The 5 Best Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin of 2022

The Best Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin

Tanning gives you a glowing sun-kissed look that makes you look good. It makes you feel different, too, and it’s a perfect way to rock during summer. 

However, you might have realized it’s hard to tan pale skin. Some skin types are easy to tan just by sunbathing, but fair and pale skin (very light, almost white in complexion) is the most difficult to tan no matter the exposure to the sun. Your skin probably turns red and painful when you sit in the sun. 

Fitzpatrick scale categorizes skin types according to how easily they tan and respond to the sun’s UV rays. Pale skin scores poorly. It always burns, has freckles, and never tans.

Fortunately, you can use a tanning lotion to darken your skin color gradually.

This article seeks to help you learn which tanning lotions work best for your pale skin and give you tips that you can try.

So, What is Tanning?

Tanning is a process where you stimulate your skin to produce more melanin( color pigment) for your skin complexion to turn darker.

Tanning lotions help to stimulate the process of your skin turning darker by boosting melanin production.

The 5 Best Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin:

1. Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion

Best overall tanning lotion for pale skin

Dolce Black Bronzer Tanning Lotion

If you’re looking for a tanning lotion that you can use on both face and body, this amazing lotion is the best. It’s a bundle of many goodies in a bottle. 

The tanning lotion has a bronzer and a high concentration of DHA, which helps you achieve a rich dark tan. It doesn’t cause an orange shade, thanks to the black charcoal. The charcoal detoxifies and protects your skin.

Plus, it’s an anti-aging lotion as well. It’s infused with moisturizers that keep your skin supple. The bronzer stimulates your skin cells to multiply and hence increases collagen production, which makes your skin tight. 

The tan lasts long without fading color or tattoos.

2. Millennium Dark Tanning Lotion

Best tanning lotion for pale skin that doesn’t leave streaks

Millennium Dark Tanning Lotion

This tanning lotion by Millennium products is excellent for achieving a tan quickly. In just one hour, you’ll have an amazing dark tan.

It contains L-tyrosine, which speeds up the tanning process allowing you to achieve a glowing sun-kissed glow. The lotion is self-tanning; you can use it on a tanning bed. It doesn’t leave streaks or make you look orange. 

Your skin will be intensely hydrated because the lotion is infused with essential oils that are moisturizers. It also nourishes your skin and makes it smooth since it contains silicone. 

Unlike most tanning lotions, this one has a floral scent that keeps you smelling fantastic.

3. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Best tanning lotion without tingle or bronzer

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning

If you’re looking for a tanning lotion without a tingle or bronzer, Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion is the one. It gives you a glowing tan without the use of bronzers. Your hands will not get stained.

The tanning formula of this lotion uses a blend of Quad Tyrosine and Melano Bronze. They help to stimulate and increase the formation of melanin which accelerates the tanning process. 

Your skin gets a rich tan that lasts long without fading. It has a protector for your tattoo, and it moisturizes your skin thanks to cocoa butter and coconut oil.

The mild scent of coconut and vanilla helps to cover the unpleasant after tan smell. 

4. Sun Bum Browning Lotion

Best tanning lotion for beginners with pale skin

Sun Bum Browning Lotion

Extracted from aloe vera, this browning lotion prepares you for summer. It achieves an excellent tan without sitting in the sun for countless hours. 

It’s rich in moisturizing and nourishing ingredients like argan oil, avocado oil, coconut, and marula. The rich coffee scent gives you a welcome relief from the tanning smell. 

You can tan at home with this lotion that doesn’t need a tanning bed. After applying the cream on yourself, give it time to dry. 

Then, lounge in the sun as the lotion triggers your skin to produce melanin for a self-tan. However, you’ll need several applications to get a dark tan. 

5. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Lotion and Bronzer

Best organic tanning lotion for fair skin

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Lotion and Bronzer

If you’re health-conscious and still want to get a tan, you can try this tanning lotion. It uses natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin and safe health-wise. It doesn’t contain harmful components and doesn’t leave streaks.

Infused with organic shea butter, the lotion makes your skin smooth and silky. You get intense hydration and nourishment from the ingredients like green tea extract and organic coconut oil. 

Plus, you don’t need to sit in the sun or use a tanning bed because it’s a self-tanning lotion. Hence, you avoid sunburns, premature aging, and risks associated with UV rays yet get a beautiful tan. 

You can build up the tan till you get the perfect shade for you.

