These Tanning Oils Will Give You the Bronzed Goddess Look of Your Dreams

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We all know tanning outside is a no-no. However, if you must lay out and bake, there are some safer ways to do it and all it takes is being mindful of the products you are using.

Below we have rounded up some of our favorite tanning oils. While the word tanning oil used to be synonymous with unhealthy baking, burning, and drying up the skin, they have come a long way and are now filled with nourishing, hydrating ingredients and antioxidants to give you the protected glow of your dreams.

One of the keys to applying one of these oils is that they can (and should) be applied over an initial layer of sunscreen to ensure supreme protection. We have included some options with SPF as well that are meant to help protect, however, if you are at all concerned about your skin, an additional layer will not hurt.

Comparing the Top Tanning Oil

Australian Gold Tanning Oil  —  Best Overall

This dry oil spray contains immediate bronzers designed to provide dark color and smooth skin for an immediate and natural-looking glow. This is a lightweight, non-greasy, and quick-absorbing oil that comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle that allows you to mist onto exposed skin. Once applied, all you have to do is let the bronzing solution set in for a quick, brown tan.


  • The amazing scent smells like you are on an instant vacation
  • Contains aloe vera for hydration of the skin


  • This oil does not include sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil  —  Runner Up

This coconut oil-based dry oil sunscreen is filled with soothing, exotic island botanicals and antioxidants to help nourish the skin. With a rare blend of natural oils, your skin will look soft, radiant and has an SPF 6 for some protection. However, be sure to apply it over a more protective sunscreen.


  • This product has a lightweight feel
  • Contains antioxidants to nourish the skin


  • This product is not waterproof or water-resistant

Sun Bum Tanning Oil  —  Honorable Mention

Get golden brown in the sun while still protecting your skin with this dark tanning oil. Enriched with marula, argan, coconut, and avocado oils, this product will nourish the skin while keeping it moisturized and UVA/UVB broad-spectrum SPF will keep your skin protected.


  • This oil is water-resistant and reef-friendly
  • It is hypoallergenic and cruelty-free


  • This should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen

Coppertone Tanning Oil  —  Easiest to Apply

With broad-spectrum SPF 15, you can enjoy the sun knowing you are protected. This bottle emits a continuous spray that goes on light and non-greasy at any angle to ensure maximum coverage without leaving any residue behind.


  • This spray is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, dyes, and PABA


  • Needs to be reapplied every two hours

Cocosolis Tanning Oil  —  Most Nourishing

This dark tanning lotion will help you achieve a deep smooth tan anytime, anywhere, and can be used prior to sunbathing outside or during indoor tanning sessions. This lotion combines a slew of organic cold-pressed oils, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive ingredients to help you tan quicker and prolong the glow.


  • Contains nourishing coconut oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and Vitamin E
  • Has an amazing and unique cocoa-butter scent


  • As this product is made with coconut oil, it may solidify but can be melted for use

Golden Star Beauty Self-Tanning Oil  —  Also Consider

Made with only natural and organic ingredients, this is a clear and dry-feeling self-tanning oil that will provide a luxe golden bronze tan. Organic oils, extracts, and hyaluronic acid all work together to create a rich, natural tan while keeping your skin hydrated. Good for all skin types, simply spray and rub in onto clean and dry skin evenly, allow to dry, and get dressed.


  • One pair of latex gloves is included for easy application
  • Will help you develop a tan without the sun


  • This product contains no SPF

Buying Guide: Tanning Oils

The top tanning oils in 2023 help speed along the tanning process, helping you make the most of your time on vacation or in a tanning bed. There are plenty of products to choose from, and choosing wisely might seem like a daunting task. Like a nourishing tanning oil - we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to see the things you should think about before you make a purchase.

Tanning is the darkening of the skin caused by ultraviolet light. This can cause damage to the skin and premature aging. Tanning is the visible result of your skin attempting to protect itself from damage. However, when used in conjunction with sunscreen, and plenty of aftercare, tanning oil can simply make you look fabulous. We recommend spending less time in the sun when using tanning oil and alternating days using only sunscreen.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Tanning Oil


Look for a tanning oil that is resistant to water. This is especially important if you plan on working on your tan at the beach. Tanning oils will have different amounts of water resistance. To find out the specifics of the tanning oil you are interested in, you may need to contact the company that makes the product.

Fake tan

Some tanning oils not only help you achieve a natural tan but also include a fake tan to give you an instant tan before the natural tanning process begins. This allows you to have a tanned bikini body while you are on holiday and not only when you return home.

When using a fake tanning product, you may want to use gloves. This is because the pigment can build between your fingers if you are using your hands to apply it. Look for a product that includes latex gloves.

Consider the shade of tan the tanning oil provides. Someone with pale skin would look odd with fake tan meant for people with darker skin.

Nourishing ingredients

Most tanning oils do not offer any SPF protection, and tanning in the sun can cause UV damage, premature aging, and dry skin. Ensure your tanning oil is full of nourishing ingredients like antioxidants to limit the damage caused by sunbathing.

SPF protection

As mentioned previously, most tanning oils do not offer any SPF protection. However, some tanning oils do. It will be a small amount of protection but it is better than nothing, and it is a wise feature to look for. Some studies show that this protection is negligible because the oil increases the power of damaging UV rays. For this reason, you should also apply sunscreen.


Tanning oil is available with different fragrances. If you have a specific fragrance in mind, you can search for a tanning oil based on the kind of scent you want. If you do not search for a specific fragrance, you should expect to find tropical smelling products that smell like coconut or pineapple for example.


The application of tanning oil is usually through a spray applicator. Consider the durability of the applicator, and how much pressure you need to apply for a substantial amount of tanning oil to be released.

The application should be easy, provide a steady flow, and create a light layer that you can choose to build upon if you wish to.

Glitter infused

If you want to look like a tanned god or goddess at the beach, you may want to look for glitter-infused tanning oil. Glitter will reflect the light, which will make scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks a little less noticeable.

Coconut oil

Tanning oil containing coconut oil will become clumpy when left in cool temperatures. However, it will revert to a liquid state when it has warmed up. Coconut oil is a great natural substance for rebuilding the outer layer of skin and locking in moisture. It also has a natural SPF of between four and five.


Tanning oil has an expiry date, and most tanning oils do not work as well after three years of life. For this reason, it may be better to purchase several individual bottles with different expiry dates, instead of one large bottle. This depends on how much product you intend to use. If you will use a large bottle within a couple of years, you may get a better deal, buying more in one go.

Tanning oil cost

Consider the cost of the tanning oil. Look at the price per ounce as well as the price for a whole bottle to ensure you get the best deal possible. You can purchase a bottle of tanning oil for as little as $7 and as much as $70.