Sunless Tanning Safety

imageIf you’re wary about regularly applying a chemically-derived self-tanner or spray tan, you’re not alone. And I applaud you because we all should consider the health implications of products we ingest or apply to our skin. My curiosity peaked a few months ago when I decided to personally experiment with self-tanner. Since then, I have been digging deeper into the issue by doing extensive online research.

Professional Opinion

My findings are consistent with what I was taught and had come to understand when I practiced in dermatology. There are no red flags about toxicity; specifically, DHA toxicity. While reading opinion after opinion, the repeated affirmation has eased my mind. After all, I’m routinely smearing self-tanner over every part of me within reach. As I discussed in my prior post, self-tanner and spray tans do not penetrate beyond the epidermis, which implies that only small amounts of product actually absorb into the bloodstream. Further, the general consensus among board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons is that the DHA level in self-tanner and spray tan agents is so low to begin with that it does not pose any known health risks. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise, but it’s important to note that we still lack long-term studies. Universally, expert opinion is that we should avoid inhaling spray tan products because inhalation toxicity may be more at issue than absorption risk. Skincare professionals do not hesitate to recommend sunless tanning over the alternative of traditional tanning. In fact, many claim to use self-tanners themselves.

I just came across a brief, related article on Twitter written by a plastic surgeon. I think it behooves anyone interested in sunless tanning to read it.

Look for more information on self-tanner and spray tans to come!

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