Ask Grace: How Can I Tan Without Looking Orange?

Hey Grace, 

I‘m very pale and when I use fake tan, my skin always ends up looking really orange when I wake up the next morning. My friends’ skin always looks so much more natural when they tan, so what am I doing wrong?? 


When it comes to fake tan, no one wants to look like they’re wearing fake tan – it’s all about achieving a natural and believable summer glow. Between prep, application, maintenance, and removal, fake tanning is a minefield, but one thing that’s important to get right from the beginning is finding the right product, and most importantly the right shade, for you. 

The main factor that contributes to tan looking too orange is if you’re wearing a shade that’s too dark for your natural skin tone. Don’t be tempted to reach for dark or extra dark shades if you’re fair-skinned – the lightest shade or a gradual tan is always the best option if you want a natural result. And if it’s not dark enough for you after one application, you can steadily build it up over a few days to reach the depth of colour you want to achieve.  

Remember that not all tans are created equally – you’ll notice a difference between each brand’s formula, shades, and undertones, so it might take a bit of trail and error to find a brand and a product that works really well for you. 

Speaking of undertone, this is a really important thing to take into account. Just like when you choose a foundation, picking a fake tan based on its tone can help you to match any cool or warm undertones in your skin. Look for products that have a green or purple tint to help cool warm tones and neutralise orange. 

Another thing to consider is how long you’re leaving your tan on for. Overdevelopment (especially if you’re using a too dark shade) can cause the colour to distort and look warm-toned, which comes through as orange on cool and fair skintones. 

Try these...

From chafing to ‘chicken skin’ arms, summer brings a whole new medley of beauty concerns into play. If you have a question for our resident beauty editor Grace Day, tweet us at @beautybay using the hashtag #AskGrace for a chance to be featured.