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Bad Side Effects of Fake Tanning Spray

Updated November 21, 2016

Many people want to be tan. Lying in the sun can cause sunburn, and long-term effects of sunbathing can cause your skin to age prematurely and can cause skin cancer. Tanning sprays seem to be safe, but there are some bad side effects that you should be aware of prior to using them. They can cause itching, rashes, inflammation of hair follicles and dry skin. In addition, they offer no protection from the suns rays.

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Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in fake tanning spray can cause dry skin, contact dermatitis, inflammation of hair follicles, skin irritation and rash.

Allergic Reaction

You may have an allergic reaction to DHA or other chemicals or preservatives in fake tanning spray.


Fake tanning spray does not provide protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun even though it darkens your skin. If you don't wear sunscreen over a spray tan you could get a sunburn.

Inhaling the Spray

While DHA is approved for use by the FDA, it is intended for external use only. By inhaling the mist from the spray, or getting it in your eyes, you may be causing yourself damage.


If you do decide to use fake tanning spray you should avoid getting it on your eyes, lips or mucous membranes.

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