Self-Tanning Tips If You Have Fair Skin and Red Hair

June 01, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
self tanning as a redhead
Self-tanning at home can be challenging if you have red hair. A fair complexion and ginger strands can be a recipe for a a tan that’s too dark or one that makes you look orange. To avoid either of these faux-glow faux pas, It all comes down to using the right self-tan products and techniques. Ahead, we spoke with St. Tropez Tanning Expert Sophie Evans about how to perfect self-tanning as a redhead.

Focus On Products That Will Give You "Glow"

Evans’ first tip is to choose products that will give you more of a glow than a “tan.” This will ensure that your self-tan will appear more natural. “A great self-tanner for a face glow is the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Serum, which contains ingredients like vitamin D and hyaluronic acid.” These ingredients will actually help your natural skin shine through. We also recommend trying a self-tanner that comes in a universal shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Water Mousse. This formula is suitable for all skin tones and contains coconut water and vitamin E to enhance your natural complexion.
st tropez purity face serum, loreal paris sublime tanning mousse

Avoid Looking Orange

When you have red hair, a self-tan that looks too orange can be even more noticeable than looks on people with other hair colors. This is why knowing the cadence of applying your tanning products is key. “To avoid looking orange, don’t apply your self-tanner too often,” says Evans. “Regularly exfoliate in between and prior to self-tan application to maintain an even glow and prevent color buildup.” We like a gentle exfoliating scrub, like the Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub, for this.
kiehls exfoliator

When In Doubt, Patch Test

If you’re unsure about what color will suit your skin and hair color best, patch testing is the best way to start. “When you patch test for color, test a larger area like your stomach, rather than a tiny spot on your skin,” Evans advises. “When self-tanners are applied concentrated in small areas, the color will look dark and not give you its best representation.” When you find the right bronzing shade for you, remember to keep your applications to once or twice a week with regular exfoliation. This will ensure you get the most natural tan, red hair or not. 

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