the best fake tan for pale skin (on a serious budget!)

I wasn’t sure whether or not to write this post. I mean, I’ve written a bit before about being pale and proud, and how I don’t think people should feel pressured into changing the colour of their skin just to suit other people’s preferences, and I stand by that. Honestly, I feel like I’m constantly seeing comments about how such-and-such a celebrity “should get a tan”, or how X blogger should have used self tanner before she wore that dress, and it drives me crazy. How could anyone think it could EVER be OK to criticize the colour of someone’s skin? Or tell them they should change it? It depresses the life out of me, and seriously makes me despair for humanity, but that’s possibly another post for another day.

Today, meanwhile, I’m talking about the best fake tan for pale skin – because yes, although I’m perfectly happy with my pale skin, and don’t feel any pressure whatsoever to change it just to please other people, I’m not beyond hitting the (fake tan) bottle occasionally either. When I say “occasionally”, I mean VERY occasionally – I’m much too lazy to keep up any kind of a routine with this, and this week was the first time I’ve used fake tan in over a year, but I happen to think I’ve discovered the best fake tan for pale skin, so I figured I should probably share that piece of information, so the rest of the pale-skinned population can benefit from it too, should they desire.

So, what is this wonder?

It’s ASDA’s own brand self-tanner, and it’s £3.50 per bottle. Weren’t expecting THAT, were you?

best self tan for pale skin

The best fake tan for pale skin: well played, ASDA

Like a lot of people, I’ve experimented with various fake tans over the years, ranging from the suspiciously cheap to the eye-wateringly expensive. This one is by far my favourite (which is why I was absolutely AMAZED to find they were still selling it: it’s been a while since I bought it, and me liking a product is normally a sure sign that it’ll be instantly discontinued), but I suspect the reason I like it is probably the reason a lot of other people would hate it: it’s because it doesn’t give you too much of a tan, despite being marked as the “medium” strength on the bottle.

That might sound a bit strange to some of you, because why bother using fake tan if it doesn’t make a huge difference to your skin tone, but the thing is, when you’re super-pale, a very dark tan probably isn’t going to work out too well: it’s really hard to maintain a drastic change of colour, and it’ll possibly also look a bit strange if you’re naturally very fair. I’ve never really wanted to look tanned, either – my main aim here is to simply “take the glare off”, as I think of it: i.e. to add just enough colour to my legs (which are often the only place I bother using it: like I said, LAZY.) to stop them reflecting light like the moon does, as soon as I step into the sun.

This does that pretty well: I really should have taken before and after shots to show you the difference, but I always think of these things too late, so the above picture is the “after”, and honestly, it’s not THAT much different from the “before”. There’s enough of a difference for me not to be mistaken for a member of the Cullen family, though, which is all I really ask of a fake tan, so it’s good enough for me.

The other reason I like this product is that it has an instant guide colour, which makes it a kind of cross between a traditional fake tan, and a self tan makeup. The product goes on brown, which not only allows you to see where you’re applying it, and make sure you don’t miss a bit, or end up with streaky legs (this is such a great feature, seriously: I’ve used loads of products which go on clear or white, and I almost end up patchy because of it…), but also gives you an instant colour. I much prefer this to the gradual tanners I’ve used in the past, because I can never be bothered waiting days on end for the tan to develop: I like to just slap it on, and instantly see a difference. Although there is an instant effect, however, the “permanent” tan then develops over the next few hours, and generally lasts for three or four days, I find. Oh, and it doesn’t have that horrendous “fake tan” smell, either, which is possibly the best bit of all.

(It will still stain your clothes, though, if you let it rub off on them. Not that I’VE ever done that, obviously. Ahem.)

So: the best fake tan for pale skin? I think so – although it’s not like I’ve done a conclusive study or anything like that, so if you know of a better one (and it costs less than £3.50), do tell!

8 Comments
  1. Ah boo, won’t be able to get it in Ireland 🙁

    I love Coco Brown tan – there’s a couple of different options which range from barely there all the way up to “have you been baking yourself in an oven” The night to day tan is great. You slap it on, it comes up with a colour straight away so you can go straight out but the lasting colour develops underneath it so when you shower in the morning you’re left with a lovely natural colour.
    There is also a one hour tan – put it on and you can shower an hour later and the colour has developed.
    It’s about €6 so not dear and it’s developed by an Irish woman so no weird orange hue because she understands pale skin and (I am open to correction on this point) I believe she has eczema so wanted to develop a tan that wouldn’t gather in the dry patches caused by it. I have eczema and it’s the only tan that doesn’t do this to me.
    Well worth a go if you can get your hands on it.

  2. I feel your pain, people always laugh at me when I say I’ve put fake tan on just to take the edge off just how white I really am. I never want to look tanned I just don’t want to look glaringly white! I’m definitely going to have to give this one a try, especially at bloomin’ £3.50 AND no bad smell? Win win. Thanks Amber!

    Made In The 1990’s.

  3. Ok it costs £7.99 so it’s not cheaper but the Rimmel Sun Shimmer mousse is great. If you ever need another one to try, I’d recommend it. I prefer the mousse over any other form (in light)

    http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-London-Sun-Shimmer-Self-Tan-Mousse-Medium-Matte-150ml_1643019/

  4. I dont really have the patience for a cream to work. i usually get a spray tan. Checkout {REDACTED} – a mobile beauty therapy service. They have insured experienced therapists and come to your home for service.

    1. This is an instant tan, as I said in the post (so you don’t have to wait for it to work), and I don’t allow advertising in my comments section, so have removed your link. If you’d like to advertise on the site, you’ll find information on that here: http://www.foreveramber.co.uk/media-kit.html

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