Before you reach for the fake tan or book your next salon appointment, find out what your exposing your skin to.

Hazards of fake tan

Find out the dangers of spray tanThinkstock

DIY fake tan

WATCH FOR:  According to one report from MedicineNet, “Self-tanning lotions and creams contain…the active chemical components dihydroxyacetone and various dyes. These are usually tolerated well. However, it is possible for these chemicals to cause dermatitis…(which could cause) irritation of the skin, with redness, itching and discomfort.”

In plain English? “Dihydroxyacetone is a ketone chemical which can be absorbed through the skin into the circulation. This could, in very rare cases, possibly lead to side effects, such as extreme tiredness (after a treatment), a general feeling of illness.” For more information on store-bought fake tanning products, visit the Cancer Council Australia.

BEST BEAUTY BET:  Palmer’s Natural Bronze Tanning Moisturiser (; EcoTan (; Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel (

TOP TIP:  “Always exfoliate first,” says Jodi Bibra – spray tan technician and owner of Tanology. “Apply Vaseline around your elbows and knees so that the fake tan doesn’t adhere to this area and become darker than the rest of your tan.”

Salon treatment: spray tan

WATCH FOR:  Spray tanning, available in beauty salons, hairdressers and some gyms, uses misters to apply an even coat of fake tan solution. The spray is safe for your skin, but it’s important to protect your eyes and not to breathe in the mist, according to Cancer Council Australia. Iman Ghananim, beauty lecturer at the College of Natural Beauty, suggests taking the following precautions when getting a faux glow. “Always ensure that your clinic is of good quality and is a member of the Advanced Association of Beauty Therapists (visit for members). Also, ensure that your room is clean, that the therapist talks you through the process of fake tanning and that they use fresh towels and gowns with each application.”

BEST BEAUTY BET:  If your fake tan has become a little darker in one area, use lemon juice or a body brush to help even it out.
WHAT TO TRY: Sun FX natural spray tan; Vani-T; Asyana Spray tan.

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