Here is a little primer on how to read self-tanner labels to avoid the nasty stuff.
The main active ingredient in self-tanners is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), and it seems to be safe, as it does not penetrate the skin. However, it does make the skin extra sensitive to the sun's rays
, so it is a good idea to apply it in the evening
, and use sunscreen
diligently for the next few days.
Lets take a look at other ingredients in a self-tanner. Here are some that you want to avoid:
- Parabens:hormone disruptors and carcinogen. There re four kinds, the name of each ends with -paraben.
- Oxybenzone: sunscreen that mimics hormones, and causes other ingredients to pass through the skin into the blood more easily. It's not going to give you much sun-protection anyway, for that you need a proper layer of a good sunscreen.
- 1,4 Dioxane: this suspected carcinogen is not listed as an ingredient. To avoid it, watch out for ingredients such as sodium laureth sulfate and stuff that has "PEG", "xynol", "ceteareth," and "oleth" in their name.
- Chemical fragrances & perfumes: look for plant-based oil scents instead.
- Some Alcohols: Some alcohols dry the skin, some don't.
- Glycerin: pulls the moisture away from the deeper layers of the skin to moisturise the surface.
Too lazy do do your research ?
- Alpha-hydroxy acid: penetration enhancer helps toxins to penetrate deeper, harms sensitive and spider-veined skin, unsafe for pregnant and nursing women.
Simply check out the safety rating of the Cosmeticdatabase.
Take a look at the worst
Self-tanners as well as the safest
You might also want to read:* Why some self-tanners make you Orange
* Damage from the sun is reversible !
* How Makeup can destabilize Sunscreen and lower sun protection
* Tanned skin, as seen from the other side (of the world)