Are Browning Lotions Safe for Summer?

Are Browning Lotions Safe for Summer?

The Dangers of Browning Lotions: Don’t Be Fooled by the Trend

Sun Protection Image Source: HealthDay Reporter

Social media influencers have driven a new trend in tanning – the use of “browning lotions.” With claims of quick results, people are turning to these lotions to achieve a tan. However, experts are questioning the safety of this trend, and it’s essential to understand the potential dangers.

Why Browning Lotions Might Not Be Safe

Browning lotions work by enhancing the effects of the sun’s UV rays, accelerating the tanning process. While this may sound tempting to those craving a sun-kissed glow, it’s important to remember that a tan is never considered healthy. Dermatologist Dr. Alexis Young from Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey believes that browning lotions can be problematic for several reasons.

Firstly, prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer. A tan, rather than being a sign of beauty, is a warning flag of sun damage. Secondly, using browning lotions might give users a false sense of security, making them believe they are protected from the sun’s harmful rays when they are not.

The Safest Way to Protect Your Skin

To safeguard your skin from the sun, experts unanimously recommend using broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, regardless of whether it’s a sunny or cloudy day. It’s crucial to apply the sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, including the often overlooked areas like the nose, ears, neck, hands, feet, and even lips.

Dermatologist Dr. Alexis Young further advises reapplying sunscreen every two hours and after going in the water. Additionally, wearing photoprotective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses can provide further protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

Why Sunless Self-Tanners Are a Better Option

If you’re craving a tan without the potential risks, sunless self-tanners are a safe alternative to browning lotions. Over the years, self-tanners have come a long way from the days of providing orange streaks and unnatural color. Modern self-tanners can provide a natural-looking tan without the dangers associated with UV exposure.

By opting for sunless self-tanners, you can achieve the desired look without compromising your skin’s health. It’s important to prioritize your skin’s safety and choose a method that doesn’t increase the risk of skin cancer, including the deadly melanoma.



While browning lotions may promise quick results, it’s crucial to question their safety. Remember that a tan is not a healthy attribute, but actually an indicator of skin damage caused by sun exposure. Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays should always be a priority.

When it comes to sun protection, rely on broad-spectrum sunscreen, photoprotective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and the option of sunless self-tanners. By making these choices, you can prioritize both your appearance and your overall well-being.

For more information on sun protection, you can visit The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Source: Hackensack Meridian Health, news release, June 29, 2023.