Swap It Sunday: Sunless Tanner

Summer is on the horizon and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look like a bronzed beach bunny. Heck I’ll admit it, I LOVE being tan. By now, I think most of know that getting tan by laying out in the sun all day isn’t so good for us with the skin cancer risk and, a tan = damaged skin, so we turn to lotions to help us get the look.

Most of the popular sunless tanner brands we are used to using are full of crappy ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, artificial colors and fragrances. The ingredient that makes us appear tan, DHA, is potentially dangerous as well.

According to wellness expert Kris Carr, ‘When it comes to applying DHA-containing self-tanner in the forms of cream and lotion, things get a little foggy. Some research shows that DHA does not migrate past the outermost layer of skin, or the “dead skin layer”, while other research shows that DHA can migrate to the living layers of the skin after all, but it’s unclear what happens from there. Even though we don’t have a conclusive answer on this, the following recent research on DHA makes me think twice about exposing my skin to these products (synthetic or natural).

A few years ago, an ABC News investigation reported that DHA has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage. Concerns were raised by a panel of medical experts, ranging across the fields of dermatology, toxicology, and pulmonary medicine, who reviewed 10 of the most current publicly available scientific studies on DHA, including a federal report ABC News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Some of the studies found DHA altered genes of multiple types of cells and organisms. ‘

Remember, when we lather a product all over our body we are putting it on our largest organ. The ingredients we put on our skin are absorbed into our bloodstream within 20 seconds. Yikes!

Thankfully, there are plenty of great safe options made without any of those yucky ingredients I listed above that will give you that summer glow all year long.









Chocolate Sun

Beauty By Earth

Note: I’ve only tried EcoTan and Beauty By Earth I really like both. Beauty by Earth is my go to.




If you are looking for a self-tanner and want to check the safety, you can see if it’s listed here at Skin Deep.

There are many other great tanners and also not-so-great tanners I didn’t list. Here are some ingredients to avoid when looking at a label:

-Fragrance, parfum


-Artificial colors, example: YELLOW 6, RED 33

-Any word that ends in PARABEN, example METHYLPARABEN

-Petrochemicals, example: Benzene, Phenoxyethanol, PEG (polyethylene glycol), DEA (diethanolamine) or MEA (ethanolamine)


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