In order to help you attain an intense and attractive tan, we’re giving you our take on the best outdoor tanning oil. After hours of testing, we’ve found that those products worked great for increasing the production of melanin while moisturizing and supporting the skin’s health. We believe these are the best outdoor tanning oil products to support your beauty.

Harmful UVA and UVB rays can damage skin and can have serious adverse effects. Tanning is the result of bronzing the entire skin (except where you cover) by exposing it to the sun.

Whatever method we decide to use, we have to keep our skin protected while we get a tan and fortunately, there are products which can be of help.

That’s why we have gathered the best tanning oils that you can use to provide that natural and bronze look.


Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for the Best Outdoor Tanning Oil

OUR TOP #1 PICK - Our top best tanning oil is the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil. We love that it is packed with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. Thus it can help to deliver both in protection and moisture. We enjoyed that it absorbs easily to leave the skin plump and supple.

OUR TOP #2 PICK - Our second-best pick is the Australian Gold Dark Tanning Exotic Oil Spray. Upon testing this out, we appreciate its effectiveness in protecting and nourishing the skin. It has natural plant extracts that can serve to deliver both smoothness and hydration.

OUR TOP #3 PICK - Third on our list is the All-Natural Dark Tanning Oil by Tropical Sands. We like that this product can improve the texture of the skin. It combines Green Tea Extract and Vitamin C which can assist us to fight free radical damage. 

OUR TOP #4 PICK - The fourth best pick is the Maui Island Secret Browning Formula. We were delighted that this tanning oil can promote a speedy tan. Furthermore, we enjoyed the dark shade much longer before it started to fade. We believe this is possible with the implement of vitamins and botanical extracts.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - The fifth best product that made it to our list is the Art Naturals Protective Body Tanning Oil. We love the combination of Sea Algae Extract, Avocado Oil, and Gotu Kola Extract. These can help to smooth the skin while restoring the collagen production on a cellular level.

How Do Tanning Oils Work?

There are dozens of benefits you can get from tanning oils, from giving the skin that added shade to moisturizing and keeping it firm and damage-free.

In order to pick the best tanning oil that suits you, you have to first and foremost understand what it does to your skin.

Remember that the skin has two parts: the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (inner layer).

Applying the tanning oil on the epidermis helps bring out the melanin when exposed to the sun while keeping the harmful rays at bay.

Think of it as a form of sunscreen that allows you to tan. We advise you to look for ingredients that not only keep the moisture in your skin but also help to protect you from the sun.

How do we get Tanned?

There is a lot of misconceptions regarding suntan. While some people believe it is best to spend some time under the sun, others prefer visiting a tanning salon.

On the other hand, you can still enjoy the sun-kissed effect even after working in the garden or taking walks under the sun’s rays.

We have gathered a few tips on how you get that desired effect. Nevertheless, you still need to use a suitable product for your needs.

But first and foremost, we recommend you to follow these simple tips.


That’s right. If you want an even tan without any patchy spots, it’s best to exfoliate your skin before sunbathing

Skin usually self-exfoliates, and it takes about 30 days or to get rid of the dead skin cells. Nevertheless, we can boost this by using a loofah or exfoliating scrubs in the shower.

Do not exfoliate every day though, as doing so will only expose your skin’s natural shield. Give it some time to heal.

Know when to Sunbathe

While the sun may sit up there for an entire day, you have to know when it is safe to expose yourself under it.

Sometimes the intensity of the heat builds up as it goes throughout the day, so it is best to keep yourself in the shade when that happens.

It is advisable to get a tan before 11 am and after 3 pm. Sunbathing before the sun has reached its peak can prevent the harsh rays from penetrating and damaging the skin.

Sunbathing after 3 pm when everything is starting to cool down is acceptable as well. The only disadvantage of that is, getting a sun tan then will definitely take some time.

If you do, however, decide to tan during the most intense heat, don’t forget to be careful and gentle to the skin.

Sunburn is the last thing we want as it can only get into the way of a great chocolate color and cause us pain and discomfort.

Time is Essential

We recommend timing when you are tanning. That will ensure that you are completely even on both sides.

You can lay on your back for 20-30 minutes and again when you lie on your stomach. You can gradually increase the length of time your sunbath as you go.

The Significance of Choosing a Suitable Product

Let’s say that you are ready to get your tan and the only thing left is your product to be put on.

When you have succeeded to find something that suits your skin type, it is good to amplify it with a little sunscreen before applying.

Remember that you will be vulnerable to the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. So although your tanning oil can deliver the moisture, it might not be enough to block the sun.

It’s better to prevent a sunburn than actually trying to cure it. That’s why we highly recommend slathering on some sunscreen at least during the first tanning sessions.

Further on, you can proceed with a product that has a lower SPF. Nonetheless, always make sure it is absorbed well before applying tanning oil.

Product Reviews: Our Top Five Choices of the Best Outdoor Tanning Oil

Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil

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Our Rating

The Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil is our top choice for the best outdoor tanning oil.

We love that it contains antioxidants and Vitamin A, C, and E to keep the skin from being damaged.

It also makes use of Oxybenzone and Octocrylene to protect from sunburn.

It boasts of natural compounds such as Cocoa Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Mango fruit extract, Guava extract, Papaya Extract, and Passionflower extract.

