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The Best Self Tanners For Pale Skin

As someone with (very) pale skin naturally, I know the never ending search for a fake tanner that doesn't leave me looking unnaturally tan, or orange like an oompa-loompa! I personally like to use tanners that give my skin a touch of colour, like I have just come back from a summer holiday and my skin has that sunkissed glow.

On a day to day basis, I reach for a gradual tanner as they are the most natural on the skin, are low maintenance, and are the most foolproof. The three gradual tanners I recommend are great for pale skin as they allow you to build to the level of colour you are comfortable with. They are also easy to use as you just use them like a normal moisturiser (you don't have to prep the skin beforehand), and if you find you are getting too dark you can just skip application for a couple of days.

Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk
My summer obsession, and the first gradual tanner I used that worked for me; need I say more?! This tanner is great for those sensitive to scents as it only has a mild cocoa butter scent. It comes in a pump which is great for ensuring you use the same amount of moisturiser on each limb (and therefore not ending up with one leg darker than the other!). This always leaves me looking even in colour and wears off naturally, without you even noticing (no patchiness). I find it takes me about two days of applying this to notice a difference to my skin, and start to get a gorgeous sun kissed glow to my skin.

Dove Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion
This tanner is quite similar to the Bondi Sands, but seems to start working a bit faster for me. I feel like this tanner must contain more DHA for me to get my 'glow on', but it still looks totally natural and even on my pale skin. If you are looking for a great tanner that works as well as the Bondi Sands one, but don't want to shell out the coin, I recommend this as a super cheap alternative. One thing to note is that this has a noticeable scent that could be irritating to those sensitive to smells (I love the scent, but could see how it could be potentially problematic). This is also available in light/medium, but I find the medium/dark shade works well for my skin.

St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion
This tan is so unique! You apply to wet skin in the shower, wait for three minutes, then rinse off and go about your day. This tanner is great as you just cover your entire body in a generous coat of product, and then rinse off after a few minutes, so you don't have to worry if you applied it evenly, just that you covered everywhere. This tan is just like the two other gradual tanners, in that it looks even and natural on the skin, with no streaking, and zero patchiness as it wears off. I would recommend this tanner to those that can't stand the feeling of product on their skin, or are adverse to the scent of fake tan. As it is washed off after three minutes, you don't have any noticeable product left on your skin, and the scent is majorly minimised, if noticeable at all.

If I have an event, or want a tad more colour, I reach for my tanning foams. Both of these tans last at least a week on my skin, wear evenly, and look gorgeous and natural on my pale skin. Before I use any tanning foam on my skin, I make sure that I prep my skin well. To do this, I make sure I shave and exfoliate the day before, and apply thick moisturiser to dry areas such as knees and elbows to prevent them sucking up too much product. For those new to fake tan, or those with pale skin, I recommend only leaving on the skin for 1-2 hours before rinsing off. This will ensure the tan doesn't continue to develop and leave you looking too dark.

Vani-T Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse + Eternal Summer By Kel Chocolate Tan
Both these tans are so good, and you can't go wrong with either. Both are cruelty free, packed with natural ingredients, and are Australian made and owned! These tans leave the skin with a golden glow that looks natural and isn't orange.

I hope this guide helps you pick a tan best suited to your pale skin. Remember, pale skin is gorgeous, and you absolutely don't need to tan your skin. Some people (like me) just choose to as it makes them feel good (and is much better than getting a real tan!)


I use and recommend each and every tan mentioned above. Some tans mentioned above were gifted to me, but I will be repurchasing them, if I haven't already.

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