Coming into the summer months it is always a bit daunting as we get those white legs out for the first time. For years we have been warned about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning, then came the solarium craze which has (thankfully) received wide spread criticism on its potentially harmful effects on our health. So then we were left with embracing our pasty whiteness or rubbing chemical ridden fake tan creams all over our bodies before heading out in our bikinis.
Well now thanks to some wonderful health concerned individuals there is another option, a safe and chemical free option with the availability of all natural fake tan creams now on the market.
So what's in your bottle of tan lotion?
The active ingredient in fake tan products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which reacts with the amino acids on the skin to turn it brown. This chemical was approved as safe for external use by the FDA back in 1977. At this point it was assumed that the chemical did not absorb through the skin and into the blood stream, nor was it taken into consideration that we inhale the chemicals from tanning creams and sprays directly into our lungs and mucous membranes. It is now known that 11% of applied DHA reaches the dermis of the skin, giving it direct access into our blood stream.
The use of DHA in 'tanning' booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation. Aside from topical contact dermatitis, the chemical DHA is potentially hazardous when inhaled, causing damage to cells and possibly leading to cancer. Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine (Dr. Rey Panettieri) has commented, "The reason I'm concerned is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption" -- that is, getting into the bloodstream. These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies, and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them
So this DHA chemical sounds as though we should be quite wary but if we only use it occasionally we should be ok yes?? Well actually no... If we take a look through our bathroom cabinet at all the lotions, soaps and makeups which we apply to our skin one has to wonder what the accumulative effects of all these chemicals are.
Many beauty creams and cosmetics are formulated with a mixture of controversial synthetic ingredients that have been linked to health problems including breast cancer, hormone disruption, fertility issues, asthma, allergies, diabetes and birth defects. And it’s this so-called ‘chemical cocktail’ that has some experts worried.
At Evelyn Faye Nutrition we have 2 natural fake tan alternatives which use 100% natural ingredients Santorini and EcoTan, the latter of which is certified organic. These products are DHA free and also free of other harmful chemicals.
Ingredients we choose to use:
Ingredients we choose NOT to use:
- Propylene Glycol
- Animal Derivatives
- SD Alcohol
- Food Colouring & Artificial Dyes
- Harmful Chemicals
- GMO ingredients
- Sodium Laural Sulphate
- Mineral oil
- DHA (Santorini use sugar beet derived DHA)
Other ways to reduce your levels of chemical exposure* Use fewer products to reduce your overall exposure – do you really need separate hand lotion, body lotion, and several face creams?
*Check the label and watch out for synthetic chemicals such as parabens, formaldehyde and triclosan. Some products now state – ‘free from parabens, petrochemicals and artificial perfumes’
* If there is a big long list of unpronounceable chemical names then it might be worth looking for something with fewer ingredients that you recognise.
*Pay particular attention to the products that stay on your skin the longest, such as creams and lotions.
*Swap dark hair dye for vegetable-based colours or those stating they’re PPD-free.
*Choose one of the aluminium-free deodorants sold at Evelyn Faye Nutrition
*Drink out of glass or BPA free water bottles & drink filtered water