7 hassle-free self-tanners that are ideal for naturally pale skin (2023)

Whether you're planning a tropical getaway or prefer a subtle glow year-round, a sunless tan is always the safest option. But at-home bronzers aren't entirely risk-free, as a product can always leave you looking orange instead of brown, or with an uneven, streaky tan, especially if you're naturally pale. The best self-tanners for fair skin are fortified with moisturizing ingredients to promote a more even tan.develop to a natural bronze color over several hours. These bronzers can come in the form of a lotion, mousse, mist, serum, or even drops that you mix into your moisturizer. Whether you're new to self-tanners or just could use a refresher, here are some important tips worth following.

before tanning

  • exfoliate your skin(focusing on naturally rough areas where excess product can stick like knees, ankles and elbows) 24 hours before tanning. If you shave, you should also shave beforehand so you don't wash off the self-tanner later.
  • Apply some moisturizer to knees, ankles, elbows, and hands only.

how to tan

  • one firsttanning mittto apply the bronzer of your choice in a circular motion. This ensures even distribution without streaks or smears on your hands.
  • If you're using a mousse, you'll need about four pumps for each leg, four for the front torso, four for the back, and two for each arm.
  • Start with the legs and work your way up.
  • Allow product to dry completely before dressing. (You must wear dark clothes to avoid obvious stains). If you have white sheets, reconsider self-tanning before bed.
  • Use bronzing drops or mists on your face, which are usually lighter, more moisturizing, and less likely to clog pores.

after tanning

  • Follow product directions for how long the color needs to develop, then rinse guide color with cool or lukewarm water.
  • To maximize your tan, moisturize your skin with a water-based lotion daily and exfoliate every two to three days to prevent your tan from looking patchy.
  • Don't forget to be diligentapply sunscreenas you normally would, especially when you go on vacation.

Shop the best self-tanners for pale skin

In a hurry? These are the best self-tanners for fair skin:

1. Best self tanning drops for face: +Lux unfiltered N⁰12 bronzing drops for the face

2. Best Self Tanning Mousse For The Body: Save St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse Bronceador oscuro

3. Best Drugstore Self Tanning Lotion: Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer

4. Best Self Tanner With SPF: Supergoop Healthy Glow Bronceado sin sol LSF 40

5. Best Self Tanning Mist: Isle Of Paradise Light Self Tanning Water

6. Best Express Self Tanner: Loving Tan 2 Horas Express Mousse

7. Best Disposable Self Tanner: Tanologist Insta Glow Instant Tan + Highlighter

1. Editor's Pick: The Best Self-Tanning Drops for the Face


  • light water
  • Infallible
  • Baubar


  • caro

"I have very pale skin and this+Lux Unfiltered Tanning DropsIt completely changed the game for me,” says Elite Daily beauty editor.adeline duff. "I mix a few drops into my moisturizer every morning, and despite washing my face twice the night before, I manage to maintain a subtle, natural glow that lasts well into the next day. It's a method you can't go wrong with, and you can customize the depth of your tan with just a drop or two, or more. Still, I find that even after five or six drops, the tan still looks natural."

Main ingredients:Glycerin, apple extract, coconut water, passion fruit oil, pomegranate extract, hyaluronic acid, vitamin ESize:1 oz.Not tested on animals:Sim

2. Author's Choice: Best Self-Tanning Body Mousse


  • best seller
  • Antimango
  • After four hours you can shower.


  • caro

My skin is pale and on a translucent levelSt. Tropez Dark Self Tanning MousseIt is so good for adding a natural glow that it has been a part of my routine for years. Despite the dark indicator, the tan is never too deep because it suits your skin tone (by the way, I found that with self-tanning mousses, medium and deep colors look more natural, while lighter options can veer towards the orange territory. ). The guide color is key here as it allows you to see exactly where you are applying the foam so you don't miss any spots when you use your to apply it to the skin.tanning mitt. It's also a quick application process, as the light foam absorbs into the skin after a minute or two without leaving a sticky residue. Your color will start to develop and can be rinsed out after four to eight hours, but I like to sleep through the night to maximize the color payoff. Just keep in mind that this will be the case until the lead color is completely rinsed out.oIt will stain any light-colored fabric, so keep a special set of dark sheets and pajamas for when you get a tan (or, alternatively, sleep on a dark towel).

Main ingredients:Glycerin, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, vitamin ESize:6.7 ouncesNot tested on animals:Sim

3. Best Drugstore Self Tanner


  • best seller
  • Accessible
  • moisturizer
  • Baubar


  • none

This best-selling tanning lotion is as easy as it gets.Jergens' Natural Glow + Firming Daily MoisturizerIt is a gradual moisturizing and self-tanning body lotion. Creates a subtle tan after several days of continuous use, and you can use it as often (or as little) as you like to maintain your desired intensity. Additionally, the formula includes ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen and elastin to help keep skin smooth and firm. Because moisturizing oils are heavier, you should avoid applying it to your face, and you should still wash your hands after using it (unless you're applying it with a glove) to avoid staining your palms.

