What is the best tanning bed lotion for fair and pale skin?
Should you use bronzer?
These are just two of the topics we’ll address in the reviews today.
We’ll also discuss the best tan accelerator for fair skin, plus how to use tingle lotion to go darker.
Do tan beds work on pale skin?
Yes, in most cases, people with pale skin can tan in a tanning bed.
The exception is very pale people who burn without tanning. They are in the Type I category on the Fitzpatrick scale. These are primarily people with red or blonde hair and blue or green eyes.
If you’re concerned that you may not be able to tan, you can take a quick test at a salon to see if you are Type I. Chances are, you already know from experience. In that case, you can still enjoy tanning bed lotion with bronzer.
Natural bronzers like DHA will give you a sun-kissed appearance without UV rays from any source.
Otherwise, a fair-skinned person can get a tan if they build it slowly. This means short sessions in the tanning bed, like 3 minutes at a time.
When you use an indoor tanning lotion, it stimulates melanin production to produce color faster and deepen it as much as possible.
It’s also crucial to wait a couple of days between sessions for the skin to recover.
How to avoid sunburn if you have pale skin
Sunburn isn’t just uncomfortable. It’s a sign that your skin is damaged (1).
It can take a few hours for the redness and heat to become noticeable. It’s a sign of increased blood flow as the body tries to remove damaged skin cells.
Sadly, a tan is also indicative of skin damage. Melanin, the pigment that gives it the brown color, is trying to protect the tissue from further injury.
It usually takes 24 to 48 hours to develop a tan after UV exposure. Then, the extra melanin provides a small amount of protection, perhaps SPF 2.
Repeated UV exposure leads to photo-aging like wrinkles and dark spots. It’s also linked to skin cancer.
If you know all this and you’re still determined to tan, it’s crucial to defend your skin. The first step is to avoid sunburn by limiting the time you spend in the tanning bed or outdoors.
Even if you’re in a hurry to get dark, it’s no good getting sunburned. Instead, stick to 3-minute sessions or 15 to 20 minutes outdoors.
Also, always wear tanning lotion. It keeps the skin moisturized and provides antioxidants to guard against premature aging. The tanning accelerators, like tyrosine, make the most of every second catching rays.
If you tan outdoors, you can wear sunscreen and still get bronzed.
How to tan as fast as possible with fair skin
Dry skin doesn’t bronze as quickly. Therefore, you need to exfoliate and moisturize before tanning.
Removing the dead skin and keeping your body hydrated is the very best way to tan fast.
It’s also vital to ensure even coverage if you’re using a tanning lotion with bronzer.
Next, don’t allow yourself to burn. Set a timer and quit when the time is up. Don’t push it, or you’ll end up with a sunburn and have to postpone further tanning.
To compensate for the short exposure, use a tanning intensifier. Lotions with melanin, tyrosine, and carrot oil promote pigment production to give you a rapid bronze.
Finally, wait until you have a base tan before you increase your tanning time. If you need to look less pale ASAP, use a bronzer or self-tanner.
Best Tanning Bed Lotions for Fair & Pale Skin in 2024
Tanning bed lotion with bronzer
DHA is the best-known bronzer for pale skin. It interacts with protein to create a natural-looking golden tan.
It doesn’t work instantly, however. It takes anywhere from one hour to overnight to develop the color. During that time, you shouldn’t go swimming or take a shower.
Then, the fake tan will last for a few days or up to a week.
There are also cosmetic bronzers that create an instant sun-kissed glow. But those will wash off as soon as you get wet.
Modern tanning lotion formulas with bronzer rarely streak or turn the skin orange. Just be sure to clean your hands after applying the lotion. Go easy on elbows, knees, ankles, and knuckles so that they don’t go extra dark. (You can cheat by putting a little regular lotion on those spots first).
Australian Gold Sinfully Black 15x
Australian Gold’s 15x formula is perfect for pale skin as it never looks unnaturally dark.
