We all know by now that tanning sprays are a much healthier alternative to our skin then laying in the sun or a solarium… but can tanning sprays be a danger to us now too?
Firstly, how does a spray tan work?
Tanning sprays contain an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA. This chemical substance temporarily darkens the skin by infusing the amino acids in the layer of dead skin cells in the skin’s surface (epidermis).
This is why a tan will only last 3-10 days, because our dead skin cells replace themselves with new cells and when it does this, the tan will slowly fade away from the skin.
Is DHA harmful?
Not necessarily when it comes to tanning sprays. Although there is still precaution to take when applying the product as it is highly recommended to use protective gear for your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent inhalation.
Fortunately, tanning sprays contain a low amount of DHA, so it is considered non-toxic!
Do tanning sprays protect your skin from burning in the sun?
Absolutely not! You will still need to wear SPF+ sunscreen to protect your skin when laying in the sun. Being brown does not mean you are going to tan easier and not burn. Tanning sprays do not protect your skin as they only contain a minimal amount of SPF (3-5), certainly not enough to protect yourself from burning – so slip slop slap!
Do tanning sprays cause premature skin ageing?
It can potentially increase the risk of ageing the skin if you don’t provide your skin the care that it needs. Ensure to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated as most tanning products can dry the skin out! Who wants to feel uncomfortable with itchy flaky skin? No one!
What is the safest option for spray tanning?
- Self application products using a mitt or body lotion will minimise the inhalation of the product.
- Use protective gear to cover your eyes, nose and mouth when getting sprayed will help reduce the chances of inhaling the product.
- And if you really don’t want to risk it Eco Tan is your go to. Eco Tan was the first tanning manufacturer in Australia to be approved organic by the Organic Food Chain. The products are made with purely natural ingredients and does not contain any DHA. https://ecotan.com.au
Unless your going to breathe in lots of the chemical substance in on a daily basis, there is no short- or long-term effects from tanning sprays. So, what are you waiting for…? go give yourself that beautiful bronzed glow a go!
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!