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7 Best Sunscreen to Tan: Top Picks for Maximum Tanning Results in 2023

Sunscreen plays a crucial role in protecting our skin from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of skin cancer, and preventing premature aging. When it comes to tanning, many people believe they need to completely forgo sunscreen to achieve that sun-kissed glow. However, the best way to tan safely is by using a sunscreen that protects your skin while still allowing for a natural tan to develop.

Sunscreen products come in various SPFs (Sun Protection Factors), which indicate the level of UVB protection they offer. It is essential to choose a sunscreen with the right SPF level to balance sun protection and tanning. Lower SPF sunscreens, such as SPF 15 or SPF 30, offer moderate protection against UV rays while still allowing your skin to gradually develop a tan. It is important to note that sunscreen is meant to protect from sunburn, not eliminate the tanning process entirely.

When choosing the best sunscreen for tanning, it is crucial to consider a few factors such as broad-spectrum protection, water resistance, and ingredients. Broad-spectrum protection ensures that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Water resistance is an essential feature to look for, especially if you plan to swim or sweat while sunbathing. Lastly, pay attention to the ingredients, as some sunscreens contain chemicals that can be harmful to your skin or the environment.

We’ve spent numerous hours researching and testing a variety of sunscreen products to find the best ones that not only protect our skin but also promote a healthy and natural tan. Read on as we reveal our top picks and guide you through the process of choosing the best sunscreen to achieve that perfect sun-kissed glow safely.

Best Sunscreens for Tanning

We’ve carefully curated a list of the best sunscreens to help you achieve that perfect sun-kissed glow, while still protecting your skin. Discover our top picks below.

Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer SPF 20

Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer

The Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer offers a gradual, natural-looking tan while providing sun protection, making it a must-have product for your daily skincare routine.


  • Gradual, natural-looking tan
  • Broad spectrum SPF 20 protection
  • Oil-free and suitable for normal skin


  • May not be suitable for very light or dark skin tones
  • Requires daily application for noticeable effect
  • Limited to SPF 20; higher SPF options unavailable

We recently tried the Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer SPF 20, and we’re impressed with its ability to create a natural-looking tan while also protecting our face from the sun. The oil-free formula is perfect for normal skin types and keeps our face hydrated throughout the day.

Within a week of daily use, we noticed a subtle bronzed glow on our face. The color-enhancing ingredients and nourishing emollients in the moisturizer work together to deliver that beautiful sun-kissed look. Additionally, the fresh scent makes the application enjoyable.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this product for its broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. However, with only an SPF 20 rating, it may not appeal to users seeking higher SPF options. It’s important for the users to apply it daily, as skipping days would slow down the tanning effect.

In summary, the Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer SPF 20 is an excellent choice for those who wish to achieve a natural-looking tan while enjoying sun protection benefits. Keep in mind that the tanning effect requires daily application and may be more suited to medium skin tones.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

We highly recommend the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector for those seeking a versatile sunscreen that promotes youthful skin and provides sheer coverage.


  • Combines SPF 20 sunscreen with anti-aging retinol treatment
  • Offers blendable sheer coverage for a natural, dewy finish
  • Suitable for daily use and works with all skin tones


  • Coverage might be too light for some people
  • The product’s consistency may need mixing before application
  • Some users may experience a strong retinol smell

The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector has been our go-to product for achieving a youthful, sun-kissed glow while protecting our skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. This tinted facial moisturizer comes in a convenient 1-fluid ounce tube, making it perfect for travel or regular use.

Upon applying the product, we noticed that its blendable sheer coverage instantly smoothed our skin’s texture and evened out our skin tone. One of the key ingredients in this moisturizer is the clinically proven retinol treatment, which, combined with antioxidants and vitamins, helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

However, as much as we love this moisturizer, it might not be ideal for everyone. For those seeking more significant coverage, the Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector might not be sufficient. Additionally, the product’s texture can sometimes feel as if the foundation and oils need mixing before application. Lastly, the scent of retinol could be too strong for some users.