It contains excellent skin conditioners like Monoi de Tahiti and hemp seed oil. It also has a yummy fruity fragrance.
The instant bronzers make you swimsuit-ready as soon as you apply it. Then, the tanning accelerators deepen your natural color while you soak up the rays.
Australian Gold, CHEEKY BROWN Accelerator
The Cheeky Brown Accelerator is suitable for indoor and outdoor tanning. It has a tasty coconut fragrance and a non-greasy texture.
It soothes the skin and keeps it healthy with vitamins A and E.
Natural bronzers like henna and caramel provide a healthy glow from the moment you apply it.
Ed Hardy Hollywood Bronze Bronzer
Get the best of all worlds with this bronzer, tanning accelerator, and moisturizer with anti-aging ingredients.
It contains an amino-peptide complex that diminishes wrinkles. At the same time, it helps you build a healthy-looking tan as rapidly as possible.
Not only will you darken in the tanning bed, but the bronzers will take you deeper.
Hempz Dark DHA Bronzer
If you have sensitive skin but want to look as tan as possible, try this lotion.
It contains DHA, the sunless tanning ingredient. But it also calms the skin with chamomile and oatmeal.
The lightweight texture sinks in quickly and softens the skin with mango seed butter.
Somewhere on a Beach Tanning Lotion
You know that typical sunscreen fragrance that makes you think you’re on vacation? This tanning lotion has it. It’s called Tropical Tantini.
Wear it indoors or outside, it doesn’t matter. It will still maximize your tanning time.
It has bronzers (but not DHA) to make you look golden regardless. Plus, coconut and walnut oil will keep your skin touchably soft.
Pro Tan Beautifully Dark Quadruple Action Bronzing Accelerator
Pro Tan uses a proven tanning ingredient called Unipertan. Not only does it speed up the formation of a natural tan, but it also reduces the amount of DNA damage from UV exposure (2).
That’s why it’s not surprising that users are delighted with how fast they bronze while wearing this lotion.
It also has a 4x bronzing blend, ideal for pale skin. It’s just enough color to look sun-kissed from the moment you apply it.
The lotion has a tangerine and amaretto vanilla fragrance.
Tanning bed lotion without bronzer
You don’t need bronzer to tan (unless you can’t tan at all). Many people prefer to see their own natural color develop.
Also, without bronzer, you’ll never need to worry about streaking or looking orange. The lotion won’t make tattoos look muddy.
You also won’t have to wash your hands after putting on tanning lotion.
TANOVATIONS Oh Pale No Skin Perfecting Dark Intensifier
One of the best tanning lotions for pale skin has no bronzer in it. Instead, it’s loaded with tanning accelerators.
It has a funny name and a serious formula. Potent tanning intensifiers like the Quad Tyrosine Blend push melanin production to the maximum.
Meanwhile, the BB cream formula perfects the skin’s appearance. It has white birch and dragon fruit to soothe, soften, and turn back time. Body Fit makes cellulite less noticeable.
There’s also white charcoal to unclog pores and soak up excess oil.
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
One of the best-selling tanning lotions of all time is Coconut Kisses. It helps tanners of any skin tone develop rich natural color.
It has a relaxing coconut and vanilla aroma and plenty of skin-protecting ingredients. While it moisturizes with coconut milk and cocoa butter, it prevents tattoos from fading, too.
Furthermore, Nouritan and Melactiva encourage the skin to synthesize melanin at a rapid pace.
Devoted Creations Blonde Obsession
We’ve all seen someone who spent a lot of time in the sun and now has leathery skin to show for it. Combat that problem with this anti-aging tanning lotion.
It’s enriched with technology like Ideal Lift, Body Fit, and RevitaFit that tighten and firm the skin. They also correct discoloration.
What’s more, the lotion neutralizes the after-tanning burned odor. It maintains the appealing aroma of Sweet Black Lotus instead.
Ocean Potion Dark Tanning Intensifier Lotion
Here’s an indoor/outdoor tanning lotion that gets rave reviews. Some say it smells like Fruity Pebbles.
