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.