Beware of the Latest TikTok Trend: Nasal Spray Tans

March 3, 2022
WebMD: Beware of the Latest TikTok Trend: Nasal Spray Tans

TikTok users seeking deep tans are using a questionable method: spraying self-tanning products up their noses, and then lying in the sun or in a tanning bed.

Although nasal spray tanning is being described as a new “viral” trend, it seems to have gotten its start as early as the spring of 2021. The tanning method appears to be especially popular in the United Kingdom, where self-tanning product brands have TikTok videos promoting nasal sprays.

The rising concern about this and other viral TikTok trends has prompted a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to launch an investigation.

The main ingredient in self-tanning products is dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. It’s FDA-approved for use on skin, causes a chemical reaction when heat is applied, and a pigment is deposited on the skin.

Adam Friedman, MD, a professor and chair of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, DC, says given that self-tanning products were never meant to be inhaled and that nasal sprays of any kind must be approved by the FDA, a company promoting the products is playing a dangerous game.


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