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You Need to Know the Safety Concerns of Spray Tans

Posted by Dan Narsete on

  Have you ever thought about going to get a spray tan near you? This might be on your mind right now since it’s beach season. Getting into that itty bitty polka dot bikini definitely looks better with a little tan color on your body. Let’s be honest here, having a spray tan can make you look slimmer and healthy. No offense to all the fair ladies out there, you can rock that look with beauty as well too. Still sometimes having that faux glow is simply fabulous, but are you at all concerned about the safety of spray tans?

   Let’s look into what a spray tan actually is, whether you get one from a reputable tanning place or salon near you, or try to tackle the process yourself right in your own home. Either way, it’s probably better than subjecting your skin to the harmful UVA/UVB rays of the sun unprotected. Can someone say premature aging? No one wants a face full of fine lines and wrinkles due to excessive sun exposure. 

A Brief Spray Tan History

   Looking at the history of spray tanning, this isn’t a new beauty treatment. In the 20s, a German researcher developed an ingredient called DHA (dihydroxyacetone) as a coloring agent for skin. Thank that man because that’s the exact part that makes a faux tan turn golden on your skin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell that great, but nothing in beauty is perfect, right?

  Then in the 50s, Eva Wittenstein, a researcher noted that DHA turned skin brown, but didn’t penetrate past the layers of the skin. This fact is the reason that DHA began to be used in fake tanning products and later in spray tans. 

  Coppertone was the first company to manufacture a consumer based tanning product about a decade later in the 60s. Plus the FDA approved its cosmetic use in the 70s so that’s why it’s generally considered safe by today’s standards.

 Modern Usage of Spray Tans

  By the early 80s, spray tans were becoming a popular alternative to tanning beds. Remember that episode of “Friends” where Ross gets a spray tan?  It’s popularity skyrocketed in the 90s and 2000s, as more and more people were tuned into the fact that tanning beds were just plain dangerously horrible for you.

  If you haven’t had a spray tan the process is pretty easy. You can either strip down to your undergarments, step into a machine that automatically sprays you with the self tanner or you can have a salon technician perform the service with a type of spray tanning instrument. This leads to a more precise tanning look and they can do all types of contouring to make you look tan and sleek. This is the treatment that most celebrities prefer for red carpet events in the summer months.

So What About the Safety?

  Here’s the deal. DHA isn’t known to cause cancer or other diseases, according to top dermatologist of Mountain West Dermatology, Dr. Amy Paul. She goes on further to say that it’s “a good alternative to UV based tanning.”

  Now you know all about spray tans and can make the right decision for yourself. Here’s to having a great summer everyone!


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