×
×

Beauty / Health and wellbeing | 30.09.2016

Top 6 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Tanning Creams & Lotions

 

Warmer weather is on it's way in the southern hemisphere, so that means peeling off the layers and revealing your pasty white skin to the world or making a beeline for the nearest bottle of sunless tanning lotion.

Tanned skin is perceived as a healthy glow. Tanning beds are out and while the sun is necessary for a vitamin D fix, hanging out in it for hours at a time to brown and burn isn't in either. 

If you really knew what was in your average bottle of tanning lotion, would you still use it?

If you share my philosophy, that you should only put on your skin what you would be willing to chow down on, then the ingredient list on most tanning lotions equate to a bad idea.

How do self tanning products work

While health authorities say tanning lotions are safer than baking your skin in the sun, they don’t tell you about some of the potentially harmful ingredients found in many of them.

These products contain colour additives that interact with the skin's chemistry, causing it to look darker. The one approved chemical is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When it combines with amino acids in your skin, the DHA causes a browning reaction—similar to  when you make toast or grill meat, explains Dr. Adam Friedman, director of dermatologic research at Montefiore-Albert Einstein College of Medicine. That may sound scary but the browning only takes place in your skin’s "stratum corneum”—the topmost layer composed of dead cells, Friedman says. "Our bodies make a form of this stuff,” he adds, referring to DHA. 

The fine print of using DHA comes with a list of protective measures such as avoiding contact with eyes, nose, and mucous membranes. A few years ago, a much-cited report from ABC News in the US raised concerns about spray-tanning salons and the risks of inhaling DHA and other self-tanning ingredients. 

Subsequent research supported the idea that inhaling spray-on tanning chemicals could potentially raise your risk for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cancer. The ABC News report cited Food & Drug Administration data suggesting that small amounts of DHA might seep through your skin and into your bloodstream but follow-up studies have failed to find evidence that DHA penetrates your skin’s protective barriers. To date there's no data to show that DHA is harmful when applied topically but if you're pregnant you may want to avoid it as a precautionary measure. 

The most common risks of using tanning lotions and potions appear to be allergic reactions or irritation. On the upside they don't lead to skin cancer like actual sun exposure can. 

Self tanning ingredients to avoid

Here are some of the more common ingredients that are best to avoid in suntanning lotions:

  1. Mineral oil – a derivative of petroleum, it can be carcinogenic, is comedogenic (blocks your pores). It's used because it's a cheap carrier, creates slip and assists with spreadability.
  2. Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate — this masquerades as a ‘natural preservative’ and in high concentrations is a skin and eye irritant. It's also been found to contain formaldehyde (added during processing) and may break down into formaldehyde once it has permeated the skin.
  3. Amyl acetate — an ingredient used in the dry cleaning business. Ahh no thanks.
  4. Octyl stearate – an irritant and also comedogenic (blocks pores).
  5. Isopropyl myristate — also comedogenic and may bind to nitrates in the body... nitrates are carcinogenic.
  6. Artificial fragrances and colours — many fragrances used in tanning products are created from petrochemicals and many chemicals used to create scents are known carcinogens (e.g. methylene chloride).sunless tanners are not a substitute for sunscreen, so if you put them on and are going outside, you must use a sunscreen as well.  

I know people love the look and feel of a tan, so if you’re going to buy a tanning product, just make sure you scrutinise the label and investigate any ingredient you’re not sure about. No tan is worth risking your health over.

Also remember that sunless tanners are not a substitute for sunscreen, so if you put them on and you're heading outdoors, remember your skin is still unprotected so you're going to need a sunscreen as well. 

Do you think using tanning lotions is healthier than sunbathing? Or Are you ok with your a la NATURale SKin tone? 

@bymukti

Follow Mukti on Instagram to stay in the loop on all things organic beauty and wellness where Mukti shares insider tips, ideas and education that you don’t want to miss!

Beauty / Health and wellbeing | 23.09.2016

20 fascinating skin facts to make you go hmmm

    I thought it might be fun to share some weird and wonderful facts about skin on the blog today. Some are fascinating, some are surprising, some are just plain gross. So, if you are ready, here are some of the most interesting facts about your skin. Enjoy! Your skin loses about ...

Read post

Beauty / Health and wellbeing / Our Products | 13.10.2014

Why do you choose organic?

The organic movement continues to go from strength to strength, with increasing number of people choosing organic fruit & veg, certified organic skin care and organic clothing and bedding every year. But have you ever wondered exactly WHY so many people are going or...

Read post

Beauty | 18.03.2016

How dirty are you? Are you one of the 50% of women who don't know how to clean your face?

You know how to clean your face properly, right? After all, you're a grown-up. Or do you? Unlike the medieval era when bathing was considered some kind of weird sexual debauchery, I’m assuming that most of you are bathing once, if not twice a day. I know I feel dirty inside an...

Read post

Health and wellbeing | 29.12.2016

How to hygge yourself into being happy in 2017

  Are you happy? It’s a simple question and one I think we should ask ourselves as we say goodbye to one year and prepare to begin a new year. How busy and stressed were you in 2016? How present and calm were you? Did you make time for yourself and were you kind to yourself? Did you ...

Read post

All products are Australian made by us and are certified vegan and cruelty free.

- Mukti
Join our organic skincare
movement for 15% off
© Copyright 2018 Mukti Organics   |   design by Smack Bang Designs   |   Site development by Media Two
Get $25