does self tanner cause cancer

Mariah Brown

written by

Mariah Brown

update on

Welcome, reader! Are you looking for information on whether self tanner causes cancer? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll delve into the topic to separate fact from fiction and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about self tanning products. We’ll explore the potential risks, scientific studies, and expert opinions to shed light on the truth behind the myth of self tanner causing cancer. So let’s dive in and uncover the reality behind this topic that has sparked curiosity and concern!

does self tanner cause cancer

As a writer who has extensively researched and written about various health topics, including the relationship between self tanning and cancer, I understand the importance of clear and accurate information in making informed choices. So, let’s get started and address the question that brought you here: does self tanner cause cancer?

The Science Behind Self Tanning: How Does It Work?

The Role of DHA in Self Tanning

Self tanners are cosmetic products designed to give the skin a tanned appearance without exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The active ingredient in most self tanning products is called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When applied to the skin, DHA reacts with the amino acids present in the dead cells of the outermost layer of the skin, resulting in a brownish color. This reaction is commonly known as the Maillard reaction.

It’s important to note that self tanners only affect the outermost layer of the skin and do not penetrate or interact with the deeper layers where most types of cancer develop. Thus, the direct contact between self tanner and living cells, where cancer can potentially originate, is extremely minimal.

Frequently Asked Questions about Does Self Tanner Cause Cancer

1. Can self tanners cause skin cancer?

No, self tanners do not cause skin cancer. Unlike UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds, self tanners do not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, where skin cancer typically develops.

2. Is DHA in self tanners safe for use?

Yes, DHA is considered safe for use in self tanning products by regulatory authorities such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it’s recommended to perform a patch test before applying self tanner to the whole body to ensure no adverse reactions.

3. Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with self tanning?

While self tanning is generally considered safe, some people may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation due to individual sensitivities. It’s essential to read and follow the instructions provided with the self tanning product to minimize the risk of adverse effects.


In conclusion, the evidence suggests that self tanners do not cause cancer. The active ingredient in self tanning products, DHA, only affects the outermost layer of the skin and does not penetrate deep enough to reach the living cells where cancer typically originates. Numerous scientific studies and expert opinions support the safety of self tanners when used as directed.

If you want to achieve a tan without the harmful effects of UV radiation, self tanning can be a great alternative. Remember to choose reputable self tanning brands, perform patch tests, and follow the instructions provided to ensure a safe and satisfactory experience.

For more information on related topics or to explore other health concerns, feel free to explore our website’s other informative articles. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to provide you with accurate and helpful information for your health-related queries!

Sources and External Links:

Leave a Comment