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A wonderful tan thanks to fake tan - self-tanner is considered the healthy alternative to real sunbathing. But isn't the fake tan from the tube really harmful?
Let's admit it: We all dream now and then of a deep summer tan that makes us look like we've just returned from a three-month surf trip in Australia. But most of them don't. Many of us regularly look like a crab-red patchwork carpet. Really great.
In addition, long, intense sunbathing is not healthy anyway. After all, sun exposure is the main cause of premature aging. Frequent sunburns in particular increase the health risk - in the worst case, skin cancer can even develop. The skincare guru Leon from xSkincare even describes self-tanners as "the only healthy tan!"
How does self-tanner work?
Self-tanners usually contain the active ingredients dihydoxyacetone (DHA) or erythrulose, sometimes combined. When the cream is applied, the substances penetrate the top layer of the cornea and react there with the keratin (to form horns) in the skin cells. This creates a brown dye under the skin layer and gives us a brown complexion.
Which active ingredient is better?
"Both work, DHA achieves results faster, but it can get blotchy and orange," explains the skin care professional. "Erythrulose takes longer to tan, is less intense, but also less orange. DHA is often used because it gives faster results. A mixture of the two also works well!"
What do you have to pay attention to?
In general, the ingredients of modern fake tans are totally harmless. The products used to contain parabens or similar inferior substances. In any case, you should pay attention to a certain quality and deal with what is actually contained in the product that you want to use. Apps like "CodeCheck" or "Toxfox" can help. Or you can ask the dermatologist you trust. Most importantly, self-tanners with DHA shouldn't be used once they have expired. "DHA breaks down and can potentially be problematic," says Leon from xSkincare. Problematic, what does that mean? When DHA decomposes, it can potentially produce carcinogenic substances.