A sunless tanner used on fair skin gives you that golden goddess glow if it works well for your skin. Sometimes, instead of being a golden goddess, you end up looking like an orange oompa loompa. Yikes!
We all had that fear of orange skin after using a sunless tanner. But fear no more because this article is a review of several top sunless tanners for pale skin. We’ll start with the Best Self Tanner for Fair Skin, St Tropes Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse.
Best Self Tanner for Fair Skin
Our Top Pick: St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
Key Points at a Glance
- Suitable For All Skin Tones
- Customizable Results
- Vegan Formula
- Hydrating Formula
- Free of Parabens, Sulfate, and Phthalate
- Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.4 x 2.1 inches
- Amount of Product: 200 mL or 6.7 fl oz
- Type: Mousse
Leading on top of our list is the St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse. It is one of the bestsellers and that’s no surprise because of how good the product is. We found it the best for fair skin as well as for other skin tones too. As a bonus, it also hydrates the skin really well while it produces the tan.
St. Tropez is a well-known brand that produces high-grade tanning products.
They are used and recommended by professionals, beauty editors, celebrities and influencers as well.
Many consider this tanner as a luxury product. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it works really well. You won’t regret buying it.
This has a natural yet advanced formula that can help you get the dark tan you’ve been dreaming of by allowing you to decide how tan you want your skin to be.
For a light tan, don’t rinse off the mousse for an hour, 2 hours for a medium golden tan, and 3 hours for a deep bronze color (see our article on leaving a self-tanner on your skin for more info).
Best of all, users loved that this product doesn’t end up developing the dreaded orange skin color.
The quick-dry formula makes it feel comfortable and non-greasy at all. Many also love that their tan doesn’t end up transferring to their clothes.
Although many of the users described themselves as milky white and that some parts of their bodies don’t really get exposed to light, this self-tanner has given them an even tan that they can be proud of.
This is the best self tanner for fair skin.
- Item Package Length: 4.597cm
- Item Package Width: 5.511cm
- Item Package Height: 19.710cm
- Item Package Weight: 0.281kg
Our Runner Up: Tanceuticals Self Tanner
Key Points at a Glance
- Uses Healthy Cosmeceuticals
- No Harmful Ingredients
- Doesn’t Turn Skin Orange
- Easy Application
- Coconut Scent
- Dimensions: 1.5 x 2 x 7 inches
- Amount of Product: 125 mL or 4.2 fl oz
- Type: Lotion
Another great self-tanner for pale skin is the Tanceuticals Self Tanner. It is an award-winning product that boasts its use of healthy cosmeceuticals. This means the product does not only give you a tan but the ingredients also help improve your skin’s health.
Aside from the beneficial ingredients, it also doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients like mineral oil or paraben.
Customers love that it is easy to apply. It does’nt have any strong scents or powerful fragrances like some other self-tanners.
Another thing that customers love is the results! Although it is labeled as “dark” it doesn’t produce a tan that is too dark.
Most found the color just right for their fair skin but there are also some who observed a slight orange tint especially on the hands they used to apply the product. That’s why it is always best to use a tanning mitt for application.
If you run into any issues, see our article on removing self tanner from hands and feet to deal with these problems.
Also, some find that although it is labeled as a lotion, it tends to be on the watery side. For most, it works great because they find it easy to spread and you won’t have to use a lot per session, making it economical.
Also, the thin formula dries up quickly and isn’t sticky.
The Tanceuticals is our runner-up Best Self Tanner for Pale Skin.
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Best Budget: Jergens Natural Glow
Key Points at a Glance
- Gradual Tanning
- Designed For Fair To Medium Skin
- Also Reduces Cellulite
- Light And Fresh Scent
- Hydrating Blend
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.1 x 7.8 inches
- Amount of Product: 221 mL or 7.5 fl oz
- Type: Lotion
Achieving a beautiful tan with a self-tanner doesn’t always have to mean that you should blow out your budget.
The Jergens Natural Glow is an affordable self-tanner that also works as a hydrating and firming moisturizer. It is available in fair to medium and medium to tan variants.
Being the most affordable, you would expect some drawbacks to the product as compared to the top of our list. First of all, it gives the skin a gradual tan, which means you might not have the result you wanted with just a single application.
The tan builds up but for some, it still isn’t enough.
Secondly, its not only a self-tanner but it also claims it firms up the skin, which many find to be questionable. Most agree that it is a good moisturizer but the firming effect is somewhat of a letdown.
For the scent, some liked it but others found that they cannot stand it because they find it too masculine.
As for the ingredients, it does have antioxidants, vitamin E, elastin, and collagen but it also contains, mineral oil and paraben that some may not like. Also, some found the packaging to be defective because the printed label rubs off the hand when you use the product.
The Jergens Natural Glow is our budget pick for the Best Sunless Tanner for Pale Skin.
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Key Points at a Glance
- Organic And Natural
- Suitable For All Skin Types
- Vegan and Cruelty-Friendly
The Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is another organic and naturally formulated self-tanner. The natural and organic ingredients don’t only help your skin get a tan but it also feels good on the skin because it doesn’t feel drying.
Although it is a good self-tanner, it falls below our top 3 because it feels a bit greasy after application.
This may be due to the thicker lotion formula, which also means you are likely to use more product for each application.
It also looks a bit too dry. And it smells like other self-tanners.
