Tanning Without Lotion | Are These Methods Safe?

Summers are equal to tanning, and we all have our ways of doing that. I came across many women who use tanning lotions and get an uneven tan. We are always looking for bronze tan either by lying in the sun or using self-tanners. However, not everyone’s skin reacts the same way to tanning lotions. Many women complain of redness and allergic reactions due to the lotions. Why don’t we look at other options except for tanning lotions? Should we try tanning without lotion? Are they more effective? 

Tanning Without Lotion

Tanning lotions are high in demand due to their easy use and low prices. But are they worth their side effects? Tanning beds, tanning pills, natural suntan, and spray are the possible options we can look at. Natural Sun Tan looks like the perfect option to avoid any other hassle. But for people who don’t live on the coast, there are other fruitful options as well. 

Also Check: 8 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotion To Get Dark Fast

Tanning Without Lotion | Can You Tan without Tanning Oil?

Tanning lotions comprise a significant amount of the tanning industry. Tanning Without Lotion is our area of focus so let’s go ahead. There are several ways to get yourself a nice bronze tan without the use of tanning lotions. Tanning is simply the increased production of melanin in the body which has to be stimulated. Melanoma which is skin cancer, is contributed significantly by tanning and exposure to UV rays. Skin cancer is treatable if detected early but can be fatal to health if it prolongs for long. 

tanning without lotion

If you plan to get a natural tan and are very serious about the consequences, I suggest not going between 10 am and 4 pm. The rays are powerful, and the UV content is more, which may only be blocked to some extent by your SPF. Tanning beds and spray tans are some of the instant options for tanning which have been around in the market for quite a long time. Tanning pills are new in the market, and users are excited to know if they work. I researched all of these possible options and would love to share my inferences with you.

Other Methods Of Tanning Without Lotion 

There are various techniques of tanning that are possible without a tanning lotion. We will discuss the areas today: tanning beds, spray tan, natural suntan, and tanning pills. 

Tanning Beds 

Tanning beds are an alternative to sun tanning, and they imitate the sun’s UV rays to give you the desired tan. It is a machine in which we must lie down, and it artificially produces a tan by imitating the sun’s rays. They emit UV rays which are shined through tanning bulbs or lamps. UVA and UVB rays are emitted, UVB rays are said to be carcinogenic, but some manufacturers have found a way of not using UVB rays. 

tanning without lotion with tanning beds

The emissions increase your body’s melanin production and give you the golden color you usually get from lying for hours in the sun. Generally, 20 minutes of tanning beds equal 2 hours in the sun; you can choose your duration accordingly. Before you opt for tanning beds, you have to remember several things; visit a few salons and ask to see their tanning beds. Check if they are clean and do not have any dirt build-up. Good salons will insist you wear goggles as if you choose not to wear them, the risk of getting eye cancer can increase due to the radiation. When experimenting, start with a low dosage and gradually increase with experience.


  • Healthy tan 
  • Provides Vitamin D 
  • Used for specific skin conditions
  • Hassle-Free
  • Time-saving process 
  • Surprisingly also used to treat the seasonal affective disorder


  • Risk of skin cancer 
  • Risk of eye cancer if not wearing goggles
  • Premature aging 
  • Sunburns
  • Overexposure to UV rays 

Natural Sun Tan 

Natural suntan or sunbathing is the process of lying in the sun to stimulate melanin and get tanned naturally. However, we don’t need to sunbathe only during summer. Some amount of time on cloudy days and in winter could be beneficial to you. Remember, spending time in the sun without any SPF is the first cause of melanoma or skin cancer. Sunbathing has its risks, and consuming excess time in the sun can cause sun rash, which is red and itchy. 

Prolonged exposure could also cause sunburns; they cause blistering and overall damage to the skin. There is also a concept of sun poisoning where you get bumps on your chest, legs, and hands. It is also a result of spending too much time in the sun. It would help if you used sunscreen with an SPF of more than 30. Drink plenty of water and do not spend more than 30-40 minutes in the sun. You may take breaks when you get hot. 


  • Vitamin D Exposure
  • Reduces Depression
  • Natural Tanning 
  • Long-lasting tan
  • Better Sleep
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Stronger Bones 
  • Boosted immune system


  • Creates fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Pigmentation and discoloration 
  • Sunburns 
  • Sun Rash 
  • Quickening the loss of elasticity 

Spray Tan 

Spray tanning is another artificial way of a bronze golden tan without spending time in the sun. Exfoliating is important during a spray tan, and you must do it as it ensures a better and long-lasting tan. Identify your skin tone and decide the shade you want to be. The tan takes 4-6 hours to show and typically lasts for 6-10 days. Be sure not to do anything that might make you sweat before the tan shows; also, avoid swimming in chlorinated water.

Apply sunscreen and use tan-friendly products in the meantime. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Spray tanning consists of DHA, which is dihydroxyacetone. It triggers the amino acids, which start producing more melanin. You can get your desired tan without being afraid of skin cancer and harmful UV rays. 


  • No UV rays 
  • No risk of skin cancer 
  • No signs of premature aging 
  • Open to any season 
  • Suitable for all skin tones 
  • Customizable as your wish 
  • Mask hyperpigmentation, freckles, and sunspots
  • Quick and effective 
  • Long-Lasting 


  • Exposure to DHA may cause redness
  • Difficulty in breathing during the session 
  • Leave behind streaks and stains 
  • Messy 

Tanning Pills 

Tanning pills are the most recent way of tanning and are the most discussed topic. Tanning pills contain a pigment called canthaxanthin. It is a color additive, and when you ingest it orally, it releases pigment-changing compounds in your skin, making you darker in the longer run. Not all tanning is associated with melanin, and tanning pills work from the inside out. 

The results may end up being more orange than you thought, but you only have your body to blame. Tanning pills only work on your body well if your body responds well to them. It takes two weeks for the dyes to build up and show on your skin. The tan will look orangish-brown, opposite to the gold-brown we get through general tanning. The ingredients in the tanning pills aren’t natural, so they do come with some potential risks. You need to consume the drugs for two weeks for enough pigment to gather and show a tan.


  • An oral option for tanning


  • No FDA Approval 
  • Hives and welts
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Liver damage 
  • Retinopathy 
  • Vision changes 
  • Vision loss 
  • Orange skin 
  • Jaundice 
  • Long term side effects 

Also read: 8 Best Tan Extender Lotion | Hassle-Free Tanning In Seconds? Guide!

Final Word  | Tanning Without Lotion

Tanning is the best if done with precaution. Tanning Without Lotion is a task, and we need to be very informed about it. Sunbathing and any exposure to the UV rays come with potential cancer risk. Melanoma which is skin cancer is caused by exposure to UV rays, so we need to be extremely careful about it. Follow all the instructions if you are sunbathing. Tanning beds and spray tans are options that are available everywhere and in any season. It sounds very appealing, but spray tans are much better than tanning beds as they do not include UV rays. 

Tanning beds and overexposure have fatal effects, and you should minimize their use. Tanning pills are stuff you should never buy, especially when it’s not FDA approved. It contains harmful chemicals which are detrimental to health. Among all the options, spray tans are the best. Spray tans are a mixture of naturally built formulas and let you customize them according to your needs. So get ready for a motionless tan!

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