VIDEO: The Tanned Skin Beauty Ideal and the Safety of Self-tanners: Do They Age You?

In this video, we explore the science behind self-tanning products and their potential to cause premature aging. We take a brief look at the history of tanning and how it became a symbol of beauty and health in Western society. We discuss how self-tanner works, its safety profile, and whether it can cause aging. We debunk some common myths about self-tanners and provide expert advice on how to use them safely. Join us as we dive into the world of self-tanning and discover how to achieve a healthy, sun-kissed glow without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a dermatologist, but I am a medical doctor, beauty enthusiast, and a huge fan of sunless tanning products. That’s why I did some research into the safety of these products and whether they could potentially cause premature aging. I looked into various scientific studies to find my answer.

References used in my research:

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  • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004;195:309-320. Beutler E, Guinto E. The metabolism of dihydroxyacetone by intact erythrocytes. J Lab Clin Med. 1973;82:534-545. Ouellette M, Makkay AM, Papke RT.
  • Dihydroxyacetone metabolism in Haloferax volcanii. Front Microbiol. 2013;4:376. Akin FJ, Marlowe E. Non-carcinogenicity of dihydroxyacetone by skin painting. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 1984;5:349-351.
  • Petersen AB, Na R, Wulf HC. Sunless skin tanning with dihydroxyacetone delays broad-spectrum ultraviolet photocarcinogenesis in hairless mice. Mutat Res. 2003;542:129-138.
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  • Petersen AB, Wulf HC, Gniadecki R, et al. Dihydroxyacetone, the active browning ingredient in sunless tanning lotions, induces DNA damage, cell-cycle block and apoptosis in cultured HaCaT keratinocytes. Mutat Res. 2004;560:173-186.
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  • Jung, K., Seifert, M., Herrling, T., Fuchs, J., & Zastrow, L. (2007). UV-generated free radicals (FR) in skin: their prevention by sunscreens and their induction by self-tanning agents. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 66(3), 727-731.
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as used in cosmetic products. (2008). CIR Compendium, 26(1), 1-89.
  • Armas LA, Fusaro RM, Sayre RM, et al. Do melanoidins induced by topical 9% dihydroxyacetone sunless tanning spray inhibit vitamin d production? A pilot study. Photochem Photobiol. 2009;85:1265-1266.
  • Mahmoud, B. H., & Hexsel, C. L. (2010). Aging and photoaging: a comprehensive review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 9(4), 260-270.
  • Nilsen LT, Hannevik M, Veierød MB, et al. Protection against ultraviolet A-induced oxidative damage in human skin by dihydroxyacetone. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2010;26(1):32-37.
  • Morren M, Dooms-Goossens A, Heidbuchel M, et al. Contact allergy to dihydroxyacetone. Contact Dermatitis. 1991;25:326-327.
  • Lindqvist PG, et al. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2012 Apr;28(2):58-62).
  • “Self-Tanners and Bronzers.” American Academy of Dermatology.
  • “Dihydroxyacetone.” Cosmetics Info.
  • “Self-tanners: Can they prevent premature aging?” Harvard Health Publishing.
  • “The Maillard reaction in vivo.” The Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
  • “Sunless Tanning Products.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • “Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Products.” Harris Poll.
  • “The safety of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) for use in sunless tanning products.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Bovenschen HJ, Korver JE, van der Valk PG. Contact dermatitis to self-tanning products. Contact Dermatitis. 2009;60:290-291.

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