9 Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin: Gentle, Dark, & Quick Tanning

November 20th 2021 in Skin Care - 13 mins read

9 Best Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin: Gentle, Dark, & Quick Tanning

The perfect sun-kissed complexion sounds tempting if you’re pale or fair-skinned. This explains why there are so many best tanning lotions for fair skin. The glow develops over a span of 2-3 days, which isn’t a long time to wait for favorable results. Plus, you get the opportunity to customize how intensely colored you want your tan to look.

Now here’s the most important part. Tanning lotions should be treated as regular moisturizing lotions. Meaning you have to make sure these formulas are equipped with enough nourishing ingredients to protect, hydrate, and nurture your skin. Stuff like shea butter, Vitamin E, glycerin, etc. should be included.

Also, if you plan on using the tanning lotion on the face, then you ought to go for face-specific formulations. That are labeled “non-comedogenic” i.e. non-pore clogging.

In that case, I’ve reviewed just what you and your skin need…

9 Top-Rated Tanning Lotions for Fair Skin

1. Maui Babe Browning Lotion

Maui Babe Browning Lotion

There’s just no denying or even downplaying the popularity and effectiveness of the Maui Babe Browning Lotion. This browning lotion is all-natural. After all, the formula is prepared using a secret Hawaiian recipe.

It gives you a desirable natural tan simply by boosting the tanning action triggered by the sun. The manufacturer claims that the browning lotion is good for all skin tones and types. This includes fair skin and sensitive skin. So are these claims true or just a marketing strategy to fool you?

Well, once again, there’s no denying or downplaying the fact that the Maui Babe Tanning Lotion is the best for fair skin. Once you pair sunblock with this formula, your fair skin is bound to not get burnt during the tanning process.

All you have to do is use a nickel-size amount and rub the lotion onto the skin. The texture is such that it spreads easily and also gets absorbed quickly. You can apply it for both indoor and outdoor tanning. And it doesn’t cause any stains or streaks. Instead, what the tanning lotion does give rise to is only a glowing and gorgeous tan that always works.

2. Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion

What you’re looking at here is a tanning intensifier that delivers the perfect dark golden complexion. But you know what the best part is? That this is the best indoor tanning lotion without bronzer. Yes, that’s true; the Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion gives you the dark golden glow without any bronzing agents.

Now let tell you why the current pick is a great choice for fair skin. The tanning lotion consists of MelanoBronze and Quad Tyrosine. Both stimulate the formation of melanin for accelerating all the tanning action. Then there’s Melactiva, which is a melanin synthesizer for longer-lasting, darker results.

One other thing this Coconut Kisses Tanning Lotion is very popular for. It promotes skin firmness and minimizes the visibility of cellulite. You can also apply the golden tanning lotion for prolonging the radiance and lifespan of the tattoos you have on your body.

And you don’t have to worry about moisturization. Isn’t it obvious why? The formula contains cocoa butter, coconut milk, and coconut oil for deep and intense hydration. Your skin requires these many Coconut Kisses.

3. Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer

Now here’s a gradual self-tanning lotion by Jergens. You can achieve that much-awaited natural tanning glow in only 7 days. What this Firming Daily Moisturizer also does is minimize the visibility of cellulite.

But let’s talk about the part where it enhances the natural tone of your skin to deliver streak-free, subtle color. What’s packed in here is a blend of antioxidants, coconut water, and Vitamin E. They keep your skin well-nourished. Then there’s elastin and collagen for tightening and smoothening your skin.

Jergens offers two options; one is Fair to Medium and the other is Medium to Tan. Since you’re fair-skinned, you can choose the former. Moreover, those with sensitive skin also have nothing to worry about. And that’s because this self-tanning lotion has a refreshing and light scent that doesn’t overpower the senses.

4. Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion

Make way for the best tanning lotion with bronzer for fair skin. It’s the Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion and it’s infused with Kona coffee. It’s the Kona coffee that performs all the bronzing action by the way. The formulation is perfect for those who want an instant glow!

The thing about Australian Gold tanning lotions and sunscreens is that they offer generous amounts of sun protection. Their products include only nutrient-rich, genuine Australian ingredients that nourish the skin from deep within.

Native Australian acacia extracts are involved. This means the tanning lotion provides your skin with plenty of antioxidants.

It’s a water-resistant, oil-free formula equipped with broad-spectrum sun protection. The oil-free part makes the tanning lotion suitable for face applications as well. And broad-spectrum means protection against both UVB and UVA rays is a part of the experience. After all, you’re fair-skinned, meaning you have every reason for demanding extra protection.

5. Maui Island Secret Browning Formula

Maui Island Secret Browning Formula

Let me start by listing the ingredients added to the Maui Island Secret Browning Formula. They might just nudge you in the direction of buying this tanning lotion right away. The brand has used Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, passionflower oil, macadamia nut oil, kukui nut oil, aloe barbadensis extract, Maui coffee bean extract, and green tea extract.

