Does Baby Oil Help Tanning?

tanning with oil

Given the fast-paced life that people lead today, not everyone has the time to lounge in the sun to get a natural tan. While self-tanning and tan salons might prove expensive for a regular tan, getting a natural tan is time-consuming. Here, many people are using a quick fix like baby oil.   

But does baby oil help tanning? Yes, baby oil can help with the tanning process. But, if you are going to use baby oil to expedite the tan, you must be careful to avoid the risk that comes with it.

Read on to know more about using baby oil for tanning and the pros and cons associated with it. 

Can Baby Oil Help With Tanning?

Baby oil is a gentle product that you can use on your skin to tan faster. It is a mix of mineral oil and moisturizer to nourish and soften the skin. Using baby oil can lock the moisture and keep your skin hydrated.

Given the popularity of using baby oil for tanning, people often ask – can you use baby oil for tan? You can use the oil to speed up the tanning process.

When you use baby oil on your skin, it can not only absorb but also helps attract sunlight. It amplifies the UV radiation, both UVA and UVB, to make them more powerful. The oil can also act as a medium that ensures the rays can go deeper into your skin to ensure you get a smoother and deeper tan. It’s a great option if you want to tan darker and faster naturally in the sun.

applying oil to woman back

How to Tan With Baby Oil?

The process of tanning with baby oil is quite simple. You can simply apply baby oil on the parts of your body that you wish to tan and then sit in the sunlight.

If you are going for a natural tan, make sure you apply sunscreen after every two hours to prevent any skin damage even if you are tanning in a shaded area.

While applying sunscreen will limit the UV rays tanning effect it will also help protect your skin if you are laying outside for a longer period. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20. A higher number of course means better protection whereas a lower one offers less though though also allows for a greater tanning effect. It’s a good idea to start with a shorter time in the sun until you know for sure what to expect especially when using baby oil. We suggest no longer than 1 hour on your first session.

What Are the Benefits of Using Baby Oil for Tanning?

Many people swear by using baby oil during tanning because they believe it gives better results. Here are a few benefits of getting a tan with baby oil:

Gives Quicker Results:

Natural tan can take a lot of time. But, using baby oil helps attract more UV rays from the sun to help fasten the tanning process. You can get better results in less time if you use baby oil. 

Offers a Deep Tan:

Is baby oil good for tanning? It is because it can help you get a deep tan. The ingredients of baby oil can easily be soaked by your skin. Due to this, the oil can penetrate into the deep layers of your skin. It can ensure you get a deep and even tan that gives you a smooth look. 

It Is Not Sticky:

If you have used tanning lotions, you would know how sticky and uncomfortable they can be. They can make the whole process uncomfortable and might even lead to skin irritation.

Baby oil merely hydrates your skin without leaving you sticky and uncomfortable.   

It Is Hypoallergenic:

Plenty of artificial tanners have scents and stabilizers added to them, which may harm your skin. Baby oil can be skin-friendly since it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. Even if you are sensitive to perfumes, fragrances, and lotions, baby oil will not cause any side effects on your skin. 

Doesn’t Ruin Your Clothes:

Tanning lotions can often leave a brown stain on the clothes you are wearing during the tanning process. You may be able to wash it off but it can be a hassle. With baby oil, you don’t have to worry about stains or ruining your clothes. 

Does Using Baby Oil for Tan Pose Any Health Risks?

Even though using baby oil offers many benefits, it may also come with a few side effects. Overexposure to UV rays can cause damage to your skin, both short-term and long-term. Here are some of the health risks of tanning that you may face:


When your skin is overexposed to the UV rays of the sun, it may lead to sunburn. UV radiation can kill the top layer of skin and then your body sends extra blood towards the surface. It causes the skin to turn red during sunburn.

The white blood cells are sent by your body to combat the burn, which results in the itchy feeling and the peeling of dead skin. When you have baby oil on, you will attract more radiation, and the chances of sunburn will also increase.

Is baby oil good for sunburn? While baby oil can help alleviate plenty of skin conditions, it might not work well for sunburn, according to The Sun. You must not use baby oil on sunburn. 

Corneal Damage:

UV radiation not only affects your skin but also your eyes. Exposure to the rays can cause severe damage to the cornea (eye).   


Another adverse effect of overexposure to sunlight is early aging of the skin. If you spend too much time in the sun, it can speed up the skin aging process. You may notice the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots since your skin is aging faster because of UV radiation. 

Skin Cancer:

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the most severe effect of overexposure to UV radiation is skin cancer. UV rays cause damage to the DNA in skin cells, which leads to the formation of tumors and growths. If detected early, skin cancer can be treated easily. 

Related Questions:  

What Oil Makes You Tan Faster?

People use all kinds of oil to speed up the tanning process. While baby oil is a popular choice, virgin coconut oil and olive oil can also offer the desired results.

The lipids present in the coconut oil can protect your skin from damage while also working as a barrier that holds the moisture in. It also has acids that help nourish the skin and offer protection from microbes. For more on coconut oil check our article – coconut oil for tanning. You can even make your own at home tanning oil using a mixture of natural oils.

Olive oil can also help you achieve a smooth tanned look and also give a healthy glow.

Why Is Baby Oil Bad for Tanning?

When you use baby oil on your skin, it acts as a reflector. Your skin will directly attract the sunlight and intensify the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It can often result in sunburn and may even cause severe permanent skin damage. 

Can I Use Baby Oil Before Fake Tan?

In the case of getting a fake tan, using an oil-based product may hamper the efficiency of the product. You must avoid using oil, lotions, and creams if you don’t want your fake tan to turn out patchy and cracked.

You can use oil or moisturizer one day before the fake tan, but not on the day of your tan. Before you go for a fake tan, just exfoliate your skin well for a smooth and even tan.

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