Getting that sun kissed glow is now easier than ever, we are now spoiled for choice with sprays, lotions, wipes and creams which we can easily apply ourselves without ever stepping out into the sun. We all know the dangers of baking under the sun, but are self-tanners causing us damage as well?
Safety of self-tanners
Sunless self-tanning products can help us to achieve that oh so lovely tan without causing our skin damage from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The active ingredient of most tanning products is the colour additive called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When this product is applied to our skin it reacts with the dead skin cells and darkens our skin to temporarily give us that wonderful tanned look, before wearing off after a few days. Fake tans are so much healthier for our skin then sitting out in the sun and baking away, although people do have concerns about the safety of self-tanners.
It’s the DHA that people are concerned about, and this is largely due to a study showing that highly concentrated amounts of this product can cause free radical damage and lead to cancer. Although this sounds quite concerning the amount of DHA in sunless tanning products is extremely low and considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic so there is no cause for alarm. In fact DHA is the only product that is approved for use in cosmetics and has been for many years now.
Another issue surrounding the safety of self-tanners comes from those that are sprayed onto our skin; this is because the product can be sprayed into our eyes and mouth which is defiantly not recommended as it can cause asthma, lung disease and even cancer. If you use a spray tanning product ensure to wear protective gear for your mouth, nose and eyes.
Why not just sunbake?
Sun baking can naturally give us a tan and is one of our much loved summer activities but it comes with a price:
- Dehydration can occur as the UV rays from the sun which can not only damage our skin it can also cause heat stroke which can lower your blood pressure to the point of collapsing.
- Sunburns are another side effect that can occur with sunbaking. Sunburn happens when our skin is deeply damaged by the sun causing a red, burning area of damaged skin.
- Skin cancer is something we are all aware of and the reason behind sunscreen. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause our skin cells to morph and turn cancerous.
- Finally premature aging of our skin is also caused by damage from the sun, so always use sun screen to prevent looking like cracked leather.
Although it’s very dangerous to expose bare skin to the sun for long periods of time, a quick 10 minutes daily of our arms and face exposed to the sun will give us our daily dose of vitamin D, after that that friendly sun turns nasty and begins to cause damage this is why self-tanners are a safe alternative to get that heavenly glow.
So there we have it, self-tanners are an effective and safe way of maintaining that summer tan without the harmful effects from the sun. So next time you’re thinking about getting a tan, always opt for the fake one!