Mind that it has a bit of thick consistency, and we noticed it might weigh down especially if you sweat a lot.

We advise you to apply a small amount at first and rub it onto the skin until it absorbs. When applied correctly and when tanned properly, it gives that golden tan finish that lasts long.

However, we do not like that it does feel a bit heavy. Another feature that we consider a downside is that it is sticky after application, but it is an oil after all.

We also do not recommend using this for the face. It might cause breakouts to those who have oily or sensitive skin.

What We Like

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    Golden tan finish
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    Has a mild coconut scent

What We Don't Like

  • Thick and greasy after-feeling
  • Not recommended to use on the face

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Exotic Oil Spray

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Our Rating

For our second place, we have chosen the Australian Gold Dark Tanning Exotic Oil Spray. Among its potent features, we considered the fact that it absorbs well without the greasy feeling.

It is specially formulated to be a dry oil, which means it does not impact the typical sensation after application.

Furthermore, it contains natural ingredients to help boost the skin’s moisture, keeping it hydrated and replenished. 

This tanning oil does not slide off especially when you are sweating, but we do not recommend to use it for sports or swimming as it is not water-resistant.

It also lasts long as it comes in a spray bottle. We enjoyed that it is less messy and controllable during application.

We do not recommend using the product on the face as it might block pores. That can lead to breakouts especially if you have sensitive skin.

Also, if these are your first encounter with the sun, or you have a fair complexion, you might need to double the protection with sunscreen as this does not contain SPF.

What We Like

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    Suitable for acquiring a base tan
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    Long lasting
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    Smells good

What We Don't Like

  • Takes time to dry off

All-Natural Dark Tanning Oil by Tropical Sands

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Our Rating

As to our third best pick, this is the All-Natural Dark Tanning Oil by Tropical Sands.

We appreciate that this tanning oil can be gentle to use even on sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic. It does not contain any fragrances, nor any harsh chemicals.

Instead, it boasts of Sunflower Oil, Green Tea extract, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Vitamin E. All these can help to replenish the moisture and nourish the skin.

It also comes in a spray bottle which makes the application less messy. It does not make the skin too oily or greasy after application.

We were delighted to notice that it did not dry the skin. We also like that its formulation is very lightweight. What we did not like about the product is that the color doesn’t last very long.

Also, we do not recommend staying out in the sun for too long as this does not contain SPF.

What We Like

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    Isn’t greasy
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    No artificial fragrance
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    Does not stain clothes or swimwear

What We Don't Like

  • Isn’t long lasting
  • May lead to sunburn

Maui Island Secret Browning Formula

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Our Rating

Our fourth best pick is the Maui Island Secret Browning Formula. It caught our attention since after applying it, we noticed it could promote a long-lasting tan in just a short amount of time.

Among its active ingredients, we love the presence of Kukui Nut Oil, Vitamin E and C, Coffee bean extract, Passionflower Oil, Green Tea extract, Macadamia Nut Oil, and Aloe Vera extract.

When applied, this tanning oil feels thick, so you might want to put a little amount at a time.

What we did not like about the product was that it did have a bit of an unpleasant smell. We think it can be off-putting to those who are sensitive to scents.

Another feature that we consider a disadvantage is that it is quite difficult to remove. We recommend washing thoroughly to get rid of the slick feeling.

Another thing that we notice is that it needs an hour or so to seep through the skin thoroughly.

Those of you who enjoy participating in outdoor activities might be annoyed with this particular feature.

What We Like

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    A little goes a long way
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    Rich, copper brown finish

What We Don't Like

  • Takes time to absorb
  • Oily after application

Art Naturals Protective Body Tanning Oil

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Our Rating

And last but absolutely not least, we have picked the Art Naturals Protective Body Tanning Oil.

It contains ingredients such as Safflower extract, Kukui Nut Oil, Coconut Oil, Rice Bran, and Apricot Kernel Oil which can help to hydrate the skin while we are exposed to the sun.

The product can also assist to tone and tighten the skin, making it look youthful. Furthermore, we enjoy that it lasts long, even though it often needs reapplication.

We love that it spreads very easily on the skin and has a coconut scent to it. It is lightweight and easy to remove so we appreciated that smooth and soft feeling after every use.

What we did not like about this product is that the oil does cling onto the hands for a bit and it can transfer to other objects as well.

Another feature that we did not approve of is that the packaging does have its issues.

It comes in a pump spray container which often does not hold the product very well thus spilling the content.

What We Like

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    Absorbs quickly
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    Prevents drying out
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    Pleasant smell

What We Don't Like

  • Oil clings after application
  • Poor packaging

The Bottom Line

Tanning takes patience and there are only a handful of factors that can help us in achieving the shade that we want.

That’s why we recommend the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Sun Care Moisturizing Oil as our top choice for the best outdoor tanning oil. 

We love the golden, sun-kissed tan that we got with the use of this product.

Nevertheless, we consider it a significant feature that it can both protect and moisturize the skin. The color was long-lasting and the fading was gradual.

The combination of tropic extracts can help to deliver essential vitamins and minerals to keep us hydrated and improve the texture of the skin.

We believe the products that made it to our list can help you to attain the desired results while contributing to the skin’s health and well-being.

The Best Outdoor Tanning Oil

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