However, it is still a good product because it tans the skin without being harsh or drying. On the contrary, it helps in moisturizing the skin.
It also won’t turn your skin orange as long as you follow proper instructions on applying it. It is a good choice to cover bruises on your legs.
It is also a vegan and cruelty-free product, which is always a plus!
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Key Points at a Glance
- Uses Natural DHA and Erythrulose
- Gel Formulation
- Built-in Color Guide
Also included on the sunless tanners we reviewed is the Fake Bake Fair Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion. It is in a lotion form but it isn’t oily and the consistency falls under those of a gel.
This is a great product for those who have oily skin to begin with or those who have sensitive skin that can be easily irritated simply by rubbing products on them.
This gel sunless tanner glides easily and dries up quickly to a non-sticky finish that many love. It gradually tans the skin and has a built-in color guide so you’ll know which areas don’t have any product yet.
It tans the skin through a naturally derived DHA, erythrulose and DMI to produce a natural-looking darker pigment. Best of all, it doesn’t produce an orange color. Rather, it just builds a light glow that suitable for those with fair skin.
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Self Tanner for Fair Skin Buyer’s Guide
Who Should Buy a Sunless Tanner For Fair Skin
Many people with fair skin dream of having a rich golden tan. However, that isn’t very easy to achieve especially if the skin tone is really fair.
The products listed on this review are meant for people who have fair, pale skin. The products are formulated to tan the lighter skin color without turning them to orange.
Sunless tanners and spray tans are best for people who do not wish to expose their body to UV light just to get a tan. These are also best for those who want the convenience of achieving a tan while using products that they can apply at the comforts of their own home.
Important Features to Consider
Chemical Vs Natural DHA
The ingredient that is responsible for making your skin look tan is the DHA. For sunless tanners, there are two sources of the DHA. The chemical or synthetic DHA is what is most common among self-tanners.
It is relatively cheaper so you’ll find more affordable products that use this as their active ingredient. However, it can also contain chemicals that can react to the skin’s surface and weaken it.
The other DHA is a naturally sourced one. These are usually derived from sugar beets. They also react to the dead skin cells to darken their color. Also, most of the sunless tanners that use natural derived DHA also add other natural ingredients that have vitamins and beneficial extracts for the skin.
Related to the use of natural ingredients is the presence of paraben and other chemicals. Some sunless tanners are all-natural and they don’t contain any parabens, which are harmful chemicals that serve as preservatives to the products. It is best to avoid them.
When choosing a sunless tanner for fair skin, it is always best not to purchase those that result in dark or very dark tans because they are likely to result in an orange discoloration of your skin.
One of the main causes of an orange-colored tan is excess DHA present in the product or applied to the skin. This is the reason why some people observe an orange tinge in their hands when they use a sunless tanner without using a tanning mitt.
Bronzer Vs Without Bronzer
Sunless tanners, like tanning lotions, may also be formulated either with bronzers or without bronzers. For those who want to see immediate results, choose the one with bronzers. After application, you can already see the skin darken. However, the bronzer washes off when you wash your body.
Don’t worry because sunless tanners will continue to tan the skin even after the bronzers are removed. Some also prefer those with bronzers because it serves as a guide as to what areas already they’ve already applied the product.
For those who don’t really need to have immediate results, those without bronzers will do the trick. Without the bronzer, you can clearly see the degree of tan you now have. Having bronzers or not is just a matter of preference.
Mousse Vs Foaming Water Vs Lotion
Like the presence of bronzers, the formulation that the sunless tanner to purchase also comes down to preference. Some liked the lightweight mousse type because they are thin, easy to dry and easy to apply. Others love the foaming water because it is easier to spread.
Lotions are the most common and they can go from thick to runny. Some like thicker ones because of how soft they can feel on the skin while others love the runny ones that can be easily spread out.
Lotions often expire quicker than mousses.
Plain Sunless Tanner Vs Multipurpose Product
Some sunless tanners also offer other functions and feature aside from tanning the skin. They can be moisturizing, hydrating, or firming. Although it might seem that a multipurpose product is best, you still have to consider if it is able to deliver as promised.
Getting a product that only tans the skin is not bad at all if the product delivers a good job at it. You can purchase other products for other needs like moisturization and hydration. Although applying one product that does all of them is more convenient.
Preventing an Orange Tan
Having orange skin for a tan is a nightmare! But this can be avoided as long as you know what causes it. The main reason for developing orange skin after using sunless tanners is due to the excess amount of DHA.
This happens when you soak your skin for an extended period of time, you used up too much product, or if the product you use just isn’t made for fair skin. To avoid an orange tan, follow the instructions on your sunless tanner and make sure to get the right shade for your skin tone.
Don’t push it!
Apart from excess DHA, dry skin are also more prone to turning to orange. This is why it is best to always moisturize the skin to keep it healthier and ready for that sunless tanner.
Using a sunless tanner on fair skin doesn’t always have to end with orange-toned skin. The St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse is best self tanner for pale skin. It’s great at providing a glowing tan that you can customize to your liking.
The Tanceauticals Self Tanner is another great alternative as it tans the skin by only using natural and organic ingredients.
And lastly, the Jergens Natural Glow is also a good choice for people with a tight budget. It does have chemical ingredients but it still effectively tans the skin gradually without being orange.