Just because you have fair skin doesn’t mean you can’t get that sun-kissed look you’ve always hoped for. Tanning ability is largely based on genetics and how much melanin you have in your skin. However, the many products available today make it easy for anyone with any skin tone to get a great tan.
People with lighter and sensitive skin need to take more precautions than their darker-skinned counterparts. But, a big part of protecting your fair skin from the effects of tanning is using the right products. Today we discuss the best way for a fair-skinned person to get a great tan and list our top five best tanning lotions for fair skin.
- 1 What’s tanning?
- 2 What’s skin tone?
- 3 How do I determine if I have fair skin?
- 4 Special concerns of fair people tanning?
- 5 What’s tanning lotion?
- 6 What’s should I look for in a tanning lotion for fair skin?
- 7 Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin 2020 – Comparison table
- 8 Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin 2020 – Reviews
- 9 How to use tanning lotion?
- 10 Do all fair-skinned people have sensitive skin?
- 11 Tanning bed vs tanning outside
- 12 Final Words
Simply, tanning is the process of making your skin darker. Everyone, even fair-skinned people, has melanin in their skin. Melanin is responsible for how dark or lights our skin, hair, and irises look. When you tan you either create more melanin in your skin or move the pigment in your skin around to create a darker skin tone.
How long the tan lasts depends on a large number of factors. One of the ways that you can prolong your tan is by using a tanning lotion both before and after you tan. Not only do these lotions help to keep your tan looking smooth and awesome, but they usually help to reduce the negative effects of tanning, such as dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and ultimately skin cancer.
What’s skin tone?
Skin tone describes the color of your skin. There are as many types of skin tones as there are people on Earth. Your skin tone is unique to you. However, dermatologists have to group people together in order to provide generalizations about different skin tones.
You can use the Fitzpatrick Skin type chart to determine your skin type. This will help you known how well you will tan, and how many precautions you need to take.
How do I determine if I have fair skin?
You have fair skin if you fall in categories I and II above. Fair skin looks white or yellow-white, it burns easily, and often the person will have blond or red hair. Freckles are also quite common in fair-skinned people.
Traditionally it has been assumed that fair-skinned people cannot tan. However, as we will continue to stress in this article, fair-skinned people can tan, they just need to take special steps and precautions.
Always use sun protection
We know this sounds counter-intuitive but trust us. Always wear sunscreen. Fair people should use at least SPF 30. Yes, you can still build a tan while wearing sunscreen. No, it will not come quickly. But, this is the safest option for your skin in the long run.
Build the tans slowly
If you have fair skin, the worst thing you can do is to spend hours in the sun. That will guarantee that you will burn and cause damage. Instead, build up a base tan by spending just 10-15 minutes a day tanning at first and building up to about 30 minutes. Even with fair skin, you don’t need to spend hours on your tan.
Tan at the right time
UVB rays cause the most damage to your skin. Although UVA rays can still be harmful. UV rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. While tanning outside of those hours (before 10 am or after 4 pm) may cramp your beach day, it could help keep your skin safe and healthy.
Do not tan every day, especially if you have fair skin. This will only damage your skin. If you got a sunburn of any level of severity, you need to wait until the burn has healed before tanning again. Burns doesn’t fade into tans, they only damage your skin.
Everyone should use a moisturizer daily, especially if they tan. But, if you have fair skin, moisturizing is even more important. Tanning takes the moisture out of your skin, so it is essential for long-term skin health that you hydrate adequately.
Special concerns of fair people tanning?
If you are a fair-skinned person there are some health concerns you should keep in mind when you decide to go tanning.
One reason that fair-skinned people have a higher rate of skin cancers and other problems associated with tanning is that they have to stay out in the sun longer to achieve a tan. It is widely acknowledged by dermatologists that the longer you expose your skin to the sun the greater chance you have of developing skin issues.
Also, fair-skinned people do not have as much melanin in their skin, which is why they look so much paler than others. Melanin protects our skin from the sun’s damage, so it makes sense that people who have less melanin would be more prone to tanning-related health concerns.
What’s tanning lotion?
Tanning lotions are products that help you get a more even and darker tan. Tans that were created using tanning lotions also last longer. Finally, tanning lotions can help mitigate the negative effects of tanning, especially for people with fair skin.
Tanning lotions come in a variety of consistencies. You will find lotions—discussed today—creams, mice, gels, oils, and sprays. Often these products are used when you tan in a tanning bed or booth. However, there are some products that can also be used when tanning outside.
