As a tanning addict with a naturally milk-like complexion, I like to think that I have encountered all the problems and pitfalls of fake tanning when you’re super pale. It’s so much easier to go terracotta and patchy when you have a very fair complexion. This is why I have decided to compile a list of some of the best fake tan for fair skin, depending on your specific goal!

I Want to be as Dark as Possible

If, like me, you love a super dark deep looking tan, but you’re worried about going bright orange, (or even worse, green!), due to your complexion, look no further than Bondi Sands Ultra Dark tanning mousse. This is my absolute holy grail go to tan. It gives you a beautiful deep tan colour, and has an olive undertone so you can avoid the orange look. Although Bondi Sands advertise a ‘coconut scent’, I’m sorry to say you will definitely still notice that classic biscuity smell (although somewhat masked by coconut), however the reason I would rank this tan so highly is simply because of the great colour payoff.

For best results, I would recommend applying 2 coats of this tan, one after 30 minutes of the initial application (or as soon as you feel dry to touch). This really makes the colour nice and deep, and also greatly reduces the risk of missing patches. Speaking of patches, this tan has an amazing dark guide colour which makes it easy to see where you’ve covered, so you can achieve a really fool-proof application.

Although this retails at the slightly higher end around £19.95 (Although it’s currently on offer for the amazing price of £11.99!), it can give you up to a week of excellent colour, and I have even made it last 10 days with the correct maintenance.

It’s worth noting that if you are someone who hates the sticky feel of fake tan after application, Bondi Sands have recently released their new Aero range which includes an Ultra Dark mousse, this will give you all the benefits listed above, but will dry on the skin much quicker, and therefore enable you to throw on your clothes and go about your day without that sticky armpit feeling!

I Want to Look Like I Have a Natural Tan

There’s no better feeling than fake tanning before an event, only for everyone to ask you where you’ve been away! An amazingly natural-looking option is the Isle of Paradise Glow Clear Self Tanning mousse range. I absolutely love this range in all shades but I personally use the Dark option. An amazing feature of this tan is that it is based on violet tones, which work excellently on fair skin. This is because violet cancels out orange on the colour wheel, meaning you will achieve a very natural looking glow, without the dreaded orange hue.

This tan is a clear tan, which almost looks like water in the bottle. It feels extremely light on your skin and it goes on clear, which is amazing if you like to tan in the morning and then go about your day without the tell-tale guide colour, giving your fake tan game away. However, the drawback of a clear fake tan is that if you are a beginner to using fake tans, it can be much easier to miss spots, as you do not have a guide colour to show you where you’ve been.

This tan retails for £15.00 on amazon, which I believe is an absolute steal for how many uses you get. Another thing I love about the Glow Clear range is that the tanning bottle is clear so you can see how much product you’ve used- it goes much further than you think! There have been many times I have tanned my entire body with this product, and then been shocked to see that the volume has only gone down a centimetre or so. For this reason I think this is probably the best value tan I could recommend.

I Want to Be Tanned as Quickly as Possible

If you have fair skin, but don’t have 6 hours to wait around for your tan to develop, you should definitely try the St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse. This nifty product will give you a great golden glow in a short time frame. Leave on for 1 hour for a light tan, 2 hours for a medium glow, and 3 hours for a dark deep tan. You can of course leave it on longer than this too, but 3 hours is more than enough for a gorgeous natural looking glow on fair skin.

This tan works slightly different to the other tans, in that you apply it, wait your designated time, wash it off, and then it will start to develop. This means that its great to throw on for an hour or 2 before the start of your day, shower, and then your tan will develop while you go about your usual daily activities, with no sticky layer!

This tan retails for £33.00, (Although it’s currently on offer here for £21.34!) which does seem like a lot of money, and it is! But this is the price you will pay for the sheer convenience of this great product.


I have tried many fake tans over the years, and experienced my fair share of disasters due to having such a fair complexion, and the 3 products listed above have continually proven to be the best in the market for me personally. These are the 3 tans I use most frequently, and recommend to all friends who comment on my glow.