Is Spray Tanning Safe?

We all know that ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer, wrinkles and sunspots, but are there any dangers from spray tanning? Dr. Jennifer Walden explores the risks on NBC’s KXAN Texas.

Sun exposure is the main risk factor for skin cancer, a preventable disease, so it is very important to wear SPF 30 or higher to effectively help prevent damage from the sun. Recent studies show that tanning beds, an alternative to the sun, are actually more dangerous to our skin. Tanning beds have a 74 percent greater risk of melanoma than regular sun exposure. Dr. Walden said 10 minutes in a tanning bed is the equivalent to about 10 minutes in the Mediterranean sun which is a very intense and harmful light. So if tanning beds are bad for you, does that mean spray tanning is safe?

DHA, the active ingredient in spray tanning has been shown to cause cell damage in a laboratory setting. Results haven’t been shown in human subjects but it is a cause for concern and we should always wear protective eye goggles, nose pieces and not ingest the fumes because we are still unaware of the safety of the DHA chemical. Many people think this uber-popular alternative to tanning is a blanket safe bet, however Dr. Walden urges people to “Go with your Glow,” meaning apply a healthy amount of sunscreen daily and enjoy your natural skin tone. Wondering where to get that sun-kissed bronzed skin? Instead opt out for tinted moisturizers, mineral make-up, eating healthy and ultimately accepting your natural glow.

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