How to Buy a Tanning Lotion for Pale Skin

Not every tanning lotion will provide what you’re looking for in terms of skin needs, comfort, and shade of tan. It’s best to get some information before carefully selecting a tanning lotion. Below are some factors that you can consider: 

Type of lotion

Your experience will depend on the type of tanning lotion. Regular tanning lotion rarely burns, pain, or causes discomfort. 

But some creams are hot and unbearable. If it’s your first time to tan, do yourself a favor and go easy. 

Avoid tingle tanning lotions or those described as hot if it’s your first time. If you’re hoping to build on your tan to a darker color, you can look for a bronzer tanning lotion. It has ingredients that help you turn darker faster.

The number indicated on the lotion bottle will help you know the level of tan you might achieve with that particular lotion, for example, 60×, 100×, or 200×. The higher the number, the darker you can tan. 

As a pale-skinned person, it’s best to start with a regular tanning lotion to create your first tan, which will act as your base for future tanning to get the shade you prefer.

Some self-tanning lotions don’t use numbers but are labeled as ‘maximizers’ or ‘accelerators.’ They speed up the tanning process by boosting your natural melanin production. You can use it as a beginner, but it’s best if you have a ‘base coat.’ 

A maximizer is excellent when you want to transition from one level of tan to a darker one, so, again, it’s not best for a beginner; you need to have a tan first from a regular tanning lotion. 

Some tanning lotions have a cooling effect of soothing your skin during the tanning process. They prevent you from feeling any burning or itchy sensation.

Starting with an intense lotion might result in streaks which is ugly. 

Skin Type 

Dry skin is already lacking in moisture, so ensure the lotion will meet your moisturizing needs. Look for a cream that’s labeled: ” anti-aging,” “firming,” ” moisturizing,” or ” intense hydration.”

Some tanning lotions are suitable for all skin types. Still, it won’t hurt to confirm if the particular tanning lotions you want to buy are appropriate for your specific skin type: whether normal, dry, combination, oily or sensitive skin.


Because tanning exposes your skin to dehydration, it’s best to ensure the tanning lotion has hydrating ingredients like oils, vitamin E, aloe vera, or shea butter. 

Without proper moisture, your skin might start to develop premature aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.

A good tanning lotion cares for your skin, too, by providing the nourishment your skin needs. Look for other ingredients that will nourish your skin with antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties, for example, jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, honey, ginger, hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, and others. 

Skin Sensitivity

Skin tolerance to different tanning lotions varies from person to person. Before using a tanning lotion on your entire body, do a test to confirm your skin can handle it. 

Some tanning lotions are hot and might irritate or burn your skin resulting in painful red skin.

Sensitive skin reacts to irritants like fragrances, too; it’s best to avoid scented tanning lotions or, better still, buy a tanning lotion with an aroma from essential oils or a natural plant; avoid artificial fragrances. 

Sun Protection

The tanning process involves sunbathing or going to a tanning bed. In both situations, you get exposure to UV rays which are harmful to your skin. A tanning lotion plus the exfoliation (done in preparation) make your skin vulnerable to sun rays. 

It’s best to ensure the tanning lotion has sunscreen to protect you from UV damage. 


Some tanning lotions produce a weird after-smell that you might not like. Hence tanning lotions tend to use a lot of fragrance to conceal that smell. 


What is a bronzer?

A bronzer is a tanning lotion that gives you a sun-kissed brown color. Tanning lotions with bronzer contain a chemical -DHA- that darkens the skin. 

With a DHA, you can tan quickly and darker than when you use regular tanning lotions. But it’s best if you have a base tan already. 

The more the bronzer in the tanning lotion, the darker the color you’ll achieve. 

How do I tan my pale skin quickly?

Before applying the tanning lotion, you need to prepare your skin by exfoliating first. Exfoliation decongests blocked skin pores and removes oil and dirt from your skin, leaving your skin clear.  

This will make your skin absorb the tanning lotion and hence make your tanning a success. Once your skin is clear, apply the tanning lotion evenly, then clean your hands to avoid staining. 

You can then sunbathe or go to a tanning bed at your salon of choice. Let the cream stay for the recommended time, which is about four hours before you can bathe. 

If you feel like your skin is burning, wash off the lotion. To achieve a darker shade, you can repeat the tanning process after some days.

Bottom Line

There is hope for your pale skin to have that gorgeous tan complexion. The above tanning lotions are the best ones to get you started on your journey to warm tan skin color.

This article was last updated on February 4, 2022 .

Categorized as Skincare