Best Tanning Oil for Fair Skin

Best Tanning Oil for Fair Skin featured photo

If you’re on the hunt for the best tanning oil for fair skin you can get your hands on right now, be sure to stop to consider a few important factors first: its moisturizing and hydrating properties, SPF, and water-resistant formula. I have the best and favorites listed and reviewed below so you won’t have to go through the tedious work of researching. If you want to find out what made the cut and how these mentioned factors came into play in my decision process, go ahead and have a read!

Getting a natural tan under the sun has always been an appealing way to achieve a healthy glow and tan to start off the summer (or any season, really). I have a fairly natural tanned skin tone but I never forget to give myself still enough sun protection whether I’m going through my daily life or getting myself a tan and healthy glow. I also stumbled upon the wonderful world of tanning oils. Tanning oils can help accelerate the tanning process or even give you sun protection while laying under the sun.

When you have fair skin, tanning and achieving a healthy glow – instead of an orange to reddish burn that hurts – can be tough. This is where tanning oils can come in handy. Tanning oils can help accelerate the tanning process and sometimes even help protect your skin. Basically, the right tanning oil for your needs and your tanning needs will help you achieve your desired tan while preventing your skin from burning.

If you’re ready to dive in on the best of the best tanning oils for fair skin, get ready as I list them all down below!

What are Tanning Oils and What are the Benefits of Using One?

Before we get right on to our list of favorites, let’s first discuss what exactly tanning oils are and why people turn to them to get that beautiful and healthy tan and glow.

Tanning oils have been a favorite go-to for people who love getting tans – especially pale and fair-skinned folks. When applied to skin in hopes of achieving a glowing tan, tanning oils attract the sun’s UV rays so that they focus on skin that has been applied with the oil. This intensifies and accelerates the process of tanning, allowing users to achieve the color they’re going for. This is a great choice for those who don’t seem to tan as fast and as nicely.

Now that we’ve got the what and how out of the way, let’s now proceed to the benefits tanning oils provide its users.

Benefits of using tanning oils:

  • Intensifies tan and color achieved
  • Speeds up process of tanning
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Protects skin from drying and other external factors
  • Helps achieve an even tan

We hope what we’ve discussed above helped you decide whether or not tanning oils are right for you and if it is what your skin needs.

Do I Need SPF When Tanning?

When your purpose of getting out in the sun is to get a beautiful glow and tan, you might be asking whether or not you still need SPF along with your tanning oil. Generally, sunscreens and sunblocks are a must wherever you are – whether you’re staying indoors or outdoors. When you are heading out to achieve a tan for yourself, it’s especially important that you have a layer of SPF to protect your skin.

Your purpose of going outside to get a tan is to get some color on your skin and not to get burned. Pale and fair-skinned people are more prone to burning and are less likely to get a tan, that’s why most turn to tanning oils.

There are some tanning oils that are formulated with SPF. This means you get a layer of protection along with using the tanning oil. If your tanning oil doesn’t have SPF in its formulation, you can always opt to apply a separate sunscreen and sunblock before the tanning oil. Just make sure you let the SPF layer dry completely first before proceeding to apply the oil.

Our Top Picks for the Best Tanning Oils for Fair Skin

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickSun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning OilSun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning OilCheck Price
Best for Sensitive SkinDr. Mercola Natural Tanning OilDr. Mercola Natural Tanning OilCheck Price
Best for Quick TanAustralian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil SprayAustralian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil SprayCheck Price
Banana Boat Protective Dry OilBanana Boat Protective Dry OilCheck Price
Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning OilHawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning OilCheck Price

The Best Tanning Oil for Fair Skin

1. Sun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning Oil – Our Pick!

Sun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning Oil

Our top pick for the best tanning oil for fair skin is the Sun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning Oil! Formulated with SPF15 and with the promise of broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, you are sure to get the best of both worlds – tanning and protection – with this one. With this in your hands every time you step out into the sun, you allow your skin to achieve a beautiful tan and glow without the painful and usual burning. You also tan faster with this one but still get protection against the sun’s UV rays.

Aside from accelerating the process of tanning, this Sun Bum tanning oil promises to moisturize and hydrate your skin in the process and while you are under the sun. Whenever you use this for your tanning needs, your skin is sure to feel soft and moisturized the next day. Many have found this to be a great tanning oil to gradually build up tan and color. It also allows users to achieve tan faster and better but still do it with protection.

Formulated with aloe vera, green tea butter, and argan, coconut, and avocado oil, this Dark Tanning Oil ensures that your skin is nourished, protected, and silky smooth with every drop. The formula is also water-resistant for up to a few minutes and is reef-friendly. This is hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without gluten, parabens, and oxybenzone so you are sure you are only using the best not only for your skin but also for the environment.

The tanning oil promises to completely soak into your skin after a few minutes from application. It doesn’t leave a greasy feeling behind and it’s not as oily and greasy as other tanning oils would leave your skin. You also get faster results that aren’t orange at all, rather a beautiful and glowing tan. This has a fresh scent to it – its original summer scent – though not everyone is a fan of. Overall, this Sun Bum tanning oil allows you to gradually build up your tan with a moisturizing and nourishing sun protection.

