Coca Cola tanning: A dangerous trend for people in search of a bronze glow

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Coca Cola at the beach
Image Credit: Jennifer Miville/Flickr
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OK, beach bag check: Towel, sunglasses, phone, a book and a can of Coca-Cola.

Not to drink — to slather all over your skin for a deeper tan!

Soft drinks are apparently all the rage with trendy beachgoers trying to get the perfect tan. But it’s a dangerous trend that has dermatologists decrying the potential harm they’re doing to their skin.

Read more: The best sunscreens for your money

Why you shouldn’t try to tan with Coca-Cola

There’s a belief that the caramel dye used in the soft drink can also be used like a self-tanning lotion to help you achieve a deeper tan in a shorter period of time.

That’s led celebrity influencers like MTV U.K. stars Chloe Ferry and Charlotte Crosby to use the soda in search of a better bronze glow.

Unfortunately, the claim that Coca-Cola can enhance your tan is unproven.

Yet the real danger here is that people will skip the sunscreen altogether and just resort to pouring on Coke in place of it.

The soft drink manufacturer itself has debunked the myth with a post on the United Kingdom’s Coca-Cola site.

“As much as we love Coca‑Cola, we really wouldn’t recommend using it in this way.

There is no sun protection factor in it at all — it’s a drink!”

– Coca-Cola

Dermatologists, meanwhile, say not to jump on this summer bandwagon.

“As a dermatologist, I can really only say one thing: BAG IT,” Dr. Mona A. Gohara of Advanced DermCare writes online for Fitness magazine. “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.”

The best sunscreens are the cheapest ones!

Consumer Reports takes a look each year at the best sunscreens. It turns out one of the cheapest brands routinely score at or near the top of the list each year!

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50

This Walmart store brand lotion was deemed a “best buy” with a score of 94 out of 100.

It costs only 49 cents an ounce — the cheapest unit price of any lotion tested!

Prefer a spray? Try this one…

Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30

At 83 cents an ounce, this Walmart store brand scored an 84 out of 100 on the Consumer Reports test.

Just be sure that whatever sunscreen you get says ‘broad spectrum’ on the label for maximum protection. That will ensure that it protects against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.

UVB is the biggest culprit when it comes to sunburn and it also plays a role in skin cancer. UVA, meanwhile, is responsible for tanning and aging skin, in addition to contributing to skin cancer.

Read more: Nearly half of sunscreens don’t meet the SPF claim on the label

Cheap tips for a cleaner house

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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