How to get a tan with fair skin

I Finally Found Out How To Get A Tan With My Fair Skin

For all my grownup life, I remember being tanned one time. Just one time only. I didn’t plan my tan, but I got tanned anyway when I spent a week or so in one of the beaches in the North Coast, Egypt with my family in the summer of 2015. I remember my skin was smoother, some freckles started to appear on my face. And I started to resemble my mother more because she has a full face of freckles. My hair was looking lighter, and my appearance looked slimmer than usual. I wanted to stay like that for the rest of my life. I thought I will if I spent a week on any beach rolling in the sand and splashing salted sea in any summer season. 

The next summer, I planned for nothing, hoping to get the best tan in a week with my fair skin. The only thing I got was burning this summer. I tried to give it good research on how to tan on the beach without burning and introduced my naive self to all the sunscreen, and tanning oil products that I could use to get real, proper results this time. It didn’t happen. 

Since that time, I started to read more about the skincare in general. And I thought I knew how to tan because on this age, while there’s nothing you can not find on the internets, you kinda feel like everything is in the reach with a few thumbs moves. I haven’t tried to tan again. But I started using spray SPF when I’m by the pool or at the beach. I wasn’t paying much time to get a color since it’s sold in a bottle now in all the beauty stores if I decided to get it, which is a healthy tanning option. For the last three years, all my beaches visits are either very short, or I’m under the shades because I wasn’t caring much to get any color. 

Until this summer. I have had access to a pool all this summer, I thought it would be a good time to relax, don’t post on Instagram, read, and eat fruits all day long. All combined, I also suddenly wanted to get a tan!

How to get a tan with fair skin

I stayed for about an hour every day by the pool reading, and sunbathing. Using my La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Spray SPF 50+ and let the sun do its magic and dress me in some golden color. On day one, nothing happened. Day two, nada. Day five, a week, I wasn’t getting any color, and I wasn’t burning either. I started to use the Hawaiian tropic dark tanning oil on top of the spray, nothing happened. I used the tanning oil alone (not proud about this part but I was desperate) nothing happened. I couldn’t believe it, I don’t get any color. And that was absurd for me because I remember at any sunny day when I spend more than four hours running some errands on the streets, I get some awful tanning line on my feet, my neck, and my arms. Now when I lay, fully committed in the blasting sun, to get one glowy layer of skin, I get nothing! I was challenged, and I wanted to get to the roots of it. 

I searched on how to get if you are with fair skin, and found out that some people just don’t tan. Since I’m fair, and I’ve had a hopeless experience of tanning once, I knew that it wasn’t the answer that I was looking for. Of course, everyone can tan! I dug deeper and found out that some people use natural oils for tanning. I thought I would give it a try, and immersed myself in an extra virgin olive oil. Not only did I smell weird, but this oil prevented the sun like 100+ SPF shield (it doesn’t has any). I didn’t get any tan, but I got softer skin this day. So if you are looking for a natural oil that will prevent your sensitive skin from burning, olive oil is your answer. You will still have to apply sun protection though. So it’s useless in our case.

I started seeing girls in deep tan running not only around my Instagram feed but also IRL. I wanted to know what they used, but every time I either miss to ask whom I know or get little weird to ask such a basic question to whom I don’t. I stayed in the unknown until last week, the last week of summer for me. 

In one helpless morning while I was getting my quick workout before running to the pool to know what will happen in the Crazy Rich Asian world. I noticed a lady who had great, layers of golden color. She seemed like she knows the root of this thing. I liked it enough to approach her like nobodies business. She was also in her mid-40s, so I thought it would be like learning from someone who knew enough about the whole thing, and my ego will stay in place if I asked someone her age, and not someone my age. She looked Lebanese, and I know that they master the beauty stuff in our part of the world. 

“Hi, I just wanted to say that you look great. Your tan is just amazing. I don’t know how to tan!” just like that the words spilled from my mouth and I couldn’t stop it. I played defeat. I believe this was my first time to play it like that. Her face lightened up and she thanked me for the words, I proceeded, “What do you use? Seriously, How to get the best tan in a week because my OOO days are certainly over. I tried different products and …” 

She cut me with one word. “Baby oil. I only use baby oil.”

The words came to my ears as if you just throw a bucket of ice on me. As I was still shockingly looking at her evenly glowy arms. I wanted to make sure that I heard it right and needed to investigate more. “Only baby oil, nothing else?” As if I didn’t hear the words coming out of her mouth the first time. “Are there any special hours you dedicate for tanning, how long should I tan outside? “When I finish my “sport” (which translates to workout), I lay in the sun for about an hour.” She continued, and then changed the subject, and we talked about workout stuff. I greeted her, and then I left thinking about one word that Google didn’t display to me in the first two search pages. Baby oil

The first thing I did was yes, of course, getting some baby oil. I sprayed myself with SPF (sunscreen first, this time, I was so afraid because the product doesn’t have any protection), then marinated myself in the brand-new discovery. Was I about to witness that the best sunscreen for fair skin to get a tan is not even relatable to a sunscreen or tanning oil products? It’s rather a $3.99 moisturizing product that never crossed my mind to use.

In just five days, one hour every day, I simply got tanned. I went from pale to Ms. Bronzé Bronzage. I couldn’t believe the results I got from the first day, a line started to shape around my bathing suit. On the third day, I started to see a change in my face. My neck and face are the last parts that get color. I couldn’t believe that such a basic, simple product I would find everywhere would be able to do that fast. If Google knows this, why it hid such valuable information from me? Why I never find anyone talks about it? Is this like the mere fact that we are all humans, and everyone acknowledges it already? If you’re with fair skin, is that what you use? Do you know more on the subject! I know you do. Share for the pale person on me that want to know it all. And thanks in advance. 

  1. So im definately pale with freckles and red-ish hair and i too have experienced a nice tan and lightened hair once in my life and im 31 yrs old! My question is this: Is it necessary and if so how crucial is it to use sunblock before the baby oil and what spf is the minimum and whats too much??

    1. Hi Marah! I believe for any skin condition, sunscreen is a must, not only around the beach but for everyday and re-apply every two hours. The more spf number the better, so around 50+ is best even tho it makes very little difference in terms of risk of sun damage than sPF 30, but with your skin condition, you probably will have more chance to get burned. so it is the most important step. Build your tan gradually and consult your dermatologist for more advice x

  2. This has given me some sort of hope..!
    I’m not freckly. I’m just pale with mouse brown hair.
    I do remember a photo of me in a Starbucks at 17 years old and I had a nice olive tan but since then doesn’t matter how much exposure I have absolutely nothing happens and certain areas just burn!!
    I’m now 28 and it’s the thing I dread each time summer comes and I have to expose my pale blue legs with showing hair follicles and spider veins to the world whilst I see all these other girls with flawless golden legs walk past!!
    I’m thinking has my skin moisture levels been an issue – I see to get very dry arms and legs in the summer …
    I’m wondering again does the level of spf affect this process and also it’s it a technique you can use in a sun bed?

    I’m so desperate to tan it’s the confidence I need

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