Are Spray Tans Bad for You?
- Created: September 14, 2010
- by: admin
While we all know that too much exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and premature aging, what about those spray booths?
Looking ‘bronzed’ goes in and out of fashion. While we all know that too much exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and premature aging, what about those spray booths and their promise of ‘safe tanning’? Quite frankly, you’ll find proponents for and against all over the internet.
Let’s start with one simple fact, a little natural sun is important to maintain proper levels of Vitamin D in your system. Vitamin D is important in helping you absorb needed levels of calcium and phosphorus necessary for maintaining healthy bones. Research suggests Vitamin D provides protection from osteoporosis, high blood pressure and some autoimmune diseases. So the first thing you should know is that spray-on tans provide absolutely no vitamin D.
A second point to consider is that your skin is the largest organ on your body…and spray tans saturate that organ with a variety of different chemical compounds every time you enter the booth. Unless your nose, mouth and eyes are protected, you are also breathing those chemicals and/or absorbing them through mucous membranes. As it is almost impossible to know exactly what is in the tanning solution, it is almost impossible to determine what sorts of chemicals (and at what level) you are taking into your system. Most tanning solutions contain DHA, a colorless chemical that interacts with dead skin cells (the top layer) to produce a brown color. There is no evidence to suggest DHA is unsafe, but it is only approved for external use. If you happen to be breathing it in as a fine mist, you are stepping outside what the FDA considers ‘safe usage’.
Finally, remember that a spray tan provides zero defense from sun-related skin damage. Even if you choose to spray yourself brown as a coconut, don’t forego the sunblock, hat and protective clothing if you’re outside for any great length of time.