- Sunless tanning
Sunless tanning (also known as self tanning, or UV-free tanning) refers to applying chemicals on the
skinto produce an effect similar in appearance to a more traditional suntan. Sunless tanning arose in response to links between sun exposure and skin cancerdiscovered in the 1960s, along with other alternatives to natural sun tanningsuch as the use of a sunbed or tanning bed.
According to the
American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective products available are sunless tanning or self tanning lotions that contain dihydroxyacetone(DHA) as the active ingredient. The tan is not a dye, stain or paint, but a chemical reaction between the DHA and the amino acidsin the dead layer on the skin surface. This is similar to a reaction well known to food chemists called the Maillard reaction. This refers to the browning process during food manufacturing and storage. It does not involve skin pigmentationnor does it need UVexposure to initiate the color change.The tan is temporary and will fade gradually over 3 to 10 days. Some products use Erythrulosecombined with the DHA. Erythruloseworks identically to DHA on the skin surface, but develops more slowly. The two chemicals used together may produce a longer lasting sunless tan.Fact|date=September 2008 Dihydroxyacetoneor Erythrulosemay cause contact dermatitis. First time users of sunless tanning products should apply them to a small patch of skin and wait 24 hours before a full body application.
These products can be applied at home, in the form of gels, lotions, mousses, sprays and wipes. Best results are obtained when applied to clean, dry skin. Bathing and swimming should be avoided until product is fully absorbed, which varies from one to six hours. More DHA is absorbed by the thicker skin on the hands and feet, so those areas should be skipped or cleaned immediately after application.
Professional application options are available from spas, salons and gymnasiums in the form of sunless or UV-Free spray booths. [http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-tan4.html FDA Comments on Sunless Tanners and Bronzers ] The enclosed booth, which resembles an enclosed shower stall, sprays the sunless tanning solution over the entire body.
Airbrush spray tans are applied by professional technicians using specialized equipment designed for applying self tanning sprays, such as an
airbrush, LVLP spraygun, and HVLP spraygun equipment types. The technician hand sprays the client from head to toe with a gentle solution misting. The portability of the equipment allows spray tanning services in a larger variety of places, from beach kiosks and malls to in home application.
DHA has been approved for cosmetic use by the
Food and Drug Administration(FDA) [http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/cf732150.html FDA Approval of DHA] , the Canadian Health Ministry and most of the EU member nations. It is considered nontoxic and noncarcinogenic. Because DHA does not use the skin's melanocytesto make the skin a tan color it is recommended as a cosmetic disguising cover for Vitiligopatients. DHA based Sunless tanning has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Organization, American Academy of Dermatology, Canadian Dermatology Association[ [http://www.dermatology.ca/english Welcome to CDA ] ] , The American Cancer Societyand the American Medical Association.
Although gels, lotions or sprays that contain DHA are said to be the most reliable and useful, there are other types of products on the market. Tanning accelerators -- lotions or pills [ [http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-tan2.html US FDA/CFSAN - Tanning Pills ] ] that usually contain the amino acid
tyrosine-- claim that they stimulate and increase melaninformation, thereby accelerating the tanning process. These are used in conjunction with UV exposure. At this time, there is no scientific data available to support these claims.
Another sunless-tanning product is a tanning pill that contains
canthaxanthin, which is most commonly used as a color additive in certain foods. Although the FDA has approved the use of canthaxanthin in food, it does not approve its use as a tanning agent. When used as a color additive, only very small amounts of canthaxanthin are necessary. As a tanning agent, however, much larger quantities are used. After canthaxanthin is consumed, it is deposited throughout the body, including in the layer of fat below the skin, which turns an orange-brown color. These types of tanning pills have been linked to various side effects, including hepatitisand canthaxanthin retinopathy, a condition in which yellow deposits form in the retina of the eye. Side effects including damage to the digestive system and skin surface have also been noted. The FDA withdrew approval for use of canthaxanthin as a tanning agent, and has issued warnings concerning its use. [ [http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-tan2.html US FDA/CFSAN - Tanning Pills ] ]
Melanotan, a melanocyte-stimulating hormone, which induces skin pigment increase and tanning, is another alternative on the horizon. This drug has not yet been approved for clinical trials in the USA, although it has been extensively tested in Australia. Melanotan may require some UVexposure to be most effective.
Bronzers are a temporary sunless tanning or bronzing option. These come in powders, sprays, gels, lotions and moisturizers. Once applied, they create a tan that can easily be removed with soap and water. Like make-up, these products tint or stain your skin only until they are washed off.
They are often used for a "one-day" only tan, or to complement a DHA based sunless tan. Many formulations are available, and some have limited sweat or light water resistance. Most will create some light but visible rub-off onto snug clothing. Therefore they should not be applied under clothing, or where fabric and skin edges meet. Dark clothing will prevent the rub-off from being noticeable.
* [http://www.skincancer.org/component/page,shop.browse/category_id,47/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,59/ Make sure your sunless tanner has The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation]
* [http://home.howstuffworks.com/question639.htm How Stuff Works]
* [http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-col2.html#table1A FDA listing of approved colorants]
* [http://www.aad.org/public/Publications/pamphlets/Sunscreens.htm American Academy of Dermatology on Self Tanners]
* [http://www.cancer.org/docroot/SPC/content/SPC_1_Tanning_the_Sunless_Way.asp The American Cancer Society on Sunless Tanners]
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