Best Tan for Pale Skin


Happy Friday everyone! Today’s post is a little different to my usual, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. A question I get quite a lot from fellow redheads and girls with pale skin, in general, is: what tan do I use to get a ‘natural’ looking glow? Being completely honest, I really do not like fake tan. In fact, I could probably say that I hate it. I guess it’s due to my fear of ending up the same colour as my hair. The struggle is, well and truly, real. When I was younger, being as pale as I am used to really bug me. I’d go on holidays with my family and try my very best to get a tan, but not surprisingly, I would always come home the exact same colour plus a few new freckles here and there. My friends never believe me when I say that I genuinely will never tan (even if I’m in the sun for weeks on end) but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Beach Stripes in Miami - Stripe Shirt Dress - South Pointe Pier

So instead of seriously damaging my skin trying to hopelessly tan, I started looking for a gradual tan which would look as natural as possible. An easy task, you would think, but anything with even the slightest tint of ‘orange’ was a NO! I’m not lying when I say that I have tried SO many different brands and have been continuously disappointed by products claiming they were the best tan for pale skin. All I really wanted was a very light gradual tan which would just give me a healthy glow. Nothing over the top, just something to take away the stark whiteness. It’s not too much to ask, right? So after about 5 years of testing and trying, I can very happily say that I think I have FINALLY found a winner.


Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Gentle Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the Irish tan brand, Cocoa Brown by Marrisa Carter. About a year ago, I tried out their 1-hour tan (on recommendation from my sister) and unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. So many of my friends wear it and literally cannot say enough good things about it, so I gave it a try. It’s such a fantastic tan, but it just wasn’t right for me. Then recently, I discovered their Gentle Bronze gradual tanning moisturizer. I had heard so so much about this fanastic Irish brand and was always so jealous that it didn’t suit me initially so when I spotted this particular one from their range in a Ricky’s NYC store here in New York, I gave it a shot. Again, I won’t lie, I didn’t have high hopes because I had been so disappointed by tans in the past, but FINALLY things had changed. At last, I found a gradual tan which suited my skin tone. It’s easy to apply, dries in really quickly and it feels like you’re just applying moisturizer which I love.


As you know, I spent last weekend in Miami and let’s face it, nobody enjoys being pale on the beach so I applied a coat of the Gentle Bronze the night before I went and it turned out perfect. Haha I’m sure some of you are thinking ‘she still looks like a ghost’, but trust me, this slight glow is what I’ve been trying to achieve for years. It’s actually funny that I had to come all the way to New York to discover an Irish tan brand which I now absolutely love. I’m also wearing this tan in this outfit post and in all my Miami posts (Here, Here & Here) so those should give you an idea of how it looks on.

The main reason I wanted to do this post was to help some of you who might be in the same (pale) boat, so hopefully this has been useful. Let me know if you have any more questions about it.

Have an amazing weekend!

Stylishly Yours,

Erika x


  1. This sounds like a really great product to tan naturally pale skin! Thanks for the recommendation!


  2. Great post Erika, I never tan either – just a lovely shade of tomato red ;) x

  3. Maeve Ni Cheallaigh

    16 May

    this is fantastic I have the EXACT same problem whereby I am whiter than white and no matter what I do I simply will NOT tan….dying to try this now!! Thanks Erika

    Any tips for starting your own blog…I am so nervous to venture into the big bad real world! X

  4. You look great, I definitely see the glow.

  5. Shannon Forrest

    16 May

    Thank you so much for this post!!! Im pasty pale too & love it but would ❤ a nice little ‘glow’ at times. Going to buy it straight away!! xx

  6. Laura Canavan

    17 May

    Fellow red head and cocoa brown lover here! I actually love the one hour tan but fund the gentle bronze stains my hands really badly when applying …any tips?

  7. Síle@ Any idle sunday

    17 May

    Ha ha that’s so funny to finally try an Irish brand in the US – Glad you found something that suits though, I have really similar colouring so will have to try this out – lovely and subtle! I do struggle with applying gradual tans neatly though – any tips?

    xx Síle

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Retro Flame
Please Add Widget from here