18 Self-Tanners That Don't Leave My Fair Skin Orange or Streaky

I am so naturally pale that when Twilight came out, kids in my class used to ask if I sparkle in the sun (spoiler: I basically do). I love my naturally fair skin and am more than happy to leave it au naturale most of the time, but whenever I want to look like the sun and I have actually met, I'll reach for a self-tanner to give me a natural-looking, sunkissed glow.

Over the years, I have tried many self-tanners that don't live up to the hype. When it comes to applying self-tanner, I am absolutely abysmal at making my tan resemble anything other than Colby-Jack cheese. This is even more pronounced when a formula ends up leaning more orange than you were hoping for. After tons of test-driving, I've found some of the best self-tanners that actually work for me and don't make me look orange, streaky, patchy, or too tan. 

If you have fair skin like me, you'll want to opt for a tanner with a hydrating formula, which promotes the longevity of your tan and help lessen your risk of streaks. It's also generally safer to go for a gradual or customizable formula (though a select few express options work quite well for fair skin, too). Keep reading for the best self-tanners for pale skin.



Personally, I'm a big fan of this deeply nourishing and moisturizing body butter. I have dry skin, so any rich lotion immediately makes my skin feel more quenched, and a lotion self-tanner is super easy to apply (and doesn't require a glove). This formula also has color-correcting properties to make sure your tan looks natural, not orange. 

If there's one product I love above all others, it's in-shower body lotion. It's the easiest and smartest way to apply body lotion, in my opinion. That being said, I was skeptical of a wet-skin self-tanning body lotion, because, in my mind, that translated to tons of streaks. In practice, though, this lotion delivers a buildable, gradual tan that looks so natural on the skin. It has nearly 6000 five-star reviews on Amazon for a reason. 

This bronzing water feels light and refreshing when you glide it onto the skin. After one application, it develops to a light, natural-looking tan. The formula also hydrates. 

Who doesn't love a multitasking product? This self-tanner imparts a natural-looking glow while also defending skin from environmental aggressors and pollutants. A blend of oils (like black currant seed oil) works with vitamin F to keep skin glowing and healthy.

Self-tanning wipes can be tricky, but these are by far the best option on the market if you like the ease of a pre-soaked pad. Infused with exfoliating ingredients, it brightens skin while it delivers a streak-free, even tan. 

Here it is—the most customizable way to self-tan. Add anywhere from two to 12 drops in your foundation, skincare, or body lotion for an all-over glow that is as tan as you want it to be. 

This self-tanner is an ideal option for fair skin, because it develops in four to eight hours but gives natural, medium coverage. Argan oil also deeply hydrates thirsty skin. 



Swap your usual body lotion for this tan-boosting one and watch a subtle glow develop as you continue to use it. As your skin gets more tan, aloe vera and vitamin E also help soften and nourish, which in turn gives your tan more longevity. 

The secret to this formula's flawless tan is all in the base color. It's developed with a green-grey base to curb orange tones, ensuring you look naturally bronzed. 

This nourishing tanning water encourages you to choose the formula you want based on your skin tone, not how deep you want the end result to be. Light/Medium is for people with red or pinkish undertones that burn easily, while Medium/Dark is formulated for olive or darker tones that tan easily. 

May express tanning products can end up looking too harsh on extremely fair skin, but St. Tropez's formula delivers a seamless glow. If you want a subtler and natural-looking color, shower after just one hour of letting this self-tanner develop, and wait up to three hours for a deeper (but still natural-looking!) bronze. 

The nice thing about this tanning lotion is that is has a wash-off guide color, so you can ensure your tan won't end up patchy. It's also moisturizing, leaving skin soft. 

Don't let the words "oil mist" scare you—this self-tan won't leave your skin feeling greasy or oily. In fact, it absorbs nearly instantly and leaves skin with an even-looking glow. 

After applying this tanning mist, it dries within two minutes. Not only is this perfect if you're tanning before putting clothes on, but it's also helpful if you decide you want your color to be a bit darker—you can apply more right away, if so. 



Shea butter, sweet almond oil, and safflower oil work to hydrate and nourish skin while this self-tanner imparts a non-streaky, natural-looking bronze. 

Get a (faux) tan while shielding your skin from sun's harsh rays. This sunscreen is SPF 40 and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, but thanks to self-tanning ingredients, you'll end your day in the sun with a safer tan.

This Clarins gel has long been a favorite among the beauty editor cohort. It's easy to apply, long-lasting, and makes you look tan instantly while never appearing orange or blotchy. 

This mousse formula is also extremely hydrating, so your skin will feel rejuvenated while you tan. It's also easy to use, with a bronze indicator that lets you know how to customize your color.