Did you know that you can use baby oil for tanning to achieve the sun-kissed skin you’ve been aiming for all summer? While we’re sure you’ve heard this advice at least once in your life, it’s worth learning whether using baby oil to tan really effective, or whether other options might be a better idea. I’m sure you have a lot of questions such as the safety of using baby oil in a tanning bed and if it’s actually effective to use baby oil as a tanning oil. We’ll address those questions here today.
Baby Oil for Tanning: Can Baby Oil Make You Tan?
In This Article:
- The Tanning Lifestyle: Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?
- How Does Baby Oil Work?
- Difference Between Baby Oil and Sunscreen Lotions: Does Baby Oil Help With Tanning?
- Can You Use Baby Oil to Tan?
- Can I Use Baby Oil to Tan in Tanning Beds?
- Other Oil-Based Alternatives
The Tanning Lifestyle: Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?
During the early 1900s, having porcelain skin was an indication of royalty or high social status. In that era, it showed that these people hadn’t experienced outdoor labor or living. Tanning wasn’t something people did on purpose; only those who labored outdoors tanned, and that was merely because they spent so much time outside.
A few decades later, the shift in perspective towards sunbathing came about when wearing comfortable and lightweight clothes became acceptable. Moving forward through several generations after that, the tanning lifestyle became a new trend. Now, having sun-kissed skin indicates a liberated mindset and an adventurous attitude, and with this shift in trends came the popularity of the tanning bed as a more convenient, faster way to tan.
Of course, in the early days of this shift, cosmetics weren’t ready for the trend. People bought tanning products that weren’t scientifically developed or tested. The most popular of these choices was tanning baby oil.
How Does Baby Oil Work?
Putting baby oil on the skin concentrates the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays directly on the body. When the rays hit the skin, our body naturally produces more melanin in an attempt to protect it. By evenly distributing the baby oil all over the body, you can encourage this melanin production to be uniform and smooth.
Difference Between Baby Oil and Sunscreen Lotions: Does Baby Oil Help With Tanning?
Baby oil is generally safe and gentle to use on the skin, which is exactly why it’s made for infants. These properties also make it great as a tanning product. When tanning, it keeps your skin moisturized and has strong staying power keep your skin protected for an extended period. Consequently, tanners who use baby oil find the body produces a surge of melanin that helps tan the skin quicker. The result of this tanning method usually lasts for a week or two.
Sunscreen’s properties and the results are a little different. Most sunscreen lotions contain active ingredients, such as salicylates and benzophenones, to help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. These kinds of lotions also contain moisturizers to soothe the skin, providing all-around protection for your skin in just a single bottle. For example, the high amount of titanium oxide and zinc in most sunscreen lotions work to shield your skin.
Can You Use Baby Oil to Tan?
Baby oil is a common alternative to the conventional tanning lotions. It nourishes and moisturizes your skin and is generally safe for almost all skin types. In addition, one major advantage baby oil has over other lotions is it tans your skin much faster than tanning oils do.
The reason why you get tanned quicker with baby oil is that it’s only a moisturizer. On the other hand, tanning lotions and sunscreens contain ingredients that block UVA and UVB rays from the sun. While it does slow down the tanning, it also protects you from elements which may damage your skin.
While you can tan your skin faster using baby oil, the color also fades away quicker. With tanning lotions, it takes a bit longer to get the color you want, but the results last longer than the tan you get from using baby oil.
Technically, you can use baby oil to get a tan but remember to use it with caution. However, we wouldn’t advise using it as an alternative to sunscreens and lotions that protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Can I Use Baby Oil to Tan in Tanning Beds?
If you don’t have the time to go sunbathing at the beach, you can opt to tan your skin at a tanning salon. At tanning salons, you can hop on a tanning bed for a few minutes to get the same golden skin you would if you lie down in the sun for a few hours. It’s perfect for people who want to get a bit of color before events and social gatherings. Going to tanning salons is definitely a faster way to get that golden glow as compared to driving all the way to the beach.
While it’s okay to go sunbathing using baby oil, you can’t use baby oil for tanning beds. In fact, it’s not advisable to use baby oil or any tanning lotion that contains mineral oil when you use a tanning bed. This is because these oils don’t protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. And as we know, a tanning bed is a machine that emits ultraviolet rays to help people achieve the golden brown skin they desire.
Other Oil-Based Alternatives
If you prefer using silky oil over lotion for tanning, you also have the option to use tanning oil over sunscreen. This way, you can still enjoy your preferred tanning method while lessening the risk of damaged skin. You can find tanning oil at your local convenience store, or you can even make them at home. Just make sure the essential oils you’re going to use are non-phototoxic.
Some people even mix diet Coke and baby oil, but why? Watch the short video below from WashingtonBlade and check out how they make baby oil work for tanning:
Whether you use a tanning oil or baby oil while sunbathing is up to you. If you want a quick yet short-lasting effect, using baby oil to tan might be right for you. If you’re willing to be patient in the name of safety, then you may want to consider other tanning methods.
Does baby oil help you tan? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 11, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.