Needless to say, this best tanning lotion for fair skin outdoor and indoor gives you the longest-lasting, darkest, and fastest tan. And you don’t even have to maximize sun exposure for getting such a natural-looking tan.

The browning formula is no skin colorant. Instead, the tanning lotion is packed with chemical-free, natural ingredients that allow your skin to tan. And once tanned, they then allow that tan to say for weeks.

6. Devoted Creations Blonde Obsession Lotion

Devoted Creations Blonde Obsession Lotion

Are you looking for the best tanning lotion for fair skin for tanning beds? If yes, let this be your go-to formula. The Devoted Creations Blonde Obsession Lotion is a very powerful tanning intensifier. And what it does is produce the most gorgeous and natural-looking dark, deep color. All this without the use of any bronzing agents!

Much like the others, even this tanning lotion tightens and firms your skin. Potent firming and anti-aging ingredients are included for that. Along with pigment correctors and antioxidants!

As for the scent, it’s reminiscent of sweet black lotus. So it doesn’t stink like most tanning lotions.

But the fragrance, to be honest, is a secondary issue. I’m more concerned over here with the tanning lotion’s ability to work on very fair skin. Usually, it takes 10 to 15 sessions for fair-skinned women and men to achieve a decent tan. But that’s not the case with this one. It’s the perfect skin tone enhancer in that department.

After every application, you’ll notice your skin becoming tighter and softer and your skin tone naturally tan. On top of that, the tanning lotion is gluten-free and oil-free. It’s the perfect Blonde Obsession you’ve been searching for.

7. Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion

Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion

If immediate natural bronzing is what you desire, then you’d be better off with the Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion. It’s a tingle-powered formula with skin firming, slimming, and anti-aging performance. Before I get into the details, let me tell you that the fragrance added is green citrus.

Indoor tanning lotions, even the best ones, simply do not produce results as favorable as this Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion. It has no bronzers, yet the formula is so potent. But you should consider buying it for the perfect “tingle” factor. There’s no negating the fact that this is a tingle tanning lotion that gives rise to a very dark tan.

The tingling effect is not very tingly so as to cause a lot of itchiness and burning sensation. Everything is tolerable in my opinion. The best part is that the tanning lotion doesn’t take you past your tanning plateau. So there’s no risk of surpassing that limit, no matter your skin tone.

8. Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer

Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer

Can you believe that the best tanning lotions for fair skin can be hypoallergenic formulas? I don’t know about the others but this one certainly is.

The Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer contains 100-percent genuine natural hemp seed oil. What this particular ingredient does is condition, nourish, and hydrate your skin. So the tanning process doesn’t leave it the opposite of moist, smooth, and soft.

The blend produces dark tanning results. And why wouldn’t it when natural tan enhancers are included! They prep your skin for a rich, dark golden shade.

Even mango seed butter is added to the rich formula for smoothening and hydrating sensitive skin. And then come the calming oatmeal extracts for soothing and comforting your skin.

The formula is lightweight and non-greasy. The lightweight bit means easy, quick absorption. And the non-greasy part implies that the tanning lotion is good for the face, irrespective of your skin type (oily or acne-prone).

If you ask me, this is incredibly strong and moisturizing with no weird or unpleasant smell. And the fact that it works flawlessly on super-sensitive skin says a lot about how gentle and safe it is to use for tanning.

9. Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion

Devoted Creations Somewhere on a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion

Are all tanning lotions DHA-free? No, but this one is. Are all dark tanning lotions stain-free and streak-free? No, but this one is. Are all tanning lotions good for outdoor and indoor tanning? No, but this one is. Well, those are enough reasons to buy the Somewhere on a Beach Instant Dark Tanning Lotion by Devoted Creations.

The formula consists of advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6. It’s a potent anti-aging peptide that minimizes the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines. Then there’s walnut oil and coconut oil for hydration and softness.

Even super-sensitive skin benefits from this tanning lotion without feeling any lack of care or nourishment. The formula leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, no doubt. But, more importantly, the indoor and outdoor tanning lotion gives you an even, dark tan even if your natural complexion is very light.

Tanning for Fair Skin: Are There Any Special Concerns?

It goes without saying that fair-skinned women and men have to keep in mind health factors when choosing to tan their skin. But why is that? It’s because fair skin is more susceptible to developing skin cancer. And if not that, then the chances of fair skin reacting negatively to sun exposure are higher.

You should also know that fair-skinned complexion doesn’t contain a lot of melanin. This explains why it looks paler. What melanin does is protect your skin from the damage caused by the sunrays. So if your skin has less melanin, that means it’s more prone to getting affected by tanning-related skin concerns.

Important Features To Consider

When tanning is a priority, you shouldn’t neglect to care for your fair skin along the way. And if you wish to do that, then please keep the following factors in mind…


The majority of tanning lotions don’t have SPF. That means most formulas are not equipped with any sun-blocking capacity. And sun protection is crucial when you’re fair-skinned. Particularly a higher SPF!

