0 comments / Posted on by Melissa Powley

How far are you willing to go to get that 'gorgeous' summer glow?

Everyone loves that gorgeous summer glow but what lengths will we go to to achieve it? Are you willing to compromise your health over a 'fake tan'? Whether your tan comes out of a can, a bottle, a tube or a spray nozzle, there are a few things you may want to consider before taking a leap into the heady haze of self tanners. Remember 'not all tans are created equally'.

So, self tanning products have been around for ever, and obviously some better than others. Many commercial brands have jumped on the safe tanning/natural bandwagon producing and claiming that their products are natural all the while being laiden with a cocktail of synthetic nasties such as *dihydroxyacetone (DHA) the ingredient key ingredient that gives you the colour, *xenohormones as well as parabens, formaldehyde etc etc. This is commonly referred to as 'green washing', meaning that they advertise the so called natural ingredients to divert your attention from the additional nasties, and you walk away thinking you have got yourself a safe tanning product. They will grab you attention by using advertising terms such as 'natural tan', or 'includes natural ingredients'.

My advice is:

  • Do not to take any tanning product on face value.
  • Understand what is harmful and always check on the ingredients.
  • Choose products that have credible certifications so you know that the product has to meet the strict guidelines.
  • Choose natural or certified organic products.
  • Avoid products that contain DHA or xenohormones, (unless it has appropriate certifications ie certified organic or all natural as it will be from naturally derived ingredients not synthetic and will not include hormone or endocrine disrupters such as xenohormones).
  • Avoid products that contain toxins such as parabens, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, and artificial fragrances. 

Why you should avoid these nasties in your tanning products?

*Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) 

DHA is the chemical used in fake tans to turn the skin a darker colour. The chemically made DHA, not to be confused with docosahexaenoic acid (an essential fatty acid found in fish) which also goes by the acronym DHA, or natural forms derived from the likes of beets, has been shown in lab testing to damage and change cell DNA. This means that the risk of cancers is increased. In particular, commercial spray tans or aerosol tanning bottles have an even larger risk, as the DHA particles are not only absorbed through the skin, but also through mucous membranes (eyes and mouth) and inhaled, where the chemical can lodge in the lungs. This may increase the risk of asthma and lung cancer. These chemicals may also cause skin rashes in some. Which is actually a good thing, because it’s an obvious sign that the product is toxic and you shouldn’t be using it. 


Are synthetic hormones which are found in plastics, car exhaust, nail polish, sunscreen, cosmetics, creams and soaps. Xenohormones can have a negative impact on endocrine issues such as endometriosis, PMS, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, hormone dis-regulation and even infertility. 

Other nasties found in mainstream brands to avoid, include:

Toxins such as parabens, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, and artificial fragrances. 


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