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Faux-bronzed tweens may spark healthy trend

Researchers have found that sunless tanning, popular with tweens and teens, could impact the sun-baking habits of women in general.

Two studies appear in the September edition of the journal Archives of Dermatology highlighting sunless tanning motivations and their health impact, noting one in ten American girls aged 11-18 is a spray-tan queen.

The authors independently concluded that "adolescents must be educated about ...the importance of avoiding indoor tanning and practicing sun-protective behaviors" and "encouraging sunbathers to switch to sunless tanning could have an important health impact."

However, "future research should determine how to further convince tanners to switch to sunless tanning."

If you are trying to find a healthy green sunless tanner, look to the Environmental Working Goup's (EWG) cosmetic safety database Skin Deep.

Sunless tanners have been ranked based on health risks (cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and other) including a risk assessment for each ingredient and notes on "data gaps" or unknowns due to insufficient toxicology reports and/or deficient government and cosmetic companies' assessments. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php?category=sunless+tanning

Both studies, "The Sunless Study: A Beach Randomized Trial of a Skin Cancer Prevention Intervention Promoting Sunless Tanning" and "Use of Sunless Tanning Products Among US Adolescents Aged 11 to 18 Years," will be accessible on September 20 at http://archderm.ama-assn.org/