Are you curious to know the best self tanner for redheads? Self-tanning is a smart way to sidestep sun damage to your skin while still getting that bronzed glow of your dreams.
Things get slightly knottier if you’re a redhead, though. You’ll need to look for a self-tanner that will work well with your natural coloring but not bring out the more orange tones. You’ll also have the issue of freckles to contend with.
Today, we’ve attacked this problem from all angles and brought you 7 of the best self-tanners for anyone with fair skin and red hair.
We’ll dive straight down into our product showcase right now then we’ll round out with some tips tailor-made for redheads looking to tan safely, easily and effectively without needing to hit the beach.
7 Best Self Tanners for Redheads
1. St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
If you’re a redhead looking for a self-tanner that won’t leave your hands soiled and your skin all streaky, St Tropez serves up the solution with this light bronzing mousse.
The formula goes on best when applied with the mitt you can pick up separately at a very reasonable price. Using this applicator leads to even coverage and reduces the chance of streaking.
Suitable for all skin types, even fair and sensitive, you’ll get noticeable results without any harsh chemicals and absolutely no need for sun damage.
To complete a winning package, you’ll get up an uplifting scent to boost your mood as assuredly as your new tan will.
- When you use the applicator mitt, you’ll get streak-free application
- Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates with naturally-derived DHA
- Invigorating fragrance in place of self tanning smell
- Some transfer to clothing
2. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Lotion
If you’ve got pale skin or you suffer from any kind of sensitivities, you’ll want to take it steady with self-tanners. This completely natural formulation from Earth is the ideal solution.
Rather than a welter of questionable ingredients, you’ll get just a handful of powerful organics including green tea, coconut oil, and shea butter.
You can ensure your skin is wonderfully plumped up and hydrated as the base for a thorough and long-lasting tan. Thanks to the lack of chemicals and the judiciously chosen organic ingredients, Beauty works particularly well for redheads.
Even if you’ve got fair skin or skin prone to sensitivities and flare-ups, this self-tanner shouldn’t irritate you in any way. Although this lotion remains a little greasy after application, coverage is pretty even.
- Powerful organic ingredients including green tea, coconut oil and shea butter to hydrate your skin perfectly
- Ideal for pale and sensitive skin
- Layer on the color one application at a time for a subtle tan
- Dries quiet greasy
3. Tan Towel Total Body Tan
If you want a self tanner tailor-made for use on the go, these tan towels are available to suit most skin types and tones.
The towelettes come pre-infused with the proprietary solution giving you access to a deep tan even if you’ve got fair skin. The formula goes on see-through and dries quickly, too.
You’ll get a thorough and even tan without any harsh chemicals likely to inflame your fair skin.
- Convenient travel tanning solution
- Works strongly with all skin types including fair skin
- Water-based solution that couldn’t be easier to apply
- Reasonably expensive
4. Banana Boat Summer Color Self Tanning Sunless Lotion
Banana Boat has tweaked the formula of their self tanning sunless lotion. You might end up losing out a little on the depth of tan so make sure you’re happy with subtler results. If you’re expecting a radical infusion of color, you’ll likely end up disappointed.
Your skin will be left feeling smooth and wonderfully nourished after using this vitamin-rich lotion. This, in turn, will help your tan last for longer.
Shoot for the light/medium variant if you’re a redhead looking for some understated assistance with your tan.
- Aloe vera and vitamin E to plump up your skin
- Comes in light/medium version perfect for paler skin
- Dries quickly with no oil and little chance of streaks
- New dye-free formula doesn’t produce as powerful results
5. Sally Hansen Airbrushed Legs Fairest Glow Lotion
You might find, as we explored right here that getting a good tan on your legs can be hard work. Take the sting out of the task completely with this legs-centered solution to imparting a natural glow.
The dual action of this lotion is such that you’ll get a nice and gently sun-kissed look while also covering up any flaws and blemishes marring your skin.
Since this is not a self tanner as much as a makeup product, you’ll be able to easily work in the lotion to achieve a consistent coverage.
- Masks freckles and imperfections with even and glowing coverage
- Tones ideally suited to fairer skin
- Brings about a glow even in the palest skin
- Stains clothing for up to 6 hours after application
6. Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer
We’ve tried to serve up something for all redheads today and a common pain point is wanting a little more glow than redness to the face.
As with any moisturizer, make sure your skin is not likely to flare up too much. A number of users have complained that this product triggered a bout of acne.
As long as your skin could use a boost of hydration, natural ingredients combine to serve up a real glow to your skin even if it’s pale and freckly.
- Protection against UV-A and UV-B rays
- Keeps your skin soft and perfectly supple in readiness for a healthy, glowing tan
- Multiple tones to suit even the fairest skin
- Some problems with skin breakouts
7. COOLA Sunless Tan Body Lotion
COOLA is a Californian company producing organic products and supporting local communities at the same time.
