It’s hard to believe, but summer is fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere. Warm, sunny weather inspires us all to spend more time outdoors soaking up the sunlight.
To prepare for these sun-filled days, many people turn to fake tanning lotions; but these expensive products can contain harsh, toxic chemicals that can harm your bones and whole body and tax your liver and kidneys.
With this DIY sunless tanning lotion, you can give your skin a kick of color without risking chemical exposure. It contains no harmful ingredients, and you can make it at home using just three basic ingredients you might even have in your kitchen right now.
Summer’s Coming…But Your Skin May Not Be Ready
In these first days of summer, after a winter spent indoors, your skin is likely to be paler than it was last fall. If you’d like to give your skin a little color and prepare it for sun exposure without spending too much time in the sun, you may decide to try a sunless tanning lotion. But before you shell out money for one of these products, there are some things you need to know.
First of all, the good news. Most sunless tanning lotions have the same active ingredient: dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. This sounds like something toxic, but it’s not. It’s actually a kind of sugar, and it reacts with the outermost layer of human skin to produce a golden-brown color.
Interestingly enough, DHA’s ability to darken skin was discovered by accident in a Cincinnati children’s hospital in the mid-1950s. Children with glycogen storage disease were being given oral doses of DHA, and when some of the sugared formula spilled on their skin, it made dark spots that did not wipe off.
More research was conducted, and DHA was combined with various other substances to produce sunless tanning lotions.
It’s those “other substances” that you need to watch out for.
Toxic Ingredients In Tanning Lotions
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rated various self-tanning lotions according to toxicity. Products rated 1-2 carry a low hazard; 3-6 a moderate hazard; and 7-10 are high hazard.
Of the 20 lotions that were evaluated, only one commercial self-tanning lotion had a rating under three: True Natural Cosmetics All Natural Anti-Aging Self-Tanning Lotion. And a lotion by Willa Moment in the Sun was rated a three. All other “tanners” rated five or above, with the highest rating an eight.
There are clearly toxic substances in these common lotions.
- Parabens are one such substance. Used as a preservative, parabens are used in a disturbing number of cosmetics. They are endocrine disruptors that are easily absorbed into the skin. In 2006, researchers found parabens (where there were not any before) in the urine of volunteers who underwent topical paraben exposure.1
- Oxybenzone is a synthetic chemical sunscreen that promotes absorption of whatever moisturizer or lotion to which it’s added. Oxybenzone disrupts normal hormone balance in the body because it acts like estrogen. Because of this, oxybenzone has been implicated in developmental problems and cancer growth.
- Fragrance is found in just about every cosmetic ingredient list. And the unfortunate thing is that the term “fragrance” can mean anything from a harmless essential oil to a combination of well over 100 synthetic chemicals. Many of these fragrance chemicals are derived from petroleum, and are implicated in nervous system disorders, cancer, and birth defects. Fragrance can also cause allergic reactions in some people, such as sneezing, tightness in the chest, watering eyes, etc.
- 1,4 Dioxane is a byproduct of manufacturing petroleum-based products for the skin. In order to make them less irritating, manufacturers process the petroleum-based ingredients via ethoxylation. Removing the resulting 1,4 dioxane from the finished product is fairly easy, but to save time and money, manufacturers typically leave it in. 1,4 dioxane is a carcinogen.
- 3 cups brewed, cooled coffee (feel free to use a flavored coffee if you like to change up the scent)
- 1/4 cup sweet almond oil (for use on the skin, not for cooking)
- 2 cups of distilled water
- Combine all ingredients in a large spray bottle and shake to combine.
- After your shower, shake the bottle well and spray the mixture on your skin.
- Rub it in lightly with your hands.
- Over the course of a week or so, you will begin to see your skin darken. It will be softer, too, thanks to the almond oil.
It’s important to note that all of these substances are toxic to bones, creating an acidic environment that depletes bones of minerals. In addition, the liver and kidneys have to work hard in the presence of these toxins, taxing these vital organs that need to be in top shape to keep your bones healthy.
So to help you avoid these bone-damaging toxins, here’s a delightfully scented, all-natural sunless tanning lotion you can make yourself.
Bone-Healthy Sunless Tanning Lotion
Giving Up Toxic Chemicals Is A Good First Step
We sometimes receive questions from Savers who are not sure where to start with regard to their bone health. It can be hard to know what the first step should be, and that’s where cleansing comes in.
First, you need to identify substances and habits that may be introducing toxins into your body, avoid those substances, and then, change those habits. The next step is to cleanse the body of osteoporosis drugs and any other acidifying toxins. It’s a good way to “kick start” your bone health journey.
Don’t let the word “cleanse” scare you. When I created the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I recognized the fact that many would already have taken osteoporosis drugs (or might still be currently taking them), and would need to flush those substances out of their bodies as rapidly as possible. But I also recognized the need for a doable cleanse that did not involve any harsh supplements or treatments.
That’s how the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse came to be. It’s a week-long, food-based cleanse that removes bone-harming toxins, including osteoporosis drugs, from your body. You’ll enjoy more energy, better sleep, and a host of other benefits.
And the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse alkalizes your body, too, giving your bones the environment they need to build and rejuvenate. Talk about a fresh start!
Till next time,
1 Xiaoyun, Ye, et al. “Parabens as Urinary Biomarkers of Exposure in Humans.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 2006 December; 114(12): 1843-1846. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764178/