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Fake Tanning

Category: Skin Health

Topic: Sun Safety

Fake tanning refers to using a tanning agent to colour the skin. There are two main types of fake tans: skin dyes and tan enhancing agents.

Skin dyes are usually made from vegetable dyes and add a temporary colour to the skin to give the appearance of a suntan. These products give no protection from the sun.

Tan enhancing agents cause skin cells (melanocytes) to produce more melanin. When treated skin is exposed to sunlight, a tan is produced.

In recent years, fake tanning product options have increased with spray booths, bottle and wipe application methods available.

  • Be happy with the colour of your skin. Taking care of your skin now will prevent premature ageing and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
  • If you choose to use a fake tan, investigate the product options before using.
  • Don’t think a fake tan will protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation damage.

Practical Advice

Fake tanning agents that do not require a person to be exposed to sunlight for the agent to work are relatively safe to use. However, the chemicals in the skin dyes can react with sensitive skin types and cause allergic reactions.