EU customers please note you may have to pay import VAT on your order. All shipping times are estimates. For urgent orders please contact us for an express courier quote.

How To Get A Real Tan If You’re Fair, Pale, or Just Can’t Tan!

March 06, 2020


We often get asked if very fair-skinned people can get a real tan. Yes! We know it’s possible. We’ve seen them out there.  Scandinavians, Germans, people who are naturally incredibly pale, parading around with stunning golden tans. How do they do it? We got hold of some of these clever tanned goddesses and they revealed their tanning secrets for the fair-skinned… read on!


1. Burning is your biggest enemy- Always use sun protection

Spending too long in the sun and not using protection will only get you burned. And once that happens, it’s all downhill from there.

Some may argue that after they burn they become tanned  a few days later. This may be the case if you have olive skin, but if you are fair, then chances are you have damaged your skin and dried it out. All you will get is skin flaking off in a lizard-like fashion, not to mention be in a lot of pain for days.  And then you will have to start the process of trying to tan all over again.

You might think ‘But how can I tan if I’m using sun block?’

The answer to that is that protection doesn’t stop you tanning, it stops you BURNING. If you protect yourself from burning, you are giving your skin a good chance of producing melanin*.

The bottom line is: the more comfortable your skin is, the happier it will be, and the better it will tan!

*melanin: the pigment produced by your skin that gives it a tanned colour.


2. Take your time, and build your tan up slowly

Everyone reacts differently to the sun, but here are some guidelines to get you started:

If tanning in the sun, start with only 15-20 minutes in the sun on your first session. In your following tanning sessions only increase your time by 5-10 minute increments, and monitor your skin regularly to make sure you aren’t starting to go red and burn.

If tanning on a sunbed, start with 2-3 minutes. Space your sessions and don’t ever go every day. As your tan develops you can increase the number of minutes you are on. Again, only increase your time on gradually, and only in 1-2 minute increments at a time.

3. Let your skin rest

Remember: Tanning, or the production of melanin in your skin cells, continues for a few hours after you have been in the sun/ on a sunbed. So you don’t need to sit in the sun/ on a sunbed until you see a colour develop for you to know that you have gotten a tan. Your cells have already been stimulated to start the tanning process, and by giving your skin a rest after exposure (i.e. sitting indoors or in the shade after tanning in the sun) it will benefit tremendously in getting you the tan you’re after. By evening, you will be browner than you were during your tanning session.


4. Get a kick-start

Using tan accelerators without a doubt speeds up the whole process of tanning, and kick-starts your skin’s natural tanning process. If you’re short on time or want to see results faster, this is the stuff for you. If tanning in the sun, apply it over you SPF cream. If tanning on a sunbed, apply before going on. We recommend Carrot Sun's Papaya or Coconut tan or Watermelon accelerators as the best aids we’ve come across for building that base tan surprisingly quickly.


5. Feed your skin whilst tanning

In order to produce melanin, your skin needs the melanin building block l-tyrosine. Carrot Sun tan accelerators contain l-tyrosine, hence applying them to your skin over your SPF cream means that you are feeding your skin directly with exactly the stuff it needs to tan.


6. Create the perfect tanning conditions, right on your skin

High quality tan accelerators contain vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that nourish skin, creating optimal tanning conditions for your skin. All Carrot Sun products contain these quality ingredients.


7. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

Not only is it essential to keep your skin moisturised after tanning, but during tanning as well. Moisturise inside and out: so drink plenty of water and use a highly moisturising product on your skin. Carrot Sun products take care of this for you by moisturising intensely, and by creating a layer on the surface of your skin that locks moisture in for the duration of your tanning session.


8. Tan regularly

This one might seem fairly obvious, but the difficult part for fair-skinned folk is building that initial base tan. Slowly increase the time you are exposed to the sun/ on a sunbed, and do this on a regular basis so that you don’t fall behind and have to start all over again. Once that base tan has been established, your sun/sunbed exposure times can increase, and deepening your tan will occur much more quickly. To deepen your tan and get the darkest tan possible we recommend the Carrot or Tropical Fruit varieties of Carrot Sun.


9. Cheat a little- only a little!

Using a tan accelerator that contains bronzer will give your skin a tint, an extra little tan-coloured hue that will make you look tanned before you’ve even started tanning. It isn’t like fake tan, it won’t streak, and if it’s Carrot Sun you’re using then you will get a faint golden hue from an all-natural plant-based bronzer called henna, which will also prolong the life of your tan. Carrot Sun products containing henna are CarrotPapaya, and Tropical Fruit.


The main principle is simple: be good to your skin, and your skin will be good to you!

Happy tanning!



Also in From The Blog

How to Use Tanning Beds & Sunbeds- A Complete Guide

December 29, 2019

Do you want to go on a tanning bed but aren’t sure how long a session you need for your skin type? Or how to maximize tanning during your session? Or which is the best type of sunbed? Or what a tan accelerator does? Or how to tan safely?

Fear not! Carrot Sun has done all the research for you in answer to these important questions so that you can get the best results from your sunbed sessions whilst tanning safely and caring for your skin.

View full article →

How To Tan Your Legs If Your Legs Won't Tan!

September 12, 2019

They say, the further away from your heart a part of your body is, the harder it is to get a tan there. A common problem people have while tanning is getting that golden glow on their legs. If you’re one of those people then this blog has the answers to help you solve this problem and get that tan on your legs, so that you’re not walking around looking like you’re wearing white tights all the time!

View full article →

How to Get Really Dark & Tan Faster- New Tanning Secrets

June 27, 2019

Going on holiday and want to get as dark as possible? Need to get a tan-quick!-for that special event and need all the help you can get? To help you out we’ve put together this next blog on developing the deepest and darkest of all tans, more quickly than ever before, with top tips and even more tanning secrets you probably never knew...

View full article →