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5 Best Tanning Lotion For Men In 2023

Tanning lotions are a great way to boost your skin’s natural glowy-ness, but so many of them fail to make tanning a pleasant experience. Based on scent, texture, speed, and efficiency, we’re happy to bring you the guide to the best tanning lotion for men, to ensure that the tanning process feels just as great as the tan itself.

Table of Contents

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion (Our Top Pick)

You’ll never go wrong if you find a tanning lotion that goes heavy on the coconut, and Ed Hardy knows how to apply those sweet Coconut Kisses. Tanning Review gave it 4.5/5 stars for its tropical scent, which most tanning lotions can only ever aspire to.

Plus, Ed Hardy manages to deliver a great tan while skipping out on the bronzer. If you’re the type to end up with a gentle orange glow after using a self tanner, pick up a bottle of Coconut Kisses instead. The purposeful exclusion of bronzer will save you from looking like a carrot.

It’s highly-rated, smells good throughout, and yields a natural tan look. You won’t go wrong with Ed Hardy. And just to clear up any confusion – the bottle recently went through a redesign and no longer carries the Ed Hardy logo. It’s still the same lotion, and it works fabulously. It was an easy choice to include it in this list of best tanning lotion for men.


• The smell is great! Most tanning lotions can’t pull that off.

• No bronzer = no orange skin, and no staining clothes.

• It even has a nice texture as you apply it, very silky.


• It’s not one of the fastest drying tanning lotions you can find. You’ll have to be patient with it.

St. Tropez Self Tan Express 

St Tropez really flips the script on self-tanning with their bronzing mousse: you apply it first, then shower, with the length of time in between those steps depend on how dark you want your tan to turn out. It’s a satisfying tanning strategy. Especially if you’re not a fan of the textures and smells of normal tanning lotion, huzzah! You get to wash this one off!

Here’s the catch 22 for most guys: St. Tropez is one of the most raved-about tanning brands you’ll find…in lots of women’s magazines. Glamour featured it in one of their review columns, and five women, each of a different race, all reported it to be a smashing success. 

If you can get past the fact that this product is made for and marketed toward women, you’ll enjoy it’s unique tanning strategy and effective results.


• It’s highly effective and allows you to easily control how dark you want the tan to turn out (perfect if you’re trying to even out peeling skin).

• Users of all skin types tout the product.

• It’s especially great for guys who don’t like the texture, smells, or sensation of tanning lotion. You get to wash it off! So you won’t have that weird “I still feel like I have tanning lotion on my skin” sensation.


• St. Tropez is made and marketed for women. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but it does mean you’ll have to brave the women’s product aisle.

Millennium Tanning Paint It Black

Millennium Tanning is a leader in the tanning lotion market, and there’s a good reason why: their lotions offer an easy, predictable tanning experience, especially for guys who are new to the world of self-tanning.

The bottle design might throw you at first (black and skulls, huh?), but the product knows how to deliver. It has a thick, easy-to-apply texture, and you can use it indoors or outdoors to enhance your natural glow. Just be sure to rinse it off once you’re happy with the color if you go outdoors.

Plus, a huge draw for most guys: you won’t experience that tingling skin sensation that lots of tanning lotions create.


• A leading lotion that offers a consistent, predictable tanning outcome

• Great for indoor and outdoor use, just monitor the tan.

• No tingling sensation! 


• Some Amazon reviewers reported skin rashes. Patch test the product before you use it.

Ed Hardy Upgrade To Black

Looking for a tanning lotion that protects your tattoos? Look no further!

One of my favorite selling points for Ed Hardy’s Upgrade to Black is how effectively it keeps the art on your skin looking fresh. It’s also an immediate tanner, so you’ll know what the final color is going to look like within an hour. If you’re the type of guy who just doesn’t have the patience to self-tan, this bottle is a godsend.

And, true to the Ed Hardy name, this lotion beats out competitors in the smell department. Once it dries and tans, it leaves behind no scent.


• Protects your tats while still giving your skin a nice darker shade.

• Works rapidly for impatient self-tanners.

• Smells great, just like every Ed Hardy self tanner promises.


• It has bronzer, so the “final” shade will rinse to something slightly lighter when you shower for the first time after using it.

Millennium Tanning Paint It Black Hemp

Millennium Tanning Paint It Black’s Hemp lotion is meant to be used with a tanning bed. (And it’s the only lotion on this list that you need to use in conjunction with a tanning bed, so we just wanted to clarify that up front.)

I’m particularly impressed with how even the final tan turns out – probably partially thanks to the tanning bed. The hemp adds more moisture to the product too, which helps with any skin dryness caused by the bed or sun, and the main reason why it’s on this list of best tanning lotion for men. The lotion is more liquid-y, so it’s an easy one to apply quickly and evenly. 

My one complaint is that the lotion does not contain a light sunscreen, which is especially frustrating since the lotion is meant to be used with a tanning bed. An SPF 8 is standard for tanning lotions.


• Ensures that your tan comes out evenly.

• The hemp helps your skin hold in moisture to prevent the tanning bed from drying you out.


• Does not contain a light SPF, even though it’s meant to be used with a tanning bed 🙁

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.