It has tea tree oil, aloe, and antioxidants to promote healthy skin. But it also kicks pigment production into overdrive with tyrosine.
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator
This is the non-bronzer version of the tanning accelerator at the beginning of the reviews. It’s surprisingly economical, although it comes from a major brand in the tanning industry.
It has the classic creamsicle scent of vanilla, orange, and coconut.
Aroma aside, what’s essential is that it significantly speeds up tanning. Reviewers from around the world expressed satisfaction with the results.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s fortified with vitamins and natural oils that keep the skin soft and healthy.
Ed Hardy Peace & Harmony Tanning Intensifier
Those with tattoos tend to prefer tanning lotion without bronzer. This one comes highly recommended.
It’s good for pale skin because it helps develop a golden tan after only one or two sessions.
Happily, it’s kind to sensitive skin as it’s free of nuts, gluten, and parabens.
Hempz Dark Tan Maximizer
This lotion is one of the best options for very sensitive skin. It’s labeled hypoallergenic because it’s free of artificial fragrances, parabens, gluten, and nuts.
Tanners with eczema and psoriasis report success using it.
It’s based on hemp seed oil and oatmeal, which soothe and moisturize the skin.
The texture is lightweight and non-greasy. It doesn’t feel oily or tacky after it absorbs.
But it’s not just moisturizer. It contains tanning intensifiers to stimulate melanin, too.
Devoted Creations #TANLIFE Hydrating Tanning Butter
Here’s another hypoallergenic tanning lotion. This one has tattoo ink protector and anti-aging benefits.
It moisturizes with shea butter, an excellent ingredient for sensitive skin.
Also, it has proprietary technology like Advanced Matrixyl Synthe 6 that’s proven to smooth wrinkles.
Just Nutritive Tanning Bed Lotion
Go all-natural with a tanning bed lotion that avoids artificial ingredients. It has no synthetic color or fragrance.
The label reads like a recipe for a tasty dessert. There’s coffee extract, kokum and mango butter, and hazelnut oil, among other exotic nutrients for the skin.
Users say it smells a little like coffee and it makes their skin feel delightful. Some use it as a daily moisturizer, not just for tanning.
Tanning bed lotion with a tingle
Pale people hit plateaus when they tan. They can only go just so dark.
Unless, of course, they use a tingle lotion.
Tinglers send the blood rushing to the surface. Yes, it feels hot, but it works. It pushes pigment production to the limit and deepens the tan.
Just be careful to avoid applying tingle lotion on sensitive areas. Wash your hands afterward, and please don’t pick up pets or children until after your shower.
Swedish Beauty Pink Diamond Tanning Lotion
Scandinavians know all about how hard it is to bronze pale skin. That’s why this lotion isn’t just a tingler. It also has instant bronzers.
Then, it moisturizes, firms the skin, and wards off damage from UV exposure.
It’s not cheap, but you can share it. Luckily, it has a citrus fragrance that appeals to both women and men.
Supre Cherry Bomb Red Hot Dark Accelerator
Anyone who’s been tanning for a while knows about the Cherry Bomb. It’s red-hot intense, and it really works.
When you wear it, you’ll feel it every second that you’re in the tanning bed. After the session ends, you’ll look like you have a sunburn. But the redness will turn into a deep, dark tan as one day fades to the next.
It’s recommended for experienced tanners only. You can blend it with a non-tingle lotion the first time to dampen the effects.
All but the palest of pale skin can tan. It just takes the right tanning bed lotion and patience.
Go slow and take good care of your skin. Then, you’ll end up with a gorgeous tan to enjoy.
If you discovered your new favorite tanning lotion today, tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/tanning/risks-tanning Content current as of April 26, 2019, accessed October 20, 2020
2. https://repository.tudelft.nl/view/tno/uuid:286ee326-fa25-46bb-a75c-07aa68c8665d DNA damage, repair and tanning acceleration, by A. A. Vink, et al., published in 1999 in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, accessed October 20, 2020