17 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 naturel most of the time, but whenever I want to look like I've seen the sun, 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.


(Image credit: @joannacoops)

Best overall: Tan-Luxe The Water Hydrating Self-Tan Water

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Body Butter

Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Body

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Glow Drops

Tanologist Express Tan Tinted Mousse

Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse

St. Moriz Professional Instant Medium Self Tanning Lotion

Coola Organic Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist

Vita Liberata Tinted Tanning Mist

Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion

Tan Luxe Super Glow SPF 30

Clarins Self Tan Instant Gel

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.