How Does Tanning Oil Work and How to Use it?

What is Tanning Oil?

Tanning products like skin browning oil, lotion, and sprays that accelerate the process of skin-tanning are fairly popular around the world, especially in the West. They are used to achieve a warm sun-kissed glow on skin that pretty much reminds of the iconic and accidental tan of Coco Chanel in the 1920s. To date, skin that looks shiny from within and has a darkly rich blonde or bronze tone is way more attractive than pale and reddened skin tone, particularly conditioned after a beach trip.

What’s the Benefits of Tanning Oil?

Tanning oil delivers to your skin a great list of benefits except just darkening its color and accelerating its melanin production level.

For example, the tanning oil aids in

  • Bringing out a balanced and even skin tone all over your body or wherever the tanning oil is applied.
  • Making sure tans are even and are achieved in the desired tone. Sometimes you can not control how your tans turn out to be if you just sit under the sun but with tanning oil, you can control the tan’s intensity.
  • Helping you to achieve warm sun-kissed or dark bronze tans faster without having to soak in the sun for long hours.
  • Providing you with the necessary protection against UVA and UVB radiation of the sun.
  • Moisturizing and deeply hydrating your skin so that your skin does not look dehydrated, saggy, and burnt but youthful and glowy. A lot of tanning oils and lotions contain age-defying and antioxidant properties in their formula.
  • Giving you a sultry skin look and skin feel to enjoy the beachy fashion trends in a healthy way.

Common Ingredients of Tanning Oil:

A good tanning oil is likely to contain organic ingredients that are dark in color and contain a variety of rich benefits such as those properties that are anti-aging, skin-hydrating, and skin-firming in effect. A few examples of such ingredients are;

– Cocoa butter extracts
– Coconut Oil

– Jojoba Oil

– Aloe Vera

– Caffeine Extracts

– Shea butter

– Bronzing agents (mostly DHA)

– Olive oil


What does Tanning Oil do and how does it work?

This is a frequently asked question and is indeed an important process to understand. A summarized way to demonstrate the skin-tanning process and the role of any tanning product, especially tanning oils, is as follows.

The outermost layer of our skin that we can touch is called Epidermis. It has an outer layer (called Stratum Corneum) and an inner layer (called Stratum Basale). The process of tanning skin deals with these layers of our skin.

Melanocytes are skin-cells that give color to the skin and these cells are present in the Stratum Basale layer. In the presence of UV radiation, the melanocytes are activated and produce melanin which causes our skin color, to turn darker and hence, get tanned.

But, UV radiation coming directly from the sun is crucially dangerous to the skin and can even cause skin cancer. So we need to minimize the time we spend under the bare sun and use SPF to avoid damaging our skin’s health. But if we do use SPF and minimize spending time under the sun then how will we get tans?

Well, here enters the role of tanning oil.

Tanning oil promotes melanin production with its ingredients, activating the melanocytes in the skin. If it is applied before sitting under the sun, the process of tanning skin is amplified and speeded. Therefore with tanning oil, you do not need to expose your skin to UV rays under the sun for long hours. Moreover, tanning skin under the sun can strip off your skin from its natural oils and cause dehydration and dryness in your skin. But a tanning oil takes care of that with its organically moisturizing and deeply hydrating ingredients.

If you pick a tanning oil that contains bronzing agents like DHA then you will not even need to expose your skin to UV rays at all. The Bronzers or bronzing agents are also called fake-tanners or self-tanners. They darken your skin tone independently i.e. without sun rays.


How To Use Tanning Oil On The Skin?

Some people get disappointed when they fail to get desired results from self-tanning products such as tanning oils, lotions, and sprays. Well, that happens because they do not focus on using these products in the right way and hence minimize their effectiveness.

Here are some rules you need to understand before you buy tanning oil and follow before applying it to your skin.

  1. Your skin needs a base tan that can be very subtle or intense. Remember that tanning products work best when they have a base tan to accelerate instead of producing a tanned result from scratch.
  2. Buy a tanning oil that contains high SPF levels to avoid damaging your skin health.
  3. Always apply tanning oil on clean skin. Don’t forget to clean and exfoliate your skin before applying tanning oil to get a fresh and clean tanning luster on the body. The skin carries dead cells so it important that you exfoliate and wash them off before applying the tanning oil.
  4. Apply tanning oil (with SPF) all over your body, and cautiously cover the parts you don’t want to tan. However, it is better to apply tanning oil all over the body without leaving any part in order to get an evenly colored body and avoid sunburns on parts that you are about to expose in sun without protection.
  5. Use water-resistant tanning oil and allow it to soak in your skin. Do not wash it after application and spread it evenly. The tanning oil can only replenish and rejuvenate your skin if it is allowed to soak in the skin layers while enhancing the skin’s melanin production level and activating the melanocytes.
  6. Allow yourself to enjoy safe sunbathing. The tanning oil on your body will absorb sunrays faster and amplify the tanning process.
  7. You can re-apply the tanning oil after every 3 to 5 hours. In case of excessive sweating or coming in contact with water, you can apply the oil after every 2 hours.


The Bottom Line:

Tanning oil is a great product that safely enhances and accelerates the tanning process in your skin. However, one should not forget to check that the tanning oil they are buying contains safe ingredients and its directions to use before applying it on their skin to prevent any disappointments.

Finally, tanning products and processes should be used as minimally as possible because UV rays are to be repelled not attracted. If you are looking to achieve the bronze, golden or darker tan-like body tone frequently then indoor tanning oils that contain bronzers can help you find a way without having to bear the sun damage.

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