Are spray tans safe?

Let’s face it, sun safety has become increasingly important. The days of laying in the sun, slathered in baby oil and iodine, are long over as the medical community points to the dangers of excessive sun exposure.


In addition to the risk of skin cancer, there’s no doubt that exposure to UV rays also damages your skin and can make you look old before your time…unless of course you like that leathery outdoors look…not.


More and more consumers looking for a healthy glow during the summer or before heading out on vacation or a formal event are turning to spray tans. From the standpoint of ultraviolet rays (UV rays) alone, spray tans are safe. These tans involve no exposure to UVA or UVB rays whatsoever. It's the exposure to UV rays from the sun or a tanning booth that can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.


Yet most of us know that our skin is an organ, and anything we put on it can be absorbed. So, how does a spray formula work?


The active ingredient in spray tans is DHA (or dihydroxyacetone). DHA reacts and binds with the amino acids in dead skin cells found on the outer layer of the skin, giving the illusion of a tan that gradually fades over time (usually about 2 weeks).


The reaction that takes place, called the Maillard reaction, produces pigments called melanoidins (which are similar to the natural pigment melatin). Once applied to the skin, the process of acquiring a faux tan takes around 2 to 4 hours and may continue for 24 to 72 hours.


Since sunless tanning is a relatively new thing, especially in spray form, there is very little research about its effects, specifically with DHA. Some concerns have been raised with regard to both the absorption of DHA through the skin and the risk that DHA can be inhaled or absorbed through mucous membranes.


With that said, some recommendations include eye protection, nose plugs, lip balm and undergarments to cover mucous membranes.



At Travel Tanz, our premium All-Natural Solution does not contain alcohol and is best for those with dry skin. With 9% Organic DHA, this solution is compatible with all skin types and produces the same flawless results as our Tahitian Tan Solution and is 98% natural, unscented, and paraben-free.

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