Spray Tan Solution Dangers. Is the ingredient DHA safe to use in tanning?

Spray Tan Solution Dangers. Is the ingredient DHA safe to use in tanning?

Written by Nicola Scott

Topics: News, Spray Tan, Spray Tanning

Spray tan has for many years been seen as a safe & easy alternative to using a UV sunbed. Recently reports have been circulating that cast doubt on these safety claims.
In this article I hope to shed light on the claims that some of the ingredients in spray tanners shouldn’t be inhaled.
There is an interesting article on Yahoo that covers some of the questions & concerns spray tanners may have.


“I have concerns,” said Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “The reason I’m concerned is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption — that is, getting into the bloodstream. These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies,” he said, “and if that’s the case then we need to be wary of them.”


The active ingredient in a fake tan is dihydroxyacetone. This substance, which comes from a vegetable source, reacts with the amino acids in the skin, causing the skin to turn brown. The reaction takes around 4 hours “development time” and happens only in the very top layer of the skin, which is why over the following few days, the tan begins to fade, as the epidermal skin is shed.

Although DHA has been approved by the FDA it was only meant to be used in tanning creams & not as a spray, which subsequently can then be breathed in.

“DHA should not be inhaled or ingested” today. It tells consumers on its website, “The use of DHA in ‘tanning’ booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation.” The agency advises consumers who spray tan they are “not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive” if they are inhaling the mist or allowing it to get inside their body. The agency recommends, “Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.”

I talked to Richard Brown who is managing director of Siennasol Ltd (www.siennasol.co.uk). Siennasol  manufacture spray tanning solutions for salons & therapists.

“We work hard to make Siennasol as pure & natural as possible. Our solution doesn’t contain any perfume, parabens or alcohol & all our DHA is ECOcert, which means it is naturally derived from sugar beat & is perfectly safe to use.” said Richard.

“We do recommend therapists & their clients use a face mask during application & when spraying over the face, the client should hold their breath.”
“I’ve looked at all the data available & feel that spray tans are generally very safe to use, personally I feel that the bigger risk which rarely gets mentioned is that of the inclusion of Parabens not only in Spray tan but in so many cosmetics products we use every day”
We then began taiking about the risks associated with long term exposure to Parabens, I’ll save that for a later post.
spray tan extractor
I think right now you should look at using spray tan solutions that are as pure as possible & look at using ventilation & face masks.
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I am Nicola Scott. I help salons & Mumtrepreneurs become spray tan pros I live in Ripon which is in the heart of the Yorkshire dales. As well as juggling a busy family life, I also run www.spraytanpro.co.uk & write this blog I'm currently developing a training program for beauty therapists wishing to enter the world of spray tanning.

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