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Top 6 Ingredients to Avoid in Tanning Products

With summer in full swing, one thing we’re all pondering is whether to fake, or to bake? It’s that annoying conundrum for everyone who wants a glowing tan. Well, if you’re like me and you’re seriously time poor than you likely use a fake tanning lotion instead of scrambling to find 15 minutes every day in the sun. You must know by now that a huge number of the ingredients we use in our daily products contain known toxins. So what ingredients should we avoid in self tanners and why?

Top 6 Ingredients to Avoid

 1. Parabens

You’ve likely heard of them before; and if you want to learn more about what parabens are and why they’re bad for us, read here. To sum it up, this chemical preservative has been linked to thyroid disruption, hormonal imbalance, gestational diabetes and breast cancer.


 2. Synthetic fragrances

Does your favourite fake tan smell like coconut, pineapple or some other nostalgic scent? These familiar scents that take you back to summer time on the beach (and I mean the good summers, like before you had kids) are made from a family of chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates are used in the making of soft plastics and create “fragrance” in personal care products.

The dangers of phthalates include cancer, endocrine disruption (brain, reproductive, developmental and immune system issues). Phthalates are listed under the ingredients list as “fragrance” or “parfum.” Keep in mind as well that phthalates are in every scented product we use every day from hand soap to makeup, shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, moisturisers, masks, your kids scratch and sniff stickers,  strawberry scented doll... the list goes on.


 3. Colourants

Sunset Yellow (Ci 15985/Yellow 6) also known as a “lake dye” is literally an orange/ yellow dye derived from petroleum that contributes to that “golden/orange” tan. If you’re not familiar with lake dyes than all you need to know is that these dyes are linked to behavioural problems in children, they contain highly carcinogenic properties as well as causing organ damage and birth defects.

I’m currently debating if the one of these that scares me the most is actually the “behavioural problems”... like I need my kids to have any more tantrums than they already do!


4. Isopropyl myristate

This synthetic oil helps a product be absorbed by the skin faster and it’s also used to make products thicker. Oddly enough it’s used outside the beauty industry as an agent for rust removal. Ever wonder why the mirrors always come loose and fall out of your compact? Because isopropyl myristate eats away at the glue that keeps the mirror in place! Gross!


 5. Amyl acetate

This is an ingredient is a solvent that dissolves other substances such as nail polish. It’s also used in dry cleaning businesses. Need I say more?


 6. Mineral oil

Mineral oil is literally derived from petroleum. Would you go to the fuel station, spray your skin with petrol and rub it in? Neither would I! When used in large quantities it’s considered carcinogenic. It’s mainly used because it’s cheap and it helps spread lotions easily. You know how a lot of fake tanning products say they’re moisturising? That’s because mineral oil “traps” moisture under the skin, keeping you from drying out. In my opinion though, something that moisturises the skin should be putting moisture back into the skin, not clogging the skin to stop it from losing moisture.


What to do?

So can you still get a fake tan that doesn’t contain these ingredients? You definitely can! For A Guide to Organic Fake Tans, read here. This link shows you a list of our toxin free fake tans, which ones are best for paler to darker skin tones and what results to expect.

Check out our full range of natural, cruelty & toxin free tanning products here.

Get 10% off on our products here.

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Author: Reema Poojari


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Our blogs are mostly guides into finding the right products to help manage acne, ageing, eczema, or how to find the best fake tan, natural sunscreen, or even natural shampoo, body wash, moisturiser or toothpaste. Our other blogs are informative pieces about certain ingredients found in some of our natural products that you may not have heard of, along with a list of their benefits and what products those ingredients are found in.
Our founder Tonia writes most of our blogs. The "author" can be seen underneath the title of each blog.
We gather our information from as many credible sources as possible such as journal articles, reports, studies etc. Like all other blogs, some information comes from public pages. We always ensure to verify facts from public pages before posting them on our site.