Toxic Ingredients in Regular Tanning Oils

Just like traditional sunscreens, most of the tanning oils you’ll find readily available this time of year are full of ingredients you more than likely can’t even pronounce. Most of the leading cosmetic brands out there contain a slew of harmful ingredients that have no business coming in contact with your skin. When you take a look at some of the ingredients used in popular tanning oils, you’ll have a better idea of why you’ll never want to use these products again and rather opt for a natural one like our tint + tone tan oil made with all the wonderful plant oils and cacao to enhance your tan and protect your skin while you bronze!

Mineral Oil

This sounds like something that should be great for your skin but the mineral oil used in tanning oils is not as natural as you might think. It’s derived from petroleum and is actually a known carcinogen. Definitely not something you want to put on any where near your skin! Mineral oil is also comedogenic, which means it does wonders for clogging up your pores. Your skin can’t breathe through it and it can often lead to blemishes like pimples and blackheads. It actually creates a barrier over the skin, which is one of the reasons why it’s been used in lotions and tanning oils for so long. Creating a barrier stops additional water loss, which helps keep moisture in the skin to “reduce” dryness.

Looking at the label on your tanning oil and don’t see mineral oil? Don’t be fooled. It’s labeled under many different names including:

Paraffin Oil
Liquid Paraffin
Liquidum Paraffinum
Paraffin Wax
Propylene Glycol
Baby Oil

Preservatives

You try to avoid foods with artificial preservatives in them and your tanning oil should be no different. Just like with most beauty products you’ll find on the market, your tanning oil is full of preservatives like BHT and parabens, things you definitely don’t want on your skin.

BHT is added to food and cosmetics to preserve and slow down the rate in which they spoil. It’s also used in embalming fluid. Sounds awesome, right? It’s been shown to increase the risk of cancer, slow down DNA synthesis, and can accumulate in your body tissue.

Another nasty preservative commonly found in tanning oils is sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, one that is reportedly “natural” and has been used to replace parabens in many different products. Don’t be fooled, however, as this is far from natural. It actually contains formaldehyde and could possibly break down as this toxic substance gets in the body once it penetrates the skin.

Artificial Colours and Fragrances

You don’t for a minute believe that the tropical smell of most tanning oils is natural do you? There is an abundance of artificial fragrances that are used to please the senses and their use in tanning oils is definitely no exception. The use of artificial colours is not spared by tanning oil companies either. Take a look at your labels. Is there a FD&C or a D&C followed by a number listed in the ingredients? If so, you’re definitely putting yourself in harm’s way.

Important Things to Remember

If you want to tan (and who doesn’t), the best way to get the colour you desire is to do it gradually. If you’ve been inside all winter and your skin is looking a little pasty, take things slow! Try spending 20 minutes in the sun at a time at the beginning of the season to prevent any serious sunburn. Gradually work your way into spending longer periods of time outdoors and always use a natural sunblock in conjunction with our tanning oil if you have light or sensitive skin.

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