Spray tan’s health risk

Spray tan's health riskGetting 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.
Image: Shutterstock.com

Other articles you may be interested in:
Fun in the sun with Piz Buin
Summer hair care
After sun soothers
Sunscreens we love
The facts about SPF

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20 Responses

  1. I heard about this a while ago. It’s super scary, especially for those ladies that think they’re going the safer route.

  2. I don’t like the thought of spray tanning and will NEVER do a sunbed. I just do my 15 min of sun a day for Vitamin D

  3. Thank you for this article. Iv been for a spray tan and after reading this article I don’t intend going again. Thank you

  4. Scary! I’m just thinking about the mommies that allow spray taning on their little angels when they participate in beauty pagents!

  5. Even though I look like a spook, I dont use any of the lotions, sprays or tanning beds – no matter what I always turn out Yellow! “Gifappeltjie – yellow” and dont much care for the smell of these products either, especially when you start sweating

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