In Winter when the vitamin D isn’t banging down my door, I opt for the fake tan bottle… a lot. I lather it in thick and fast and as soon as the glow comes through, I feel a million bucks. Fake tan me is much more fun than pale me.
Today I woke to the news that fake tan may lead to wrinkles, lines and sagging skin. Say whaaat?!! This can’t be true, can it? I mean, the whole reason we no longer bake ourselves in the sun or use solariums is because of the UV damage to our skin which can cause cancer – and on a much more superficial scale – lines and wrinkles. Now, you’re telling me fake tan can cause my skin to age prematurely too? Of course, fake tan is still safer than lying in the sun, but apparently, those little magical bottles of transforming gold do not come without their own risks. Let me explain.
According to Dr Stefanie Williams, dermatologist and founder of London’s Eudelo skin clinic, fake tans work by reacting with your skin’s outer layer, which is comprised of dead skin cells. Known as the Maillard reaction, it creates compounds that turn the cells brown. The active ingredient in this reaction is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA (the ingredient that turns the skin brown). The Maillard reaction causes oxidative stress which is a type of damage much like you’d get from pollution or even sunbaking in the outer layers of skin, and oxidative stress leads to ageing – hence, wrinkles, lines and sagging. I felt like a bloody scientist writing that, big words but you get my point.
Does this mean that it might be time for me to break up with the fake tan for the sake of looking after myself…embrace what my mama gave me and all that? I’ll think about it for a while, no rash decisions will be made from one report.
My sheets, white towels and relationship would probably all benefit from the break up but I’m just not sure I’m quite ready, wrinkles aren’t that bad, are they?
How often do you apply fake tan? Will this news stop you?