Which is Safer: Fake Bake or Real Tan?

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Much has been said about the dangers of getting a tan under the sun. Sun tanning is the leading cause of skin cancer, one of the most preventable types of cancer there are. It can also cause premature aging, cataract, and other ailments.

Most people think that a spray tan – also called fake bake – is a safer alternative to sun tanning. But is it really? In today’s post, we are listing down the pros and cons of spray tanning:

Pros of Spray Tanning

Bronzy Skin for Weeks

Spray tanning gives the appearance of healthy, glowing skin. And because bronzy skin is always on trend, achieving a healthy tan is easier with spray tanning. The application is not fool-proof but once you get the hang of it, you can achieve even, glowing tan for weeks at a time.

Prevent Sun Damage

No need to spend hours baking under the sun to achieve a fabulous glow. A spray tan cleverly mimics that distinct “holiday glow” without exposing the skin to ultraviolet rays. Sun tanning can also cause painful sunburns, lesions, and saggy skin. That’s because the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down skin tissues, causing the skin to lose its elasticity. With a spray tan, you minimize the risk of sun damage, premature wrinkles and skin cancer.

Even Coverage

When it comes to formulation, spray tans are getting better and better every season. Some formulas are not as tricky to apply. And the results rival than of a real tan. A spray tan looks more natural than sunburned skin. The whole process is even easier if you had your tan professionally done in a salon!

Cons of Spray Tanning

Exposure to Chemicals

Some spray tans contain harmful chemicals that are absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream. When used properly, spray tanning is considered safe. But if you chose the wrong brand, you risk exposure to chemicals that can cause a variety of ailments.

Promotes Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is the precursor to chronic diseases. This is caused by free radicals, molecules that destroy healthy cells. When the healthy cells are exposed to oxidation, they start to mutate. Eventually, some of the cells will become malignant, diseased.

Studies found that spray tanning increases the risk of oxidative stress by boosting free radical formation. This makes spray tanning just as dangerous as sun tanning. To minimize the risk of cellular damage, be selective to the formulas to use for tanning. Instead of spray tanning, we recommend cream or lotion formula.


If you spray tan regularly, then at some point, you’ve experienced stained clothes from the fake bake. If you apply fake tan at home, wash your hands as soon as you are done. This way, you won’t get the dreaded orange palms. Wash the sink or bathroom floor too so the tan won’t stain your bathroom. Usually, spray tan dries up 15 minutes after application. But we don’t recommend going out hours after applying fake bake. Perspiration could cause the pigment to bleed. This lead to streaky, uneven tan and inevitably, staining.

Spray tan is less dangerous than sun tanning, but it has its own risks. To be on the safe side, always check the labels and do your research. If you’re unsure, turn to tanning lotion instead of spray tan.

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