Tanning is not just for women. Just because you are a man does not mean that you can’t tan. In fact, many men from all walks of life tan. From 2010 to 2013 1.9 million men used a tanning bed. This staggering number doesn’t even cover the many millions of men who tan outside or use sunless tanning products. Therefore, if you are a man and you want to tan, you are not alone. You just need to find the best tanning lotions for men.
Never fear, for those of you new to tanning we have included all of the information you need. Read on to learn more about tanning, the specific requirements needed for men’s tanning lotion, and our picks for the top five best products on the market.
- What is tanning?
- What are the different types of tanning?
- Tanning health concerns
- Why do men tan?
- What is men’s tanning lotion?
- What to look for in men’s tanning lotion
- Top Five Best Men’s Tanning Lotions 2019—Comparison table
- Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Men 2019 Reviews
- Indoor tanning lotion vs. outdoor tanning lotion
- How do I prepare my skin for tanning lotion?
- How do I put on tanning lotion for men?
- Final Words
What is tanning?
Before we talk more about men’s special needs when tanning, we should discuss the actual tanning process and what it does to our bodies.
Originally tanning occurred when you spent a lot of time in the summer. The sun produces UV rays, the most important of these for tanning are UVB and UVA rays. UVA and UVB rays hit our bodies and cause the extra production of melanin in our skin.
Melanin is the pigment that causes our skin to have a specific color. If you are fair skinned you have less melanin than those people who have darker skin tones. When the UV rays cause more melanin to be produced in our skin, it turns a darker color. The extra melanin also provides a small amount of sun protection as well.
What are the different types of tanning?
When people talk about tanning they are discussing the various ways that we can now create that golden brown look. You don’t have to spend hours in the sun to boost up your melanin production and get tanned. Instead, there are many options for men and women looking to tan.
Outdoors: You can choose to tan outdoors. Many men and women still want to get a tan the old-fashioned way. In this option you will need to take special care of your skin, use a men’s tanning lotion, and make sure to moisturize constantly.
Indoors: An extremely popular tanning option is to use a tanning bed. You lay down in this device, which shines UVA rays over your body. The UV radiation triggers the tan by simulated the sun’s effect on your skin. Indoor tanning also requires the use of men’s tanning lotions.
Tanning beds come with a wide variety of settings and functions. For example, you can choose to turn off the facial area of the bed. Or, it might have a fan to help keep you cool. You will need to do your research and choose the salon and tanning bed that suits your preferences.
Sunless Tans: If you don’t want to deal with the potential health concerns that come with tanning outside or in a tanning bed, you can choose to use a sunless tanning lotion or spray. Yes, men fake bake too.
Sunless tanning works because of the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA intermingles with the amino acids in your dead skin cells, which then creates a brown color. DHA is not absorbed into the body, and the tan effect is lost once your skin sheds those dead cells.
Tanning health concerns
Along with the increase in tanning’s popularity with men comes an awareness of its potential health concerns. Dermatologists warn that tanning through the use of UV rays—either outdoors or in a tanning bed—can cause dark spots, discoloration, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
When you are exposed to UC rays you should always wear sunscreen—even when tanning. Yes, it will slow down your tan, but it could protect against skin cancer, so it is worth the extra time you need to get that golden look.
Sunless tanning does not have the risks associated with tanning using UV radiation. Dermatologists and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found DHA to be safe for human external use. You should always make sure to cover your lips, eyes, and mucous membranes when receiving a tan using DHA.
Why do men tan?
Just like women, men tan for a lot of different reasons, but one of the most common is appearance. Many men feel that a nice golden tan makes them stand out from the crowd or attract women. If you are also a bodybuilding, or hit the gym on a regular basis, getting a tan may help you look even more athletic and give your muscles more definition.
What is men’s tanning lotion?
Tanning lotion for men helps to provide the tanned look that many men desire. There are two different major types of men’s tanning lotion: outdoor/tanning bed and sunless.
Outdoor/tanning bed lotion usually has a bronzer, but it contains hydrating ingredients and other substances that will help your skin tan. You still need to exposure your skin to UV radiation to achieve a tan with outdoor/indoor tanning lotions for men.
