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5 Things Your Dermatologist Wants you to Know About Fake Tan

Are you the kind of person who notices how pale you really are when the sun comes out and want to do something about it? Fake tan is one of the first things people turn to when they want to give themselves a little colour. It’s not all good though; here are five things you should know about fake tan courtesy of your local dermatologist Reading.

1. Fake Tan is Safer Than Real Tans
There have been a number of discussions on the safety of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which is the substance that darkens your skin by reacting with the amino acids in dead skin cells. There is no real need to worry about fake tan though. It’s still much safer than tanning in a booth or under the sun. Tanning exposes your skin to UV radiation, which damages it and increases your risk of developing skin cancer. The potential risks of DHA are disputed unlike with sunbathing, which any dermatologist Slough will tell you increases your risk of cancer.

2. You Shouldn’t Breathe In
You need to consider how and where you apply the tan. Evidence shows that DHA is completely safe in the concentrations used for fake tan, but you should still be careful to avoid inhaling or ingesting it, and you should never get it in your eyes – particularly when using sprays. You need to apply fake tan in an open and ventilated area while protecting your eyes, nose, and mouth. You shouldn’t be concerned as long as you stick to the product instructions.

3. Organic Tans are Not Necessarily “Healthier”
You might be tempted to go with an organic tan, but there’s no real evidence that they are better. Organic tans still have DHA, but they claim it is extracted from natural ingredients like sugar beets rather than synthetic DHA. They claim that the DHA reacts only to the dead top layers of skin, while the chemicals in fake tan could seep through and damage skin. This gives you a tan that develops faster and a product that absorbs through to the bloodstream. Even so, there’s no real evidence that this is what happens, so an organic fake tan may not be worth it.

4. You Can Still Burn With a Fake Tan
You might feel smug with your fake tan while watching your friends struggle to get real ones, but you shouldn’t relax too much. Having a fake tan doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t going to get damaged by the sun, so you still need to apply a good sunscreen. Some fake tans may claim to include SPF, but you should be aware that the fake tan wears off, along with the SPF. You should never substitute proper sun protection or convince yourself your fake tan is protecting you.

5. You Need a Patch Test
Do you have a big event coming up and want to get a tan ready? Never forget the patch test. Different people have different skin types and allergies, so you should play it safe and get a patch test done behind the ears before applying a fake tan. Not everyone reacts to fake tan, but it could respond badly to alcohol or perfume so be careful.

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