The Dangers of Sunless Tanning


Over the past decade the media has pushed the idea that the sun is dangerous and harmful so hard that the majority of people now believe this to be fact. We, as a society, have come to fear the suns rays. We slather ourselves in chemical laden sun block, sit in the shade, cover up with long sleeve clothing and even go so far as to quite literally either paint ourselves tan or trick our skin with chemicals into producing an artificial tan. Meanwhile, cancer rates are skyrocketing.


The truth is not enough sun exposure can cause all kinds of disease in the body. It contributes to the formation of cancer cells – including skin cancers. Without sunlight, vitamin D is not produced by the skin. Without this natural form vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, virtually no cholesterol can be removed from the body by the liver (because it lacks D2 to convert to D3), and the body begins hopelessly flushing out its own calcium reserves, causing cavities and bone disorders, and that’s just the beginning stage of vitamin D deficiency. The sun is not only good for you; it is vital to your well-being.

What is in sunless spray and lotion tanners?
Here is a list of the active ingredients that we should be concerned with:

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – This is the main ‘active ingredient’ in all chemical tanners. It is extracted from sugar beets or sugar cane: This has been played up to deceptively make it seem harmless.
The way it works: DHA forms a chemical reaction with amino acids on the skin surface and results in a dark layer on the skin. This results in the prevention of UVB absorption, blocking the creation of the anti-cancer vitamin D.
So from the time you wipe or spray on that pseudo tan, it takes approximately 2 weeks before your skin is able again to react to natural sunlight and create its own Vitamin D. That alone is incredibly unhealthy. And of course, if you keep reapplying more and more there is a cumulative effect. When inhaled, DHA can enter the lungs and eventually get into the bloodstream and has the potential to create many health problems, including cancer.

Ethoxydiglycol (Transcutol CG) – According to Material Safety Data Sheets this substance claims that it is hazardous upon ingestion and inhalation. It is also a mild skin irritant, which is somewhat ironic. It is flammable, and known to be most dangerous to the kidneys. Based upon animal studies, it may cause infertility and birth defects. It contains ether, which has been linked to cancers, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergic reactions and disruptions in the hormones.

Methylparaben and Propylparaben – These both accumulate in the breasts, liver and fat layers. They can cause skin irritation, dry skin, sensitizing the skin, and trigger allergic reactions. The F.D.A. maintains these are safe for absorption.

Ci 42090 (fd&c blue no. 1) , Ci 16255 (Red food No. 7) and Ci 19140 (Yellow No. 5) – Coloring agents. These additional dyes are added to ensure that the results seem instantaneous. They are included because most people would become nervous if they realized that a clear chemical was reacting with and discoloring their skin; so these creams are easier to market if there are dying agents that turn them to a brown color. Some of these dyes absorb through the skin, while others come off on a towel after the first shower. They are there for show and do not cause color change within the skin.

There is reason to incriminate these dyes as a potential cause of metabolic derangement as they can have an effect like other mitochondrial poisons (eg, cyanide) and can undermine the function of vital organs. They are considered toxic and in the case of Yellow No. 5 – also known as tartrazine which is derived from coal tar – carcinogenic and a known cancer-causing agent.

– Hiding ingredients behind the term ‘perfumes’ or ‘fragrances’ is another trick for deceiving potential customers about a product’s safety implication. The fragrance industry is not regulated. It could literally contain anything.

Peg-40 (polyethylene glycol derivative of hydrogenated castor oil) – This chemical has safety concerns regarding contamination with the known-carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane, which occurs throughout the standard manufacturing process. The Cosmetics Database reveals this substance as a hazard, and may damage the sense organs.

Considering all of these potentially harmful ingredients all common sense tells me that natural sunlight is the better choice. Use care and moderation. Sunburns are where the majority of the skin damage comes into play.

Enjoy the sun; get some color – just don’t over do it. When it comes to lotions potions and the like? – If you can’t easily pronounce it and/or do not have any idea what it is – do a little digging before smearing it all over the largest organ in your body.


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Sarah Barendse
Writer | Graphic Designer at Sarah Barendse Creative
My name is Sarah Barendse. I am a Natural Health Advocate, Writer, Graphic Designer, Life Enthusiast, and Spiritualist. I have been writing for Natural News since 2013 and uncovered some pretty crazy health and wellness issues that seemingly had gone previously unnoticed.

While I publish here I also have my own site, Please visit me there for more in depth articles!