There are four different types of pre-tanning lotions.
These lotions contain both a moisturizer and a tan enhancer. There are no bronzers in intensifiers and accelerators. Because of the lack of intense chemicals, and the inclusion of hydrating ingredients, intensifiers are recommended for people with fair and/or sensitive skin.
These lotions have added ingredients that darken your tan or enrich the color tone. People with fair skin can also use bronzers. But, most people recommend that you use a moisturizer with an added bronzer in this scenario, as bronzers with moisturizers could be too intense for fair or sensitive skin.
Tingling lotions create a tingling effect on the surface of your skin. These products could be considered a step up in intensity from bronzers. You may experience tingling, reddening, and/or heat on your skin with these products. The most sensitive your skin, the more severe these symptoms are likely to be, so we recommend beginning with an intensifier or bronzer before trying a tingling lotion. Do not ever use a tingle lotion on your face.
The most intense tanning lotion, maximizers are full of chemicals. Their whole purpose is to give you the darkest and most intense tan possible. These products are not recommended for people with pale or sensitive skin.
What’s should I look for in a tanning lotion for fair skin?
In order to protect your skin properly, there are a few things to look for when deciding on a tanning lotion.
SPF capability: Most tanning lotions will not have any SPF. This means that there is no sun-blocking capability in that lotion. People with fair skin should either buy a product that has an SPF number—preferably a higher one—or put on sunscreen before the tanning lotion.
Ingredients: There is a multitude of ingredients that can help your skin while you tan. In general, you want to buy a product that includes a large number of vitamins, especially Vitamins C, E, and the B complex.
The tanning lotion should also include a number of cooling and moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extract, cucumber, coconut oil, and/or other fatty oils like sunflower, and safflower, olive, coconut, and macadamia nut.
Enhancers: These ingredients either enhance your tan or help to tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some of the most common enhancing ingredients you will find in the best tanning lotions for fair skin include tyrosine, caffeine, silicon, and uncertain.
Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin 2020 – Comparison table
Type of Tanning Lotion
Where do i use it
Outside and tanning bed
Kukui Seed Oil, Coffee Extract, Passion Flower Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Macadamia Seed Oil, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E, A, and C
Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter
Safflower Seed Oil, Glycerin, Aloe Vera Juice, Shea Butter, Caffeine
Outside and tanning bed
Aloe Vera Leaf Oil, Sunflower Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Vitamin C, A, E, D3, and B6, Olive Fruit Oil, Corn Oil,
Top Five Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin 2020 – Reviews
1 Maui Island Secret Browing Formula
Maui Island’s Secret Browning Formula comes from a high-quality company and provides extreme browning without all of the chemicals. This lotion is non-greasy and can be used outside and in a tanning bed.
The many different extracts and vitamins, including Vitamins C, E, and A, aloe vera extract, and green tea extract all work to support and heal your tanned skin. Couple this tanning lotion with any of the other Maui Island products and you have a winning combination that will provide the best tan for your money. It is no wonder that it has a high rating, especially among fair-skinned people.
2 Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
EdHardy’s Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion can be found in your local tanning salon. But, it is also available on Amazon. This product is a cross between a tanning intensifier and a bronzer. There are no bronzing agents in the tanning lotion—making it appropriate for people with the fairest skin—but it will still provide increased melanin formation.
The use of coconut oil and milk in Ed Hardy’s tanning lotion makes it stand apart from the competition. Coconut is a highly moisturizing liquid that will keep your skin smooth and your tan around for a long time. This product also says that it reduces the appearance of cellulite and increases skin firmness, claims that have been supported by many reviewers.
3 Australian Gold Smooth Faces Facial Intensifier Tanning Lotion
Australian Gold’s Smooth Faces Facial Intensifier Tanning Lotion may seem to be a strange addition to this top five list since it does not cover your entire body. But, this product is a great example of tanning lotions that are specifically formulated for fair, facial, and neck skin.
Ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera juice, shea butter, and caffeine moisturize and tone your skin while being light enough to work well on delicate facial skin. Australian Gold has also created its facial tanning lotion to be hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. This sets the product apart from its competitors as well.
4 Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion
The number of amazing ingredients in Ocean Potion’s Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion makes up for its lack of Amazon reviews. Almost all of the best ingredients for fair skin mentioned above occur in this intensifier.
