With all the hype around self tanners being a safe alternative to traditional tanning methods, you may be wondering if these skin bronzers are safe for children. It's not uncommon for little ones to want to imitate their parents in every aspect of life. So when your little girl sees mommy spreading tanning lotion across her body, or goes with mommy to a tanning salon, she may want to try it out herself. You may even be a parent of a kid who participates in acting, modeling,beauty pageants or other activities that may require a bronzed look. It may be cute to see kids bronzed like their parents, but what are the risks involved and could they be dangerous?
Kids are different from adults in one major way, their little bodies are still developing. While our bodies and organs have pretty much established themselves and are maintaining normal cycles, childrens' bodies are changing and growing. This makes them more vulnerable to strange chemicals. Their skin is also much more sensitive than adult skin. This could make kids more likely to develop allergies or side effects related to exposure to self tanners.
That being said, DHA is actually quite safe. What DHA does is react with the sugars in the top, dead, layer of your skin and turn it brown. This is why the tan is semi-permanent and fades when the layers slough off. Self tanners include both DHA and a skin bronzer, which gives you that immediate color. Skin bronzers dry fast and usually disappear after your first shower. They are perfect for a quick effect and help you see where you are applying the tanner. As long as these chemicals stay on the outside of your body, they should be safe for both adults and kids.
If you have a child with particularly sensitive skin, look for an all natural alternative to skin bronzers. Use a home-tanner recipe to make your own from everyday groceries, or purchase a product that uses only natural ingredients.
Tanning beds are not recommended for children under 18. Tanning beds use concentrated amounts of UV light to increase the melanin in your skin. They can cause bad burns in younger children which, in turn, can cause skin problems and defects as well as endangering their health. Avoid them altogether.
For an even safer alternative to self tanners, try using a make up skin bronzer for your child. These come in compacts like blush, or spray forms that can be applied to the face, arms, and legs to get the same results.