Ginger Problems

Updated on March 11, 2014
M.C. asks from Louisville, KY
7 answers

I'm a redhead.

I have a redhead complexion.

Due to a very strong history of skin cancers in the maternal AND paternal family, I am very leery of tanning/too much sun exposure. Plus, even though my arms and shoulders do darken up a bit even slathered in sunscreen, no matter how much I wear shorts my legs stay stubbornly pale.

I would like to wear shorts/swim suit without blinding people.

Suggestions? I am on a pretty strict budget, so spray tans are iffy... I would like to find a lotion or something that I can apply to gradually add color, but have no clue about brands, chemicals to watch out for, etc. (I'm not completely anti-chemical anything... But I would prefer to go as naturally as possible.)

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Just to clarify... I'm not looking to actually go tan. Just need a little something to take the edge off of the paleness. :)

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

I'm not a redhead but I'm blonde, white & have plenty of freckles. I have found most over the counter self tanning lotions work just fine, although some do have an odor. The key is to spread it evenly, not too thick & let it dry completely before getting dressed. I only do my legs because my face and arms see to get enough color on their own (just barely) even with sunscreen.
Just do it very lightly, and not more than every three days or so and it will look more natural. You won't really be "tan" but it will take the edge off of the blinding white!
ETA: and don't forget to wash you hands after, otherwise they WILL turn orange!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Hi, my fellow ginger!

I do the same thing....I've embraced the pale, but in the Summer, I need something to take the edge off so I don't blind people when they see my legs. Yikes.

I like the Neutrogena Build-a-Tan. It's cheap and a little goes a long way. Plus (bonus!) it doesn't steak and your hands don't end up orange.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think L'oreal sunless tanning lotion was rated pretty good. Type "sunless tanning lotion reviews" in your search engine, lots of reviews come up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Learn to embrace your natural coloring!
Be proud of it as it is!
There are places in the world where people bleach their skin with products to look lighter.
And over here we use tanning booths and/or spray on stuff to look darker.
(I'm holding out for when I can spray myself purple.)
(I'm kidding!)
It's insane and it's a needless waste of money.
When the sun worshipers are riddled with cancer and/or looking like a piece of leather - you'll be looking %100 better than they ever did.
That tan-o-holic New Jersey Mom is enough to scare me right into the shade for a long time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Jergens Natural Glow. One application and you'll see a slight difference. Plus it doesn't smell bad!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

I am very fair skinned and burn very easily. I don't like all of the gunk in sun screen so I've been using coconut oil. I haven't burned yet. I was very leery about using it, but so far so good.



answers from Honolulu on

Please don't think you have to "tan."

I am in beach country. Sunny.
SO many different complexions/skin/hair colors here. Tourists too.
It really doesn't matter, if you are pale/fair/red head etc.
But I will say, BEWARE of getting more... freckles, if you go in the sun. Or too much. I know one gal, with hair/complexion/skin like you... and even with sun protection, well, she's now got, freckles everywhere, where it is not real "cute." And yes, even on her legs. Her face. And some freckles, just morph into huge "splotches" of bigger... freckles. She's not so keen now, on doing her daily outdoor-in-the-sun, activities.

Some skin types... just do NOT, tan.
Know, that.
And the more you try to tan it, via sun... it just makes skin issues.
But always, use a GOOD full spectrum, sunscreen.
Or a Zinc based one.

Please, also in light of your family's sun/skin issues... don't chase... a tan. Or be a sun chaser. Just to get tan.
Not with your type of skin.
I know.
I live in sun & beach country. I can tell, just by looking at a person's skin/complexion... who will tan or not. At all.
And they just get, SUNBURNED. Even with sunscreen.

Anyway, if you go to cosmetic counters at department stores, some of the good name brands, have "tanning" lotions. Ask the Cosmetics lady at the counter. I think Clinique may even have one. Not sure though.
Or even off the shelf of a drug store.

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