re looking for a short session in a tan bed, find an intensifier, maximizer, or accelerator. Make sure the lotion has a non-cosmetic bronzer, which usually contains DHA.

Find lotions with moisturizers and skin protection. Your skin should look good now and in years to come!

Suntanning vs. Self-Tanning

There is no safe suntanning – i.e., tanning through light.

But when people talk about cancer risks with tanning, they’re almost always thinking about burning your skin with light.

UV exposure from the sun causes melanin production. More melanin = darker color. But melanin production is a protective mechanism. 

Melanin is a shield made when the skin is damaged.

The secret ingredient to sunless tanners is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short.

The coloring agent reacts to the skin, browning it. That might sound…unsound. The skin’s still being chemically changed, right?

But it only affects the outermost, dead layer of the skin.

Not only are self-tanners much safer, but they also give a more EVEN look. You don’t need to wear a birthday suit to avoid those tan lines!

If you use self-tanners, though, prepare a tanning mitt. You might have to exfoliate, wash well, and shave your body hair.

Otherwise, you’ll get Cheetos-orange blotches on drying skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions-

A tanning lotion doesn’t give many instructions. Luckily, we got the answers to your questions.

What Does Tanning Lotion Do?

Tanning lotions SPEED UP the tanning process. No one likes waiting.

How? It increases melanin in your skin cells, which makes your color pigment look dark.

Tanning always comes with risks, so tanning lotion should have added sunscreen (typically SPF 15). You need protection to prevent skin-related issues.

How Long Does a Man Tan Last?

A tan from outdoor tanning usually lasts 7-10 days. Spray tans can fade in as short as one day. It can also last up to 10 days with proper care.

A tan is never permanent. It gradually flakes off.

The closest thing to a permanent tan is to stay outdoors regularly for UV exposure. Some people also use sunless tanning lotions or spray tans frequently.

How long a tan lasts depends on your skin and your kind of tan.

Why Am I Not Getting Darker?

Your pores may be clogged by thick non-tanning lotions or oils. They keep the UV rays from penetrating your skin deeply.

If you’re using tanning beds, the bed bulb might be ineffective. Sometimes the bulbs are too old and need replacing.

Did you shave recently? That can also block pores, so exfoliate the dead skin cells.

Or your skin might’ve reached its limit. As much as we want to stop looking so pale, everyone has a LIMIT as to how dark his natural tan can be. So try a lotion with a bronzer.

That being said, MOISTURIZE after tanning. Not only is moisture good for your health, but it keeps tans lasting longer.

How Many Tanning Sessions Does It Take to See Results?

If you’re in a tanning bed, it usually takes 3 to 5 tanning sessions before you see results.

Try three sessions a week until you see the color you want. For lighter guys, sometimes it can take even longer.

When you finally get that tan, maintain it by having two weekly sessions.

Of course, avoid overexposure. FDA does NOT recommend more than one daily session.

Recap of the Best Tanning Lotion for Men

Recap of the Best Tanning Lotion for Men

If you just want the best of the best tanning lotions, we made a summary of our top three picks.

Best Budget – Devoted Creations HIM Titanium Bronzer

Its instant results that keep you smelling FRESH are worth more than its price.

It doesn’t just keep you from drying – it’ll lessen the chances of red spots if you get burned from the sun.

Plus, no sticky, greasy feel when you put it on!

Best Value – Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses

You might be wondering why anyone would choose a lotion without bronzers. Doesn’t that mean it’s not fast? 

It might not be as speedy, but there’s no risk of your darkened skin looking artificially dull.

Instead, expect a NATURAL, STAINLESS look!

It has cellulite technology, has ingredients like vitamin A that prevent dry skin and aging, and can protect tattoos.

Best Overall – Dolce Vita’s The Sicilian 200X Bronzer

What’s not to love?

It’s an all-in-one bronzer for sunless or sun tanning. It’s less risky and still gives a bronze glow fast.

We want to look good in the years to come. The Sicilian’s moisturizing ingredients, like green tea and macadamia oils, make it our TOP choice!

Conclusion

A good tanning lotion doesn’t waste time giving you a natural dark glow. But you also want to avoid wrinkles and drying while getting that darkest tan.

But all lotions in this list are good items. So don’t worry about it, and get that perfect tan!