Those who want to keep wearing a skin with a sun-kissed glow even throughout the colder months usually go to tanning salons. But those who are concerned about exposing the skin to UV light from tanning beds, make use of sunless tanning products. What are sunless tanning products and how do they work? Let us find out.
What Are Sunless Tanning Products
Sunless tanning products or self-tanners have the ability to give the skin a tanned look without the use of UV rays or UV light. They come as lotions, and sprays. Most salons, spas and tanning businesses offer professional spray-on tanning. These products come as lotions, and sprays that are applied on the skin.
So what is the active ingredient in sunless tanning products that give the skin a tanned look? That would be dihydroxyacetone, which is a color additive. This active ingredient reacts with the dead skin cells found on your skin’s surface resulting to a temporary darkening or tanning of the skin. The temporary coloring usually fades away after a few days.
Some sunless tanning products come with sunscreen. But one should note that its protection lasts only for about 2 hours. It is still recommended that you use sunscreen lotion especially if you spend much time outdoors.
Ever Heard of Sunless Tanning Pills?
Sunless tanning pills usually contain canthaxanthin, which is another color additive. However, sunless tanning pills are not safe for use. Canthaxantin, in large doses can make the skin turn orange or brown, trigger hives and can damage the liver and impair one’s vision.
Is Sunless Tanning Safe?
So is it safe to use sunless tanning products? When compared to sunbathing and tanning beds, topical (those that are applied on the skin) sunless tanning products are generally considered as safe alternatives, just as long as the user follows the directions indicated in the topical self-tanners.
The active ingredient in these products, which is dihydroxyacetone, has been approved by the FDA or Food and Drug Administration for external application to the skin. However, it is important to note that the FDA has not approved dihydroxyacetone for application on skin areas near the eyes, mouth, or nose. Because of this, it may be more ideal to use sunless tanning lotions than sprays.
Take Necessary Precautions
If you still opt for spray tanning, use protection for your eyes, mouth, and nose. Wear a pair of tanning goggles, and nose plugs. You may also accidentally inhale in the product as you spray so hold your breath as your spraying on the self-tanner. There is much that we don’t know yet about the risk of inhaling self-tanners, so it is best to take precautions.
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