Sunless tanning lotion for men provides a tanned look without necessitating the use of UV rays. These lotions contain DHA, which creates that golden-brown look without the sun’s help. Men’s sunless tanning lotions also usually have bronzers to help you determine if you’ve missed a spot when you apply them.
What to look for in men’s tanning lotion
When men are looking for either an indoor/outdoor tanning lotion or a sunless tanning lotion there are some concerns that are specific to them.
Most importantly, you don’t want to smell like you are wearing women’s perfume. This means being extremely careful about the scent of the product you choose. Many tanning lotions are made for women and so smell flowery or fruity. If you don’t want to smell like a woman, then steer clear of these scented lotions.
One other aspect of tanning lotion to keep in mind as a man is its feel. Most men do not want a lotion that feels “slimy” on their skin. This can be a hard category to test for, so we recommend that you try a variety of men’s tanning lotions before finding one that you prefer.
- DHA if you are using a sunless tanner. The more DHA there is in a product the darker the tan that tanner produces. Keep that in mind as you find the correct color tone for you skin.
- Vitamins that will nourish your skin. These include Vitamins A, E, and C, all of which help to tone and smooth your skin or fight free radical damage from the sun.
- Moisturizing ingredients like green tea extract, jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter all help to reintroduce moisture back into your skin after you tan. This is essential for bright and healthy-looking skin.
Top Five Best Men’s Tanning Lotions 2019—Comparison table
#1 Editor’s Choice
Clean Cotton Blossom
Oriental Black Cashmere
3 oz., 4.7 oz., or 8.5 oz.z
Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Men 2019 Reviews
While Millennium Tanning Products’ Paint It Black 50X tanning lotion is not specifically designed for men, it has all of the ingredients and especially the scent that men will love. You do not have to worry about smelling like a woman with the clean cotton blossom fragrance of the lotion. Smelling like clean laundry is a far cry from smelling like a flower garden.
Also, the Paint It Black 50X tanning lotion is full of hydrating and soothing ingredients that will help your skin look its best and keep you tan lasting longer. Keep in mind that this tanning lotion is quite dark and works best on men whose skin is already a medium or dark skin tone. If you are fair skinned the product’s Darkening TM trademarked mixture may not look the best on your body. Millennium Tanning Products make other tanning lotions for men with lighter skin.
Devoted Creations CAMO KING Black Bronzer Lotion is another product that is perfectly formulated for men. It has a large number of antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage. The entire product has been made specifically for the tanning bed; although, the inclusion of a bronzer will give you some color instantly.
Men specifically will enjoy the subtle scent of the lotion and its tattoo protection technology. Now you don’t have to worry about losing your tattoos, or covering them up, just because you want to have tanned skin. This is another tanning lotion for men that is quite dark, so fair skinned men will want to consider another product.
SunGodz Indoor Tanning Lotion with Bronzer is made for either tanning outside or inside a tanning bed. It is another unisex lotion with a subtle and manly scent. It also provides extra hydrating ingredients, tattoo protect, and anti-fade technology. So, this is a great tanning lotion for men and women alike.
Additionally, SunGodz have included shower proof technology, which makes this product no hassle, something most guys prefer. What this means is that your tan shows up super-fast and the ingredients will not run off in the shower or create streaks. It is no wonder that this no hassle tanning lotion is perfect for men.
Devoted Creations has produced a tanning lotion that is specifically designed for a man’s body with their H.I.M. TITANIUM Bronzer. It is low maintenance and non-greasy. It also has tattoo protection. Like the other tanning lotions on this list so far, H.I.M. TITANIUM Bronzer is an outdoor/indoor product.
Most importantly this formula includes and after tan odor eliminator. Since you are not supposed to use deodorants when you tan, you need to keep a funk from developing. The man-friendly scent of oriental black cashmere eliminates odor just as it keeps you smelling fresh and looking your best.
We’ve only included one self-tanning lotion for men on this list. However, it is an extremely good product and perfect for a man’s body. First of all, Thermalabs Organic Self Tan Lotion comes in three different sizes, so you can pick the amount that works best for your lifestyle.
