The chemicals used in spray tans could be more harmful to your body than UV rays, experts have found. An airbrushed bronze glow may actually lead to serious health risks, including infertility, birth defects, and cancer.
The sun — and it’s more dangerous counterpart the tanning bed — have been proven to cause deadly skin cancer and serious damage after long-term exposure. While many people are switching to a supposed safer alternative in spray tans, it turns out that these faux glows might actually be worse for your health.
Woman who get spray tanned could be at a higher risk for serious health problems, especially infertility and having babies with birth defects, scientists say.
The combination of chemicals used in these spray tans are potentially harmful, the most dangerous of which disrupt hormones and can harm the development of a fetus.
The active ingredient in spray tans is dihydroxyacetone, which causes the skin to brown. Because these tans are applied to the entire body and often inhaled, the harmful ingredient can be absorbed in the bloodstream. This could lead to DNA damage and possibly tumors.
The ingredients in faux tans also typically include carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and nitrosamines, as well as other toxic chemicals, which “may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility,” Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, said.
“What we’re concerned about is not so much that reaction that creates the tanning, but reactions that may occur deeper down with living cells that might then change DNA, causing a mutation, and what the possible impacts of that might be,” Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, in Washington DC, said.
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— Christina Stiehl
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