Feel Great

Is Spray Tanning Really the Safest Option?

This time every year, campus is typically busy with a continuous schedule of formals. For those of you that don’t know, it’s the time of year when all of the sports teams, Greek organizations, and various other clubs hold their end-of-the-year parties. That being said, when events are held where people are expected to dress up and maybe show some skin, they occasionally desire that skin to glow.

Since it is anywhere from 30-45°F in Syracuse, you wouldn’t be able to obtain a good tan naturally outside. *Cue You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones* While you might be sad about this, your skin definitely is not. Lying outside in the sun causes skin damage that can possibly lead to skin cancer. The next best option isn’t great either. Trying to get some color through a tanning booth can put you at risk even more than natural tanning would.

Thus, many people resort to spray-tans in order to look sunkissed without all the damage. Spray tanning works by covering your body in a mist that contains the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which changes the color of the dead cells on the outer most layer of your skin when coming in contact with amino acids. While many experts have recommended spray tans as a healthy alternative to tanning beds, further studies have been done to highlight health concerns with DHA.

Previously, the FDA had approved DHA to be used only on the skin (such as self-tanning lotions). However, when applied as a mist like a spray tan, it is highly unlikely that somebody could avoid inhaling or ingesting DHA. This data concerns experts because further research has revealed that DHA could be linked to increases in asthma incidences, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer.

This research has been brought to the attention of tanning salon owners, and many employees of these companies have gone through additional training to increase the safety of spray tans. Some salons have also started using goggles and nose plugs to prevent the inhalation or ingestion of DHA.

In conclusion, none of these tanning methods are completely safe for your health. However, experts are now saying that if you’re craving that sunkissed glow, it is best to use a self-tanning lotion. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that applying lotion with DHA as an ingredient eliminates the inhalation and ingestion issues that might arise with spray tans.

It’s important for you to look the way you want to when you’re showing off that new pink dress of yours, but remember to be smart when choosing your tanning method!


By Courtney Rosser

Image from PopSugar