If given the option, most people would like to have a nice golden tan. Many people, however, don’t have the time to lie under a tanning bed or soak up the sun by poolside. That’s why large numbers of consumers turn to tanning pills.
Of course, this leads to the question, “How do tanning pills work?” We’ll answer that question in this article and also take a closer look at different types of tanning pills and their effectiveness.
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How Tanning Pills Work
Answering the question “How do tanning pills work” is actually fairly simple. The most common tanning pills contain a pigment known as canthaxanthin. This pigment is primarily used as a color additive in foods, but it can also cause the skin to change color if used in high enough doses.
When canthaxanthin is ingested into the body, it is deposited into the fat layers just under the skin, and internal organs such as the brain and liver. As the ingredient is absorbed into the skin, it turns an orange-brown color, giving the appearance of the user having a golden tan.
Dangers of Tanning Pills
Now that I’ve answered, “How do tanning pills work,” it’s my responsibility to warn the reader about the possible dangers of tanning pills. Since deposits of canthaxanthin also reach the brain, liver and other internal organs, tanning pills have been linked to a number of side effects. These include hepatitis, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and canthaxanthin retinopathy (a formation of yellow deposits around the retina of the eye).
Different Types of Tanning Tablets
In order to better understand how tanning pills work, let’s look at three different types of tanning pills: Mayan Secrets, EluSun and Deep Tan. Each uses a different method to help the customer achieve a deep tan (assuming that the product actually works in the first place).
EluSun Tanning Pills
EluSun tanning pills contain caretenoid pigments, and the ingredient known as canthaxanthin is one of these. Other caretenoids include beta carotene and lycopene. These are the same substances used to color foods such as shrimp and carrots. These pills are banned in the United States, as the FDA has deemed them dangerous. Of course, they can still be obtained via the Internet.
Users of EluSun tanning pill have no control over where the deposits of pigment end up, so they may find themselves with splotchy discolorations or odd stripes. The fat around feet and hands may also turn a bright orange color and remain that way for an extended time.
The pigment will also cause discoloration of bodily waste, resulting in red or orange urine, feces and tears. This can be quite alarming to the unprepared user and result in unnecessary medical bills.
Mayan Secrets Tanning Pills
Another popular brand of tanning pill is the one known as Mayan Secrets. This pill is supposed to aid in the body’s production of melanin (which causes a tan). However, the product does not list all of its ingredients, nor does it state that the product has not been approved by the FDA (which is required by law). One ingredient contained in Mayan Secrets is a substance which produces vomiting (Loeselia Mexicana).
Deep Tan Tanning Pills
According to the manufacturers of this pill, you can get a tan without any exposure to the sun. This is especially appealing to those who have trouble tanning (such as those with very fair skin). Unfortunately, Deep Tan contains both lycopene and beta carotene (which are both dangerous caretenoids). The rest of the ingredients are so common that any average diet would include them on a daily basis. In other words, Deep Tan is a scam which doesn’t work.
A Final Word on Tanning Pills that Work
The only tanning pills which actually work are those which cause the fat deposits under your skin to change color. While this may give you the appearance of a tan, it is also dangerous and can lead to long-term health issues. Also keep in mind that none of these products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
If you really want a golden tan, the best option is to get a spray-on version. You might also want to consider going to a tanning bed or doing it the old-fashioned way. Just be sure and cross tanning pills off your list of
sunless tanning options.