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Spray Tans & Self Tanners: Are They Safe?

From the Show: HER
Summary: Coppertone, Jergens and Clarins are a few brand name sunless tanners that actually work. But are they safe?
Air Date: 3/27/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Doris Day, MD
doris day Doris Day, MD, is a board certified dermatologist who specializes in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology on the Upper East Side in New York City.

Her private practice includes national and international celebrities. Dr. Day is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and is a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center where she was presented with the award for Dedication and Excellence in the Teaching of Dermatology.

Dr. Day is a highly-respected and sought-after media personality in the area of cosmetic dermatology. She has written and spoken extensively in this area including hour-long documentaries on cosmetic procedures for the Discovery Channel.

She is also a frequent guest expert for Good Morning America, GMA Health, and The Mike and Juliet Show, and has had several appearances on CNN, The Today Show, iVillage, The Tyra Banks Show and many other television and internet events, as well as features in major women's magazines including In Style, Allure, Vogue, Glamour, W, and Redbook. She has also been a frequent guest host for "Healthy Life" on ABC News Now, and has a monthly column in Health magazine.
  • Book Title: Forget the Facelift: Turn Back the Clock with Dr Day’s Revolutionary Four-Step Program for Ageless Skin
Spray Tans & Self Tanners: Are They Safe?
Spray tanning and self-tanners are definitely much safer than sun bathing outside or going in a tanning bed. 

However, experts now know that the main coloring agent (dihydroxyacetone DHA) in spray tans and self-tanners is somewhat absorbed into the skin.

There are also some risks associated with inhalation and ingestion, which is not recommended over time or in large quantities. Spray tanning salons should give you eye wear and nose guards, but it is virtually impossible to not breathe in the formula at all.

Due to this unavoidable situation, spray tanning is best for the body and a self-tanning lotion or cream for the face. Coppertone, Jergens and Clarins are a few brand name sunless tanners that actually work. 

Just a reminder: spray tans and self-tanners are not equivalent to sunscreen; you still need to apply SPF regularly. 

So what are some of the protective guidelines?

For spray tanning: 
  • Most women go naked to avoid tan lines and/or stained clothing.
  • Use of nose filters; they do help.
  • Use of lip balm creates a barrier.

Doris Day, MD, is a board certified dermatologist who specializes in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology on the Upper East Side in New York City. Dr. Day discusses spray tanning verses sunless tanners and if they really are the safer way to get a sun-kissed glow. 

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