Light ivory skin can be very beautiful and sophisticated, but sometimes we want to look tan! Tanning is a great look for the summertime, a beach trip, or anywhere where there is a lot of sun. A tan can not only be aesthetically appealing, but can give your skin a natural barrier to sunburn if you are normally very prone to it. But how can you get a tan if you are normally very pale?

The key to tanning from a pale complexion is going slow. If you are going for a natural tan, you should spend only a small amount of time (15-45 minutes) out in the sun without sunscreen every other day or so. Gradually, you can work that time period up and slowly build your tan. Be sure never to sunburn! Sunburns cause irrevocable skin damage and cause peeling, which exposes virgin skin, meaning you have to start all over again.

Sometimes, natural tanning just isn’t enough for some of the palest skin tones. This is why I recommend tanning salons with tanning beds.

Tip: If you are very fair, NEVER get a spray tan! It will look unnatural and orange on light skin tones.

Tanning beds are a great way to get a tan for pale skin because it is controlled. If you choose a great tanning salon (be sure to check out reviews online, and make sure they are certified), the tanning professionals there can help you to assess your skin type and make a recommendation for a tanning routine. In general, you will find out your skin tone through a series of survey questions about the nature of how your skin tans and burns, and in accordance with the results of that survey, they will recommend tanning options for you.

In general, you will end up starting at a very small period of time (3-5 minutes) in a tanning bed, and then slowly work your way up. Many salons even offer a full schedule that spans over a month or more, detailing how to get a tan even if you are very pale.

There are many tan accelerating lotions available at most tanning salons. Try out one with bronzing properties, because this will help along your tan with pigments within the lotion. Make sure you ask for a streak-free lotion; otherwise, you might end up with orange streaks on your skin.

It is important to note that though the salon will give you suggestions, you can ask for any amount of tanning you want. Do not go over their recommended times. Even if you are trying to monitor your skin temperature during tanning and think, “I’ll just get out if I feel myself burning,” it can sometimes be difficult to tell in a tanning bed if you are burning or not.

You will probably not see a significant difference in your skin tone after the first few sessions, but after that, you will start to notice. Slowly, your skin will grow tanner until you have a full base tan, at which point you can move on to higher times and stronger beds, and get as tan as you like!

Also, it is important to note that tanning beds have been proven to have adverse health effects, including wrinkling skin and the possibility of skin cancer, if they are used frequently over a long period of time. Though tannings beds can be very useful for events or vacations, they should not be used regularly over a prolonged course of time. Remember, your safety and health should always be number one - and pale can be beautiful too!


Tan vs. Fair