Pros:

  • SPF15
  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Allows skin to tan without burning
  • Moisturizes and hydrates skin
  • Skin is nourished and softer
  • Protected tanning
  • Water-resistant
  • Reef-friendly and cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic and vegan
  • No gluten and parabens
  • No oily and greasy residue

Cons:

  • Scent is not for everyone

2. Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil – Best for Sensitive Skin!

Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil

Our next favorite tanning oil for fair skin and top choice for the best for sensitive skin is the Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil! If what you’re looking for is sensitive skin-friendly tanning oil that will not only help you achieve that beautiful tan but at the same time will not cause unwanted allergic reactions, you might want to check this one out. Formulated without artificial fragrances or potentially toxic ingredients, you can rest assured that this is very safe to use on those with skin sensitivities.

The tanning oil has been formulated to be hypoallergenic and vegan, assuring you that you only get the best of the best for your skin with every drop. There are also zero emulsifiers, chemical preservatives, and parabens in its formulation. This effectively helps your skin tan naturally without the use of chemicals and dyes. This is very gentle on sensitive skin thanks to its natural pool of ingredients.

Formulated with a perfect blend of 9 ingredients, this Dr. Mercola tanning oil promises to nourish, moisturize, and protect your skin as you lay out under the sun for that rich tan. This leaves your skin feeling and looking fresh and moisturized with every use. The consistency of the oil also allows your skin to absorb it naturally and fully, leaving you without any oily or greasy residue. It’s also waterproof for a good amount of time, allowing you to enjoy water activities.

The tanning oil is 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly, and reef-safe – you’re not only getting the best for your skin but also the best for the environment. The formula is also unscented, so for folks who are also sensitive to scents and fragrances, this might be a good choice for you as well. Just a reminder that this contains no SPF and is not meant to be a substitute for your sunscreen or sunblock. Other users have also shared that the tanning oil can feel thick upon application but will feel better on skin once fully absorbed so give your skin more time to do so.

Pros:

  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • No artificial fragrances or toxic ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic and vegan
  • No emulsifiers, chemical preservatives, or parabens
  • Nourishing and moisturizing
  • Protects skin as it tans
  • No oily or greasy feeling after full absorption
  • 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly, and reef-safe
  • Unscented formula
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • No SPF
  • Can feel thick on application

3. Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray – Best for Quick Tan!

Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray

The next item on our list of the best tanning oils for fair skin and our pick for the best for quick tan is the Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray! If what you’re on the lookout for is a tanning oil that will help you achieve fast tan results, you might want to hold on to your seat for this one. Conveniently formulated with accelerated bronzers such as melanin, caramel, walnut shell, and carrot oil, this helps you achieve immediate and natural-looking tan and glow to get you ready to flaunt your body for the summer.

Infused with the antioxidant tea tree oil, this Australian Gold tanning oil promises to nourish your skin for a smooth and fresh feeling anytime you want to get that tan. It also has aloe vera to soothe, hydrate, and moisturize your skin on top of accelerating the skin’s tanning process. This allows you to achieve a base tan rather quickly than others. With this in your hands every time you step out for a tan, your skin is sure to glow and will tan better without the painful burn.

A quick reminder that this tanning oil does not contain SPF to provide you adequate sun protection but would rather provide you with a quicker brown tan. If you decide to go with this one, you can always add a layer of your favorite sunscreen or sunblock and proceed with much caution. Aside from getting the brown and beautiful tan you’re craving for, your skin also appears and feels soft and smooth with every use.

The Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier is quick-absorbing, promising to not leave you with any oily or greasy residue after application and after it has absorbed into your skin. It also applies nicely and feels good on skin thanks to the lightweight formula. It also has the brand’s signature Cocoa Dreams scent with hints and mixes of coconut, orange, and vanilla.

Pros:

  • Ideal for quick and instant tan
  • Infused with accelerated bronzers
  • Immediate and natural-looking tan
  • Nourishing and soothing
  • Hydrates and moisturizes skin
  • Skin is softer and smoother
  • Quick-absorbing without oily residue
  • Lightweight formula

Cons:

  • No SPF

4. Banana Boat Protective Dry Oil

Banana Boat Protective Dry Oil

The favorite Banana Boat Protective Dry Oil also made it into our list of the best tanning oils for fair skin! This is infused with SPF15 so you are assured you are protected as you lay down under the sun getting that perfect tan and color. With this to help you in your tanning adventures, you are sure to have broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. This tanning oil allows you to achieve a sun-kissed glow and tan without getting burned as you usually would.

Formulated with the natural extracts and oil of coconut, banana, and carrot, this tanning oil leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. You can also trust this one to be extremely nourishing and moisturizing with every spray. It’s also a very lightweight formula and feels very light on skin. It doesn’t leave you with a greasy residue and oily hands due to application.

