All You Need to Know About Fake Tans, Sun Burn & Tanning Lotions


Indoor Tanning Lotion…
A Safe Way to Get That Bronze Glow

Sunless Tanning Lotions Are Typically Safer Than Sun Bathing – However, You Should Avoid a Spray Tan...

Fake tans are on the rise in popularity. A lot of women are realizing that it is easier and safer to just simulate a tan rather than actually braving the ultraviolet rays from the damaging effects of the sun.

Even one bad case of sun burn can increase your chance of melanoma and those cases are on the rise. Surprisingly, more and more adults under 40 are being diagnosed with skin cancer every year

A tan is essentially your skins response to being damaged and injured. A burn, or redness and inflammation, is just an extreme version of this. 

With self-tanners, you can forgo this potentially dangerous activity and instead just stain the outer dermal layer of your skin. It is a cost effective and safe solution to a potentially life-threatening issue that is causing serious damage to young and old people alike.

 Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the main ingredient in most of these lotions. When DHA reacts with the dead skin in the dermis layer of your skin, it causes a reaction and simulates a tan.

Combining with the amino acids of your skin, the reaction is similar to toast browning or meat grilling. This only takes place in the “stratum corneum”, or the very topmost layer, so the DHA and other chemicals don’t actually penetrate the skin barrier.

Many doctors believe that the reaction that occurs when DHA hits the skin is the only safe way to have a tanned look. 

Spray-on tans may cause problems in terms of inhalation. The same chemical responsible for the tanning process with the lotions can actually be dangerous when inhaled through a spray.

That’s why there have been reports on the dangers of inhaling spray-on tanning substances and the fact that they can cause asthma, cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The spray-on substance could increase your chances of being diagnosed with these conditions if you frequently inhale DHA through a spray-on tanning routine.

But as for DHA compounds and self-tanners that you spread on your skin via lotions or creams, the FDA has found them to be completely safe. Follow-up studies have failed to show that DHA negatively effects its users in this way.

Self-tanners are an effective way to get a tanned look without damaging your skin. With these self-tanning lotions, the DHA does not penetrate the skin’s protective layers and enter the bloodstream.  

When products containing DHA are applied safely and correctly, there is no reason to worry about the chemical crossing the skin-blood barrier. If contact occurs with eyes, nose or mouth, make sure to rinse thoroughly with water. If further irritation occurs, consult your physician. But for the most part, this is a benign compound that can be safely used to achieve a bronze glow.

When correctly applied, tanning lotions are safe for use. In order to correctly apply the lotions, avoid your eyes, as well as any broken skin or cuts you may have.

This is another reason to avoid spray-on tans because they aren’t as easy to control or precisely apply. Massaging a DHA containing product on a cut or abrasion might let the chemical enter the bloodstream. Not much is known about what happens when DHA enters your system, but it’s best not to leave it to chance.

Even with the proposed risk of DHA entering the bloodstream, it’s still the safer option according to most doctors. Tanning lotions are by and large the best way to get a tanned look over going to the beach or, especially, a tanning bed. Of course, you’ll want to keep an eye out for an allergic reaction but this is a risk that comes with any product.

Make sure you continue to use sun-screen as these tanning lotions do not offer protection from the sun. A sun-screen with SPF 25 or greater is your best option. Apply it at least an hour after using the indoor tanning lotion so as not to affect the DHA reaction.

 You’ll never have to damage your skin again with the “real tan” look of these tanning lotions. Make sure to always wear sunscreen and follow the instructions!


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