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Friday, June 6, 2014

Self-Tanners...friend or foe?

"so what’s the usual solution for those who don’t want to be in the sun? self tanners! (we’ll discuss actual sun exposure towards the end). however, as you probably expected if you follow my blog, i’m here to tell you exactly what you’re doing when you slather on that self-tanner (don’t even get me started on tanning beds. i wish i could smash them all with a sledge hammer. a team of sledge hammers.)
if you ever wonder what you’re putting on your skin, like i have, here’s a rundown of what’s common in self-tanners:

  • sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate – in high concentrations it’s a skin and eye irritant;  also may contain formaldehyde (added during processing) and may break down into formaldehyde once it has permeated the skin… GROSS
  • mineral oil - derivative of petroleum, carcinogenic and a comedogenic
  • oxybenzone (benzophenon-3) – hormone disruption, cancer, affects the cardiovascular system, developmental and reproductive problems, interferes with cellular communication, leading to cellular mutations
  • octyl stearate - irritant and comedogenic
  • methylparaben - may contribute to allergies, immunotoxity, cancer, neurotoxicity & irritation
  • isopropyl myristate –  comedogenic and may bind to nitrates in the body… nitrates are carcinogenic
  • “fragrance” and “colors” - many fragrances used in tanning products are created from petrochemicals and many chemicals used to create scents are known carcinogens
  • DHA (dihydroxyacetone) – do we really need to go over the dangers of dha? okay – genetic alternations, DNA damage, cancer…no thanks!

and you think you’re doing yourself a favor by going to those fancy spray tan booths? think again! check out what the FDA warned: “When using DHA-containing products as an all-over spray or mist in a commercial spray “tanning” booth, it may be difficult to avoid exposure in a manner for which DHA is not approved, including the area of the eyes, lips, or mucous membrane, or even internally… Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.”

for some examples, i’ve chosen some popular self-tanners to show you their EWG ratings:

jergen’s natural glow –    lotion: 6      foam: 7
l’oreal sublime bronze/glow – 5 & 6    mist: 7
l’oreal daily moisturizer/skin tone enhancer – 8
alba botanica natural sunless tanner – 7. yup.
coppertone sunless tanning – 4   (with their fragrance ingredient an 8)
banana boat self tanning mist – 5
banana boat sunless summer- 7
olay touch of sun – 5
sally hansen airbrush legs – 6
palmer’s cocoa butter natural bronze lotion – 7
hawaiian tropic island
neutrogena build a tan – 6
nivea sun-kissed gradual tan – 6
australian gold lock tan extender – 6
cvs fine mist sunless tanning spray- 6"

See more about the dangers of self tanners at AlexRaye's blog