What is Tingle Tanning Lotion?

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You’ve got a base tan. But you want to push into darker territory. It can be hard to keep a base tan, let alone reach more colors. No matter how long you are out, getting darker can be tough!

Self-tanners and other tanning products that can help you go dark without having to rely on harmful UV rays, but there’s a risk of turning orange.

Tingle tanning lotions, promise to push your tan beyond the sun-kissed level, and into deep, luxurious cocoa territory.

In this guide, we’re going to answer the question “What is Tingle Tanning Lotion?”. We’ll explore exactly how it works, and who it is for.


What is Tingle Tanning Lotion?

Hot Action Tingle Tanning Lotion

Tingle tanning lotions such as the Hot Action Tingle Tanning Lotion  shown above, tend to be relatively intense compared to other kinds of standard tanning lotions like Ed Hardy's Coconut Kisses  (reviewed here).

The main reason they’re known as tingle tanning lotions or tingle creams is because they give your skin a tingling sensation when they are applied to it. This is you feeling the bronzers and tanning oils in action.

How Does Tingle Cream Work?

This tingling comes from the increased flow of blood to the area. This increases the amount of oxygen in that region due to blood’s high oxygen content.

Improving the amount of oxygen in the skin helps stimulate melanin production to ensure that you can tan more effectively. See how to tan outside for more tips on maximizing your tan.

Since melanin is the main factor that influences how dark your skin is, improving its production through a tingle tanning lotion will naturally make you darker.


Of course, melanin requires a little bit of help, and tingle tanning lotion won’t necessarily make you darker on its own.

Most Tingle Tanning Lotions have a combination of these components:

  • A bronzer (designed to instantly tan your skin, but washes off)
  • A self-tanner (darkens your skin over time using the chemical DHA)
  • A tanning accelerator lotion (designed to amplify the UV light of the sun or of tanning bed bulbs)
  • A tingle chemical (designed to increase blood flow)

Does Tingle Cream Work In the Sun?

Yes, tingle tanning lotion will work in the sun. Just keep in mind there is no sun protection with these lotions!

After you’ve used a tingle tanning lotion, it’s time to head out to the beach or the pool for some blissful sunbathing. If the weather’s not right, you can also use a UV bed.

One of the great things about tingle tanning lotion is that it doesn’t really matter where the UV rays are coming from, as long as you’re absorbing them into your skin. You can typically use these indoors out outdoors.

Temporary Redness

Another thing to consider about tingle tanning lotion is that it will leave your skin red after you apply it, and after you get done tanning.

Don’t worry about this temporary redness. It won’t last for much longer than a day at the longest, and it’s not a sign that you got a sunburn.

See the side effects of Tingle Tanning Lotions for more.

Along with making it easier for people who can’t tan to get some color in their skin, a tingle tanning lotion will also deepen the tan of someone who can already get a pretty decent tone out of natural tanning.

Tingle tanning lotions are designed for those who already have a base tan, and who are looking to get a darker tan.

Ingredients in Tingle Creams

There are a few active ingredients in tingle tanning lotions that are shared throughout virtually all of them, no matter who the manufacturer is.

Different companies make different kinds of tanning lotions that contain things like various scents and different skincare ingredients to ensure that your skin is moisturized as well as tanned.

Methyl Nicotinate

This is probably the most common ingredient that you’ll find in tingle tanning lotions. It’s one of the two active ingredients that causes the tingling sensation.

When this ingredient is introduced to the skin, it increases circulation through your capillaries to bring more oxygen up the surface, since most oxygen is usually in the deeper layers.

When this oxygen reaches melanocytes (the cells that are responsible for producing melanin), the oxygen increases the presence of melanin in the skin.

When this melanin comes into contact with UV rays originating in either a tanning bed or from the sun, they will darken, as will your skin.

Benzyl Nicotinate

Benzyl Nicotinate features a different formulation than Methyl Nicotinate, but both of them work in a similar way on your skin.

Much like the previous ingredient, the goal of Benzyl Nicotinate is to encourage the presence of oxygen in the upper layers of your skin, where oxygen is typically sparse.

This movement opens up your capillaries and it ensures that the oxygen makes it to the melanocytes, increasing their melanin production.

Benzyl Nicotinate tends to produce a light burning sensation in your skin compared to the tingling sensation produced by Methyl Nicotinate.

However, both of these tend to be present in most tingle tanners to some extent.

Advantages of Using Tingle Tanning Lotions

The most obvious benefit of a tingle tanning lotion is that it will make it a lot easier for you to tan, no matter how susceptible you are to tanning in the first place.

However, this is true of many tan accelerators, so you may be wondering exactly what sets apart tingle tanners from other tan accelerant lotions.

One of the more significant factors is that tingle tanners can achieve a deeper, darker tone than other tan-accelerating lotions.

Another factor is in the consistency of the tan that you’ll get when you use a tingle tanner, since it doesn’t work above the skin, it works below it.

This means that evenly distributing the lotion over your body isn’t quite so crucial because it won’t end up giving you a patchy or streaky tan.

In practice, this means that you can apply your tingle tanning lotion by hand without having to worry about using a tanning mitt to get a fully even application.

Tingle tanning lotions are also an excellent choice for people who want to tan with tattoos. Since they work below the upper layer of your skin, you won’t have to worry about these lotions gradually fading your tattoos. See tattoo sunscreens for more information.

Final Thoughts

Tingle tanning lotions can really kick your tan up a notch, but should not be used by those with no base tan, and pale skin. These lotions should only be used by those who already have an established tan, and who want to rock a deep, glowing tan.

If you’re unsure which tingle lotion to get, see our article on the Best Tingle Tanning Lotions

Supre Cherry Bomb Red Hot Dark Accelerator Tanning Lotion 8 oz.
Supre Cherry Bomb Red Hot Dark Accelerator Tanning Lotion 8 oz.
1.Supre Tan Cherry Bomb Hot Dark Tanning Maximiser with Skin Firming Cherry Extracts 235ml
$15.54 Amazon Prime
Tanovations Ed Hardy Body Shots Double Shot Warning Mega Extreme Hot Tingle, 13.5 oz.
Tanovations Ed Hardy Body Shots Double Shot Warning Mega Extreme Hot Tingle, 13.5 oz.
Product Type:Beauty; Item Package Dimension:5.8 " L X3.3 " W X 1.5 " H; Item Package Weight:1.05 lbs
$35.70 Amazon Prime

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).