A study, published in the British Medical Journal in July 2012, evaluated the findings of 27 previous studies related to the use of sunbeds.
A person’s risk of melanoma from sunbed usage increased by 1.8% for every single sunbed session per year. The study concluded that “the cancerous damage associated with sunbed use is substantial and could be avoided by strict regulations.” The authors of the study estimated that just under 6% of malignant melanomas are due to sunbed usage, which, to be fair, is low when compared with how many skin cancers are caused by inappropriate and excessive exposure to the sun.
Sunbeds were classified by the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) as ‘Group 1 carcinogens’ in 2009, but just like the cigarette industry, there are still customers willing to pay for it.
But many more people are aware of the cancer risk, along with premature skin ageing, so they increasingly turn to fake tan as a “safe” alternative. Unfortunately, a primary ingredient in many spray tan products, Dihydroxyacetone, (or DHA), which turns your skin brown, has been shown in more than 10 recent laboratory studies to have risks to human health including causing damage to your DNA and potential birth defects. Some people even have an immediate allergic reaction to it.
According to Dr. Rey Panettieri, a lung specialist and toxicologist at the University of Pennsylvania, “these compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies.”
DHA is approved by the US Food And Drug Administration for external use only, which means that it should not be inhaled, used near the eyes, eaten, or put on the lips. In many tanning booths, there is a significant risk of people inhaling or ingesting DHA.
So what is the solution? Well, sun exposure at moderate levels enables your body to produce vitamin D3, which has excellent anti-cancer properties and is a powerful antioxidant. Visit the Anticancer Activities section of this book to learn more about the benefits of seeking out moderate sun exposure.
Unless you do this regularly, you will not build up the Hollywood glow that many people are looking for. Equally, where do you draw the line between moderate exposure and excessive exposure? Fortunately, DHA-free self tanning and bronzing products do exist. For example, Melvita Prosun Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizing Gel-Cream.
However, rather than listing products which may become obsolete or discontinued over time, it is better for you to visit our recommended products page for up-to-date brand recommendations.