Getting a little glow from spray tans in June is just the kind of pick-me-up a lot of women need to beat the Winter blues. We tend to think of them as a lot safer than direct exposure to the sun, and especially with tanning beds being a big no-no.
But a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania has found that some of the ingredients in spray tanners could be dangerous when inhaled.
Here’s an extract from what Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told ABC News: ‘The reason I’m concerned, is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption – that is, getting into the bloodstream. These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies, and if that’s the case then we need to be wary of them.’
Nothing like the C-word to get our attention.
When DHA (dihydroxyacetone, the chemical ingredient that darkens skin) was approved by the FDA in the 1970s, it was being used solely in self-tanning creams, not misted out of a spray-tan gun, which obviously disperses it into the air – and into your lungs if you’re nearby. In fact, the agency tells consumers on its website that DHA should not be inhaled or ingested and that people should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.
Even if your spray tanner (who is amazing) always tells you to hold your breath when she mists your face, this may not be enough.
So here’s the question: Do you invest in a mask? Or do you give up your beloved just-back-from-holiday glow and embrace your natural skin tone once and for all?
Does the study scare you? If you’re an avid spray tanner, what will you do?
Originally written by Heather Muir, this article appeared on Allure.com.