Second, it provides a golden sheen to your body, so people of any skin tone can use this product. It also provides that color in less than four hours. So, men on the go can get the sun-kissed look whenever they are and whenever they want it. Finally, Thermalabs believes in their men’s tanning lotion so much that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Indoor tanning lotion vs. outdoor tanning lotion
You will probably notice that some of the men’s tanning lotions mentioned in our reviews are tanning bed lotions and some are instant tanning lotions. You may be wondering what the difference is between these two types of tanners for men.
First, men’s tanning bed lotions are designed to supplement and assist your tan. Often these products have bronzers; although, you will find men’s tanning lotions without bronzer as well. Bronzers provide a little instant color so that you know if you have missed a spot. They will wash off after your first shower. Tanning bed lotions need to be used in combination with tanning either outside or in a tanning bed, they do not provide color by themselves.
On the other hand, the instant or self-tanners are all of the sunless variety. This is why you will see DHA prominently featured in the ingredient list. Often bronzers will be featured in self-tanners as well. These lotions and sprays can either be put on in a salon or at home and will give you a nice golden tan within a few hours.
Which type of tanning lotion you chose is entirely up to your preferences and life style. If you are new to tanning, we recommend trying a lot of different.
How do I prepare my skin for tanning lotion?
Men have some different considerations than women when they tan. Here are a few steps you should take when you are preparing your body to tan and a few ways to protect you skin once you are done.
- Wear the correct clothing. Men’s bathing suits tend to be of the long shorts variety, which can cause some pretty nasty looking lines after you’ve finished tanning. And, nobody finds a farmer’s tan attractive.
- So, if you are tanning outside or in a booth, you should wear a speedo-type bathing suit. Some men prefer to wear no clothing in a tanning booth. However, if this is your first time—or you have fair skin—you will probably want to cover your private area both in front and behind your body. This will help prevent you from getting burned in a very uncomfortable place
- Shave your body. If you want an even tan as a man then you need to remember to shave your body hair. The long hair that’s common on men’s bodies stops UV rays from reaching your skin, which halts the tanning process. Not shaving could also cause light and dark spots on your skin because of the hair only getting in the way in certain places.
- Exfoliate. This one’s not just for the guys out there. It is recommended that everyone exfoliate before they get a tan. This removes the dead skin cells and allows the tan to go on smoothly and last longer.
- Don’t tan for too long. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is to tan for too long a time. This is especially important if you tan using the sun or a tanning bed. The longer your skin is exposure to UV rays, the greater your chance of skin problems.
- Wait before showering. When you receive a sunless tan—or give one to yourself—you need to wait at least 24 hours before washing in water. This gives the substance enough time to completely dry on your skin, so that it will not come off in the water.
- Moisturize. Tanning—either using UV rays or sunless tanning lotions—requires that your skin be hydrated. The more you moisturize the better, since it will slow the drying of your skin cells and keep your tan looking bright.
How do I put on tanning lotion for men?
The way that you put on tanning lotion for men will vary slightly depending on the type of tanning lotion you use. If you use a self-tanning lotion for men then you will need to put it on after you take a shower. Make sure that you cover your entire body evenly and let the solution dry for at least 10 minutes before putting on your clothes.
If you receive a sunless tan at a salon then you only have to show up to the salon and let the technician give you a great looking tan. Follow our advice above for preparing for your tan, and you will be good to go.
Finally, if you plan on tanning outside or indoors in a tanning bed, then you will want to put on the tanning lotion before you go tanning. Make sure to cover your whole body with the before tanning lotion. You will also need to apply an after tanning lotion for men to rehydrate and sooth your tanned skin.
If you are confused about how to apply your men’s tanning lotion, then you should read the instructions on the product you choose. This is the best way to ensure that you are using it properly.
If you are a man and you want to tan, good for you. This pastime is no long just for women to enjoy. In fact, you may even end up attracting women with your golden skin. With all the tanning information out there directed at women, it makes sense if you are a little overwhelmed. But, by following our handy buyer’s guide and picking one of our top five best tanning lotions for men 2019, you will be well on your way to the tan of your dreams.