Can I Get Skin Cancer From Fake Tan?

   A lot has been said about fake tan over the past few years. Some people swear it doesn’t do anything harmful to the skin, others go as far as saying it causes cancer. What is the truth after all?

   Fake tans are able to tan your skin because of an ingredient called DHA. The DHA (dihydroxyacetone) reacts with amino acids on the top dead layer of your skin turning it brown. After explaining that tanning occurs because a synthetic chemical reacts with your skin, you might be getting a hint that it might not do wonders to your body/ health in general and… we think you’re probably right.

   There are 6 key things we think you should know about fake tans and why you should yell RUN, SWEETHEART RUN, whenever you spot yourself or a teenage Zoella wanna be coming anywhere near the fake tan aisle.

  • You could be breathing in chemicals that were not supposed to be inhaled

   If you have a spray tan there could be consequences of inhaling the airborne fake tan on your lungs.  I remember vividly teaching spray tanning, which I loved by the way, long before I turned to the organic world. After a session of 8 students I would literally have to clean out my nose and ears which were black there was so much tan in them. Something to think about when you decided your legs are too pale to be displayed in shorts!

   In the 1970’s when FDA signed off DHA as safe for use, they didn’t consider inhalation. Recent studies have raised major concerns about breathing it in. Even if you take some precautions there’s always the risk it will get in your mouth, ears, nose.  Any substance that your body wasn’t supposed to inhale and process risks causing cancer.

  • They shouldn’t be used as an SPF

   Some do have a very mild sun protection factor but you should never presume you have any sun protection at all.

  • Is there such thing as organic fake tan?

    If you’ve been following us for a long time and if you’re a fan of our brand you know we’re all about the organic lifestyle. So, you might be hopeful when you mentally ask us “Is there any organic alternative to the standard high street fake tan that does not use DHA?”

   I am very sorry to disappoint you but no.

   All fake tans have DHAs in their INCI list simply because they don’t work without it. All the other ingredients might be cleaner, which don’t get me wrong, is always a positive thing, but don’t be fooled when you see the organic word on the front of the bottle.

  • Fake tan IS NOT sunscreen

You’d be surprised at how many people think they can replace the actual sunscreen with fake tan. Even though the majority of fake tans out there do have a mild SPF, it should not be worn as a sunscreen instead. It is so mild that it does not protect your skin from UVA and UVB and consequently you could get burned, ending up with a tender touchy skin. You don’t want that, do you?

  • DO NOT go for a laser treatment right after covering yourself in fake tan

   Do you know how lasering works?

   When you have your hair removed the laser looks for the dark hair to remove it. So, if you darken your skin just before having this procedure done, the laser can ultimately get confused and mistake your skin for the hair… and the aftermath of that, trust me, isn’t fun. It can cause burns and blisters. Ouch!! This is why if you’ve got naturally dark skin you are in disadvantage when it comes to lasering. Your skin has a higher amount of melanin that get the laser confused.

  • Don’t you dare fake tan without doing the patch test first

   It mean it. DON’T DO IT!

   A lot of salons will cover you in spray fake tan without patch testing you first. Generally, therapists are not taught to do that and legally they don’t have to.

   It’s up to you to go in the day before your appointment (preferably 48 hours prior to the session but I’m being realistic here) and ask to be tested yourself. And why do I strongly advise you to do the patch test?

   Because I’m annoying and overprotective?

   Well… maybe…

   But seriously though, you will cover every inch of your body with that product and if you have an allergic reaction to it you will be VERY uncomfortable and VERY unhappy. 

   And don’t go thinking that if you didn’t react to a certain brand of fake tan you’re immune from all the others as well. You need to get tested every time you change brands and/ or every time you change salons.

   Please don’t forget to ask to get tested. It’s your job to prevent any eventual allergic reactions you might suffer and you are the one who’s going to suffer with the consequences if you don’t.

   I really hope this post was of help to you who are thinking to start fake tanning or had questions about how to go about it.

   Let me know in the question box below if you have any questions and please tell me any funny anecdotes you have of fake tanning.

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