Despite these minor drawbacks, we still believe that the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector is a worthwhile investment for both sun protection and overall skin health. Experience youthful and radiant skin while keeping it well-protected with this tinted facial moisturizer with SPF 20 sunscreen.

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen for Face

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen for Face

We highly recommend the Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen for Face, as it provides effective sun protection and a natural-looking tint that easily blends into various skin tones.


  • Natural, broad-spectrum sun protection
  • Blends seamlessly into medium to tan skin tones
  • Oil-free, matte finish


  • May stain washcloths
  • Requires double cleansing to remove
  • Might be too dark for fair skin tones

The Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen for Face is a powerful natural sunscreen that we’ve found to work well for daily sun protection. Formulated with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, this antioxidant-rich sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection while providing a powder-like finish for a comfortable, lightweight feeling.

One aspect we appreciate about this sunscreen is its ability to seamlessly blend into medium to tan skin tones. It even works as a light BB cream, offering light coverage that functions as a base for a natural makeup look. The mineral sunscreen is water-resistant, allowing for worry-free days in the sun, and withstands water for up to 80 minutes.

However, we noticed that the sunscreen may stain washcloths and can be difficult to remove without double cleansing. It may also be too dark for fair skin tones, meaning those with lighter skin may need to find an alternative product.

Overall, the Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen for Face is an excellent sun protection product, providing a natural-looking tint and a comfortable matte finish. Though it may require some extra effort to remove and might not be suitable for all skin tones, the benefits of this eco-conscious sunscreen make it well worth considering.

Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 50

Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen

Choose the Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen for ultimate hydration, sun protection, and an instant bronzed look.


  • Highly moisturizing with Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil & Aloe Vera
  • Contains bronzer for an immediate sun-kissed glow
  • Broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays


  • May not be suitable for those with sensitivities to bronzing agents
  • Application may require extra care to avoid streaking
  • May not be ideal for prolonged sun exposure due to temporary color

We recently tried the Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 50, and we’re pretty impressed with its features. The sunscreen offers advanced sun protection with broad spectrum coverage, making it a reliable choice for spending time outdoors. The inclusion of Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, and Aloe Vera in the formula ensures that your skin stays hydrated and moisturized throughout the day.

One of the highlights of this product is the instant bronzer that provides a temporary sun-kissed golden glow. This caramel bronzer has left us looking as if we had already been tanning, even though it’s just an initial application. The beachy scent of coconut, orange, and vanilla is also a delightful bonus, making us feel like we’re on vacation every time we apply it.

The easy-to-use spray pump offers control and convenience, but we found that you need to be careful to avoid streaks or uneven application of the bronzer. Also, keep in mind that this product may not be suitable for those with sensitivities to bronzing agents or looking for a sunscreen for extended sun exposure due to the temporary color it provides.

In conclusion, the Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer SPF 50 is a great option for those looking for sun protection with the added bonus of an instant bronzed glow. Just be cautious when applying, and keep in mind that the bronzing effect is temporary and may not necessarily be for everyone.

Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45

Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen Lotion

Invest in Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen Lotion for a sun-kissed glow along with UVA/UVB protection that your skin needs.


  • Broad Spectrum SPF 45 protection
  • Gradual natural-looking self-tanner
  • Water-resistant and moisturizing


  • Requires multiple applications for visible tanning results
  • Not very intense color
  • Takes a little time to dry

Our experience with the Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen Lotion has been mostly positive. It combines the benefits of a gradual self-tanner and a sunscreen with SPF 45 protection, making it perfect for those looking to protect their skin while still achieving a sun-kissed glow. The formula is lightweight and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t wash off easily.

One downside we noticed is that you need to apply the lotion at least three times consecutively to see a noticeable difference in your tan. We found this a minor inconvenience, but it might be an issue for someone seeking more immediate or intense tanning results. However, the color it provides is natural-looking and not excessive.

Additionally, the sunscreen takes a bit of time to dry, so you may need to wait a few minutes before putting on clothes or diving into the water. This is a small price to pay for the potential sunburns it helps prevent and the natural color it provides to your skin.

In conclusion, while Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen Lotion may require multiple applications and some patience while it dries, we believe it’s still a fantastic option if you’re looking for a good sunscreen that also provides gradual tanning. Give it a try and see the results for yourself.

