I've only used one self-tanner with amazing results: Xen-Tan. It's about $40-50 per bottle, but totally worth it. You can see the color of it as you spread it on your skin, and then it sets into a really natural olive color. I'm super pale with freckles, too, and it looked natural on ME (which is rare). I've been meaning to get another bottle. (Plus, it smells AMAZING.)
Dark Lotion - Xen-Tan - Premium Sunless Tanning
Truthfully, I'm sure that there are chemicals in self-tanners that aren't good for you, but I've remained blissfully ignorant since I rarely ever use them.
PS: There's also a $6 hand mitt that you can buy for applying the lotion. I've never used the mitt, but I remember how annoying it was to really scrub the stuff off my hands when I was done rubbing it on to prevent my palms and between my fingers from ending up abnormally dark. I recommend that you get the mitt too.
Here's a video showing the results. I can personally verify that it does look like this: