Tanning lotion darkens but doesn't protect

People's Pharmacy

June 20, 1999|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Q. How do you feel about self- tanning lotions and their safety? I am curious as to how they work.

A. Sunless tanning lotions are safer than prolonged sun exposure. A tan results from ultraviolet damage to the skin, which produces melanin as a protective response.

Chemical tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone, which attaches itself to an amino acid in skin and darkens the color. The resulting "tan" won't protect skin from sunburn, so use sunscreen.

Write to the Graedons in care of The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or e-mail them via their Web site: www. peoplespharmacy.com.

King Features Syndicate

Pub Date: 06/20/99

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