Although tanning with oil can be risky, SkinDeepr.com's Olivia Thomas argues tanning oil can also cut down the amount of time you spend in the sun, making it a safer alternative than simply laying out for hours upon hours, even if you are applying sunscreen:
Although tanning oil exposes you to UV rays, it still reduces the amount of time that you have to spend in the sun. Using a tanning oil will radically reduce the quantity of time that you have to tan to achieve a deep golden color.
Thomas reminds her readers they should only use tanning oil products that have SPF. She points out:
It is also important to note that when looking at SPF’s in tanning oils, make sure that they are at least SPF 15 or above. The CDC recommends at least an SPF of 15 to effectively protect yourself while out in the sun.
If using tanning beds is taboo, tanning oil shouldn't be any different.
Your time in the sun should be as fun and care-free as possible, but in order to achieve such outdoor bliss, everyone needs to be properly protected from the sun's rays. No matter what a bottle of tanning oil tells you, using something to make the sun more potent has consequences. As Bryan Lutz puts it for LiveStrong:
While tanning oils themselves aren’t harmful to the human body, it’s what they are used for that can cause some serious problems. Extended exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light can cause skin cancer cells to develop, leading to severe medical complications in the future.