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion is a top choice for reliable sun protection with a delightful scent.


  • Effective UVA/UVB protection
  • Moisturizing and non-comedogenic
  • Vegan and Hawaii 104 Reef Act Compliant


  • May leave a white film on darker skin tones
  • Higher cost compared to some other sunscreens
  • Strong coconut scent might be overpowering for some

After recently trying Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, we’ve found it to be an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality sunscreen. The formula provides effective UVA/UVB protection, perfect for a day at the beach or any outdoor activities.

We appreciate how this sunscreen is not only moisturizing but also non-comedogenic, making it suitable for all skin types. The oil-free formula is water-resistant, and it complies with the Hawaii 104 Reef Act, ensuring it’s environmentally friendly.

However, we did notice that the sunscreen might leave a white film on darker skin tones. This could be an issue for those who don’t want their sunscreen to be visible. Additionally, while the quality of Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion is undeniable, it comes with a higher price tag than some other sunscreens on the market.

Finally, we must mention the scent. This sunscreen has a strong coconut scent that people often describe as smelling like summer. While we found it quite enjoyable, we realize that it might be too overpowering for some users, depending on individual preferences.

Overall, we believe Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion is an excellent option for sun protection, particularly for those who enjoy its unique scent and are willing to invest in a high-quality, eco-friendly product.

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40

The Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 offers glowing skin protection and doubles as a makeup primer, perfect for those seeking a dewy, healthy look.


  • Broad-spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen
  • Doubles as makeup-gripping primer
  • Hydrating formula with hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and niacinamide


  • Might not suit all skin tones
  • Can be expensive for some users
  • Possible allergic reactions for sensitive skin

After personally using the Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 on a sunny day, we noticed how it not only provided adequate sun protection but also left our skin with a healthy, dewy glow. The product was not greasy or oily, which made it comfortable on the skin and ideal for a makeup base layer.

We appreciated the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and niacinamide in the formula, which helps boost hydration and leaves the skin feeling soft and nourished. Additionally, the sea lavender provides antioxidant protection and supports long-lasting hydration during a day outdoors.

While using the product, we found that the tint may not be suitable for all skin tones and may appear too subtle on some. Furthermore, the product may be on the pricier side for some users, but considering its dual purpose and quality ingredients, we believe it is worth the investment. Lastly, as with any skincare product, individuals with sensitive skin or allergies may experience reactions. It is essential to patch-test the product before regular use.

In conclusion, we would highly recommend the Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 to anyone looking for a multitasking sunscreen that also acts as a primer for makeup application. Its hydrating properties and broad-spectrum protection make it an excellent addition to any skincare routine.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best sunscreen to enhance your tan, there are a few factors to consider. We want to help you make an informed decision, so please take into account the following:

1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
The SPF value indicates the level of protection against harmful UVB rays. The higher the number, the better the protection. For tanning purposes, you will want a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and up to 30 if you have sensitive skin.

2. Broad-Spectrum Protection
Broad-spectrum coverage is essential as it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays contribute to skin aging and the development of melanoma, while UVB rays cause sunburn. Make sure the sunscreen you choose offers protection against both types of rays.

3. Water Resistance and Sweat Resistance
If you will be swimming or exercising, look for a waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen. These can typically maintain their level of protection for a designated time after being submerged in water, such as 40 or 80 minutes. Be sure to reapply sunscreen as directed on the label.

4. Ingredients
While the active ingredients in sunscreens may vary, you may want to choose one with natural and skin-friendly ingredients, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These minerals provide physical sun protection by reflecting sunlight. Additionally, look for sunscreens with soothing and moisturizing components, like aloe vera and vitamin E, to support a healthy tan.

5. Texture
The texture of a sunscreen is essential for the application. Sunscreens come in various forms like creams, lotions, gels, or sprays. Choosing the right texture can make the application process more comfortable and help ensure you apply the product evenly.

Keep the above factors in mind while choosing the best sunscreen to enhance your tan. Always remember to follow the directions for application and reapplication, and ensure to properly care for your skin after sun exposure.

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