August 13, 2012

Are self-tanners no longer safe?

If you're one of those fair-skinned gals like me who rely on self-tanners to garner some extra glow, you may want to put down the bottle of lotion and listen to this.

The active ingredient in spray tans/self tanners, called Dyhydroxyacetone (simply DHA to us), has been found to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage, as concluded by a panel of scientists after an investigation done by ABC News. The reports are saying, according to an article by, that the DHA has the potential of causing genetic alterations, DNA damage and even cancer. Right now spray tans are of the utmost concern, because DHA can be easily inhaled due to the way spray tans are applied.

In terms of lotions, when applied the DHA interacts with amino acids in the top layer of your skin to produce pigment called melanoidins, or the brownish tanned look we see. In self-tanning lotions, the DHA is not supposed to migrate past the outermost layer of skin, but some FDA reports have cited research saying otherwise-- that it does go beyond that layer. Where to? They're not really certain but it's assumed that it is nowhere good.

So I guess now I'm supposed to ditch my Jergen's Natural Glow and stick to more bronzer? Apparently so, or just keep the use to a minimum.

Photo from


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I use self tanners all the time because I didn't want to get skin cancer.. I guess when something's too good to be true..

  2. I use self tanners all the time on my face so it matches the rest of my body. What am I going to do now? lol

  3. I'm the fair skinned one that goes around blinding everyone because I'm too lazy to do self-tanners! Guess my laziness for once has paid off!


  4. Wow I'm glad you shared this! I'm also fair skinned and love my self tanners :( thanks for the comment, love your blog! xoxo