Are Spray Tans Safe?

spray tan.jpg

Most of us wish to be tan year round. That may not be an option for the majority of us, but some people go to the tanning salon as an alternative to sunbathing outside. It is known that tanning beds are very bad for your health. The safer substitute to get a little more color would be a spray on tan. Many, including myself, think that spray on tans are not harmful to your health, but just to be sure I researched this topic to see if they are more harmful than one would think.

 According to Dr. Singh spray tans consist of many chemicals; one of the chemicals is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which can be very harmful. If this chemical is inhaled then it goes to your blood stream and can cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Also this chemical could cause people to be at higher risk for lung, breast, or colon cancer. ABC News also states that this chemical can also cause genetic alterations and DNA damage. Many medical experts fear this chemical is going to cause damage to people in the long run. It has not been tested on humans in the studies done, but it has been tested on different subjects and shown that the genes have been altered. This chemical was approved by the FDA in the 1970s, but nobody thought it was going to be used for spray tanning. Rachel DePompa states that the FDA is warning people to not inhale the spray tan or get in near your lips or eyes all because of this harmful chemical. She also goes on to say that New Jersey actually banned children from getting spray tans since it is starting to be considered harmful. Many salons are even requiring people to wear a mask while getting a spray tan.

 Based off of this information, spray tans are not as safe as people once thought. They, too, can cause harm. My belief is during the winter months, people are supposed to be pale so why try changing that. It is natural to be pale in the winter.


Wow Rachel,
I never would have suspected that spray tanning could be so harmful. Your blog post made me curious whether or not some of the self-tan lotions we apply to our skin, could be as harmful as spray tanning. Therefore, I Googled Jergen's Natural Glow, in hopes to find an ingredients list, and I did: To my surprise, Jergen's also contains DHA! That is just unbelievable. If this ingredient is so harmful, I don't understand why the FDA doesn't reevaluate the chemical, and deem it unsafe for applications that we use for our skin. If almost all of the ways to tan are proven to harmful, what's the point??
Something I always consider and question is, why is "tan" the new cool thing? If you think back to the Renaissance Era, being pale and plump, or overweight was the desirable look. Today, we have people paying to damage their body to receive the new "in look." I wonder what society's next desire will be...and what crazy thing we will do to achieve it.

I too believe people should be pale in the winter! This article is very informative and really shocking. I have never had a spray tan but being from New Jersey a lot of my friends have had them but I would have never guessed they could have been so harmful! I did some research myself and I found the same information as you that the Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) should not be inhaled and is not the safest way to get some color. To read more click this link

I love spray tanning, because of the reason that you mentioned. It causes cancer and all other diseases that can kill me. But after reading this article, wow! I would never have suspected that spray tanning does any harm to you... Apparently, "while a spray tan may help you avoid skin cancer, breathing this chemical [Dihydroxyacetone that is in the spray] could induce a genetic alteration for those predisposed to cancer of the lungs, breast or colon" ... I'm not sure how I feel about spray tanning now... I would probably just wait until summer time so that I could get a natural tan.

I've always wanted to be tan year-round because of my lack of appeal to pale skin. I'm white as a ghost and have tried everything in the book except for fake tanning in the beds. Ever since I was little, people have told me to avoid them at all costs because of their terrible damaging and aging effects for skin. Wrinkly at 30, who in the world wants that? I've personally seen the effects of fake & bake, and they are not pretty. Next best option is just as you stated: fake spray tans. I've found that many of them are either harmful, streaky, or orange, and there seems to never be a good option. The truth is, if you want a real looking fake tan, you're going to have to spend a little bit of cash to achieve that look. Million Dollar Tan doesn't have that gross orange color and it the most natural tan I've ever achieved. My skin doesn't tan or burn naturally at all so I used the product during summertime and found it to work fantastically. Now, I embrace my natural paleness, but here's another list of cheap alternatives for sunshine if you want that glow all year:

I am extremely happy I just read this! I've never gone a lot, but if I go tanning once a week or a little less I could normally keep a decent tan throughout the winter. I haven't been going because it's just not worth it for how bad I've realized it is. Because of this, I have been considering spray tanning and this just made my decision for me! I cannot believe that it can actually be so harmful. It probably doesn't help that people consider it "the safe route" since the general public already knows tanning beds are bad. Overall, it's just too bad to see our society finds so many dangerous things to be "beautiful" and this blog was extremely helpful for me, so thanks!

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Life after death
I'm sure you have heard stories of people on their death bed who have come back to life after…
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
We have all heard the expression, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." My question is, does eating…
Accents are weird
I have always wondered why people have accents. Why cant I look at a Spanish word, with all the…

Old Contributions