Relevant qualification:“This is the best tanning product on the market. Color shows after two uses. Smells great and is easy to apply. It also leaves the skin super soft. "

Main ingredients:Glycerin, coconut oil, coconut water, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed elastin, centella asiatica extract, green tea leaf extractSize:7.5 ouncesNot tested on animals:NO

4. Best self-tanner with sun protection factor


  • FPS 40
  • Baubar
  • develops rapidly
  • Suitable for face and body.


  • caro

If you use a self-tanner, it's probably important to you to protect your skin from sun damage. Leave it to Supergoop! to give you the best of both worlds with yourspray lotiongiving skin a golden tan while remaining protected with SPF 40. You can spray the product directly onto the body (ideally with a gloved hand to blend into the skin) or onto the palms of the hands to apply to the face (just make sure to wash hands immediately to avoid staining). The color develops in just two to four hours, and you can reapply as often as you like to achieve a deeper tan or maintain your original color.

Relevant qualification:"It has a nice glow, it's not orangey, it's not greasy, it doesn't transfer to sheets or clothes, and I appreciate that unlike most self-tanners, it doesn't have a strong, perfumey smell. I'm a freckled blonde very pale and i am serious about protecting my skin but i use it when i want to look tanned and not like i am hiding under an umbrella covered in spf.

Main ingredients:Panthenol, Vitamin E, Aloe VeraSize:3.4 ouncesNot tested on animals:Sim

5. The Best Self Tanning Mist


  • light water
  • Suitable for face and body.


  • Take a chance on stretch marks

As useful as a guide color is, it requires thorough rinsing to prevent sheets or clothing from spoiling. For more advanced self-tanners, thisIsle Of Paradise Light Self Tanning Waterit is completely colorless and does not need rinsing. Instead, spray the formula directly onto the body and fully saturate the skin before gently buffing away with the mitt. You can use it on your face and even as a makeup spray. Also the brandrefillable bagsMade with 81% less plastic, so you can refill your original bottle when you run out. Please note that if you do not use enough product or mix it correctly, there is a risk of stretch marks; So if you're a self-tanner newbie, this might not be the best option for you. However, using it on your face is much less risky (you can also mix it with your moisturizer).

Relevant qualification:"I have fair skin and it's magical. I got three compliments on my tan and no one knew it came from a bottle. I love it."

Main ingredients:Glycerin, hydrogenated castor oil, aloe vera extract, coconut oil, avocado oilSize:6.76 ouncesNot tested on animals:Sim

6. The best express self-tanner


  • develops rapidly


  • caro

If you need a very quick shine, thisMousse Loving Tan ExpressIt fully develops (and can be washed out) in just two hours. The medium shade works best on naturally fair to medium skin tones and the olive shade is used as a guide when applying the mousse as it is immediately visible.

Relevant qualification:"I have lighter skin and have tried many drugstore brands and they always end up looking orange or streaky. I've even spray tanned several times, both airbrush and booth, and this is probably the best natural tan I've ever had. I'm very bad at applying things like that, but somehow it always comes out perfect... It looks so even and natural.

Main ingredients:Glycerin, Hamamelis, Aloe Vera, PanthenolSize:4 oz.Not tested on animals:Sim

7. The best temporary self-tanner


  • develops rapidly
  • Not binding; can be washed after 24 hours
  • Suitable for face and body.


  • Doesn't hold up through showers.

If you're new to the world of self-tanning, it can be stressful to start with a tan that you know will take up to a week to fade.Tanologist's Insta Glow Instant Tan + IlluminatorGives an instant shine, but can be completely removed in 24 hours with warm, soapy water. Transferring and waterproofing once dry, the lotion is enriched with light-reflecting particles to double the shine factor. The formula is non-comedogenic and contains various nutrient-dense ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe vera extract, and various fruit extracts, so it can also be used on the face. While you can apply it with your hands, a gloved hand or makeup brush will ensure that your palms and hands are not saturated with color.

Relevant qualification:"Best instant bronzer I've ever used and I've tried them all! It literally doesn't wash off until you wash it off."

Main ingredients:Glycerin, Panthenol, Vitamin E, Aloe Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Granatapfel ExtractSize:5.07 ouncesNot tested on animals:Sim

you may like

A tanning mitt makes self-tanner application much easiermiwithout getting your palms dirty (essential even with mousse or foam). EITHERApplications of Bondi SandshandschuhIt's an inexpensive option that can be washed and reused over and over again. Plus, since it's black, you won't notice any tan spots between washes.

Relevant qualification:"It really softens the self-tanning product and doesn't leave any loose or extra stains. It's super soft and easy to wash. I love this mitt and think it's the best option out there."

About the Author:

marissa desantisShe worked for nearly 10 years as a beauty writer for print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She's spent just as many years faking tanned skin, an effort that has led her to try every bronzer imaginable: the good ones, the bad ones, and the very orange ones.

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