What’s Better? The sun or sunless tanning products?

Sunless Tan

Since we have become more aware of the dangers of exposure to ultra-violet light, the Sunless Tan has become more and more popular.

Sunless tanning comes in a variety of different forms:

Tanning Pills: Tanning pills contain a form of carotene and claim to create a healthy looking, golden bronze tan any time of the year, with or without the sun! However, the use of canthaxanthin pills has been linked to cases of hepatitis, as well as retinopathy, a condition that causes yellow deposits on the retina of the eye. The FDA has not approved the use of canthaxanthin as a tanning agent.

Topical Sunless Tanning: Sunless tanners actually stain the skin to make it look tan and fade as skin cells slough off. Products usually come as lotions, spays, or creams. These products contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone which works by reacting with the amino acids found in the dead layer of the skin resulting in tan-colored skin. DHA has been known to cause contact dermatitis, a rash or irritation of the skin. Contact dermatitis can cause large burning, itchy rashes.

Cosmetic Bronzers: Cosmetic bronzers will stain the skin to appear tan, but will wash off just as your makeup does.

Remember, all of these products will also cause moles and skin lesions to darken and appear more noticeable. And they can actually stimulate your own melanin to cause long lasting hyperpigmentation as well.

My recommendation is always “Smart Sun.” Enjoy the sun in moderation using and REAPPLYING your Academy sunscreen.