The number of fatty oils present in the tanning lotion helps to moisturize your skin, while at the same time increasing your tanning ability. As the sun—or tanning bed lights, this product can be used indoors and outdoors—hits your skin, Ocean Potion’s tanning lotion intensifies the effect of the UV rays. If you want an intense tan without the worry of sunburn, then this is the product for you.
5 Devoted Creation Blonde Obsession Lotion
Finally, we have Devoted Creations’ Blonde Obsession Lotion. This is another Amazon product without many reviews yet or ingredients listed. However, the company claims that this tanning lotion has firming, tightening, anti-aging, and melanin-producing properties.
Reviewers have overwhelmingly backed up these claims. Most comment on the nice smell and lack of oiliness. Also, like the other tanning lotions on our top five list, Devoted Creations’ product is not a bronzer, which makes it ideal for people with the fairest and most sensitive skin.
How to use tanning lotion?
People with fair skin—and anyone who wants to tan on a regular basis—needs to use tanning lotions correctly to receive the maximum benefits. You should use more tanning lotions immediately before tanning. When you are finished tanning you should also end with an after-tan moisturizer to revitalize and cool your skin.
Ensure that the tanning lotions you buy are also formulated for your neck and face. The sensitive skin on that area of your body needs specific ingredients and preparations. If the tanning lotion your purchased does not specifically say that you can use it on your face, you will need to buy a facial tanner.
Do all fair-skinned people have sensitive skin?
When buying tanning products, you will often see a phrase similar to “safe for sensitive skin.” You may wonder if you have fair skin if that means that you also have sensitive skin.
The answer is no. Just because someone has fair or pale skin does not necessarily mean that they are prone to sensitive skin. Sensitive skin has actually been shown to occur in all skin types. Sensitive skin may also be a chronic issue or a short-term one depending on the causes of the sensitivity and how it is treated. Below are the most common scenarios:
Genetics: Some people are just prone to more sensitive skin. However, any skin type can have skin sensitivity. Genetics plays a much larger role in this condition than skin tone.
Allergies: Some people have allergies to makeup or other skincare products that they are not aware of. Sudden shifts in skin sensitivity are an indicator of undiagnosed allergies.
Stress: You may experience a sudden skin sensitivity when going through times of extreme stress. Stress can lower your immune system and cause your skin to lose hydration quickly, which in turn, makes it more sensitive.
Changes in the environment: Our skin is extremely good at adjusting to our environment. However, it can take a while to regulate itself after a move to an extremely new climate. For example, if you have lived a long time in the humid and cloudy Pacific Northwest and move to the dry and arid Southwestern desert, your skin may become more sensitive as it adjusts to its new climate.
Why bring up skin sensitivity in an article about fair skin and tanning lotions? Well, many fair-skinned people have sensitive skin. And, even if you don’t, if you see a tanning lotion that is advertised for sensitive skin, know that it is still appropriate for everyone else.
Anyone can use a lotion for sensitive skin. However, if you have skin sensitivity, you will want to make sure and use “sensitive skin” specific tanning lotion, so your important outer layer does not get any more irritated than it already is.
Tanning bed vs tanning outside
For people with fair skin, the choice between tanning outside vs. tanning in a tanning bed or booth is an important one. Keep in mind that both can cause skin damage if done improperly. But, it is worth comparing the two, especially for people with fair skin that burn more easily.
Tanning beds are fairly controversial in today’s society. Some people see them as far worse than the sun, while others utilize them as a way to escape the sun’s damaging rays. Tanning beds—and booths—use UVA rays almost exclusively. These are the longest form of ultra-violet radiation to reach our skin and do not cause the burns associated with UVB rays. However, they can also be the most damaging to our skin.
Tanning outside in the natural sun, on the other hand, has both UVA and UVB rays. You will have a greater chance of burning, which can damage your skin. But, you will also not be exposed to the large amounts of UVA rays of tanning beds, which can also damage your skin.
At the end of the day, there are risks and rewards to both types of tanning. It is up to you to decide which is the best option. If you have any questions or concerns we recommend discussing your options with a dermatologist.
Just because you have fair skin doesn’t mean you can’t have a gorgeous tan. Fair-skinned people do tend to be more prone to skin damage from UV rays. So, it is important that you take proper care of your fair skin. Using one of our top five picks for the best tanning lotion for fair skin will go a long way toward keeping your skin tanned, beautiful, and comfortable.