Spray Tan Safety: Avoiding the Hazards

Spray tanning has rapidly swept the world of tanning and its continuing growth has partly been due to the rise in awareness about the hazardous effects of ultraviolet rays. Spray tanning eliminates the risk of skin cancer and you don’t have to bake under the sun for hours to get tanned. Despite the safety of spray tanning, many people do question if it is 100% hazard-free for their skins. The question prevails: is spray tan application safe for everyone?

Although it is considered as the safe tanning alternative to the sun, the solutions do contain one particular chemical in spray tanning products – dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – that can have harmful effects if not applied properly. The chemical DHA is an ingredient added to all spray tanning products as it mainly dyes the skin brown by changing the colour of the dead skin cells temporarily. It reacts with the amino acids of the outer layer of the skin only and darkens these cells to a bronze hue. The TGA has approved DHA for being safe in sunless tanning products, unless it is not applied in excess or inhaled, which is why spray tan extractor fan are absolutely essential. The TGA disapproves the use of DHA on the lips, eyes, and areas covered by mucous membrane.

Safe tanning consists of avoiding direct tanning product exposure to the client, as well as high exposure to DHA. During your spray tanning session you should always avoid spray tan application to areas such as the nose, lips, and eye area. A spray tan extractor fan also helps to avoid you inhaling or breathing in during the spray tanning session. Inhaling DHA can lead to coughing, dizziness, and difficulty in breathing. To avoid the hazards of spray tanning and DHA, you should:

  1. Ask for a nose filter before the spray tanning session. Nose filters prevent inhalation of DHA from the nose.
  2. Ensure the tanning salon you choose has a spray tan extractor fan. A spray tan extractor fan clears the air by sucking in the contaminated air with DHA and throws out clean air.
  3. Cover the eyes or keep them closed during the tanning session.
  4. Cover the lips and mucous membranes for the session.
  5. Wear disposable undergarments for the spray tanning session to avoid the tanning solution from tanning your private regions, which are also sensitive.
  6. If you have sensitive skin, apply a barrier cream to avoid over absorption of the spray tanning solution. Safe tanning means lesser DHA exposure so avoid excess of its application.

The next time you opt for spray tanning, make sure you don’t forget wearing those goggles and ensuring that your beautician has other safety essentials such as spray tan extractor fan. If you are doing it at home, then wear a mask to cover the mouth and lips. Remember, that spray tanning is safer than being exposed to the sun, but it is safe tanning only when DHA is used in safe conditions.