Using the best tanning gel is a quick and easy way to fake that summer glow. Whether you're looking for a self-tanner or an instant bronzer, these creams are sure to deliver results - all without the need for UV rays.

Many brands offer their own version of this product, so finding one that works for you may take some trial and error. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there designed to cater to all skin types, from sensitive skin to those with dryness concerns. Some even come with anti-aging properties or boast SPF protection.

You'll want something that goes on smoothly without leaving your hands feeling sticky or your bathroom looking like a crime scene of smeared lotion. It's also important that it doesn't clog pores and doesn't have any strong scents as some can trigger migraines in those who are sensitive to smells. The best tanning gels will make your skin look healthy and glowing while staying streak-free!

How We Choose

We've reviewed the best tanning gels to help you find the right one for you. Whether you're looking for a deep, dark tan or something more natural-looking, there's a great option below for you.

Carroten Gold Shimmer Tanning Gel

The Carrot Oil Tanning Lotion is a great option for anyone who wants to achieve a sun-kissed glow without the risk of burns. This lotion has been designed with an advanced tanning system that enhances tan acceleration, providing a deep, rich and radiant sun-kissed color.

It also comes with an immediate sun kissed glowing tan that will leave your skin looking naturally bronzed and gorgeous. The absolute tanning hit from this product is truly impressive, as it helps moisturize your skin so you'll look even more radiant in the sunshine.

The Carrot Oil Tanning Lotion comes in five different shades that will match any skin tone or desired level of darkness. It also offers an exceptional instant tanning result due to its strong blend of tanning oils.

Tanning Gel Accelerator

An affordable tanning product that gives you a natural-looking bronze color, a Baihual tanning gel is perfect for those who want to get their summer tan on without burning.

It comes in three different shades (Carrot, Coconut and Bronze), so you can find the one that matches your skin tone best. The Infinite Tan System™ technology helps enhance your tan's depth, richness and radiance. It also has a pineapple scent which I thought was pretty nice.

I tried out the Carrot shade and it gave me a very natural look with just a hint of shimmer. You only need to apply this once or twice before going out in the sun, so it's easy to do when you're getting ready in the morning instead of having to reapply mid-day while at the beach or pool.

Pro Tan Radically Hemp Dark Tanning Gelee

The Pro Tan Radically Hemp Accelerator is a great tanning lotion that will give you a deep, dark color with little to no streaking or unevenness. This product uses an innovative blend of botanicals and vitamins A and E to provide healthy skin.

The accelerator blend in this lotion penetrates the epidermis for smooth results and longer-lasting color. The formula also contains Monoi de Tahiti oils, which are rich in antioxidants that help protect your skin from damage caused by the sun. The Accelerator 10X can be applied directly to the skin or used as a mousse for added convenience.

It's important to note that this product does not contain any harmful chemicals such as DHA or dihydroxyacetone, which are commonly found in other tanning products. It's also free from gluten and parabens so you know you're getting clean ingredients when using this product.

Intensive Tanning Luxe Gel

I have been on the hunt for a good tanning accelerator and I am glad to say that I finally found one. The product I am reviewing here is called Tanning Accelerator Cream and it is by far the best one out there.

The reason why this works so well is because it has natural carrot oil as its main ingredient, which is known for its skin-revitalizing properties. It also has olive oil added in to help with a deep tan and golden shine. This cream goes on smoothly and evenly, making it easy to apply without any mess or streaking.

It dries quickly too, so you don't have to sit around waiting for your fake tan to set in before you can move onto something else with your time. The price of this product isn't bad either at just under $7 - especially considering all of the benefits that come with using it!

Tanning Gel FAQs

You've decided that you want to use a tanning gel, but you're not sure which one is best for you.

It can be hard to know where to begin your search for the perfect tanning gel, especially with all of the conflicting information out there. We've created a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about tanners and our top answers below!

What Does Tanning Gel Do?

The primary function of a tanning gel is to create an even base layer of protection on your skin. This lets the UV rays penetrate evenly, so you can get an even tan without burning.

Most gels contain bronzers and other colorants that help your skin look slightly darker after you've been exposed to sun. This also helps protect against some long-term damage from overexposure to UV rays. There are different types of bronzers used in tanning gels, including dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is derived from plant sources; and erythrulose, which is synthetic but mimics the way our bodies produce melanin naturally. Some people may have sensitivities or allergies to these ingredients, however, so check the product's label carefully before applying it.

Finally, many gel formulas also include moisturizers for hydration and nourishment purposes. They're often infused with other beneficial ingredients as well such as aloe vera or green tea extract for soothing purposes.

How Long Does Tanning Gel Last?

Since it's water-based, you can expect your tan to fade more quickly than if you were to self-tan with a product that contains oil. Depending on how dark you want to go and the type of base coat used in your chosen tanning brand, that fade time could be anywhere from two days up to two weeks.

If you're looking for an ultra-dark tan, then consider using a self-tanner with a medium or high concentration of DHA (the active ingredient in bronzers). A base coat will also help extend the life of your new glow; look for products containing ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter. Many self-tanners also now come with their own setting powders so you can lock in that all important color.

