Bronzers intended for indoor tanning use are made for tanners that are looking for immediate results. This works well for people in a hurry for darker skin such as upcoming pictures, weddings or proms. It works with the skin to produce a fake tan while the skin continues to tan underneath. A bronzer does not stand alone as it is added to either an accelerator or maximizer lotion. Most are DHA formulated but there are a few available now that are DHA free for a more natural looking tan. A DHA tanning lotion develops over time and through a method of reacting with the proteins in the skin. This process can take up to 12 hours to fully develop. Some lotions will have multiple bronzers and usually the bottle will be mark such as 5X bronzer. This does not mean that it has the ability to bronze 5 times faster than a lotion with one bronzer. This means that it has 5 different types of bronzers. If wanting a deep, dark result seek a lotion that has black walnut shell extract in combination with DHA bronzer. When used together it lessens the chances of streaking and reaches a deeper level of dark. A tanner should take great caution in applying this type of lotion to reduce the chance of streaks and an uneven tan.

Bronzers are used with Indoor Tanning Beds
  • It is extremely important to exfoliate the skin well before using a bronzer. Fresh, new skin will tan much better and removing dead skin will help in the prevention of uneven and splotchy patches. Of course once a tanner starts using the bronzer it is important not to exfoliate the skin since this is the process to which a sunless tan is shed.
  • It is important to keep the skin as moisturized as possible. Moisturized skin will hold the sunless and real tan longer since it is shedding dead skin at a slower rate. However, please be advised that moisturizers should not be used for at least a couple of hours prior to a tanning session and for several hours after tanning. The reason is because if used before the moisturizer acts as a barrier cream and if used after it interferes with the process that makes the sunless tan develop over time.
  • The color, shade or tint of the bronzer lotion doesn’t always determine the outcome of the sunless tan. Many bronzers appear white in the bottle. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the properties to develop into a dark sunless tan. However, it can be easier to apply a tinted lotion evenly. White colored bronzers are harder to put on evenly and are usually easier to streak.
  • A bronzer should be applied directly before starting the indoor tanning session. Use enough but do not over use the product in one session. It does not take 1/4 of a bottle to achieve the maximum results desired and over use can actually make the results less. Use between ½ to 1 ounce per visit. Spread it onto the body in a very even circular motion. Take the most care in areas where there are creases such as the elbows, knees and knuckles. Wash hands very well immediately after applying the bronzer. Not doing so will results in orange or dirty looking palms.
  • There is help for people who have a difficult time with staining the palms of the hands or other areas of the body such as the knees and elbows. Barrier creams will block the effects of the bronzer lotion by creating a barrier between the skin and lotion. This should be available to buy at professional tanning salons and can be used on these areas that stain easy.
  • Tan the recommended time by the salon professional. Never stay over the amount recommended because once the skin is burnt it needs to heal before starting again. During the healing process results obtained from previous sessions will be lost and the process will have to begin from scratch. Burning the skin also increases the chances of developing skin cancer.
  • After tanning the sunless tan will start to develop over the course of the next several hours. Showers should be avoided for at least 2 hours after using the bronzer. Sports, swimming or any activity that will cause the skin to be wet by water or perspiration should also be avoided for a couple of hours after the session. This will help the tan develop correctly and decrease the chances of streaking and uneven tanning. The results usually last 3 to 5 days if not continuing the tanning visits.
  • To maintain results and achieve a base tan it will be necessary to tan 2 to 3 times a week This time could vary depending on the skin. As a based tan is developed it is possible the results of the bronzer will not be as apparent and the tan will only be maintained. At this point a different level of tanning lotion might be used if a darker result is desired. Salon professionals should be able to advise tanners on how to reach the outcome desired.
  • It is important to remember that since the tan is still developing under the skin it is possible to burn when outdoors so SPF products need to be used when outdoors. There are sunless tanners that do not require the use of a tanning bed.


Tanning lotions do not protect against sunburns unless it contains SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Tanning by methods of the sun or UV rays increases the chances of developing skin cancer even when a tanner doe not burn. Burning however can increase these chances. Sun and UV exposure causes premature aging.

Some bronzer lotions will stain clothing as well as the skin. White bras are usually a victum of this and stain remover can cause a chemical reaction that turns the stain from tan to pink. A tanner should keep this in consideration when going to the salon by taking a change of clothing that they do not care to get stained.

Some states require that the staff of a salon have professional training and be certified, while others do not.