There’s a lot of information out there that warns against the dangers of tanning, but despite the amount of statistics available, some people still choose to head outside with a bottle of tanning oil…or Coca-Cola? Yep, you read that right right: the soda.
As noted by Allure, people are pouring the soft drink all over their skin before laying out in the sunshine in hopes of attaining a sun-kissed glow. If users see a result, it’s likely due to the fact that brown sodas contain a lot of chemical colors, which can give the appearance of speeding up one’s tan. However, like any tanning oil that lacks SPF protection, this technique is far from safe.
Dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D. recently wrote an article on this very topic for Fitness Magazine. In her essay, Gohara notes that there’s no scientific information that supports the idea that slathering a bottle of Coca-Cola on your body will actually accelerate your tan, but it will do harm to your skin. “As a dermatologist, I can really only say one thing,” she writes. “BAG IT. Besides the fact that it is gross and sticky (do you want flies with that burn?), it’s also a one-way ticket to developing cancer and wrinkles.” Gohara adds that “no tan is a good tan when it comes to skin health,” and she offers a few handy tips for enjoying the sunshine safely (like using sunscreen with a high SPF, and arming yourself with sunglasses, proper clothing, and even a wide hat).
Furthermore, there’s a direct link between catching rays and skin cancer; in fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people develop skin cancer due to tanning than lung cancer from smoking. The bottom line? Always choose a sunless tanner over the real thing. Your skin will thank you for it.