It’s designed to provide users with a healthy glow, but applying fake tan can lead to flu-like symptoms, according to a nutritionist.
Allegedly diarrhoea and nausea can also be caused by the use of the beauty product.
Nutritionist Jennifer May, who has studied the link between beauty products and their side-effects, broke down the link between fake tan and illness to Australian outlet Mamamia.
She claimed that fake tan users who suffer from food intolerance may suffer adverse side-effects after using certain products.
She said: “this could be due to them having weaker digestive function.”
“It could be due to the increased toxic load from the food reactions, leading to poor ability to detox, or of course, this could be a reaction to the DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) itself – which is a three-carbon sugar food extract.”
“Many people with food intolerances have issues absorbing and processing sugars such as lactose and fructose. It is possible that the reaction is from the DHA being poorly processed by the liver and then reacting in the digestive system.”
Aches, pains and asthma attacks
The nutritionist outlined the side-effects she had observed during her career.
“Patients have experienced elevated liver enzymes which reduce when removing self tanners and other cosmetics.”
Others have suffered severe “aches and pains and extreme fatigue”, as well as nausea, increased urinary urgency and frequency, asthma attacks and diarrhoea.
According to May, diarrhoea symptoms “seems to be most pronounced in those who have spray tans or those who do all over body and multiple layer applications.”
“What many people don’t know is that any toxin that is processed by the liver is typically then dumped into the digestive system (via the bile) or kidneys (followed by the bladder) to be excreted.”
Potential for allergic reaction
In guidelines for pregnant woman who use fake tan, the NHS suggest that DHA is unable to penetrate the most outer layer of skin, but warns of the risk of allergic reactions.
“As the DHA isn’t thought to go beyond the outer layer of skin, it isn’t absorbed into the body and can’t harm your baby.
“Even though there are no known risks to your baby from using fake tans during pregnancy, there is a risk you could have an allergic reaction to them.
“This can happen because the changes in your hormone levels can make your skin more sensitive than normal.
“If you do use fake tan, always test the product on a small area of skin first, to see if you have a reaction.”