Sunless Tanning

Sunless Tanning, controversy or safety?

Tanning salons and natural sun tanning have come under intense scrutiny over the last decade. In the 80’s we all were at the beach enjoying ourselves with Coppertone in hand. In the 90’s the incidence of skin cancer sky rocketed and put people on alert, and that is when the increase in tanning salons began. It was a surefire way to get the sun kissed look without putting yourself at risk of skin cancer, or was it? Questions arose as to the safety of the tanning beds, and the long term effects it may have over time. The question remained- what is safe for us to use to get the look we seek without all the fear of cancer, radiation, and over burning in certain situations.

Enter sunless tanning pills. It is an easy and convenient way of achieving the tan without the consequences, right? The FDA has deemed these "pills" unsafe and a possible threat to your health. They are being marketed as the next greatest thing, but in researching their ingredients, it is hard to find what makes up this miracle pill.

The makeup of such a pill to give you a sun baked look would have to include caretenoid pigments or tyrosine, but if neither of these is in the pill, it really is just an over-marketed multivitamin. The effect of the caretenoid pigments or tyrosine is to alter the skins pigmentation, essentially hoping to fake the tan. In documented cases, some have reported their skin to turn orange, and to have uneven blotchiness in areas and no effect in other areas of their body. Each chemical works slightly differently, but the effect is supposedly the same - a tan.

With the caretenoid tanning pill, it behaves in a manner in which it deposits pigment in fat layers just under the skin, coloring it. The amount it takes to get the tan that we seek has been deemed dangerous by the FDA.

The other base frequently found in these pills, tyrosine, is a non-essential amino acid that helps skin cells produce melanin. There is no need to supplement for it; it is a naturally occurring element in our bodies, so it means that pills that claim to contain tyrosine are not up to their manufacturers' claims.

It is a great feeling to have a tan - but at what cost? When the risk outweighs the benefit, it is best to look elsewhere, and this is one of those situations. There are many options to seek out in looking for the perfect method for you. There are a number of other options to consider before putting yourself at risk for a tan. Seek out the advice of your doctor when in doubt, especially when it comes to altering your appearance.

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