Best Natural Tanning Oils

One of the best ways to get radiant skin, and to get the most out of your health, is to expose yourself to sunlight. While too much sun exposure can be problematic, the sun, through the Vitamin D it provides us is essential for health. Additionally, a nice tan and skin glow are sought after by many who want to improve their complexion.

An issue that arises with tanning is that most tanning lotions and sunscreens are loaded with toxic chemicals that damage both our health and our skin. This is why it’s important that you consider using natural oils for tanning. We recommend Vita Coco’s Virgin Coconut Oil. There are many oil blends out there that are great, but you can simply use consumable oils (ones that you would use for cooking) to lather onto yourself in order to help get a tan without the burn.


The Top Oils

Each of the 5 oils listed below are going to give you a similar result- you’re going to get tan. But which one should you pick? It really comes down to personal preference and factors such as the smell of the oil, the texture, and the cost. Each of the five is worth trying out, and the more you try out, the sooner you will find the one you prefer.

ProductPriceRating /5
Vita Coco Virgin Coconut OilVita Coco Virgin Coconut Oil$$5
Pura D'or Argan OilPura D'or Argan Oil$$$$$4.5
Kirkland Olive OilKirkland Olive Oil$$4.5
La Tourangelle Avocado OilLa Tourangelle Avocado Oil$$$4
Dr. Adorable Aloe Vera OilDr. Adorable Aloe Vera Oil$$$$4

1. Coconut Oil

Vita Coco Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become much sought after for its numerous health benefits— whether it’s consuming it or rubbing it onto your body, this oil truly works wonders.

A major feature of coconut oil is how easily it gets absorbed into your skin. Although coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, it will melt in warm weather and will quickly get below the skin to give you the most protection.

As a natural oil for tanning, coconut oil is probably the best and most popular option. Not only will it nourish and hydrate skin, but it also offers natural sun protection, with an SPF of 2-8. This is relatively low in terms of SPF, so for those who have paler skin it’s advisable that you limit your sun exposure with coconut oil.

Due note that not all coconut oils are made equally. You need to find a brand that is ‘virgin’ and cold pressed. The processed brands are not nearly as effective and they don’t have a pleasant coconut scent like the virgin brands do. Vita Coco’s virgin coconut oil offers an excellent product with great reviews on Amazon. This large 14 ounce glass jar will certainly last you a long time. It’s both high quality and relatively cheap.
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2. Argan Oil

Pura Dor Moroccan Argan Oil

Argan oil, made from a Moroccan plant, can be used to help soothe and hydrate skin, leaving it feeling fresh and new. It’s loaded with vitamin E which helps to protect skin while getting rid of unwanted blemishes and spots. It’s high concentration of nutrients is great for protecting the skin from the sun, and this 100% pure Argan Oil is a great way to reap the benefits.
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3. Olive Oil

Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This rich oil known for its place in kitchens has a host of wonderful health benefits. It’s rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps to prevent skin damage. Additionally, olive oil helps to moisturize skin and helps develop a golden look when used for tanning. It has an SPF of 2-8.

It’s important that you only use olive oil that specifically states that it’s ‘Extra-Virgin’. This means that the oil in the bottle has come from the very first press. The extra virgin olive oil contains the highest amount of nutrients, and is less processed which leads to better results.

Kirkland extra virgin olive oil is a high quality brand at a great price.
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4. Avocado Oil

La Tourangelle Avocado Oil

Avocados are an incredibly healthy food. They are filled with monounsaturated fats that play a role in our body’s natural processes such as regulating cholesterol. Avocado oil is similar to olive oil in the way it’s produced, although it’s a bit less viscous than olive oil. You can expect an SPF of anywhere from 4-10 with this oil.

Like other oils, you want to use a product that is all-natural. La Tourangelle avocado oil is the best choice as this company consistently produces great quality products.
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5. Aloe Vera

Dr. Adorable Aloe Vera Oil

Aloe vera is a natural medicine powerhouse. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that make it great for boosting the immune system and treating burns and skin conditions. This is why it’s often used to treat sunburn, but it’s a better idea to use it while tanning so that you don’t burn in the first place!

Aloe Vera usually often comes in the form of a gel that can be massaged into the skin. However, for tanning purposes consider using an oil-based form of Aloe such as Dr. Adorable’s cold-pressed aloe vera oil.
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Tips for Tanning Safely

Tanning on the Beach

While these natural tanning oils will certainly help protect your skin from sun damage, it will not make it invincible. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Tan Regularly: Regular sunbathing not only helps get you tan, but it also allows your skin to slowly acclimate to the sun’s rays.
  • Apply Oil Liberally: Don’t skimp on the natural oils— spreading them over your body will help keep your skin protected.
  • Don’t Overdo It: Laying out and basking in the sun’s rays is a pleasurable feeling, but it can be harmful to lay out for too long- this leads to sunburn. Consider using a timer to tell you when you’ve hit your limit, perhaps 20 minutes towards the beginning.


Using these natural oils, instead of synthetic, chemical-filled products is the best way to go. They’re also cost-effective without sacrificing quality. But you have to keep in mind that while these oils will give you a great tan, but they don’t have a high SPF. Therefore they won’t give you much protection from sunburn. So if you feel like you’re getting burned, then it would probably be best to switch to a sunscreen.

Overall natural oils simply do wonders for the human body. So ditch the synthetic stuff and get the real deal with nature’s finest solutions. If you are still undecided about which oil to choose, go with Vita Coco’s Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s our number one choice.