Is It Safe To Use Tanning Gel?

If you're concerned about the health implications of using self-tanning products, you may be wondering if it's safer to use a tanning bed or self-tanning gel.

While there are some concerns about the safety of UV rays in tanning beds, these products do have government oversight and regulations. Research has shown that UV rays from tanning beds don't penetrate deeply into your skin like UV rays from the sun do, which means your risk for skin cancer is lower compared with being exposed to natural sunlight. Still, experts recommend limiting your time in a tanning bed to no more than 15 minutes per session.

Self-tanning gels contain ingredients that help them blend in with your natural color so they look more believable when you apply them; however, these ingredients can also cause irritation and drying if you have very sensitive skin or erythromelalathy – a condition that causes excessive reddness and blotchiness on parts of your body where there's less pigment (such as the hands). This can make self-tanner an uncomfortable choice even if it's safer than being exposed to UV rays in a tanning bed.

How Do You Apply Tanning Gel?

The first thing to keep in mind is that, unlike lotion, gel doesn't soak into your skin and it doesn't leave any residue on the surface either. It goes right down to the base of your skin, giving you a deep bronze color.

Another key point is that you need to apply a very thin layer of tanning gel. If you apply too much product or put it on too thickly, you'll end up with an orangey color and streak marks from where you rubbed it in.

The best way to ensure that you're applying the correct amount of product is by using a mitt or washcloth – never your hands! These tools will also help protect your delicate facial skin from sun damage as well as UV rays themselves.

Is Tanning Mousse Or Gel Better?

The spray and mousse formulas are a little different but both will give you the same deep, dark tan. The advantage of mousse is that it's easier to apply evenly and you don't have to worry about streaking.

Gel provides a more concentrated formula so it can be easier to get an even application. You'll also want to make sure you rub in gel well or streaks are likely to happen. If you're worried about staining your hands or clothes, opt for a water-based formula rather than oil-based as this type won't stain your clothing or hands like some of the other types will.

Do You Put Tanning Gel On Before Or After Sunscreen?

It's generally best to apply sunscreen first and then your self-tanner, but there are different schools of thought on this.

If you do it the wrong way around – putting tanning gel on before sunscreen – you run the risk of the sunblock washing away your tan because it contains water-soluble chemicals that can break down the product.

But if you wait until after you've put on your sunscreen, and then apply a self-tanner, it's possible that some of the UVA rays in sunlight could penetrate through your lotion and cause damage. (UVA rays are still considered to be worse for causing cancer than UVB.) So, which is safer? It depends who you ask: some people say it's better to put on both products simultaneously; others say it's best to do them one at a time. We're not doctors or dermatologists so we won't pretend we have all the answers here, but in our view, using only one product at a time seems like too much hassle for little payoff when there are other considerations like how long lasting your tan needs to be etc.

What Should I Sleep In After Fake Tanning?

The best answer to this question is not a simple one. We'll explain why below, but first let's take a look at the three main types of fabric:

Cotton is an absorbent fabric, so it will hold in some moisture after you shower. Cotton also has natural antibacterial properties, which can help prevent odor; however, cotton can sometimes be clingy and may chafe if you're sweating excessively. Most cotton fabrics are good for summer wear because they stay cool against your skin.

Rayon is similar to cotton in that it absorbs water and helps keep you cool when you sleep — just like cotton shirts do when worn during the day. Rayon is often used in high-quality sleepwear made with premium materials, such as silk or satin. Like cotton, rayon has antibacterial properties that help reduce body odor while you're sleeping . . . plus rayon feels luxurious compared to other fabrics!

Do You Put Tanning Gel On Your Face?

It's one of the biggest no-nos in the tanning world, and there are plenty of reasons why you want to steer clear. Putting tanning gel on your face can block your pores, which can lead to breakouts. It can also give you that dreaded orange appearance, as well as an uneven color. Plus, it just looks funny! To get a natural-looking facial tan, apply a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. Don't forget the neck area either – this is one spot many people tend to skip when they're applying sunscreen, but it needs protection too!

Why Shouldn't You Moisturize Before Tanning?

Although you may feel like moisturizing your skin before tanning will give you a better base tan, it won't. Moisturizing your skin will only clog the pores and prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin which is what gives you that golden color.

Moisturizers are often made with heavy perfumes so while they may leave your skin feeling soft, they can also irritate sensitive areas such as the eyes and nostrils which can cause some discomfort. If you're looking for a moisturizer specifically designed for use in the sun, look for one that's water-based rather than oil-based and contains no added fragrance.


When it comes to tanning gel, there are plenty of options available on the market today. Before you purchase any type of tanning gel, make sure that you do your research and read reviews from other customers. Make sure that the product does not have any artificial ingredients or harsh chemicals in it - this can damage your skin in the long run. Also, look at how quickly and evenly the product tans your skin - some products may leave patches on your body while others spread smoothly for an even coverage. Lastly, consider price point when making a decision about which one is right for you! With a little research, anyone can find a great tanning gel that will help them achieve their desired sun-kissed glow!

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