4 Best Tanning Lotions for Pale Skin – Reviews & Comparison

Some people seem to get an effortless toasty glow after a few hours in the sun and some of us turn pink and red after a few minutes outdoors! A tanning lotion or body bronzer is one way to get that sun-kissed look without risking a sunburn.

Some lotions give pale skin a subtle brown tint, while others actually help you develop a natural tan of your own. If you burn easily, you may prefer lotions that provide a tint, but if you just tan very slowly and want to speed up the process, tan-accelerating lotions might be for you.

We’ve researched dozens of products to find the best tanning lotion for pale skin to help you get ready for summer. But before skipping to our product reviews, check out our buying guide for things to consider when looking for a tanning lotion!

Top Tanning Lotions for Pale Skin 2018: Quick Comparison

Product Name Type Rating Number of Reviews
LORAC TANtalizer Bronzing Luminizer 100+
Maui Babe Browning Lotion Outdoor Tan Accelerator 1300+
Fake Bake Self Tanner Self Tanner 150+
Famous Dave's Tanner Self Tanner 30+
=> Scroll down to read detailed review of each product.

How to choose a Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin

It’s important to consider your natural skin tone and your self-tanning goals before choosing a tanning lotion. If you want to turn up the glow factor for a night out or a vacation, a tanning lotion with micro-glitter or a touch of shimmer can add some extra glamor to your look. However, these shimmer effects can look really intense on pale skin, so experiment with a light application before going all-out!

Tanning lotion consistencies range from thick to liquid-like. A creamy consistency can be easier to apply without streaking (which is really obvious when you’re pale), while a liquid oil formulation can be easier to rub in and blend with your natural skin tone.

Even though you may want to look like a sun-baked goddess, slow your roll before you grab the darkest lotion shade you can find! Like choosing a new hair color, for a natural look your best bet is to stay within a few shades of your natural coloring. It’s a lot easier to add another layer than it is to take one off! Using a dark lotion on pale skin can bring out a lot of orange tones.

Things to consider:

  • The thickness or consistency of the lotion
  • Fragrance: strong, subtle, or fragrance-free?
  • Shimmering or non-shimmering formula
  • “Stains” vs. “tan accelerators” (similar to Sun-In for hair)
  • Your skin tone–don’t go too dark too quickly!

Top Indoor Tanning Lotions & Self Tanners for Pale Skin

LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer

This body bronzer from LORAC comes in a thick lotion formula. Perfect for a night out, the easy-to-apply body makeup lotion has a sweet vanilla scent and stylish shimmer. This body makeup is designed to wash off after a day or so.

The TANtalizer Luminizer is ideal for special events or showing off on a day at the beach. You can also try mixing it with your regular body or face lotion for a lightweight tinting effect or to dilute the shimmer.

What we loved about this light shade of tanning lotion makeup was its versatility: depending on how much you apply, you can take your tan from discrete to jaw-dropping!

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Looking for a tanning lotion that will help you tan your pale skin? The Maui Babe Browning Lotion is a tan accelerator with a warm brown tint. The oil-based formula goes on smoothly and smells sugary sweet. Use it to help your tan along or as a temporary tint. It has a short ingredients list full of natural oils and vitamins, too!

The oily formula feels great on the body, but can be a little too heavy for use on the face. It absorbs well and leaves your skin feeling smooth and moisturized despite not being a true sunless tanner. If you find shimmery lotions don’t look right on you, you may prefer this non-shimmering tanning lotion for your pale skin.

We liked this lotion as an option to get a “real” tan on pale skin while still looking warm and glowy!

Fake Bake Original Tanning Lotion

The Fake Bake is a cruelty-free sunless tanning lotion that gives you a warm brown glow–not orange! It comes in a thin lotion formula that is easy to apply without streaking. It looks dark coming out of the bottle, but don’t worry–it evens out into a pleasing walnut color and won’t be overwhelming on pale skin.

It doesn’t have a sweet scent and lasts 3-5 days if you time your showers carefully! Perfect for getting a little glowy before a vacation or the start of the work week. It can be a little messy to apply. For an even lighter shade, Fake Bake also offers a tanning lotion for fair skin.

The Fake Bake Original is a tried-and-true tanning lotion for pale skin that won’t make you crave cupcakes with a sugary sweet scent!

Famous Dave’s Fair Skin and Face Tanner

“Famous Dave” definitely earned stardom in our eyes with this lightweight tanner that actually applies well on the face as well as the body! If you’ve never tried a tanning lotion before, this one may be the best on our list for you. It’s easy to apply lightly to see how it looks and perfect for very pale skin.

The lotion absorbs quickly and doesn’t tan your skin right away, so you may need to wait a few hours before the color starts to show. It also doesn’t have added fragrance, so the scent is lighter overall than many other sunless tanners.

We love Famous Dave’s tanner as a long-lasting sunless tanner for very pale skin!

Getting your beach body ready, don’t forget the tan!

Choosing the right sunless tanner for pale skin doesn’t have to be a painful experience. It’s easy to avoid that recurring nightmare you have of an orange, streaky tan with these top tanning lotions for pale skin. From quick body makeup to a long-lasting tint, tanning lotions give you a ton of options for getting some summer color. Time to get your glow on!

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