Thursday, June 14

Goodbye Bronzing

Sayonara sun goddesses. I'm forever leaving your ranks.

Ever since we found out that skin cancer runs in the family, I've been religious at putting on sunscreen. Instead, I would spray tan once a week in the summer months and a few times over the year for special occasions to obtain that "glow" you can only get with bronzed skin.

Well now that's about to change.

It looks like the DHA in self tanners (the ingredient that makes your skin change color) has the potential to cause genetic alterations, DNA damage and cancer. ABC news asked a panel of six medical experts to review the 10 latest scientific studies on DHA, including a report that was recently made public through the Freedom of Information Act, and the information they found was troubling.

So what is safe?

Well, if you're using self tanner as a lotion, it's thought to be OK, because it usually only permeates the outermost layer of skin - or the dead skin cells. It's when you are susceptible to ingestion or inhalation (through spray tans) that it's not safe.

Will spray tans ever be safe?

If you cover up the entire eye area (eyelids, surrounding eye area), lips, parts of the body protected from mucous membrane (nose), and there was no way what-so-ever you could inhale the product, then the spray tan is safe.

You would also end up with some funky looking tan lines on your face.

So what's the bottom line?

Up to you. If you want to use lotions, they are still FDA approved, for now. Personally, I'm going to stay clear of them for a while and just stick to SPF. It's the only thing that seems safe at this point.

For more information about the FDA's guidelines in regards to DHA, please visit here. To read the entire article on ABC News, please visit here.


  1. I embraced the pale years ago. I figure, my tan friends might look good now, but I'll be the one who wins in the end when I look half their age. And I don't have cancer.

  2. This is one of those issues that puts my mom brain into overdrive. I've "done" every kind of tanning there is, and it's all associated with some risk. Even cheap sunscreens contain ingredients that are known carcinogens - they're illegal in Europe but not here!

    And? I'm in the camp that believes Vitamin D from sun exposure is actually a GOOD thing! It makes coming up with a strategy really hard. For now, if we're in the sun 30 minutes or less, I don't use sunscreen. 30+ minutes, and I use a non-chemical, mineral block to prevent burns & damage...but ask me again next year and I may do something totally different!

  3. This news made me so sad too. I still use lotions, but am skipping the booth going forward! Oh well..

  4. I've always had a feeling spray tanning couldn't be good for you. My husband has me convinced that mineral sunscreens are the way to go, so we use that. I occasionally do use the Jergen's gradual tanning lotion in the summer, in spite of the fact that it probably isn't all that good for you. I'm always going to be white anyways, I should just accept it! :)


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