Spray tans are safe
You may have read news reports questioning the safety of self-tanning products, including sprays. We would like to reassure the very many people who use and enjoy these types of product, and those who work in salons, that they and the commonly used ingredient DHA (dihydroxyacetone) are safe.
How can we be confident they are safe?
The articles present information from the US, which was reported last year, based on academic studies which do not reflect normal use. However the media does not really explain that the use of DHA in cosmetic products has been reviewed by the European independent committee of scientists, whose role it is to assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The group of experts looked at the use of DHA in cosmetic products, and in particular the possibility of inhalation from self-tan sprays, and found that the use of DHA in cosmetic products and in spray cabins is safe and does not pose a risk to health.
The articles also wrongly suggest a possible link between DHA and cancer. There are no links between the use of DHA and cancer.
Strict European cosmetic laws
It is also important to know that, by law, every cosmetic product must undergo a safety assessment before it is placed on the market in the UK and across Europe. The assessment is carried out by specifically qualified scientists and covers all of the ingredients, the final product, how and where the product is to be used, how often and by whom. Cosmetic products also have to carry instructions or any necessary precautions for use.
Of course when using any product, it's important to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, and as with all spray products and any aerosols, they should not be used in a confined space and there should be effective ventilation.
So if you enjoy sun-less tanning you may continue to do so, confident in the safety of the product. Always remember though, self-tanning products don't normally contain any sunscreens - so do not forget to also use sun protection when going out in the sun.