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Alright then, I have a question I hope you guys can help me answer. With warmer weather and less clothes coming up and all that, I've been toying with the idea of getting a self-tanner lotion or even having self tan applied professionally again. But, so I read this thing on the web about DHA, which is the main coloring product in self-tanners, being not so safe or at least not proven safe. I'm now wondering whether it's OK to use self-tanner lotions or whether it could be dangerous and I should stay away from them. Though I'd like a nice tan, health and safety come first for sure! What should I do?

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Dihydroxyacetone, the DHA you mention, has been used in cosmetics for many years now. While you should not inhale self tanners, which is a concern when getting a spray tan, DHA is indeed FDA approved as an ingredient, which means it is generally considered safe, especially when used as directed, and you are making a safe choice by using it. Many people really want tans. Just think that you are not using sun beds or baking in the sun. This alone means you are making a much more responsible choice than many others are. I would thus use self tan without any concerns. 

Rosie

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There is no evidence, as already mentioned, that sunless tanning lotions are unsafe. The only thing you need to know about them is that though some sunless tanning lotions do contain a sunscreen as well, that will only be active a few hours. Hence, even if you are using a sunless tanner, you will still need to wear a regular sunscreen every single day. If you follow that advice, you are fine. 

Tanning pills, however, are not safe. They contain canthaxanthin, which besides tanning your skin can lead to urticaria, eye damage, and liver damage. Though these pills sound wonderful on the surface, do not risk taking them!

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If self tans were not safe then why is it that you can by them everywhere? I am assuming, all these cosmetic products, they go through some rigid examination process to check it if they are safe and if problems are located then they would never make it to see the shelves of your super market? This is, not everyone can sell whatever they want and cannot make claims about safety when it has not been checked. If you buy it from a shady place maybe it could be dangerous but otherwise, yes, why worry? It is in normal shops everywhere and has been there many years. If it were dangerous we would know now not use self tanners, I think.
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OK reading the replies I'm realising that I actually sound quite paranoid asking if self-tanners are safe for using. It just suddenly struck me that well, they turn your skin darker, which then led me to Google and you all know that whatever you're using, there's always SOMEONE telling you it will give you cancer or something. So I got scared. OK then I suppose I'd better avoid the spray tans, which anyways gave me rather the orange look, and stick to mild self tanners for the best effect. And yeah, I'll wear sunscreen too thanks for the tip. 

Any suggestions which self tanner is best for pale Caucasian skin right now?

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Oh, no, you are not being silly at all! I agree that there's one hell of a scare campaign going on if you get into some of the more natural type blogs out there, but then again some products that we believe to be safe are genuinely unsafe. As long as you stick to reputable sources, such as the FDA, to look things up, you can learn a lot about these things without scaring yourself half to death.

Sorry, I don't have recommendations for you as I have given up on tanning! I'm always going to be pale and have learned to love my skin.

Rosie
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Yes! Some people are scared of self tanning lotions because the tan isn't just "smeared on" as with makeup - when you have a shower it still stays on, or rather in. That fake tan is caused by a chemical reaction in the outer layer of the skin that makes some people believe it is not safe. Put it this way though: a real tan penetrates far deeper and extended sun exposure is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to cause very nasty cancers. I know on which horse I am betting! I suggest you all do the same.
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