Learn all about spray tanning and its dangers. Sunless tanning, also known as UV-free tanning, self-tanning, spray tanning (when applied topically), or fake tanning, refers to the application of chemicals to the skin to produce an effect similar in appearance to a suntan. The popularity of sunless tanning has risen since the 1960s after health authorities confirmed links between UV exposure (from sunlight or tanning beds) and the incidence of skin cancer.
Tanners usually contain a sunscreen. However, when avobenzone is irradiated with UVA light, it generates a triplet excited state in the keto form which can either cause the avobenzone to degrade or transfer energy to biological targets and cause deleterious effects. It has been shown to degrade significantly in light, resulting in less protection over time.
The UV-A light in a day of sunlight in a temperate climate is sufficient to break down most of the compound. As much as 90% of melanomas are estimated to be caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure. This includes UV exposure from the sun and from artificial sources, such as tanning beds. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies tanning beds and tanning lamps into its highest cancer risk category carcinogenic to humans, the same category as other hazardous substances such as plutonium and certain types of radium.
Sun tanning can cause skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts and immune system suppression not to mention painful burns. To avoid these consequences, everyone over the age of six months should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day, according to health experts. It should be applied 30 minutes before you go outside and reapplied every two to three hours you’re in the sun. A 2010 small-scale study found that if you aren’t lathering daily, you could be doubling your chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Most sunless tanning products don’t contain sunscreen. If a product contains sunscreen, it will only be effective for a couple of hours. The color produced by the sunless tanning product won’t protect your skin from UV rays. If you spend time outdoors, sunscreen remains essential.
What is Spray Tan?
Spray tan is a beauty treatment in which the body is sprayed with a product containing chemicals that react with the skin to produce an artificial suntan. When the spray tanning solution is sprayed onto the skin, a safe, natural, sunless tan develops and lasts for between one and two weeks.
Spray Tan Dangers
Spray tans look beautiful when done right, but there are a handful of hidden dangers than can be awful for your health. The number 1 and most commonly known danger lies in an omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA. Spray tans contain anywhere between 1 and 15 percent DHA a color additive that when inhaled or exposed to the eye nose and lip areas can cause severe headaches, nausea and dizziness. An active ingredient used in spray tanning may be harmful, and even cause cancer, according to the FDA.
Spray Tan Side effects
Professional spray tanning products contain a carbohydrate called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. This substance is derived from both glycerin or plant sources and reacts with your skin’s amino acids to create a sunless glow. Though DHA is considered safe for external use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed this ingredient a potential health risk to your lungs when inhaled. Make sure a salon or spa attendant offers you a protective mask and applies the spray tan in a well-ventilated area. There are many side effects of spray tanning. Some of them are;
We already know that DHA can be harmful when inhaled, so if you have asthma, spray tanning may not be your best option for a healthy, sunless glow
Trigger for Allergies
DHA may not only be hazardous to your health when inhaled, but can also cause allergic reactions. The most common allergy to sunless tanning products is contact dermatitis, an itchy, red and sometimes painful skin rash.
Breeding Ground for Free Radicals
According to a 2007 study by Gematria Test Lab researchers in Berlin, more than 180 percent additional free radicals formed during sun exposure on skin samples containing DHA compared with skin samples that didn’t contain the sunless tanning substance. To ward off these harmful side effects, stay out of the sun for at least a day after applying a sunless tanner.
Spray Tan Safety
Spray tanning has rapidly swept the world of tanning and its continuing growth has partly been due to the rise in awareness about the hazardous effects of ultraviolet rays. Spray tanning eliminates the risk of skin cancer and you don’t have to bake under the sun for hours to get tanned. Despite the safety of spray tanning, many people do question if it is 100% hazard-free for their skins. Safe tanning consists of avoiding direct tanning product exposure to the client, as well as high exposure to DHA. If you have sensitive skin, apply a barrier cream to avoid over absorption of the spray tanning solution. Safe tanning means lesser DHA exposure so avoid excess of its application.