Spray Tan? Tanning Beds? Bronzers? Selfless Tanners?
Which is the best venue to prolong your glow?
With Kids back in school, schedules busier than ever and beach season coming to an end we all are starting to lose our beautiful sun-kissed glows that we’ve so proudly earned (Only after applying the proper amounts of sunscreen of course.). It’s a fact that sun lightened hair and bronzed skin tones are a signature for being a Charlestonian, and it is a beautiful sight, only when earned safely; and like all great things this too does fade.
This is the time of year people used to start flocking the tanning beds desperately grasping onto every last bit of that summer touched look. Today most of us know how dangerous the fake-and-bake trend of the past is, however tanning salons everywhere are still opening and thriving. Thankfully advancements such as not allowing minors (under 18) to use indoor tanning salons, and explicit warning labels, have helped spread the word of their hazards. These precautions may seem small but they seem to be a step in the right direction. “Prohibiting use of indoor tanning for all minors under the age of 18 is critical to preventing future skin cancers,” said Judith Knox, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Springfield Clinic, Springfield, IL. “For years, minors with parental permission have been allowed to visit tanning salons, and research shows that the incidence of melanoma has increased. These trends indicate a problem that is too great to ignore.”
Luckily in today’s beauty market there are thousands of items claiming to do help you achieve, accelerate and prolong your glow without UV exposure. You have bronzing powder, sunless lotions, creams and the ever more popular spray tan options. Are all of these healthy and as safe as we are told?
The main thing to note is the ingredients. The most common ingredient in most of these products is “dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin’s surface”. DHA is approved and regulated for use in imparting color to the human body, but only for external application. Therefore, According to the FDA most bronzing powders, tinted make-up, sunless lotions, etc are approved for external use and safe as long as used in this way.
Spray tan is an ever increasing trend, and other than not being a cancer risk most people don’t know much about it. The product used for spray tan usually contains the same DHA color additive that the other products we use has. However, when receiving a spray tan, or misting tan, the product has access to your mouth, eyes and your lungs through inhalation.
The FDA provides some great questions to ask about these spray tan sessions:
-Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?
-Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?
-Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?
“If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” the consumer is not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive,” says the FDA. No noted serious injuries or illness has been reported from the unapproved use, but it’s not 100% proven to be safe. Long-term testing is still being done and reports are still unclear as to what this chemical can actually do.
It looks like the best option is currently at home self tanners or bronzers. As spray tans are continually rising in popularity we ask that you consider the risk and take the necessary precautions if you decide to go this route (don’t be afraid to ask questions at your salon or to your dermatologist).
Want to opt for an at home version? Try our Germain recommended, and sold, Jane Iredale sunless self tanners or bronzers for a flawless sun kissed look.
Here’s to your safe, beautiful, FALL glow!