This Banana Boat oil spray has been made to be water resistant for up to about 80 minutes so you can easily engage in water activities. It’s also formulated to be reef-friendly so you’re sure you protect not only your skin as you are tanning but also the environment. This also applies and feels nicely on skin so you are comfortable every time you would have to use this. Just a quick reminder that some users have shared that this can seem to run out faster than expected – something that can be outweighed by all its advantages.

Pros:

  • SPF15
  • Broast spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Allows tan without burning
  • Skin is silky smooth
  • Nourishing and moisturizing formula
  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Water resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Reef-friendly
  • Applies and feels nice on skin

Cons:

  • Can run out fast

5. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil

The last item that made it into our list of our favorite tanning oils for fair skin is the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil! This tanning oil allows you to achieve a nice and gradual tan. Your skin will appear with a deep and rich tan that looks dewy and glowing. It’s also been formulated with skin conditioners and exotic moisturizing ingredients to nourish your skin on top of helping you achieve that beautiful tan.

Using this every time you step out for that glow and tan is sure to pamper and drench your skin with the moisture it craves and needs. This keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated while you lay under the sun for some relaxation. Your skin also appears and feels soft after every use. It leaves your skin glowing without being overly greasy as this efficiently soaks right into your skin minutes after application.

Formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate, this is a reef-friendly product you can use with much peace of mind that you are using a tanning oil that’s not only good for your skin but is also good for the environment. It has a classic coconut scent to it that for sure will bring you right to the tropics. Remember though that this one also doesn’t have an SPF and can be thick and greasy when too much is applied.

Pros:

  • Allows for a nice and gradual tan
  • Gives skin a deep and rich tan
  • Skin-nourishing formula
  • Provides skin with much-needed moisture and hydration
  • Skin feels and looks softer
  • Glowing skin without greasy feeling
  • Reef-friendly
  • Absorbs and soaks into the skin
  • Classic coconut scent

Cons:

  • No SPF
  • Can be greasy when too much is applied

How to Tan Safely

A lot of people would agree that there is really no 100% ‘safe’ way to tan under the sun. Any kind and any level of sun exposure can have unpleasant effects in the long run. But this also doesn’t mean you can’t make it a safer and comfortable experience.

Take it slow

If you are fair-skinned or one who easily burns, you might want to take it slow being out in the sun to achieve a glow and tan. When it’s your first time getting a tan under the sun, start with only a few minutes first before doing it for hours. You should also allow breaks in between days you lay out in the sun. This will allow your skin rest in between days of sun exposure.

SPF

Even if your purpose of going out into the sun is to get a tan and some color on your skin, it’s still important that you wear a protective layer of SPF. If your tanning oil doesn’t have SPF in its formula, you can always apply a layer before applying your tanning oil. Remember, sunscreens only block UV rays – it does not prevent your skin from producing melanin and being tan.

Listen to your skin

To make sure your skin doesn’t burn and react poorly, be sure to listen to your skin and to what it says. Any signs of burning or reddening should be enough to tell you to go back inside and rest your skin. Listen to what your skin needs and be sure to do things accordingly to what it needs.

How to Choose the Best Tanning Oil for Fair Skin

Making sure you get the best and right tanning oil for your skin’s tanning needs is key to achieving the perfect tan in a way that does not damage your skin.

Moisturizing and hydrating properties

The first thing you want to be looking at in tanning oils are its moisturizing and hydrating properties. When you plan on laying under the sun for quite some time, you are also at the risk of drying your skin. This is why it’s important that you get something that can also help you moisturize and hydrate your skin in the process.

SPF

Another important thing that should be playing a role in your decision is SPF. When you are laying under the sun to achieve a tan and glow, it’s still important that you protect yourself with a layer of sun protection. When you can, it’s good if you can get a tanning oil that has SPF in its formula. But if there comes an instance that the best tanning oil for your needs doesn’t have SPF, you can always use it along with your go-to sunscreen.

Water-resistant

The last important thing you should be taking into consideration in looking for your new tanning oil is whether or not its formula is water-resistant. If you plan on engaging in water activities, then it’s extra important that you get something that is water-resistant.

Conclusion

Tanning oils have always been a favorite go-to by tanning enthusiasts because it effectively helps users achieve tans faster and better than ever before.

Our pick for the best tanning oils for fair skin is the Sun Bum SPF15 Dark Tanning Oil! It has SPF15 and provides broad spectrum protection whenever you lay out in the sun. It’s also formulated to be hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free so you only use the best of the best while getting a tan! Our pick for the best tanning oil for sensitive, fair skin is the Dr. Mercola Natural Tanning Oil thanks to its natural and toxic-free formula. It’s also 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly, and reef-friendly for your peace of mind while in use. And if what you’re looking for is a quick and instant tan, then you might want to check out the Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray! This has been infused with accelerated bronzers to give you an instant and natural-looking tan.

We hope our review and guide above have helped you decide on your new tanning oil for your skin’s needs. Happy tanning!