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best tan extender lotion

This is the ultimate guide to finding the best tan extender lotion!

Once you achieved a flawless sunless tan, either by a professional or a self-tanner, you want to be sure that you take care of your skin to maximize the life of your tan. There are a number of lotions to use after a spray tan, but in this article, we want to talk specifically about tan extender lotions.

Tan extenders are popular for most people who spray tan, especially for those who are going on a vacation shortly after their tan.

Tan extender lotions usually differ from regular lotions because of the fact that they contain DHA, or dihydroxyacetone, which combines with the original spray tan and DHA to extend the life of the tan. Tan extenders have become very popular in the sunless tanning industry because they help achieve the longest and most natural-looking tan.

In addition to containing DHA, ideally, you want your tan extender to contain beneficial ingredients, including skin hydrating properties. Some of the products listed below contain DHA, some do not, although they are all classified as tan extenders.

One of the most common questions a spray tan artist will receive is "how long will my spray tan last?".  While there is not exact answer to that, we know that a tan extender will help it last longer.

This lotion does not contain DHA, but it does include a number of beneficial ingredients, such as; pure hemp seed oil, shea butter, jojoba and glycerin which provide ultimate skin hydration and lock-in moisture and vitamins E and B5 just to name a few.  While I typically tell people to look for a lotion with DHA, this one has some amazing benefits even without the DHA.

It also smells great with a Pineapple Vanilla scent.

This product should probably be #1 on the list, but the overall consensus has the Australian Gold rated slightly better.  This lotion is, by all intents and purposes, a true tan extender lotion.  

It has a number of amazing benefits and also includes DHA which I mentioned earlier in the article.  In addition, you can tell how well it works based on the reviews and all of the people mentioning the “hydrating” benefits.  But let’s look at a few ingredients that help this lotion stand out.

First, it contains aloe vera, which is something we mentioned in our “best spray tan solution” guide.  Aloe is very beneficial for the skin and is super hydrating for any skincare product. Aloe does have one main drawback for sunless tanning products and that is the fact that it oftentimes feels sticky.  With this product, however, it does not.

Secondly, it contains THREE organic oils - olive, argan, and avocado:

  • Olive oil - helps moisturize the skin and has anti-aging properties.
  • Argan oil - used as a beauty elixir that balances out the natural oils in your skin.
  • Avocado oil - helps your skin stay smooth, strong and elastic.

Lastly, it contains hyaluronic acid, which is an amazing ingredient for smooth, healthy skin.

Norvell has one of the most popular products in the sunless tanning industry.  They’ve been around for a long time and have created a lot of great products over the years.  This tan extender lotion is made for the pros - the people that LOVE spray tanning (just like you!).

This gradual tanner contains DHA and can help you get or maintain a natural-looking tan.  This product also contains violet undertones which help make a deeper, more rich-looking tan.  Violet is the newest “craze” of colors or “undertones” as we call them in the sunless tanning industry.

I hope this article was helpful for you.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me directly - [email protected].


Grant Kantsios

Sunless tanning business & marketing coach

Hey everyone!  My name is Grant and I've been in the sunless tanning industry for over 9 years.  I started in the industry working for Sjolie Sunless, one of the largest companies in the sunless tanning industry.  Since then, I've had a passion for helping sunless tanning business owners through my work at happytans, with the happytans podcast and website builder. In addition, I created Sunless Evolution with world-renowned spray tan artist Jimmy Coco, who sprays A-list celebrities like the Kardashians and Ashley Graham.

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I do have experience with each of the products or services listed below so I feel fully comfortable recommending them. Please do not spend any money on the products unless you feel you need them to achieve your goals. It turns out a lot of the things I use are free so you should be able to do the same.

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