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Brand HistoryTanning TipsTanya Whitebits

Why has my tan turned green?

By December 3, 2019June 29th, 2020No Comments

We all love a beautiful, natural-looking glow. But if you find that the contents of your favourite tanning product has turned green alarm bells start ringing. After all no one really aspires to the Shrek look!

So, what has happened if your sunless tan products have turned green?

Firstly, as our products contain natural and organic ingredients, the shelf life is shorter than products that contain parabens. The topic of parabens is covered in our other blog, but in short it is a type of preservative used to prolong the shelf life in many food and beauty products. However, this ingredient has been linked to breast cancer studies.

So why have your products turned green?

There are a few reasons that can cause this. Storing in extremes of temperature can cause your product to oxidise, it could be direct sunlight or somewhere very cold or near a radiator, it may have expired its shelf life. It may have oxidised if it’s been exposed to the open environment.

Basically, the bronze guide colour is made up of 3 colours. These colours are red, yellow and blue. When the red colour oxidizes it leaves blue and yellow together, which creates green. The only thing turning green is the bronzer, which is a temporary colour, but we don’t recommend using if its green.

Our tanning products do expire, like many other products. Although they are non-toxic, when they reach their expiration date, they are not as effective. Expired self-tanners will not give you the kind of tan you want. Rather, your skin may have blemishes and won’t absorb the self-tanner as effectively.

As fake tan reacts with the amino acids in the dead layer of your skin to turn you a temporary bronzed colour. If the tan is exposed to oxygen or to too much heat, the guide colour can turn green. Another reason that your tan could turn green is if it reacts with other ingredients e.g. deodorant, alcohol or perfumes which is why it’s important to follow our preparation instructions in our top tips blog.

Here is a round up of why your product may have turned green:

  1. Storage

If you don’t store your fake tan properly it can oxidise. Oxidation is the inclusion of oxygen into the product, and this process breaks down the DHA and causes your fake tan to turn green.

To avoid this, you should store your product in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Products should not be exposed to extremes of temperature as this may also cause premature oxidisation.

  1. Sell by date

Like a lot of consumer goods, your fake tan will have a natural sell by date. Once it has gone by this date there’s an increased risk that it will turn green. Fake tan products containing paraben will have a longer sell by date. There is a logo on the product label informing you of the shelf life e.g. 6 months, 9 months, 24 months.

  1. Preparation

If you are noticing just your armpits or certain parts of your body turning green once tanned, this is more likely to be down to how you’ve prepped for your tan rather than the fake tan itself.

Deodorants, perfumes, moisturisers and even certain makeups can react with your fake tan. Although this can look alarming it may wash off and the final colour could be affected.

Before fake tanning you should exfoliate the night before and thoroughly cleanse your skin on the day of the tan so it’s free of anything that might act as a barrier or react with your tan.

Avoiding a green tan

If you notice your fake tan has turned green, then do not apply it. If you do accidentally apply it, wash it off immediately as the guide colour can be unpleasant and the end result may not be as effective.

As mentioned, due to Tanya Whitebits products containing natural and organic ingredients, the shelf life is shorter. We would compare this to fresh food verses processed foods and we all know which one is better for us.

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