• 10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More) 5

10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin in 2022 (Jergens, Beauty by Earth, and More)

Does your skin burn easily and is it difficult for you to develop a tan? Self tanners for fair skin can help you achieve a natural-looking glow without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays. If you're worried about turning orange or looking like you've applied too much bronzer, our top 10 list and buying guide will steer you in the right direction.


Although choosing a self tanner for fair and light skin comes with unique considerations, Jergens Natural Glow for fair to medium skin tones is our top choice. It gradually builds up color and adjusts to your natural skin tone for a more natural look. Plus, Jergens Natural Glow doubles as a daily moisturizer. See the rest of our favorites and read about the pitfalls to avoid when choosing a self tanner for fair skin tones.   

  • Last updated: 05-19-2022
Table of Contents

10 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin

When choosing a self tanner for fair or light skin, it's important to check the shade on the label, look at the type of formula and how it's applied, and consider your general skin care needs. Not all self tanners are made the same and choosing one that's made for medium or darker skin tones can produce an embarrassing result!

1

JergensNatural Glow

$10.99

Size4 oz.
Development time3 days
Formulated withGlycerin, tea tree leaf extract, mango seed butter, vitamin E
2

Beauty by EarthSelf Tanner

$30.99

Size7.5 oz.
Development time6 hrs.
Formulated withWater, organic aloe leaf juice, organic shea butter, botanical extracts
3

Fake BakeFlawless Self-Tan Liquid

$27.93

Size6 oz.
Development time4-6 hrs.
Formulated withGlycerin
4

Tan TowelSelf Tan Towelettes

10 pack

$24.00

Size0.25 oz., 7 x 9 in. each
Development time2-4 hrs.
Formulated withTea tree oil, cucumber extract
5

St. TropezSelf Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

$42.00

Size8 oz.
Development time4-8 hrs.
Formulated withGlycerin
6

HempzYuzu and Starfruit Touch of Summer

$14.12

Size6.76 oz.
Development timeNot specified
Formulated withShea butter, chamomile, coffee extract, hemp seed oil
7

St. TropezGradual Tan Classic Lotion

$25.00

Size6.7 oz.
Development time4-8 hrs.
Formulated withAloe leaf juice, seaweed extract
8

NeutrogenaMicromist Airbrush Sunless Spray

$8.97

Size5.3 oz.
Development time2-4 hrs.
Formulated withWitch hazel
9

SkineralsCalifornium

$26.99

Size8 oz.
Development time8-12 hrs.
Formulated withIndian gooseberry, acai berry, goji berry, fig extract
10

SuaveVisible Glow Self Tanning Body Lotion

3 pack

$12.95

Size7.5 oz. each
Development timeNot specified
Formulated withGlycerin

Compare the Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin

Image
1
Jergens Natural Glow 1

Jergens

2
Beauty by Earth Self Tanner 1

Beauty by Earth

3
Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tan Liquid 1

Fake Bake

4
Tan Towel Self Tan Towelettes 1

Tan Towel

5
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse 1

St. Tropez

6
Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Touch of Summer 1

Hempz

7
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Lotion 1

St. Tropez

8
Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Spray 1

Neutrogena

9
Skinerals Californium 1

Skinerals

10
Suave Visible Glow Self Tanning Body Lotion 1

Suave

Name

Natural Glow

Self Tanner

Flawless Self-Tan Liquid

Self Tan Towelettes

Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

Yuzu and Starfruit Touch of Summer

Gradual Tan Classic Lotion

Micromist Airbrush Sunless Spray

Californium

Visible Glow Self Tanning Body Lotion

Features

Build up a Gradual Tan With Daily Moisture

Buildable Self Tanner With Vegan Ingredients

Quick-Drying Spray With a Built-in Color Guide

Easy to Apply and Good for Touch-Ups

Adjusts to Your Skin Tone

Sunscreen With Tanning Cream

Everyday Tanner With Moisturizer

A Spray Mist That's Easy to Apply

A Little Goes a Long Way

Multipack Set Good for Daily Use

Price$10.99$30.99$27.93$24.00$42.00$14.12$25.00$8.97$26.99$12.95
Size4 oz.7.5 oz.6 oz.0.25 oz., 7 x 9 in. each8 oz.6.76 oz.6.7 oz.5.3 oz.8 oz.7.5 oz. each
Development time3 days6 hrs.4-6 hrs.2-4 hrs.4-8 hrs.Not specified4-8 hrs.2-4 hrs.8-12 hrs.Not specified
Formulated withGlycerin, tea tree leaf extract, mango seed butter, vitamin EWater, organic aloe leaf juice, organic shea butter, botanical extractsGlycerinTea tree oil, cucumber extractGlycerinShea butter, chamomile, coffee extract, hemp seed oilAloe leaf juice, seaweed extractWitch hazelIndian gooseberry, acai berry, goji berry, fig extractGlycerin
Link

