Spray Tans, Tanning Lotion and Solarium safety
Surprisingly, an alarming amount of people still opt to visit a solarium. They seem to have a false sense of security that sunbeds while not perfectly safe, are still much safer for you than baking in the sun. This article Spray Tans, Tanning Lotion and Solarium safety will shed some light on the topic of safe faux tanning.
While many people choose to book in for regular spray tans, others go the slightly cheaper route of do-it-yourself, tanning creams, lotions & sprays. There are even some of us that resort to ingesting tanning pills. The trouble is that most of us wouldn’t have a clue about what ingredients are in these tanning sprays, creams and pills and we don’t really understand just how dangerous solariums actually are.
See my article- How To Fake Tan Safely & Naturally Using Cruelty Free Products
Solariums Do Cause Skin Cancer
While most of us know that baking in the sun is dangerous, many still believe despite all the evidence to the contrary that Solariums are a safer way to get a tan. THEY ARE NOT!
Solarium’s emit ultra-violet radiation. They emit both UVA and UVB radiation, both of which are known to cause skin cancer. Also today’s modern Solarium’s are even more risky, as they are able to produce even higher levels of UVA and UVB, so as to tan our skin in the minimal amount of time. As well as skin cancer, Solarium’s can also cause cataracts and other damage to the eyes. It is believed that they may suppress the immune system and just like the sun, they definitely do cause irreversible, premature aging of the skin.
Below is at paragraph from a report put out by the Cancer Council of Australia.
• Increase in melanoma risk associated with use of sunbeds .A positive association with melanoma risk was found amongst those who had ever used a solarium. People who used sunbeds had a 15% increased risk of melanoma, although there was no consistent evidence for a dose-response relationship. This risk was further increased among those who had first used a solarium before the age of 35 – a significant 87% increased risk.
• Increase in risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin associated with use of sunbeds. The risk of squamous cell carcinoma is increased among people who have ever used solariums.
To read the full report click here
Toxic Ingredients in Fake Tanning Sprays, Creams & Lotions
Ok, so what about do-it-yourself sunless tanning creams, lotions and sprays?
DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) in Tanning Products
In the majority of fake tanning products, including spray tans, the active ingredients is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA combines with the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin to darken them, then as your dead skin cells naturally slough off, the tan appears to naturally fade. DHA is considered safe for external use, but it is still unknown about the side effects of ingesting, or inhaling it through the mucous membranes, which is a valid concern when get a spray tanned. Here is the US FDA report on DHA and what it has been approved for. Some health professionals also believe that DHA can be contaminated with Lead, Arsenic and Mercury.
Parabens, Petrochemicals and Synthetic Fragrances In Tanning Products
With ‘fake’ tanning products, be it the do it yourself varieties, or professional spray tan products, it is not the DHA (which is the active ingredient) that poses the biggest health risk, rather it is the huge cocktail of added chemical ingredients and synthetic fragrances that are the major concern e.g parabens and petrochemicals.
Synthetic fragrances have to play a huge part in fake tanners, as basically without them they stink! The trouble with synthetic fragrances is that the ingredients never have to be listed on the ingredients, which means that there could be any number of toxic chemicals producing your tanning lotion’s tropical fragrance. See my article Synthetic Perfumes Making Us Sick.
EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a great and in-depth source for researching the ingredients and their potential side affects, of 1000’s of branded, personal care products. This link will take you to a page on popular sunless, tanning products and their ingredients. I encourage you to have a read and then make an informed decision on whether to use them or not.
Mayo Clinic gives this very informative explanation of exactly what sunless tanning products are and how they work.
Spray Tanning When Pregnant
Avoid getting a spray tan, or use tanning products when your pregnant. These products, especially spray tans, (that can potentially be inhaled, or ingested) may contain ingredients that can pass through to your growing baby.
I did some research and to date I could not find any reports stating that it is safe to fake tan during pregnancy. Also if your are breastfeeding I recommend that you again avoid tanning products. See more in my article – What To Avoid In Pregnancy & What Is Safe.
Tanning Pills & Liver Damage
As for tanning pills, these are anything but a safe and healthy option. Tanning pills contain Canthaxanthin and ingesting large amounts of Canthaxanthincan damage the liver and the retina of the eye.
Cruelty Free Tanning Products
Another issue people tend to overlook is whether their tanning product of choice is actually cruelty free or has been tested on animals? The majority of self tanning sprays and lotions are manufactured by companies that do test on animals and many companies deceive consumers with this fact by stating they are against animal testing or putting a bunny logo on their products etc. There is only one way to be sure that your tanning product of choice is actually cruelty free and that is if it has been accredited by a reputable, organization such as Choose Cruelty Free here in Australia. See more in my article Animal Testing do your part to stop it.
* Please note LivingSafe will not recommend companies listed on the PETA shopping list as their standards are just not stringent enough and many companies on the list are questionable.
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