how to choose the best tanning lotion for your clients

How to choose the best tanning lotion for your clients

How to recommend the best tanning lotion for your clients

Unsure on what the best tanning lotion should be to suit your clients’ needs? This guide will break down different points to consider when recommending sunbed creams. This will ensure you are providing the best advice rather than a ‘one size fits all’ attitude to the products you recommend. 

What is their skin type?

Understanding your clients skin type is essential to providing the best guidance. Different tanners react differently when in the sunbed. This is usually considered to only impact how long a tanner can spend in a sunbed. However, this also affects how different bronzing technologies could work on a client’s skin. The fairer the skin, the more likely it is you should recommend an Intensifier. What’s more, there are certain technologies ideal for boosting fair-skinned tanners, such as DermaDark. 

For those with deeper skin tones, Intensifiers are still a great choice. However, bronzing technologies can be introduced faster without risk of patchiness.

Unsure how to establish a tanners skin type? Check out the Fitzpatrick scale and different things to note for different skin types HERE.


Do they have sensitivities?

Objection: “I don’t use a tanning lotion because I have sensitive skin”

Did you know that not applying tanning lotion can dry out skin. This can also increase skin’s oil production and cause skin sensitivities. All tanners should therefore use a tanning lotion. However, understanding certain clients’ sensitivities is essential to ensure the best tanning experience for them. 

Fragrance: Many clients who struggle with skin sensitivities may struggle with heavily perfumed products. Therefore, by incorporating hypoallergenic lotions which are fragrance free are a simple way to ensure an inclusive range in-salon. 

Other skin sensitives or unsure what to recommend? Please feel free to get in touch with our team, who will be happy to provide further advice.

Unsure about the different between bronzing technologies? Check out the below blog for more information!

What is their tanning goal?

Why are they tanning?

Different tanners will visit your salon for different reasons. Holiday tanners, event tanners, all-summer glow tanners, warm-my-bones tanners… All of these clients come in with different purposes for their visit. Therefore, establishing why customers are tanning will illustrate what lotion may be best.

Do they have a deadline?

If your client expresses they are tanning for a date, holiday or event, this gives a clear timeline. Depending on how your client can tan naturally, will also provide direction on the best tanning lotion for them.

Fair-skinned tanner with a close deadline: A delayed bronzer, with clear direction on how to apply appropriately to avoid streaks or patchiness

Fair-skinned tanner with a long-term goal / no focus on building colour: An Intensifier or Immediate Bronzer with added DermaDark, or natural colour boosters, such as melanin or tyrosine. 

Darker-skinned tanner with a close deadline: A powerful delayed bronzer with clear direction on how to apply correctly to avoid streakiness

Darker-skinned tanner with a longer-term date: Intensifier, Immediate Bronzer, or weaker Delayed Bronzer, to encourage a deeper, natural tan development that can build gradually over time. 

New or experienced tanner?

The experience of your clients will affect what you may recommend to them, as they may share different experiences or problems that they’re seeking guidance to help with. 

Beginner tanners

For beginner tanners, you are looking to provide lotions which are easy to apply, with less likelihood to streak, or cause uneven tan development. For this reason, we would typically advise beginning with an Intensifier or Immediate Bronzer to avoid any uneven development from a Delayed Bronzer. 

Experienced tanners

Advising experienced tanners can be more difficult, as they will already have their own understanding of what is right for them. Although this can be correct, it’s not commonly known that switching up tanning lotions is necessary to continue to build your tan further. Experienced tanners are also more likely to reach a tanning plateau, meaning they need guidance to break through this. 

Any type of lotion can be recommended to experienced tanners once they have gained a base tan, however for those looking to break through tanning plateaus, delayed bronzers are key. 

What about tingle lotions?

Although tingle lotions are a great way of being able to break through tanning plateaus, we advise only recommending these to those who enquire. Tingle is an acquired taste, which must not be given to beginner tanners. All tanners who try a tingle must do a test patch to ensure this is something they enjoy prior to committing to a full body application. 

Once you understand how, why and for how long your clients tan, you will then be able to apply the tanning lotions you stock to their needs. This can also be niched further by tanning technologies, such as tattoo care, body blush or cooling technology, for the best personalised recommendation! 


Unsure how to help guide your clients, or looking to further your or your staff’s knowledge? Check out our online training sessions with Juli and Jade!

Complementary training sessions available for all Cyrano customers to join, with recordings available! These sessions cover everything from our popular ‘Back to Basics’ training session, covering basic sales training and the tanning process, to more specific guidance on:

  • Tanning tips
  • Marketing and business strategy for salons
  • Educating clients on best tanning practices

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