Updated October 18, 2019 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

The 10 Best Tanning Oils

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in May of 2018. If you love to keep your skin golden all year round, consider picking up a quality tanning oil. They are formulated to give you a deep, long-lasting tan quickly, so you don't have to spend quite so much time in the sun, and many contain moisturizing ingredients, too. Be aware, however, that they intensify the effects of the sun on your skin, and are not to be used as UV protection. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best tanning oil on Amazon.

10. Sun Bum Hypoallergenic

9. Tropical Sands All Natural Mexitan

8. Isabella's Clearly Gold

7. Panama Jack Moisturizing

6. Banana Boat Protective

5. Maui Island Secret

4. Australian Gold Exotic

3. Hawaiian Beachcomber Budd

2. Hawaiian Tropic Dark

1. Moroccanoil Sun Oil

Special Honors

Decléor Sun Aromessence Serum Boasting a silky and refined texture, this tan activator from Decléor prepares the face for sun exposure and promotes an even and long-lasting tan. It uses an all-natural solution that contains geranium, chamomile, carrot, and argan oils. It works to boost the skin's natural defenses and stimulate melanin production while helping to reduce dehydration and preserve youthful-looking skin. It also boasts rice essential oil, which contains a natural SPF to protect skin from UV rays. harrods.com

Bali Body Natural With grapeseed extract, coconut, vitamin E, and olive and jojoba oils, Bali Body's Natural Tanning and Body Oil can be used on the face as well as the rest of the body. Apply it prior to sun exposure for a glowing tan, or as a nourishing body oil anytime. It's natural, hydrating, vegan-friendly, and good for treating dry or eczema-prone skin. balibodyco.com

Editor's Notes

October 05, 2019:

Before we get into the details of our latest update, we want to stress that by nature, tanning oils do not provide enough sun protection to keep you safe from harmful UV rays. The FDA suggests using something with at least an SPF of 15 (which you'll find in Moroccanoil Sun Oil and Sun Bum Hypoallergenic) but most experts, including the American Academy of Dermatology, believe that SPF 30 is the lowest you should go, and that's in conjunction with sunglasses and protective clothing. For true sun protection, always put on sunscreen before applying tanning oil. It should help keep you safe and won't interfere with your ability to get a lovely, healthy-looking glow.

Our priorities for this list included efficacy, smooth texture, quality ingredients, a pleasant scent, and easy application. We incorporated tried-and-true selections from the likes of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic as well as the much-loved Australian Gold.

When our previous #5 Hampton Sun became unavailable, we took the opportunity to recommend Moroccanoil Sun Oil, a high-end, luxe option that has SPF 15, uses nourishing argan oil and vitamin E, and relieves dry skin while helping the user achieve a sun-kissed look.


Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated on October 18, 2019 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.