If you’re a redhead looking for a boost when it comes to getting a healthy and natural-looking tan, COOLA comes up trumps.
Packed with moisturizing ingredients, your skin will first be set up to receive a tan optimally. You can ease this process along further by making sure your skin is shaved and exfoliated.
The darkening ingredients like caffeine ensure that your fair skin won’t just be glowing but will look like you’ve just returned from vacation.
- Organic moisturizer including caffeine to enhance coloring
- Shea butter and baobab oil deliver even more hydration
- Completely cruelty-free and suitable for vegans
- Not the cheapest self tanner on the market
With those reviews put to bed, it’s time to round out with some handy hints to streamline your buying decision.
Simple Self-Tanning Tips for Redheads
Use a Tinted Moisturizer
One highly effective method of tanning pale skin is taking advantage of tinted moisturizers.
The foundation of any lasting tan is skin that’s properly hydrated and ready to take on and sustain a tan.
Not only will moisturizing prepare your skin for tanning, it also helps that tan to stick around for longer.
If you’re looking at sunless tanning, chances are you want to avoid putting your skin through the ravages of the sun’s UV rays. It makes sense, then, to give your skin every helping hand you can.
Tinted moisturizers allow you to kickstart the tanning process while developing a base tan and wonderful glow right from the get-go.
Exfoliate Before Self-Tanning
Exfoliation is arguably the most critical prep if you’re looking for a tan that’s even and will last the season.
Pay close attention to any areas like the knees and elbows that tend to be dry.
Thoroughly exfoliating the day before your self tanning session, you’ll maximize the chances your tan will go on streak-free and will stay the distance.
Why does exfoliation matter so much, though?
In most self tanners, the active ingredient is DHA. This reacts with the dead skin cells in the layer of skin known as the epidermis. When an area has too many dead skin cells, the DHA acts more aggressively in that area. This leads to a darkened patch of skin that makes for a blotchy look.
Wax or Shave
If you’re tanning your legs with a self tanner, make sure you wax or shave, ideally 24 hours before your session.
By removing all the hairs on your legs, you’ll give yourself the cleanest possible foundation to apply the lotion to. You should reduce the chance of streaking considerably if you smoothen up your legs.
Also, hairs can act as a minor barrier to the tanning lotion so get rid of that hair!
Note, too, you should hold fire on shaving for at least 24 hours after self tanning. Shave too soon and you might pull away the top layer of skin where the tan is kicking in.
How About Covering Freckles?
Your object here shouldn’t be to completely cover freckles. When you sunbathe, freckles get even darker. This gives you more reason to take the self tanner route if you’ve got red hair and plenty of freckles.
The most effective self tanners will help blend your freckles in rather than completely covering them up.
Skip the Deodorant
Before you break out the self tanner, stop using deodorant and other beauty products.
Deodorant, like makeup, can act as a barrier when you’re using self-tanning lotion. They can also lead to streaky tans.
Get The Shade Right
You need to make sure the self tanner you’re looking at works well with the natural tone and shade of your skin.
With fairer skin, you should look for soft mixtures bringing out the best in your abundant freckles and striking red hair.
Sidestep self tanners with red and gold tones in favor of dark browns. This will help to enhance the red tones in your hair and skin while making the tan look natural.
Make absolutely certain you don’t use tanners with red bases either. This is likely to lead to that telltale orange look with redheads.
Sheer or medium color self tanners are a safe bet with paler skin. You need to make some sort of compromise with the depth and darkness of the tan you’re angling for. If you keep your expectations reasonable and opt for healthy glow rather than explosive Hollywood movie star, you should find a self tanner to suit.
Try a patch test first rather than going all-in with a full application.
Luckily, applying a self tanner is straightforward. You can easily carry out this job at home rather than needing to head to the salon.
Most self tanners should give you a week of more of lifespan but you can help prolong the life of your tan with a few simple tweaks.
Make sure you moisturize daily to keep your skin properly hydrated and nourished. You’ll get the natural glow of healthy skin and the best possible canvas for lasting self tanning coverage.
If you use a moisturizer with SPF, you’ll stop any kind of sun damage from impairing your skin or your tan. Self-tanning is far safer than basking under the sun’s rays. Self tanners with moisturizing properties can accomplish the same job as sunbathing with far less damage to your skin.
Well, we hope you’ve seen that there’s no reason to skip the self tanning if you’re a redhead. All you need is to take a little time to choose a product to suit your skin tone and freckles and you’ll have a sun-kissed look to die for.
And remember, having red hair, pale skin and freckles is actually a real blessing. Rather than attempting to hide that skin away, take the time to find a self tanner that will work alongside your skin tone. Just because you’ve got pale skin, that’s no reason at all to go without a natural sun-kissed look.
Bookmark our site as your go-to resource for all things tanning-related and come back soon as we’ve got plenty more on our slate to round out the summer. See you soon!