Moisturizing Ingredients

Needless to say, every tanning lotion contains a unique set of ingredients that keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated. Since I have reviewed the 10 best tanning lotions for fair skin, I know what these are. There’s coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, shea butter, Vitamin E, and more.

 Some tanning lotions are also equipped with natural cooling agents like green tea extracts and aloe vera. They are also very useful when it comes to caring for your skin during and after the tanning process.


Speaking of enhancers, the tanning lotion’s I’ve shortlisted contain stuff like caffeine and tyrosine for tightening and firming your skin. Meaning enhancers can reduce the stubborn appearance of cellulite. And the good news is that they’re good for fair skin.

Is Fair Skin Necessarily Sensitive Too for the Process of Tanning?

Fair skin complexion burns easily and is also sensitive; true or false? I mean most fair-skinned women and men have heard at least once in their lifetime that they shouldn’t spend too much time in the sun.

Now, let me break it to you that fair skin and sensitive skin are not the same. Any or all skin types can be sensitive, of course. So it’s not just fair skin!

Skin sensitivities are often determined by your genetics and not your skin tone. However, I’m not going to deny that most people with fair skin do have skin sensitivity issues. But that doesn’t mean fair skin equals to sensitive skin.

And knowing that the two are separate is important why? It’s because not all tanning lotions created for fair skin are suitable for sensitive skin too. Likewise, not every tanning lotion for sensitive skin is a great choice for fair skin. Makes sense to you?

Tanning Fair Skin Without Burning It

If you’re worried about burning your fair skin during tanning, then please read what’s in store for you here…

The 15/3 Tanning Rule for Fair Skin

Allow me to elaborate.

Spending over 15 minutes under the sun is not recommended for those with fair skin. As for indoor tanning, you shouldn’t stay in your tanning bed for more than 3 minutes.

Let’s say your first tanning session was on Monday. Then your second session should be on Wednesday. You have to skip one day to allow your skin to recover. In the meantime, your tan also gets the opportunity to deepen naturally.

Then when you head out to tan on Wednesday, you can increase the exposure by 5-10 minutes outdoors. And by 1-2 minutes indoors.

You have to be very cautious when it comes to tanning your fair skin. Just keep in mind that sunburns are not the same as suntans. The former doesn’t give rise to a tan. Instead, it causes skin damage and a lot of discomfort and irritation.

Applying Sunscreen for Protection

As I already told you, most of the tanning lotions don’t come with SPF. That means they’re not equipped to block UV radiation. So it’s necessary for you to apply your sunscreen below the tanning lotion.

What the sunscreen does is minimizes the potential harm caused by the UV rays of the sun. It also keeps your skin moisturized.

Another thing you can do as an add-on for your fair skin is to choose a tanning lotion packed with antioxidants. They do a wonderful job of protecting your skin against photoaging.

Tanning Fair Skin Faster

So you have fair skin, that doesn’t mean you cannot tan. Even with freckles, fair skin can achieve a good, natural-looking tan. All you need is to know the right way to do so.

But before I get to that, let me make one thing very clear. If your fair skin develops an allergic or any negative reaction to sun exposure, then keep from tanning. At the same time, are you on any medication? If yes, then make sure it doesn’t conflict with UVA/UVB rays. Tanning is just not worth dealing with unnecessary skin troubles.

Now that the safety factor is set in place, it’s time to get to know how to tan fair skin not only properly but also faster…


When you exfoliate your skin before tanning, what you’re actually doing is getting rid of dead skin cells. And when dead skin cells are out of the picture, tanning becomes easier and quicker.

Skip the Midday Sun

I’m sure you already know that sun rays are the strongest between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. So my advice to fair-skinned individuals who want to tan is to indulge early morning or late afternoon.

Don’t Tan Two Days in a row

Now I know that you want immediate, dark results. But that doesn’t mean tanning daily. Leave a gap of at least 1 day between any two sessions. During these breaks, you’ll notice your tan becoming darker naturally.

Apply High-SPF Sunscreen Under the Tanning Lotion

Freckles or no freckles, a high-SPF sunscreen is a must for fair skin. Particularly if you don’t want to develop sunburns and damage your skin cells. The latter is very likely to cause skin cancer.

And by high sun protection, I mean anything above SPF 50.

You should also not forget to reapply this sunscreen every 2 hours. Even if you don’t sweat a lot! Sunscreen ingredients lose their effectiveness within 2 hours of application. So you have to keep re-applying the lotion if you plan on spending long hours under the sun.

Flip-over Halfway Through

It’s a very basic thing to do, yet most of us forget to do it. If you know you’re going to spend a few hours lying in the sun for the purpose of tanning, then you have to divide that time into two halves. The first half you lay on your back and second half on your stomach.

Only then can you expect to achieve an even tan all over the body.

The End

A gorgeous, natural-looking tan can be possible on fair skin. But if you’re fair-skinned, then you have to be more careful during the process. And that’s because light skin tone is more prone to UV damage. But as long as you’re applying one of the 10 tanning lotions I’ve reviewed, along with sunscreen below it, your skin is safe.

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