Types of Tanning Lotions

If you’ve ever spoken with one of our lovely staff here at Arizona Tanning, you probably know that we get very excited when it comes time to talk about tanning product. We currently stock over 20 different tanning lotions that have been hand-selected by our owners based on the quality of ingredients and overall value of the product.

You’ve probably wondered what makes a tanning lotion different from your everyday moisturizer, or questioned whether they are actually different at all. Well, here’s your answer.

There are three main categories of Tanning Lotions: Intensifiers (or Melanin Boosters), Natural Bronzers, and Delayed Bronzers (or DHA Bronzers).

Intensifiers are specially formulated tanning lotions that contain active ingredients which assist our skin to naturally achieve a dark, bronze colour. They trigger and boost melanin production and distribution, allowing our skin the achieve its highest natural colour potential. These lotions are great for beginner tanners, as the resulting colour is your own natural tan.

Natural Bronzers, also sometimes called Immediate Bronzers, provide immediate results without streaking or staining. They take intensifiers one step further and typically include ingredients such as walnut shell extract, fig and henna. These ingredients produce a brown-coloured lotion and provide the skin with an instant colour boost. Natural Bronzers are also great for beginner tanners, because they blend with any skin tone and last only until you wash it off.

Delayed Bronzers contain a colourless tanning ingredient called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. DHA reacts with the amino acids in your skin to turn the skin brown, and is the main ingredient in most self-tanners and spray tans. The development process takes about 4-6 hours, but the results tend to last much longer. These lotions are great for building upon a base tan, or for those looking to achieve a darker colour quickly.

One common myth about tanning lotions is that the darker the colour of the lotion, the darker the bronzer. As we just learned, DHA concentrate is colourless, which means that a tanning lotion can be white in colour and still provide very dark results. These types of bronzers are called White Bronzers (our personal favourite is JWOWW's Stunning). A lotion that appears very dark in the bottle means it has plenty of natural bronzers, but does not necessarily signify whether the product contains DHA. Most times, the bottle will specify which type of bronzer it is, but if you’re ever in doubt, just ask!

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