July 01, 2014
The World Health Organisation categorises solariums as a known cause of skin cancer in humans, and last year, Victoria became the first State in Australia to ban the use of solariums. A research study published in January this year estimated that around 18,000 skin cancers in Australia are caused annually by sun bed use – and there’s now a push for solariums to be banned in other Australian states also.
So what should you do? Well, you should stop using sun beds as of right now. But, before you rush to the chemist to buy the fake stuff – let’s take a look at that also.
The ingredient in fake tans that makes them ‘work’ is DHA, or dihydroxyacetone. It reacts with amino acids in dead skin cells in the upper layers of the dermis, causing the colour change.
DHA is the only fake-tanning chemical that’s approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics. However, it does carry some concerns regarding its potential to react with living cells inside the body. These concerns are tied to the inhalation of the chemical – i.e, during a spray tan.
Without proper ventilation, the aerosol can either be inhaled or penetrate mucous membranes in the eyes and nose; allowing it to enter the body – where its effects have not been as extensively studied.
So how can you reduce your risk?
- Avoid spray tans wherever possible – use creams or lotions instead. This avoids the potential for chemicals to enter the body. If you have to get a spray tan, make sure there’s adequate ventilation, and opt for an organic tanning solution.
- Use a tanning lotion that contains naturally-sourced DHA. The DHA in EcoTan for example is sourced from sugar beets.
- Read your ingredients lists. If there’s anything in your tanning lotion that looks like it shouldn’t be there – put it back on the shelf. Needless to say, Eco Tan is our favourite – it’s Australia’s first Certified Organic fake tan, and is 100% natural. It also gives a beautiful, deep brown finish with no rub-off or streakiness; so your tan will look as natural and healthy as the ingredients list!