If you have fair skin, you might be afraid to spend time in the sun building up a natural tan, because when you usually spend time in the sun, you end up burning, turning red, peeling, and not even having a tan to show for it!
Can pale people tan? Pale people, or those with fair skin, can definitely tan, but there are a few things they need to remember. Their skin does not have good sun protection, so they will need to use sunscreen, and tan for shorter periods in the sun to prevent burning.
You are able to tan fair skin, but you just need to be more careful when doing so, as fair skin is much more prone to burning in the sun, so you need to be patient when building a tan.
Keep reading to find out more on how to get a tan with fair skin, and the safest way to do so!
Why Is It Difficult To Tan With Fair Skin?
Fair skin contains less melanin than darker skin. Melanin is a substance in your skin that protects it from ultraviolet radiation from the sun and reduces damage done to the skin. Melanin is a dark pigment, which absorbs light that hits your body, stopping UV rays from penetrating your skin.
People with fair skin have less melanin, so they have less protection from UV damage, and less chance of developing a darker tan so easily.
For this reason, those with pale skin have to take more precautions when out in the sun, to reduce the chance of their skin becoming burned and red, and not tanning.
How To Get A Tan With Fair Skin
Now that you know why tanning with pale skin is a risk, you can have a look at all the ways you can tan pale skin safely, to develop a darker, sun-kissed tone without looking like a red lobster!
Here is how to get a tan with fair skin, and some extra tips to remember:
It might seem counterproductive to use sunscreen when you are trying to tan, but if you have fair skin, it really is essential, and you shouldn’t spend any time in the sun without some.
You need to remember that sunscreen does not prevent you from tanning, but it will prevent you from burning, which is key to developing a beautiful golden tan.
Protecting your skin with sunscreen gives your skin the chance to increase melanin, which will give you a darker tone. Without sunscreen, you will land up burning and damaging your skin, and no tan will develop.
You do not need a very strong sunscreen, an SPF30 would be ideal to use.
If you have pale skin, you are never going to be able to build a tan in one day. Spending too long in the sun hoping to build up a dark tan in one go will just lead to a very painful red sunburn.
Start off with only spending 15-20 minutes in the sun when you are building your base tan. A base tan is essential to build up first, as it offers some protection to your skin and gives you a good base to build your darker tan on from there.
Once your skin has built a base tan, you can increase your time in the sun by 5-10 minutes from there on. Do this slowly as well to ensure that your skin does not land up burning.
If you are planning on using a tanning bed, then you should only spend around 3-4 minutes in the bed to start. Gradually increase this time by a minute or two as your tan develops.
Don’t Rush Your Tanning
No matter how excited you might be to develop a dark tan, you have to take it slow. You cannot sit in the sun or visit a tanning bed every day, as you will just land up severely damaging your skin.
You have to give your skin some time to rest between tanning sessions, and don’t think that you will notice a tan the moment you leave the sun. It can take a while for your skin to darken, so there shouldn’t be a rush to jump back into the sun!
Use Tanning Products
Because of your fair skin, you might need a little kickstart to your tanning process! One of the best things you can do to tan pale skin is using a tanning accelerator (we suggest trying this one from Dark Tans Exclusive because it’s for indoor or outdoor use).
Tanning accelerators will help your skin tan quicker in the sun, and they will also help to hydrate and nourish the skin.
The extra nourishment from the tanning lotion will help prevent your skin from drying out, and it will go a long way to prevent your skin from burning and peeling.
Tan accelerators also contain ingredients that help your skin make the most of the UV rays, which means you will build a tan up quicker. However, make sure to still use sunscreen over this for extra protection.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
You need to work on your tan even after you are out of the sun or tanning bed. The best tan will develop if you keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. You should moisturize your skin at least twice a day, intensely nourishing it.
Spending time in the sun, no matter how many precautions you take, can be very drying on your skin, so moisturizing your skin is so important to keep it healthy, and to prevent it from peeling and losing the tan.
Keep A Tanning Schedule
While we do not recommend tanning too often or every day, you should still keep a tanning schedule to build up your tan.
You will first need to build up a base tan by spending short amounts of time in the sun, and once you have done this, you can safely start increasing the time you spend exposed to UV rays.
We recommend waiting at least 3-4 days between tanning sessions, to give your skin time to recover from being in the sun, and to give yourself the chance to moisturize your skin intensely before it goes back under the rays again!
Extra Tanning Tips For Pale Skin
Here are a few more tips for tanning with pale skin:
- Make sure the sunscreen you use is a broad spectrum, to protect against both UVB and UVA rays.
- Make sure to avoid the midday sun, as this can be too harsh for your skin, even when you have sunscreen applied. Depending on where you live, the most dangerous times of day to tan could be between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Take note of areas of your skin that are more sensitive or which are covered more often, as these are likely to burn more in the sun. Pay extra attention to covering these with sunscreen.
- If you want to enjoy a tan while building up your natural tan, you could use a self-tanner or a bronzer to give yourself a temporary tan. Make sure to choose a shade that matches your skin tone, and which won’t be too dark.
Can Pale Skin Tan?
Pale skin can tan, but you really do need to be careful when tanning fair skin. Due to the lower amount of melanin found in fair skin, it burns more easily and is more difficult to tan.
You need to ensure you protect your skin from burning by wearing sunscreen when tanning and limiting your tanning sessions to short periods in the sun every few days.
Keep your skin moisturized and hydrated between tanning sessions, and if you feel like your skin is burning rather than tanning, then you might want to give it a break before the next tanning session and cut down your time spent in the sun.
If you are planning on using a tanning bed, speak to the tanning technician about how to safely and slowly build up a tan on your pale skin, and they should be able to create a tanning schedule for you.
For pale skin, you need to tan slowly and gradually, trying to tan too quickly will only do harm!
Does tanning permanently darken your skin?
Tanning does not permanently darken your skin. It darkens the outer layer of your skin, which sheds over time, so the tan will only last as long as your skin takes to naturally exfoliate and regenerate.
The general time that a tan lasts is a few weeks.
How do you tan brown instead of burning?
To tan brown and not turn red and burn, you should use sunscreen when tanning. This takes the harmful edge out of the sun’s rays and gives your skin more chance to tan than burn. You should also limit the amount of time you spend in the sun, as too long can lead to burning.
Avoid midday sun too, as the sun might be too strong during this time, and your skin will burn much easier.