Doctors can't say it enough: There is no such thing as a "healthy tan." But while sunbathing is a no-no for everyone, it's an especially bad idea for fair-skinned people. Many of them can't tan anyway and only risk getting a serious burn.
If you refuse to give up sunbathing, take it slowly and let your skin gradually build up melanin to provide some protection. And don't use tanning oils, which enhance the effects of ultraviolet rays and worsen a burn. You may as well be slathering yourself with cooking oil.