How to Choose a Self Tanner for Fair Skin - Buying Guide

When selecting a self tanner for fair skin, first, check the label to see if it's made for light or fair skin tones. Second, think about where you're going to be applying it and the different formulas, such as lotions, mists, and mousses. Third, consider your individual skincare needs like hydration and sensitivity. 

Check the Amount of DHA

Check the Amount of DHA

DHA, or dihydroxyacetone, is the active ingredient in self-tanning formulas. It produces a color when it interacts with your skin. Self tanners that contain less DHA or are labeled as light can work better for fair skin since they result in subtle, gradual color development.


Self tanners that build up color over a longer period like three days to a week can help. Sometimes these self tanning formulas are touted as gradual or daily moisturizing formulas. You might also consider color-correcting formulas that adjust to individual skin tones. 

Be Careful With Fast-Acting and Deep Color Formulas

Be Careful With Fast-Acting and Deep Color Formulas

Formulas that help you achieve a deeper color can work for fair skin tones if the self-tanner is left on for a shorter amount of time before washing them off or showering. You can check the color development times on the labels, but a typical range is between six and 10 hours before you can shower or expose your skin to soap and water.


Fast-acting tanners develop color more quickly. Follow the directions for light skin tones when using this type, as leaving it on for too long can result in an unnatural look. Normal development times for fast-acting formulas range from under an hour to four hours. You can also visually check the color development on your skin every hour. 


Since it can be hard for self tanning products to not look fake orange on lighter skin tones, you'll want to test the product first. Try applying it to an area of your body that's normally covered, like the top of your legs or arms. If you're shopping online, check out customer reviews or photos to see if they were able to get a good shade.

Think About How It's Applied

Think About How It's Applied
Self tanners come in a variety of application types, such as traditional lotions, mousses, sprays, and towelettes. Think about which type may be easier for you to apply and result in less cleanup and more precision. If you're new to self tanning, sprays and towelettes may offer more convenience and fewer chances of mistakes.

You may want to use towelettes for your face and a mousse or lotion for your body if you're more experienced with self tanners. Mousses and lotions require more attention to detail during the application process. They also require handwashing in between applications so you don't develop a dark color and streaks on your palms (or wear gloves).


Although many people want to use a self tanner on their entire body, others want to apply one to their face. Look for formulas made especially for application to the face and those made for the body if you want to achieve a tanned look on both.

Check Drying Times and Directions

Check Drying Times and Directions

Think about drying time and check the directions on the label. Some formulas dry within a minute or two while others take a few hours before you can lie down on sheets, wear clothes, or expose the skin to soap and water. You may also want to check the label to see how many applications are recommended to achieve results and how long they last.


Some self tanners last for up to a week or a little longer with a single application. Others may last for a few days and require you to reapply more frequently. Some formulas require daily applications to build up color. Also, check color development times as these can vary from a few hours to up to eight. 

Consider Moisturization, Anti-Aging, and Unique Skin Needs

Consider Moisturization, Anti-Aging, and Unique Skin Needs

When purchasing a self tanner, you may want to consider more than just your skin tone. For example, if the skin on your face is oily, look for a face tanner that also fights breakouts, controls oil, has hydroxy acids, and is non-comedogenic. For face tanners, check to see if the formula has been dermatologist recommended.


If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a hypoallergenic formula or one that contains natural ingredients like shea butter and lavender oil. In some individuals, these ingredients cause less irritation. If you're worried about skin repair and radiance, check to see if the formula contains vitamins E and C.


Some self tanners target signs of aging and disguise cellulite. You can look for products that contain amino acids and moisturizing ingredients like coconut and avocado oils for this. Other formulas act as a daily moisturizer with ingredients like shea butter and aloe.

More Products to Help You Have Fun in the Sun

Taking care of fair or light skin doesn't mean you have to stay out of the sun completely. See our suggestions for making sure your skin is protected and stays healthy!

Author: Helen Akers


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